Because of the pandemic, a couple with considerable resources and no children — thus a broad spectrum of options — still chose togetherness even though their romance was history. Gregory Cole, an entrepreneur, broke off his engagement just as Covid hit New York City. Unfortunately, Mr. Cole was living in his fiancé’s apartment at the time. Fortunately, he had another place to go: the stone carriage house in Bernardsville, N.J., that he bought with his former companion Michael Perris just before 9/11.
When they separated in 2018, Mr. Cole moved out and Mr. Perris stayed on.
“Michael said, ‘Come out here immediately,’” recalled Mr. Cole, 58.
Two years on, he’s still living there. The house is half his, after all. Still, “I wanted to be respectful to Michael and his space when I moved back in,” Mr. Cole said.
They each have their own bedroom, bathroom and workspace. The former romantic partners recently became business partners, creating a perfume company, The Bubble Collection.
“There was an emotional adjustment because I had started to acclimate to being alone,” said Mr. Perris, 60. “I was getting into a rhythm, and when Gregory moved back I had to get back to the sharing mind-set. But I was happy to have company during Covid.”
Excerpt from "Separated but Under the Same Roof" by Joanne Kaufman, The New York Times, April 7, 2022. Photo credit: Tony Cenicola.