Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread: The Joys of Living Alone

The benefit of living of living alone was a popular topic on the web and TV this week, so I thought we could continue the trend here in our weekend open thread. In my single life, I had a total of five glorious years that I lived alone — the first time from ages 22 – 24 until I moved in with a boyfriend, and then again from 27 – 30 until I moved in with Drew. I loved almost everything about living alone: having full control of the TV, music, and temperature; eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted; having only my own mess to deal with (which has always been pretty minimal — I’m a neat freak); inviting whomever I wanted over to my home at any time of the day or night and not having to check in with anyone else first; painting the walls whatever color I wanted (my last solo apartment — pictured above with Miles and Simone — was painted gold, mocha, purple, green, and a little bit hot pink. It was prettier than it sounds, trust.);  no one around to see me in zit cream or unflattering tattered yoga pants; going to sleep at 9 PM without anyone teasing me; the Ben & Jerry’s was ALL MINE; spontaneous living room dance marathons to embarrassing music (Ace of Base, anyone?).

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and living situation now (well, I could do without the 5 AM baby alarm…), but those years I lived alone were special times. I got to know myself  really well and be shamelessly selfish in a way one can’t when she becomes a wife and mother. There were some tears shed when I worried I’d be alone forever, but mostly I enjoyed those years for what they were and realized I probably wasn’t always going to live alone — that eventually I’d find a guy who was worth giving up a bit of my independence for — and I should enjoy my own space while I could, so I did.

What about you? Those of you who currently live alone, what do you love about it? And those who once lived alone and no longer do, what do you miss most?

73 comments… add one
  • avatar

    sparky629 March 9, 2012, 3:11 pm

    Holy batman balls! I just realized that I’ve never ever lived alone.
    I came from a big family. I went straight into the military after high school and then into my 1st marriage. Left that marriage with a kid but we did manage to live ‘alone’ for about 4 or 5 years before I remarried.

    But I’ve never honestly just lived in a place by myself. That’s kinda scary.

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    • avatar

      Rangerchic March 9, 2012, 4:02 pm

      I’ve never lived alone either. Always had a roommate….then I had my daughter….then I got married. Honestly my husband lets me (mostly) have the run of the house so I don’t feel I really missed anything. Now, I can’t wait for the kids to move on so we can have the house to ourselves! (Hope I don’t sound too selfish – I love my kids!!)

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  • LadyinPurpleNotRed

    LadyinPurpleNotRed March 9, 2012, 3:15 pm

    I live by myself right now and I absolutely love it! I love not having to deal with roommate drama, being able to have alone time whenever I want it without worrying I’m offending roommates because I don’t want to talk to be around them, and it’s really nice not to have roommates judging me for the decisions I make.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl March 9, 2012, 3:24 pm

    I lived by myself for many years and always loved it. I never closed the bathroom door, watched whatever stupid tv program I wanted, and had the whole bed. Truth be told, I like having my husband and dog around because I feel much safer with them here.

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    • avatar

      ktfran March 9, 2012, 3:34 pm

      Oh, good one, keeping the door open when I use the restroom. And not having to immediately dress after I shower. Good call!

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  • katie

    katie March 9, 2012, 3:26 pm

    i honestly hated living alone. i lived alone in college in my dorm after two different crazy roommates both moved out in a hurry, one right after the other (i was “cursed”, haha- they both ended up being pretty funny stories). i hated being in my room… i would go there to study, because it was quiet and no one would bother me, but then i would go to my friends rooms any other time. sometimes, we would go to my room to hang out, sometimes, but other then that i spent the smallest amount of time there i could. i just really hate being alone and in silence, it freaks me out…

    then, on my externship, i moved to San Antonio for a summer. I lived in a tiny studio that felt like a prison cell by the time the summer was over. it was the same thing there- always quiet and terrible. it was little different there because I didnt know anyone in san antonio and I wasnt 21 so I couldnt really connect with my co workers, so i just ended up going to my apartment and being in the silence … i didnt have a tv either, which didnt help. i spent a lot of time on the computer… lol. that was the summer i discovered DW on the frisky, actually! lol

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    • avatar

      slamy March 9, 2012, 6:03 pm

      music makes being alone much more bearable.. (bareable?)

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      • katie

        katie March 9, 2012, 6:31 pm

        it definitely does. i used it a lot for sure… but i guess i just see it as filling up the silence, like i know its still there, just covered up by my ipod..

