There are many ways of living together in a household where commitment and loving care are essential ingredients. For example: the care for an ageing parent by a daughter or son; brothers and sisters who live together for longer than many married couples; friends who share a home for many years; partners who, without the framework and legal protection of marriage, nevertheless love and care for one another for the rest of their lives.
Whether the foundation of the shared home is marriage or not, the essence of good relationships remains the same. They hold within them commitment, acceptance, sharing and trust. These qualities help develop the difficult skill of giving others both enough space to grow at their own speed and also security, so that the vulnerability engendered by growth and change does not lead to possessiveness.
Many Friends living alone have made their homes a place of welcome and support for those who need warmth and friendship. It is often their own experience of being alone that has helped them to understand and to listen with love.