I live in New York, and have for the past nine years. I have never had any desire to leave the city, and if it were entirely up to me, I probably wouldn't. Before I realized that I did not want children, I used to say to my husband that the only reason I would ever leave would be if we had children. (Actually, if it were up to me, I wouldn't leave then, either, but I had a strong suspicion that my arguments for why raising children in the city can actually be a good thing were never going to be persuasive.)
So now that I am not planning on kids, does this mean that the debate has gone away? Well, unfortunately, no. The suburbia question was brought up again this week and I think it has now been determined that at some stage, I am going to have to bite the bullet and move to quieter suburban digs.
Thank goodness, however, that the extra dimension of children is now gone from the argument. We won't have to leave the city any time soon (I think we've agreed on discussing it sometime in our late 30s, but we'll see.) We can buy a nicer house if and when we do decide to leave, since we don't have kids. We can enjoy the suburban QUIET since we don't have kids. We can still have cocktails, and even dinner, in the city together after work, since we won't have any children to worry about rushing home to. We can pick which town to live in based on things we really care about, such as proximity to the city and whether it's near any good wine bars, without having to worry about whether or not we'll be living in a decent school district. And while I might not love the idea of living in suburbia, at least I don't have to adopt the harried-soccer-mom persona along with it.
Just one more area in my life that's a little less problematic without a child.