Tiny House Relationships: Reflections and Independence

Many of you have followed my journey since the beginning, back when this blog was about achieving a dream: to live tiny with someone else. Has the dream changed now that I live alone? Do I have regrets about building the tiny house? Is this still the life I want? As I bring in the New Year, I reflect on tiny house relationships and independence. 

tiny house relationships

Let me tell you a story. It’s about wish fulfillment.

When I was a young girl, about 6 or 7 years old, I was asked to make a wish on my birthday. As I leaned over my cake, adorn with lit candles, I thought long and hard about my wish. Most young girls would wish for a pony, a doll or a puppy, but every tangible item that floated into my mind seemed insignificant. I wanted something bigger; something that couldn’t fade or die. I hovered, frozen over my candles, and suddenly a wish came to me.

I exhaled with all my might. 

The candles extinguished, but the room was bright.

I’ve made that exact same wish a hundred times since that day. Whenever I toss a penny into a well, see a shooting star, and every year on my birthday. Always the same wish. Never another. Do you want me to reveal my wish? I’ll tell you…

live tiny

“I wish to live a long and happy life.”

Simple, yes. Yet this wish is everything. Material items and relationships may change. Even tiny house relationships are not exempt. Change is constant, but the choice to be happy will always be mine. 

I spent the majority of 2016 worried I could not live alone in my tiny house. Physically, I didn’t know if I could maintain it. Economically, I wondered if I could afford it. Mentally, I was afraid of associating it with broken dreams. It is especially challenging when I read old articles, such as last year’s New Years post. A lot can happen in a year. 

tiny house relationships

I’m learning to live tiny all over again.

There are moments when I am frustrated with living alone in this space. These instances happen when something breaks, a loud noise frightens me, or when I’m lonely. But then I remind myself of my wish and I work towards making it come true.

Every day the atmosphere inside my tiny house replaces itself. Today it’s stuffy, but tomorrow it may feel like a hug. I find comfort in that. The more I live alone in this space, the more I find it hard to believe I ever shared it with someone else. I continue to be impressed with my ability to adapt. 

The reason I’m sharing this with all of you is because I get a lot of questions about tiny house relationships. I believe it takes a special kind of person to live tiny with someone else, but it is possible. There are no guarantees, but living tiny and love have one thing in common: they both require you to throw caution to the wind. 

Can you relate?

15 thoughts on “Tiny House Relationships: Reflections and Independence”

  1. Jenna, I get what you mean and yet I think I did before you said it. I’m not very good with me and someone else, but when it’s just me, the solitude and knowing I built it just for me make’s it all good. I’m glade you have the gumption to stay the course and I’m glade you can do it when things break, or you hear a loud noise, and even when your lonely….that’s the only tough one for me, but it passes quickly if you don’t dwell on it. There’s an old post I clipped from some page I don’t remember where it was from that says, Love doesn’t let us pick who we fall for, and it can surprise us to see who we do fall in love with. I don’t believe we’re meant to be alone but I do think when we are, it’s because loves waiting for us to learn something we’ve always turned away from. It’ll come back around, just be patient.

  2. You know, for the best part of my life I’ve been thinking: stay within the lines, do how it’s done, normal is crazy enough et cetera. And I did start a company, bought the Merc – then another one. You have no idea how much I’d like to travel in a tiny house with someone I love. Any place your live in (big or small) and partnership is always about compromises and agreeing, but as long as mutual respect and love prevail that’s ok. Yes, it takes that one special person to live in a tiny house and yes, it takes that one special person to have next to you in the ups and downs of a relationship. I sit in an office that is probably the size of your house – going nowhere. How fortunate you are!

  3. I agree with you, doesn’t matter whether you live in a tiny or a normal size house, life sometimes throws you off course. You find yourself going in a different direction, away from the future you thought you were going to have, through no fault of your own.

    I still struggle with memories, the activities and the interests I shared with my husband, and find I have to give permission to enjoy them again.
    But at the same time, I have to keep going for myself and my children and deal with the fears and anxieties of raising a family as a single parent and remember that there are also good times to be had.

    It sucks to be alone sometimes, but, I hope you and I can come out of this stronger, resilient, independent, and better able to deal with the obstacles and find stronger bonds with family and more rewarding careers. Happy new year Jenna, may 2017 bring you happiness and be rewarding in all ways possible

  4. Small spaces do place challenges on relationships! But this does allow us to face our partners up close and personal. It can be a very rewarding experience to grow together, learning how to interact in such close proximity. You will either grow closer together or further apart. Being in such close quarters may simply intensify and speed up what was going to happen anyway overtime. Either, one is meant to be with their partner or they’re not. Best to discover this sooner on in the relationship than years down the road.
    Having lived in a motor home with my wife for 14 months whilst we build our tiny house (@tofinotinyhome) we have grown stronger together as we learn our own, and each other’s, boundaries and needs. Moving into the tiny house will be ‘upsizing’ for us. The challenges have been obvious, but I can confidently say that if a relationship is destined to succeed or fail, it will, regardless of circumstances.

  5. I don’t mean to be critical here, but if indeed one believes that either tiny house living or love requires “throwing caution to the wind”, I’d have to guess that attitude might be causing some problems for you. While there is some point where one needs to take reasonable risks, there is also a point where you’ve got to take a look at your dream house or dream spouse and ask “are there any deal killers here?”

    For a prospective dream spouse, it could be religion, politics, lifestyle, bad habits, whatever. For a prospective dream house, it could be cost, lifestyle, work, climate, whatever. I don’t know and won’t guess at any particulars for a given person, but to throw caution to the wind is just to invite trouble.

  6. I have the same question that others have expressed, but which never seems to be answered by tiny housers who start out as couples and then later break-up: did tiny living have anything to do with the end of the relationship? Maybe this is too sensitive a subject to ask at this point, so that’s ok if you just can’t answer it right now. I suppose we just hope we are not steering our own relationships into disaster by making the tiny choice, and would like to be forewarned. Some tiny housers shore themselves up by making additional spaces around their tiny houses into which they can retreat when the space seems too confining or when one just needs some space alone. For example High Carb Hannah and her husband (see Life Inside A Box) have built a shed to work in and have fenced their yard… In any case we as spectators wish you the very best, and all the happiness in the world that you can make or find for yourself.

  7. I do hope you weren’t implying that living in a tiny space was part of your problem or helped in you falling out of love with each other? That would be awful. My understanding of going tiny was the benefit of living out doors more in the grand space of out side, among other benefits, of course. I see so many TH’s for sale that were featured in a TV show. I am in awe of how many there are and I feel so saddened that those people couldn’t make it work out for them. It has not discouraged me at all though. :).

    I wish you the happiness in life that you deserve. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I am a single woman building my own tiny home @ty_cerrig_tiny_house (on Instagram). I love the sense of achievement and courage to plunge into the Tiny House World. Throughout my build my ideas change, just like ones life changes through out the years. This tiny house I hope will remain with me for many years. It’s been a labour of love. I hope you fill New happy memories and not dwell in the past. Just another chapter in your life. Trust me, great things will happen if you let it.

  9. I have followed you since the beginning. I love your ability to open up and share your insights with the world at large. I can’t wait to see you on HGTV later this month, right?!

  10. Thank you for this. I went through a similar experience in a tiny apartment 5 years ago – feeling the same fears. I slowly made it my own and these days I love it more than ever (especially after just returning from 16 months away). Happy travels and happy life wishes!

  11. Thanks for sharing. I too have had a similar wish for a long time. I call it the pursuit of happiness. Sometimes I wonder if building my tiny house was a mistake but then I remind myself that it was a big step toward even more happiness in my life. I hope you continue to have a long and happy life!

  12. Your wise beyond years it’s been a privilege following your story and it has brought inspiration to me so thank you for your selfless openness and assistance in building this lifestyle for us all.

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