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary March 9, 2012, 3:28 pm

    I love living alone too. I never had roomates so bad that it made me want to live alone, but by the time I left grad school I was ready to live alone (with my dog in tow). I have a little studio that is just perfect for one person without being claustrophobic. I love being able to hang out with my boyfriend without a roomate around (and I love not dealing with a roomate’s boyfriend), I love the quiet, I love not having to tell anyone where I’m going or explain my emotions, and I love decorating however I want! I like cooking what I want (I cook with curry/cumin which bothers some people), watching what I want on tv, and being able to walk around in weird outfits-or no outfit at all- because everything else is dirty. I don’t have to worry about anyone’s sleep schedule or offending anyone with what I do or say. I’m proud that I can financially manage living alone in a city. I hope the next time I live with someone is when I get married, and that I’ll be glad to have lived alone before making a life with someone else.

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  • BriarRose

    BriarRose March 9, 2012, 3:29 pm

    I suppose I don’t technically live alone, seeing as my 7 year old daughter lives with me, but the apartment we live in is the first place I’ve ever lived that I chose completely on my own. I researched it, signed the lease, paid for it with my own money (prior apartments/houses had always been joint with my then husband), put my meager furniture exactly where I wanted, the whole 9 yards. It’s much girlier than my house was, and it still takes me aback when I see something cute in a store and I realize there’s no one at home who will give me grief if I want to buy the antique blue table and chairs as my eating area set (I did and it’s adorable!). It’s liberating and still very exciting.

    My place is much neater than when I was married (which I love) and although it’s more funcitonal than decorated, I really love it.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest March 9, 2012, 3:36 pm

      I’m in the same boat. Lived with my parents until I lived with my baby. Still though, my memories from my first apartment with her will always be dear. Sitting on the dirty floor of the apartment I had just signed a lease for a half hour before…best feeling ever.

      I think the only thing I dislike about sharing my space now is what Wendy said about having to OK company with someone else. Everything else though is great, so its a tradeoff.

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  • avatar

    silver_dragon_girl March 9, 2012, 3:29 pm

    I have a roommate right now, but I lived alone for 2 years in college, and a year and a half after. I loved it. Even as well as my current roommate and I get along, there are still days I wish she would JUST GO AWAY! lol Things I love about living alone:

    Walking around naked
    No noise when you’re trying to sleep
    No one to judge you for eating-the-entire-pizza-in-an-hour nights
    Being able to clean/tidy up on YOUR schedule and no one else’s
    No one to judge you for not leaving the house all weekend

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  • avatar

    ktfran March 9, 2012, 3:32 pm

    You summed up the joys of living alone quite nicely Wendy. I’m trying to think of things to add, but there isn’t a lot. Maybe . . .

    Getting up on a crappy Saturday morning and deciding not to shower, change, or leave my couch except for food and bathroom use.

    Opening and drinking a bottle of wine in the evening or pouring a vodka oj in the morning. Just because.

    Crying because you feel like it.

    Getting out of the house to shop, meet friends, walk, whatever and not feel obligated to invite anyone else.

    Not making any small talk if you’re not in the mood.

    Leaving clean laundry in a pile on the couch because you’re too busy to deal with it at the moment and when you do finally have time, you’re too exhausted. There’s a pile on my love seat as I type this. I will take care of it tomorrow. Don’t judge.

    I like living alone and I don’t want a roommate. My life is pretty full, so I only occasionally get lonely, but I have family close for those moments. When I finally meet “the one”, I’m not sure how it will work out. But I like to take things a day at a time, so we’ll see. I’m sure if I care about someone enough, I’ll adjust. Much like Wendy did.

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    • avatar

      silver_dragon_girl March 9, 2012, 3:39 pm

      I’ve had clean laundry in my laundry basket, unfolded, for a week. My dirty laundry is piled on the floor. You are not alone, and I’m WAY worse than you 😛

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      • avatar

        ktfran March 9, 2012, 3:44 pm

        Ha. Good. I feel better about that now.

        I would leave it in the dryer, but I share a washer and dryer with 2 other people in my building.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh March 9, 2012, 3:46 pm

        this is why i have 3 laundry baskets 🙂 i feel organized even when i don’t want to put it away.

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      • avatar

        Rangerchic March 9, 2012, 4:06 pm

        I like this idea of 3 laundry baskets….I rarely get around to ironing so I’ve always got piles. With more baskets I could feel a little more organized. Gee, why didn’t I think of that?

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    • Will.i.am

      Will.i.am March 9, 2012, 7:07 pm

      Amen sister. When I moved out on my own, my outlook on a lot of things changed. I love living at home for the same reasons you have. I can take a shower and then go lay butt naked back in my bed. What I like most though, is I can do what I want, when I want to do it. I can pick and choose who I want to come over and when I want them too. I have complete control over my domain!

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  • avatar

    Anna March 9, 2012, 3:47 pm

    I’ve actually never lived alone…but I don’t think I would enjoy it. I like my “me time” when I am home and the man is at work but I am always glad to know he is coming home that night. When we met, we both lived with our parents, and after dating for just over a year we decided to get an apartment together. I love living with him! The closest I’ve ever come to living alone is a few times when he went on vacation with his parents and siblings and I had the apartment to myself for a week (Yes, I’m sure I would have been welcome to go with them but I didn’t have the money for plane tickets to Yellowstone and California and I wouldn’t expect his parents to foot the bill for my tickets too. I’m not their kid!). Sure, I did enjoy drinking the entire bottle of wine with no glass and watching as many romantic movies as I wanted, but mostly what I ran into was INSOMNIA. I discovered that I can’t sleep alone; every little noise freaks me out if I’m in the bed alone so I ended up staying up until 6 am those days.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl March 9, 2012, 4:08 pm

      I can’t sleep alone either. It’s almost a curse. Luckily we aren’t apart very often but when I go on two week business trips it sucks.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh March 9, 2012, 3:55 pm

    it has been so long since i lived alone. i lived alone from 2004 to 2006. since then i’ve either had a roommate or my husband. the thing i miss the most is cooking by myself and not worrying about what anyone else wants, and some days that meant eating ice cream for dinner 🙂 i miss having only me to clean up after some days. other than that i don’t really miss much. i think if i was still living with roommates vs. my husband i would feel differently. i do not miss having roommates.

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  • avatar

    quixoticbeatnik March 9, 2012, 3:55 pm

    I haven’t lived by myself yet, but I have lived with roommates in college. Now, I live at home with my parents until I graduate in December, then I’ll probably end up getting an apartment in Austin. I want to live on my own, but I don’t think I would like living by myself. I would rather have a roommate but have my own room….I just get lonely by myself! Plus, I can’t hear anything at night so I’d rather have a roommate who can listen for burglars and other things that go bump in the night, lol.

    Though having my own place does appeal to me because I could decorate it however I want….but having a roommate is usually cheaper.

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  • Lili

    Lili March 9, 2012, 3:57 pm

    I have b oth loved and hated living alone. I really like my current situation living alone, b ut hated it when I first moved out and was in general not happy with my life. I have a ton of ‘Secret Single Behaviors’ that I worry about having to give up when I marry. I also love sleeping alone lately because I have this weird habit of waking up at around 3 am each night this week. I do some meditations then and eventually fall back asleep but still, If I had a bf it would disturb him and I wouldn’t like that. I also like that I can hit snooze and reset my alarm as many times as I want.

    I’m also very personal in my grooming and don’t think I ever want ANYONE to be around when I do face masks and skin care routines. IDK, its just I feel that its my time to myself to take care of myself without any distractions of other people. I usually even turn off my ringer when I get into my beauty routine.

    I love that Wendy wrote this because I often times think that this time right now is the BEST gift I can ever give myself. Being single and for a lack of a better term-self absorbed-is amazing. I know life won’t always be like this (hoping-I would love a family someday) but right now its all about ME.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary March 9, 2012, 4:55 pm

      I once read this suggestion that if you are married/living with someone you can make a set time each week (or even couple of times a week) to do grooming. Pluck your eyebrows, do your nails, put on a facemask, etc….It’s a nice way to get alone time and keep some mystique in your relationship.

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      • Lili

        Lili March 9, 2012, 5:48 pm

        Thanks for the suggestion! I am so doing that because no way is a man ever allowed to see me in my home-spa mode. Unless he’s my swedish massuese!

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    • Will.i.am

      Will.i.am March 9, 2012, 7:14 pm

      Ding ding ding Lili. I’m blaring Snow Patrol – Ways and Means right now and I have no roommate to tell me to turn it down. That’s effin bliss!

      Side note. Funny thing happened at work today. Some of you may know I work for a bank in Arkansas. A customer came in and dropped off a key to a vehicle and said she didn’t want it anymore. Well the vehicle was to an ’03 Land Rover. So myself and another Loan Officer left to go pick it up at a local Wal-Mart. It wasn’t anything special or anything, but it was nice to get paid to go pick up a vehicle that a customer just turned back over to the bank. People do odd things these days. They wanted me to purchase it and I said if you let me take it for a grand, I would pay you in cash right now.

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      • Lili

        Lili March 10, 2012, 12:44 am

        Haha Crazy about the car! so right now I’m watching toddlers and tiaras. LOVE that show. Those poor kids for sure, but the whole strange element make it so entertaining for me 🙂

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      • Will.i.am

        Will.i.am March 10, 2012, 3:30 pm

        That’s one show that I just can’t watch. I think it’s ingrained in men’s brains that they can’t watch it.

