Worldwide, more people are living alone than at any other time in history. In fact, in the U.S. alone, 28 percent of all households are solo dwellers.
The thought of living alone may be terrifying to some. But for many people who have actually done it, the experience turns out to be not only enjoyable but enriching too.
Can it get lonely at times? Sure. You might get lonely every once in awhile, but there are also a lot of benefits! Solo living is not a lifestyle that everyone understands. In fact, there are probably more misperceptions about living alone than any other lifestyle, even though it’s an increasingly common way to live.
Living alone is a really special time that you shouldn’t take for granted. In case you still need convincing, here are all the reasons why.
12 Reasons Why Living Alone Can Be Actually Positive
1. You are the king of your own castle
And who makes the rules in the castle?! The king, that’s who!
Living alone means you control the volume of the TV, Spotify, and your own damn voice. You don’t have to close yourself into your closet when you want to have a private phone conversation. The nutritional value of your “I’m too lazy to cook” cereal dinner will never be questioned.
No more listening to your roommate’s sorority sisters crying about stupid boys into the wee hours of the morning, and no more compromising to meet the needs of another person.
Living alone means you can be the master of your zen at all times. If you want calm and quiet, you can have it. If you want to leave your dirty dishes in the sink, you do. No problem If you want to just sit and read your book with your dog curled up at your feet.
Living alone means you have the freedom to cultivate a home environment that nourishes your soul.
2. You are in control
Broadly similar to the first point, we’re talking here about deeper things rather than choosing whether or not you eat pasta in your pants or drink milk from the carton.
Being in control when living alone means you get to make all the big decisions that directly affect your destiny.
Basically, when it comes to what you do, who you socialise with and when you choose to do the things you are passionate about – all of this and more is under your control, for you to make decisions upon without judgement, compromise, or justification.
3. