Meet a Member Couple: Ben and Emily at Common Damen
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It’s a tale as old as time. Two successful singles living in a vibrant city fell in love. But when Emily and Ben decided it was time to move in together, they opted for coliving instead of their own apartment.
Emily may have changed her relationship status, but she didn’t have to change her apartment.Emily has lived at Common Damen for almost three years, and in the past year she’s lived in a couples suite with her boyfriend, Ben. We caught up with them to get more insight into what it’s like to live as a couple in a coliving suite and how this unique approach has added ease and convenience to their lifestyle.
Hi Emily and Ben! Let’s start with the basics. Why did you move to Chicago and what do you do in the city?
Emily: I’ve lived in Chicago for about four and a half years working as an apparel designer. I love that Chicago is such a vibrant city filled with an endless offering of new restaurants, a thriving music scene, and artistic inspiration around every corner! However, when I first moved here, I wasn’t living at Common and lacked a community in the city. Loneliness was a frequent struggle for me, and I would drive home on the weekends to be with my friends and family in Missouri. Once I moved into Common, it was so easy to meet new people with the community events and building set up.Ben: I moved to Chicago originally 7 years ago from Ohio. I love that the city is so close to home but has so many more opportunities and things to do! The comedy scene here is amazing, and I’m truly never bored. I moved into Common about a year ago once Emily and I decided we wanted to take the next step in our relationship and move in together. The convenience and ease that comes with living at Common Damen definitely helps take some of the pressure of city life.
Ok, Let’s back up. Tell us more about how you two met and how you decided to move in together at Common Damen.
Emily: It’s pretty standard for modern dating, but we met on a dating app. I actually swiped right on Ben while I was hanging out with my roommates in the living room of Common Damen! Once we decided that we wanted to move in together, we looked at options for apartments all over the city, but there was nothing that matched the price, location, and interior style that my suite with Common had to offer. I knew that the larger room with an en-suite bathroom was opening up, so we applied for the space together.
Sounds like perfect timing! What have been some of the biggest benefits and challenges with living together as a couple in a coliving unit?
Ben: Since I was new to Common, my biggest concern was that we wouldn’t have enough privacy, however, the layout of our room makes it quite comfortable! Our room is located at the back of the suite, is larger than the rest, and has its own bathroom and balcony; it honestly feels like a private studio. We are able to interact and use the shared spaces as much as we want, but we also never feel deprived of personal space or alone time.I’ve also never lived in a space that has so many useful amenities built into the lease! The weekly cleanings, replenishing of household supplies [such as toilet paper and dish soap], laundry facilities, and convenient location to grocery stores and restaurants has made life much easier.
Have there been any other unique benefits to co-living as a couple that you didn’t expect?
Emily: The community aspect is a huge plus. The events and messaging in the Common Connect app have helped us meet new people individually and together. It can be isolating to live in a city, even as a couple and Common has helped us find community right in our own building.
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