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    • avatar

      lemongrass March 12, 2012, 12:17 am

      Honestly, I haven’t stopped my “secret single behaviours” since moving in/getting married. I have modified some- I used to stay up all night watching chick flicks one night, once a period- switched that to one day. Other than that if I need space to do my own thing I just stay in a different room. Absolutely, enjoy your time right now (and all the time, life is beautiful) but don’t marry a man if he won’t love you for all of your behaviour and give you space when you need it.

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  • avatar

    va-in-ny March 9, 2012, 3:57 pm

    Complete control of the DVR – That sounds silly, but I love that I don’t have to explain why I record (AND SAVE) the things I do.

    Alas, I’m moving in with the manfriend this summer. My alone days will soon be no more. Though I’ll miss the complete TV control, I won’t miss paying the complete bill by myself!

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl March 9, 2012, 3:58 pm

    I’ve never really lived alone, and I have absolutely no desire to. I lived in the dorms all 4 years of college (with multiple rommates), lived in an apartment with 2 other (psycho) girls the year after college, and then moved home with my parents and 2 siblings for 3 years. When I moved to FL in June I technically rented my own apartment but my BF and I never stayed in separate places. The few times I’ve ever been home alone over night (at my parents house and at my old FL apartment) I didn’t sleep. We moved in together in January and I couldn’t be happier. I still walk around naked, drink an entire bottle of wine when I feel like it, I leave my dirty clothes on the floor and don’t make the bed sometimes. And he’s cool with it. He has his qwerks too but I truly enjoy sharing a home with him.

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  • avatar

    bethany March 9, 2012, 4:06 pm

    Let me first say that I love livign with my husband.

    However, living alone was BY FAR one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I wish I would have moved out on my own sooner. I only lived alone for about a year and half- I wish I would have had at least 2-3 years on my own.
    There were so many wonderful things about living alone that I can’t even begin to describe them. I loooooooved it.

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    • avatar

      bethany March 9, 2012, 4:41 pm

      I just realized that I didn’t actually answer Wendy’s question- I think the thing I miss the most, aside from the obvious of having lots of alone time, is that when you live alone, you’re responsible for everything. If the bathroom’s a mess, it’s because you did it. If it’s clean, it’s because you did it. You’re only responsible for cleaning up after yourself, and if someone at the last of the Tostitos, you know it was you!
      I liked having complete control and responsibility for myself and for my things.

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  • JK

    JK March 9, 2012, 4:10 pm

    I´ve never lived alone, I went from living with my whole family, then my sister then parents moved elsewhere, so it was me and my brother in the huge family home, then I moved in with my now husband.
    I really don´t think I´m cut out to live alone, I get spooked really easily. If I had I probably would´ve had to live in an apartment somewhere, and I do not like apartment life.
    For the record, I do eat, wear and do pretty much what I want, either in the hours my husband isn´t here, or with him here (I think it´s safe to say there is no mystery left :D)

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Michelle.Lea March 9, 2012, 4:20 pm

    I so wish I had lived alone before I got married! I lived at home until I was 23 (I was in a long distance relationship, so if I wanted to visit him, I had to save every penny!) Then we got married, and I went right from my parents house, to his.

    I only got to live ‘alone’ for about a year and a half after I separated from my first husband. Even then, I rarely had nights by myself, as I was already in another relationship. I was quite happy with my own little apartment, where everything in it was mine. It was allll mine! Even for that short time, I really think it helped me become a better adjusted adult.

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  • avatar

    rachel March 9, 2012, 4:23 pm

    I lived alone for about 7 months in 2008, between the end of a relationship and moving in with friends. It was nice to have the place to myself, but that place was never really mine because it had been ours. I enjoyed watching ANTM marathons on weekends and just cutting up a block of cheese for dinner when I wanted to 🙂

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    • avatar

      bethany March 9, 2012, 4:53 pm

      I love ANTM marathons. I watched one last weekend while my husband was away 🙂

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  • avatar

    fallonthecity March 9, 2012, 4:55 pm

    I haven’t lived along yet, but I’m shopping for a house to buy… a house that’s mine, with a mortgage that’s mine, configured exactly the way I want it! It’s just going to be me and my dog and I am so excited.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh March 9, 2012, 5:16 pm

      good luck! i’m in the middle of the home buying process right now. it’s a little scary but mostly very exciting 🙂

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      • avatar

        fallonthecity March 10, 2012, 10:42 am

        Thanks! Good luck to you too 🙂 It is definitely a little scary! My biggest gripe about it is that it takes soooo long…. but maybe I will learn patience out of this whole experience.

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  • avatar

    Taylor March 9, 2012, 5:15 pm

    I loved and miss parts about living alone – particularly having people over whenever I liked! I had a tiny one room apartment with a shared bathroom when I lived in the Netherlands, and that was my favorite place. I only had a couple suitcases of stuff for about a year and a half, and there was a little kitchenette and an ikea table, two chairs and closet thing. I once made Mexican food for 20 people, we were spilling into the hallway, it was awesome. I lived alone for ~5 years, from 25-30, and I do wish I had appreciated it more at the time. My mother (who is a widow) has a chronic fear of being alone, and I absorbed some of that along the way. By the time I separated her anxiety from myself, I had spent way too long fretting about potential outcomes of a distant future. Now, I do enjoy it when the man is out of town, I veg out, leave trails of stuff everywhere, and generally live it up. And I miss him, so it’s nice when he comes home.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. March 9, 2012, 6:53 pm

    I love living alone. Well, I have animals, but I am the only human. All the reasons Wendy mentioned above apply to me (even the spontaneous song and dance marathons). Other reasons are:

    decidine when and when not to do chores
    spending the entire day in sweatpants
    just deciding to go out because I can
    taking a nap in the middle of the day because I can
    walking around naked
    staying up til 2am watching bad TV judgment-free

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  • avatar

    mel March 9, 2012, 7:47 pm

    The thing I miss the most about living alone was the actual building. I had a one bedroom apartment in a 100 year old brick building, with radiators and huge windowsills, a clawfoot tub, 10ft ceilings, all of the character details intact – with the added bonus of new appliances in my kitchen. There were definite drawbacks to the building itself, but my space was just so freaking beautiful.

    Now I live in a two bedroom, cookie cutter apartment in a mid-70s – early 80s building, with no personality to the space at all. I have a really nice layout, and a walk in closet, but not resting on my laurels decoration-wise was sort of a challenge. At my old building the space did most of the work for me.

    Other things I miss: sleeping like a rock in the middle of the bed and maybe only being woken by my cat
    no judgement on the dishes, contents of the fridge, state of my room
    not having cable. When I didn’t have a brain box, I spent more time reading or even just thinking and getting to know myself
    that “first apartment” feeling of independence

    I don’t think I would go back though, I do love waking up to the person I love most every day. Plus the division of bills and household labour ain’t bad either!

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  • avatar

    WatersEdge March 9, 2012, 8:12 pm

    I miss: letting crumbs land on me as I eat in front of the tv and not feeling gross. I miss decorating like a girl, with hot pink sheer curtains, green throw rug, white coffee table, and grape purple sofa cover. So bright and colorful! Now my house is gender-neutral. Sigh. I miss having my own bathroom. I also miss eating carbs for every meal. Stupid health-conscious husband. I also miss keeping my own weird hours… Gym at 11 pm, etc. I was just extremely selfish and did whatever I wanted. It was awesome.

    Insert obligatory comment about how I prefer life with my husband. I do of course, but I don’t feel the need to justify liking living alone!

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow March 9, 2012, 8:26 pm

    I had roommates in college. My best friend and i lived in the dorms together for 2 years, and then I lived in an apartment with 3 dudes. After I graduated, I moved back in with my mom for a bit, then I got an apartment on my own – no roommates.

    Shortly thereafter, I ran off to Vegas and took my then-boyfriend with me. We lived together there for about 2 years, then broke up and he moved back to our hometown while I stayed. After that, I came THISCLOSE to buying a house on my own out in Vegas, but somewhere along the way I realized that I didn’t want to stay in Vegas long-term, so I packed up and moved to St. Louis. Alone.

    I think the only drawback to living alone is not getting to split the bills. Other than that, I LOVE IT. I listen to music CONSTANTLY. If music isn’t on, then the TV is. The only time it’s silent is when I’m sleeping. And I tend to be messy, which is OK since I’m by myself, but I’m sure a roommate would HATE it. Actually, when I lived with 3 dudes in college, they called me “the girl upstairs” because I kept to myself most of the time. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to hang out, but I was a vegetarian at the time so I cooked my own meals, studied a lot, and watched stuff on TV that they wouldn’t want to watch (like Charmed and Passions and The O.C. haha).

    I do all the other alone stuff, too, like…

    never shut the bathroom door
    walk around in various states of undress
    drink/smoke/eat whatever I want, whenever I want
    fall asleep on the couch
    have extended conversations with my cats
    dance
    work out to videos in the living room
    fart
    leave dishes in the sink
    leave clothes in the dryer until I need them
    use ALL the closet space (and then some)
    decorate how I want
    listen to music ALWAYS and loudly
    leave diaries out in the open
    cry/wallow as needed without someone asking me what’s wrong
    never have to “check in” with anyone
    never come home to unexpected guests
    piddle my diddle 😉
    ohhh and the Ben & Jerry’s. Right on, Wendy (Americone Dream, anyone??)

