I've literally never lived alone and I am almost 40 years old. In my family, that's not really that strange. There are a lot of us, and we all sort of pool our resources and efforts into our living situations. My grandmother even moved out of her own house to get away from living with my mom and us kids!
Of course it's got advantages - like none of us will ever go hungry and it may not be the most comfortable or private, but we will always have a place to land when life gets weird.
But it also leaves me with some questions - like what it's like to actually live alone. I've never been alone in a place more than a week at a time, and that was when my college roommate would go away for holidays.
Reddit user ThatGuyWitAShortName asked:
... and yeah, maybe there's something to this living alone thing - because a lot of this sounds magical.
The apartment will never get any dirtier than you yourself made it.
The Same Place
Everything's in the same spot when you leave for work and get back home. Same thing with food - there's nobody there to eat your leftovers in the fridge. Not to mention walking around naked when you get out of the shower.
No Bathroom SharingGiphy
Not having to worry about someone else being in a space when you want to use it.
This!!! Currently sharing one bathroom with five people. It's torture.
Lived in a place like that but I was like 6-7 people with partners included. In the mornings there would be an actual line so I had to just pee in the backyard, luckily I had that option though I felt bad for the girls living there.
No one to interrupt you from doing the things you want even if that is reading a book for 12 hours, binge watching a show, whatever the case may be.
The freedom of decorating.
It seems so silly but after sharing a room with my older sister for over 18 years, being able to buy and design the furniture in a way I want is fantastic.
No explaining who you bring home.
I can do whatever I want.
Wake up at 3 AM and can't go back to sleep? F--- it, I'll get some work done. Maybe I'll clean the kitchen. Maybe I'll make pancakes. Who cares, it's just me.
I refuse to live any other way. I understand the concept of having a long term, live in mate. I get the security.
But I want 3:00 AM pancakes, and I don't want to apologize for wanting them.
No explaining to your guests why the place is a mess, either. I hated bringing girls over when I had roommates, 50/50 chance the place would either be reasonably clean, or a complete disaster when they didn't want to help clean up.
It's a lot easier to change bad habits on a whim.
Oh, yeah. Lost 60 pounds when my husband went on his first deployment. Saw a nutrition specialist, was spending all of my spare time at the gym, was spending less than a third of what I had been on groceries. The whole works. Eat nothing but lean meats and vegetables, with the occasional treat after donating platelets? Not a problem.
My husband was thrilled when he got back. He then ordered a pizza, got cranky when I was gone while he was home, etc. It took less than a week for all the bad habits to come back.
I think this is an underrated comment. When I lived with my family, if I started doing push-ups or eating celery, I would almost certainly get comments. Even if it's positive comments, I really just want to be able to try things out without being judged one way or another.
Space! I love alone time so much now.
Visiting family and they get overbearing? Leave.
Rough day at work? Solitude.
Need a nap? Nap.
As someone whose husband leaves frequently for a year at a time I can answer this!
- Everything is where I left it when I come home, nobody here to move my things
- I can watch whatever I want on tv, without worrying its too girly or "you're watching Downton Abbey AGAIN?"
- I can cook whatever I want for dinner, yes even those dishes my husband hates and refuses to eat. I can have em two nights in a row!
- The bed all to myself. Guess what? I'm sleeping in the middle!
- The toilet stays cleaner way longer.
- It's 8:45 and I want to go to bed? Now I can! No longer have to wait for the "going to bed before 9:00pm makes you a loser" rule.
Let's just say, I've learned to look on the bright side of the lengthy separations.
In The Moment
Never waiting for anyone - to get out of the way, to vacate the bathroom, to run an appliance, to start a video...everything happens at the right time. You are always living in the moment.
Getting To Know You
I haven't seen this yet. Actually getting to know yourself. You figure out what you like, how you want things, how clean you actually are, etc. It's a wonderful, eye opening experience everyone should do. People talk about living with an SO before marriage, I think living by yourself is more important.
Pros And Cons
As a person who has lived alone for the past 6 or so years. Let me elaborate the pros one cons.
Radical freedom - do what you want when you want.
Little interruption - indulge in your hobbies all day if you like.
Privacy - oh God yes I love the privacy.
Eccentricities - do you like doing your ironing at 2am naked in front of the t.v? Go for it! Nobody will judge you because nobody will know.
Being loud - crank up the volume all you like.
Your bad habits are exacerbated - nobody to hold you accountable means your bad habits will get worse.
Breakdown of social norms - if your toilet and bathroom are separate, the shower may wind up being your go-to urinal. When living alone your lizard brain takes over and you stop thinking about these things.
Loneliness - oh God the loneliness. It can be absolutely crushing.
Holding yourself to account - if you miss your alarm and show up 2 hours late for work, you have nobody to blame but yourself, and nobody will do you the favor of waking you up.
Getting comfortable in your own mess - it builds up over time and when someone comes to visit you're hit with the full shame hammer of your living situation.
Zero accountability. Heading out to the beach and decide you want to stay or make a detour. No problem. Coming home at midnight instead of 6pm. No problem. Waking up an hour late. No problem.
Having your own schedule and not having to answer to anyone.
If you want to make a fancy meal at 2am? You go for it!
If you want to order a pizza at 10am while you watch the Office for the millionth time? You do it!
I miss living alone.
Late night showers.
I lived alone for a long time before getting into my first roommate situation. I immediately realized how loud a running shower is and was just uncomfortable being that noisey while someone is sleeping when I get home late.
Cleaning is never a negative association anymore, you don't clean because someone is nagging at you, you take care of your home and keep it clean because you know how good and accomplished you'll feel when your done. It becomes kind of fun because you have complete freedom over this space that is now yours and you can move anything anywhere and the responsibly that comes with that feels awesome.
Grab & Go
Being able to leave the house without waiting for other people to get ready. I can just grab my keys and go!
The ability to make where you are living yours! With roommates it was usually my room or their room and just shared areas - and most of the time it was spent hiding in whoever's room with the odd bit of interaction. But when I finally could get a place that was my own, I was free to do and use rooms based on function and spread out everything vs cramming all my stuff into a single bedroom.
Sleeping naked. Watching TV naked. Literally doing everything naked.
Because I'm a singer, doing super loud weird vocal exercises home alone saves the embarrassment of someone hearing you do vocal frys and belting.
A Time Saver
Scheduling. Just the idea of having to wait 20 minutes to use a shower, or having to come back when someone isn't using the stove. Living with people is ridiculously inefficient some times and you can easily lose an hour or two in a day just waiting a few minutes or 20 minutes sitting on your phone while while even just waiting to go pee. It's kinda crazy how much it can add up. It's like going to a theme park with no lines.
I don't have to entertain unexpected guests. The main reason I won't move in n with any of my friends is because I know they would have people all the time and it would be really exhausting.
The bathroom is always free.
No food disappearing from the fridge unless you eat it.
You skip most flu seasons, because it has to be you who brings the virus home.
God And Satan
Nobody will never know how psychotic, perverted and f**ked up you are.
Joker make-up in front of your mirror? You're welcome.
Wearing a female dress when you're a guy? You're welcome.
Awkwardly singing like a freaking opera female singer? You're welcome.
You wanna take some LSD for a 8 hour trip? You're welcome.
You wanna paint a maniac evil f**ked pics on your walls? Nobody will tell you a thing.
Living alone is like to be God and Satan at the same time.