Faith Blakeney was an apartment dweller in Los Angeles, California, US, when she found a house for rent; it was love at first sight. She, her teenage daughter, Noa, and boyfriend convinced the owners to rent the place to them. Blakeney was ecstatic. “For the first time in 10 years, I would have my own bedroom, a bathtub and a washer and dryer,” said Blakeney. Several months later, Blakeney and her boyfriend “lovingly uncoupled” she was unable to afford the rent on her own. She undertook a search for a roommate, but on her own terms. A mutual friend connected Blakeney with Sally Montana, a photographer who splits her time between Los Angeles and New York; the chemistry worked and a ‘circle of women’ was formed. “Sally literally showed up on our doorstep with two suitcases. I’m so glad she did; she makes our house feel like home,” said Noa. The women have to manage their different personalities and preferences and find any trade-offs, worth the effort for the sense of connectedness they gain. “We could live separately and comfortably right now. But we love our living situation. It’s an empowered choice. We are choosing to be here.”

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