    I could probably go on…

    Actually, I’m afraid that I’m TOO accustomed to being by myself. It’s going to be reallllly hard if/when I ever move in with a romantic partner.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow March 9, 2012, 8:35 pm

      Oh, yeah… and I have a California king and BELIEVE YOU ME – I use the whole damn thing.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow March 9, 2012, 8:39 pm

      OH yeah AND when I had a boyfriend it was nice to have the place to myself. And I’ve never had to deal with any judgment/questions from roommates if I brought someone home…

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      • avatar

        GTR March 12, 2012, 3:26 am

        I’m with you, CatsMeow. Actually I’m surprised no one esle has mentioned this benefit of living alone – being able to bring home your “special” friends without worrying about your housemate judging you, being in the way, or otherwise spoiling the romantic mood.

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    • avatar

      Lindsey March 10, 2012, 10:40 am

      This is exactly it! I do all of these things. LOL!

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie March 10, 2012, 8:07 am

    I lived alone for 20 years after the divorce with occasional housemates of varied durations. It was nice to have their company but sharing the space was always a compromise. Having control of the decor saved my sanity when things got testy. Over all I liked being alone but it was a mixed bag in about the same proportions of living with someone. When I was solo I ate what and when I wished, came and went without checking, didn’t have to search through anybody’s stuff in the fridge to find that jar of pickled okra or close the bedroom door for privacy. After 23 years of marriage it’s hard to imagine being alone again but sometimes I miss it. A few years ago I stayed a long way from home to settle my mom’s estate for few weeks and the walls got closer together every day. That month’s phone bill was very high.

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  • avatar

    Christy March 10, 2012, 8:44 am

    I’ve never lived alone. Now I have two roommates in an apartment in a townhouse and it seems to be working out pretty well. It’s nice to have people to talk to.

    My gf lives alone, though, and it is SO NICE to go over there and do the dishes. Why? Because when you do the dishes and you live alone, you are the one who makes the next dirty dishes. So you can always wash your dishes because if the sink piles up with dishes, it’s your fault. It actually makes me happy. (Story: I was doing dishes in my own apartment last night and all I could think is “Man I hope gf lets me do her dishes tomorrow”–sometimes she feels like she’s taking advantage, but I insist that I actually like doing it. Because I know if I do her dishes today- (I’m staying there tonight) then I will get to experience the joy of an empty sink all weekend.)

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    • avatar

      WatersEdge March 10, 2012, 3:59 pm

      When we were dating, my husband would ask me if he could take out my garbage!

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    Lindsey March 10, 2012, 10:39 am

    I love living alone! As everyone has said, there’s something nice about being able to walk around naked and pee with the door open all the time! I’ve lived alone for four or five years and to be honest, I don’t get that lonely. I guess I just like hanging out with myself. lol.

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    *HmC* March 10, 2012, 2:12 pm

    Ah, you guys are making me want to live alone again so I can walk around naked and eat gross things and watch terrible TV! As it is, I have several really awesome roommates. But living with others always carries baggage, no matter how awesome they are. I can’t decorate exactly how I’d want, the fridge and kitchen are full of crap that I have to navigate around, and the laundry- omg it never stops going! But, I get to live in an amazing house with super cheap rent, I have cool people to talk to when I feel like it, and it just feels a little safer having others around. Also, I have to keep up with dirty dishes- I despise cleaning dishes but with roommates, I am motivated to keep them clean. Otherwise, they will pile up into a monstrosity!

    I lived alone once for about a year, my first year of law school. I loved the independence of it, though it did get quite lonely by the end. Regardless, I think it’s an experience most should try and have if you can. I think that being comfortable being alone is a good thing to learn.

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    • Brad

      Brad March 10, 2012, 8:32 pm

      I’m afraid I stopped reading after you said you walked around naked when you lived alone…

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    • fast eddie

      fast eddie March 11, 2012, 6:18 am

      Living alone takes skill just like cohabitation does. It’s important to be successful in both circumstances so that happiness isn’t dependent on either. In all cases being self reliant will keep you emotionally healthy. The difference between solo-housemates-coupled is the nature of the boundaries to keep your identity intact.

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        *HmC* March 11, 2012, 11:42 pm

        Wise words Eddie.

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    Emma March 10, 2012, 4:40 pm

    I loved living alone, but I think I couldn’t really appreciate it, because I was in a long-distance relationship for the entire year I was on my own. I liked having my apartment to retreat into (I don’t particularly like having people over), but it got really lonely sometimes.

    My fiance and I are living together now, and it’s nice, but I think I’ll like it when I have a bigger place. We have a total of three rooms; bedroom, bathroom and living-room/kitchen, and there is an opening between the bedroom and kitchen area near the ceiling, so there’s no way to separate ourselves. I’m looking forward to having like, 4-5 rooms (we’re going to rent a house next year), so I can have my own space, and he can have his.

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    AliceInDairyLand March 10, 2012, 7:33 pm

    This is so fitting! Just a few weeks ago I signed a lease for my first apartment living alone. I was in the dorms for 2 years and now have lived 2 years in apartments with roommates. My boyfriend asked me to move in with him, but living along is something that I have always wanted to do so I put his offer on hold to really do something for me. Even if it’s not the most economical choice, I have been very careful with my money up until now and I may never have a chance to live alone again.

    It’s going to be expensive… But I am just so excited about all the things listed above. Plus I have 2 cats and so I don’t think I will be getting too lonely. AND, I am living off of campus for the first time! In an absolutely adorable borderline hippie neighborhood with a co-op, lots of locally owned breadshops/coffee shops. Basically I am going to just spend all my money eating local bread, cheese, and wine in my apartment alone with my 2 cats next year. I can’t really think of anything better!!

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  • FireStar

    FireStar March 10, 2012, 8:05 pm

    I lived alone for the first time while in grad school. The first night I had to shower with the door open and a weapon in the shower with me…and I never even watched Psycho! That was just a bachelor that was converted from an old motel for off campus student housing but my first “real” grown-up apartment was great! Windows along an entire wall, hardwood floors, beautiful trees just outside the veranda. After a couple of years of living there my best friend decided to move out from her parent’s house and went to find an available apartment in the complex and the only available one bedroom ended up being right next door! It was like a flash back to the dorms at university during our undergrad. Every Sunday morning she would come over in her pajamas , fuzzy slippers and a girly movie and I’d make breakfast and we would just hang out on my sofa, do our nails, and giggle about our gentlemen friends nervously leaving or entering our apartments since they didn’t want to get “caught” by the best friend next door. I swear we watched the Wedding Planner 30 times. It was great I always had someone to cook for but had my own place to curl up on the sofa and have Criminal Minds marathons whenever I wanted. I think living alone is a must sometime in your life – I’m very glad I had that time in my life. Watching Criminal Minds can do a number on your head though…I am happy I exchanged the metal rod under my bed while living alone for a 6 foot tall, take no prisoners husband and a couple of guard dogs.

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    • AnotherElle

      Laura March 10, 2012, 8:24 pm

      That sounds amazingly perfect.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar March 11, 2012, 11:52 am

        It kinda was!

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed

      LadyinPurpleNotRed March 11, 2012, 10:20 am

      Criminal Minds can DEFINITELY do a number on you. I live by myself now and I watch the marathons a lot because I love it, but more often than not I end up watching it late at night as well, which is a terrible idea but I can’t help myself!

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    Sue Jones March 10, 2012, 8:50 pm

    I lived alone for only one year. And it was a good year to live alone. I had a very affordable 2 bdr apt. and was newly in my career in my first job, a new town, newly out of a relationship. While I may have met people faster had I lived with others, it was perfect to be just me and my cat. I moved to a more expensive city and needed roomates to make it affordable, then my now husband and I lived together, then we bought a house, kids, pets, etc. I am hardly ever alone now. I sort of thrive on the messy chaos of family life. When I travel for conferences, etc and have time alone, I thoroughly enjoy it, yet I also sometimes have momentary flashes when I wonder what to do with myself….

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    MovingAgain March 11, 2012, 3:45 am

    I just moved in with my ex-husband while I find a job and new place, we moved to a new city, and I miss living by myself so much!! My mom is even sleeping on the couch because I take up the whole guest queen size bed. I don’t know if I will ever be able to live with someone again, I’ve found in the last 4 years that I’m quite selfish and I like my life the way it is. I might have a few affairs along the way, but I honestly can’t see living with another person, besides my kids,again…

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    AnotherWendy March 11, 2012, 5:25 am

    I went from parents to dorm to apt with roommates to marriage. Finally lived alone at age 40. in the past 9 years I have mostly lived alone. My daughter, now 15, has always been with me four or five nights per week and for three years shared a house with a boyfriend. I LOVE living alone, but I am someone who rarely feels alone equals lonely. I love rarely having the tv on for someone else’s shows, I always hated tv on in the house! So there is no tv in my bedroom either. I like that I am responsible for creating and financing a really nice living space. I like not coming home to a partner’s moods that don’t match mine. I read once a quote by a very elderly woman who said she was never afraid living alone because she made up her mind not to be. So I did the same and have never felt afraid.

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    S.B. March 11, 2012, 10:18 am

    I had roommates all throughout university and part of grad school– some of them were nice, but a lot of them caused issues. The last batch were messy, ran up huge utility bills, and invited over sketchy people (in defiance of our agreed-upon guest policy). When I got a job near the end of grad school, I moved out ASAP.
    Why I love living alone: my dog can have the run of the house, no one eats my leftovers, I can start my veggie seedlings indoors, I can shower whenever I want, and I can have my BF over without awkwardness.

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    Addie Pray March 11, 2012, 1:41 pm

    The first time I lived alone I was really sad. I was 20 and living in Paris – I know, I know, woe is me – but I was broke and I had never lived alone before. I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I couldn’t afford to eat out and go out (too much) but staying in made me so sad. I was living in a chambre de bonne – a tiny studio at the top of a 6 story Parisian apartment building where the maids lived, once upon a time. I had to walk up 6 flights of stairs – 96 steps – in the back to get to my apartment. They were the steepest steps ever and they spiraled around and around. I lived there for 6 months then moved in with a host family, and I was so happy.

    I didn’t live alone again until I was 26, after law school. I hated it at first because, again, I didn’t know what to do with myself when I wasn’t working or out with friends. So I just worked a lot and when I wasn’t at work I was out with friends drinking and eating. That wreaked havoc on my body and soul. Only in the last few years have I learned to enjoy living alone. I guess I like the same things everyone else mentioned above: I can watch what I want, when I want, eat what I want, when I want, etc. What I fear now is that I enjoy living alone so much that it’s going to be impossible to ever co-habitate with someone. Which is a bummer because I’d like to, you know, meet a guy and live happily ever after and stuff.

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny March 11, 2012, 2:15 pm

    I have been living alone since 2008, and I love it! I love my little apartment, a 500sf junior 1-bedroom (aka glorified studio) that also has a city skyline view from the window. I spent a few months before I moved in deciding what furniture to buy, how to decorate, etc, and have painted a few of the walls different colors (raspberry in the entry, yellow-green on the wall behind my bed, yellow bathroom). I have everything where I want it and people tell me it’s very me, and cozy, and I agree! I do leave the bathroom door open, listen to whatever music I want (or nothing at all), and walk around in my underwear, all the time. I’m happy I don’t have to share a bathroom, and all of my messes are mine.
    One thing though- it does get lonely. If I spend too much time inside, or too many evenings with nothing to do, the monotony makes me lonely and then depressed. I have to make a point to just *do* things, otherwise I will sit on my couch and zone out to the tv or internet. I make a to do list, and then get going on it. Or I make plans with a friend(s), or just go out and walk to get coffee, or walk downtown, just to get outside and get some human interaction. I love my alone time but need to keep a balance.

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    Lauren March 11, 2012, 6:55 pm

    I llive alone and I love it. No roomates, no one to deal with. I have a semi serious boyfriend that will probably move in someday but till then I really like my space. No one to clean up after, no one to fight over the tv with, no one to impede on my good mood. I need to enjoy it for another little while before I lose this freedom!

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    Sabrina March 11, 2012, 11:00 pm

    I can’t emphasize it enough to my friends who live with S.O.’s or roommates: never, ever having to close the bathroom door is pretty much the best thing ever. However, it’s gotten so bad that once I almost forgot to close it when I had a friend over. Oops! Old habits die hard.

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  • I'm An Earth Rocker!

    Miss V March 12, 2012, 7:39 pm

    I have lived alone for so long I don’t know if I could ever live with anyone again. Actually, my nephew lives here & is the perfect roommate cuz he’s always out. Since it’s my house and I’m the aunt I rule!

    I would never, ever live with another female-1 queen per castle. I lived with a guy once and, well, come to think of it, that experience is probably why I’m fine by myself. I will always have me living by this rule: I only live in a house that I own and can afford by myself.

    My house is awesome (even if the neighborhood is declining) it is totally my style (leopard comforter). I love fixing it up, blasting my metal music, and I cant believe no women mentioned going braless…

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  • Portia

    Portia March 14, 2012, 8:33 am

    I lived alone for my first year of grad school and hated it so much that I found a roommate for the next year on purpose. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have pets and tend to become a hermit, or maybe it was because it was my first year in a new city, but I really didn’t like it. After living with a roommate for 2 years, I’m now living with my boyfriend and I still do a lot of my “single behaviors” – marathoning shows late at night, not bothering getting dressed right after showering, staying in my pj’s all day…

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