Let us suppose Hearthlings have social needs. Let us suppose that we need to NOT really have this be too complex but it should be engaging without being political or adult in nature.
Let us suppose, for a second, that Hearthlings have preference. Let us suppose that in working together , two hearthling after spending a week working in their tasks, to appease the OverNerd, they find they really enjoy each other’s company. Let us suppose that they Request in their journals to LIVE TOGETHER. It need not be a real definition of their involvement - but let us suppose IF they wish to and you appease them, they become more motivated to produce. This is not to say that the OverNerd must listen to his people. Living together is very benign but very useful. It handles how we can have dedicated residence and a sense of personal property in a given residence. Two or more hearthlings want to live together and you decide if that affects your building plans. But you DO NOT decide who they want to be housemates with. It adds to the charm, frustration, and challenge. And what if their pal dies. Of course, just keeping it on the level of Preference of Housemate does not define how their relationship pans out in the mind of the OverNerd - and it does not limit any traits they may have to a political agenda or bias. The deal is sealed with a personal houseplaque on a home with at least on door, one dining table, one window, and a bed for each housemate. Add another bed and a new Hearthling MAY want to move into the home, be it Bachelor Quarters, Sorority House or Communal Lovenest. If not, they have spare crashspace.