Room-mating & Shacking-up
19 July, 2012

News and views have never traveled from one place to another as fast as they do now when the Internet has united the mankind so tightly. Naturally, Georgia, as any other nation, is a regular recipient and consumer of those news and views. 

In other words, we know quite well what’s going on around the world. Some of those things are rejected by our national consciousness and some are considered worth emulating. Room-mating & Shacking-up, for instance, which is a regular life-style among the American and European youth, has not yet become popular here. There should be plenty of reasons, justifying our refusal (I think only temporary) from this model of behavior. In the West it is natural for the opposite sexes (and not only) to shack up. Room-mating is totally ubiquitous in that part of the world – not here! Roommates in the West are financially independent in most cases. There are some parents of course who are not really loath to help out the gone-from-home kids, but this is not terribly popular. Financial independence among young men and women in Georgia is not as commonplace as one would desire. And even if it were, shacking up would not be welcome by most of the Georgian parents, especially the girls’ moms and dads. Regardless certain sexual liberation, local tradition of nursing the family would not readily allow a young male and female to room-mate or shack-up. I am not saying that the country is totally devoid of such examples, but the number of room-mating couples is way below the Western level. Please don’t get me wrong – I am not saying whether room-mating and shacking up are a good thing or a bad one. That’s not for me to judge. This should rather be a sociologist’s bread-and-butter. I am just making a simple statement: Georgia is still in the process of maturing for accepting room-mating and shacking-up as the way of life for young people. If I were asked a question about my daughter’s shacking-up with her boy-friend, I would not be equipped with a prompt answer. I would probably have not-so-helpful second thoughts about the issue. Yes, it would be an issue for me. And I will have an attitude. I can’t say why but I know I will. Something deep down in me is saying that we as a nation are not yet ready for this kind of life-style. You see, I can chip in several serious and not too serious reasons to validate my reservations: money, image, uneasy feelings, tradition, gossip, askance looks cast on my daughter and me, awkwardness of situations, various formalities, the young man’s visitations, etc. This might sound funny, but that’s the way most of us are in this country. That’s why this belated perpetuation of room-mating and shacking-up as models of premarital cohabitation is becoming a norm here. Premarital sex is still causing certain social and personal pains in Georgia. But the flip side of the medal is that room-mating and shacking-up could have helped the increase of population in Georgia. I have said it before and I would like to reiterate: human reproduction should probably be a strategic direction of thought and behavior for this nation. Could this be enough reason to propagate room-mating and shacking-up among our young men and women? Who knows, but I am more likely to believe so than not!