What to Do If You Find Yourself Falling Out of Love With Your Home, Neighborhood or City

published Aug 2, 2014
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(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)

We think about the relationships with our family, our loved ones and our friends often enough, but we tend to forget about the other big relationship we have in our lives: Where we live. The house or apartment, the neighborhood, the city. It’s a relationship that requires upkeep and tenderness, like all others. And when it’s suffering, it can cause a whole lot of suffering in your life. Here’s what to do if you find yourself falling out of love with your home.

There are lots of reasons why you could be falling out of love with your home. Maybe the actual place you pay rent or a mortgage on is starting to fall apart and need repairs. Or has become too small to fit your needs. It could just be boring to you. Perhaps your neighborhood and city have changed around you, too. Maybe traffic’s worst than it’s ever been.

For whatever reason your home — your place, your neighborhood or your city — is vexing you, there is a way to turn the tide. You might be able to see what it was that made you fall in love in the first place.

Identify exactly what it is that’s bugging you
This sounds too simple, but you might be walking around grumpy about your town or ‘hood and not realizing it’s something you can fix. Traffic bad and you’re tired of getting caught in jams? Leave earlier or see if you can work different hours. Tired of staring at the same wall in your living room? Change it up! Make a list of the things you don’t like and start fixing those that you can.

Stop complaining about what’s wrong
Though we think it’s smart to make a list of what’s wrong and fix what you can, focusing on the bad stuff and always talking about it will only serve to magnify what you don’t love. Even if everyone in your neighborhood is complaining about the same thing, don’t jump on the bandwagon; steer the conversation away from unhelpful complaining.

Actively focus on the good stuff
Taking it a step farther, now make a list of everything you still love (or at the very least, like) about your home, neighborhood or city. From where it’s located to the colorful bathroom tile to whatever it is about your home that still makes you smile. Make a list, and replace any focusing on negative items with enthusiasm about the good stuff.

Start participating more
It happens to the best of us. We get grumpy, annoyed and frustrated with our living situations so we pull back. Stop going to that neighborhood park that saw so much traffic from us when we first moved in. Stop having morning coffee on the balcony. Stop going to the free city events because we don’t want to hassle with parking. How silly! Up the participation in your home, your ‘hood and your city, even if they might take a little more time to do. Feeling connected to where you live cultivates joy in it. Even just taking more walks or bike rides around your home can help immensely.

Give back
Sign up to volunteer to pick up trash in the neighborhood park. Donate to a non-profit that helps your city out somehow. Or give back to your own home by taking care of it — doing some home maintenance item that you’ve been putting off because you’re too busy.

Catch a sunset (or a sunrise)
I’m a firm believer that you can’t hate something that’s being kissed by golden rays as the sun goes down. Call me a romantic, but even a trash dump has its merits when you catch it right as the morning is waking up. Whatever version of home is bugging you the most, just take in its view as the sun goes up or down. It’s an easy way to change perspective.

How do you change course on your attitude when you find yourself falling out of love with your home, your neighborhood or your city? Share your ideas below!