All Grown Up and Living with Siblings

Carol E. Lee writes in last Sunday’s NY Times Style section about siblings who live together.

“Matt and Frank Goldberg, 28-year-old twins, share many of the same friends, have dated in similar circles and moved in together three months ago. So far, life in their Upper East Side apartment is as good as they imagined. “I come home to a household where I know that there’s someone there who is there for me unconditionally and cares about me and loves me,” Frank said.

And they don’t intend to change that, for now. “I’m sure we’ll go our separate ways,” Matt said, “probably when we get married.”

In a time when adults are delaying marriage and rents are sky-high in many cities nationwide, many siblings in their 20’s and 30’s are moving in together rather than bunking with college friends or strangers. The perks of these arrangements run the gamut from eating the leftovers in the fridge without a second thought to receiving help from parents when putting up shelves.

Siblings also say they like the security of knowing that their brother or sister won’t cheat them on bills, and many find that living together gives them a sense of having a home, not just a bedroom in an apartment. (Yet it’s often what happens in the bedroom that can make having a sibling as a roommate awkward.)

Seeing someone new can be particularly uncomfortable for those who room with a sibling of the opposite sex. “I was dating someone recently, and it would be very strange to be laying on the couch watching a movie and my brother walks in,” said Wendy Kyritz, 27, who shares an apartment in Hackensack, N.J., with her 24-year-old brother, Steve.”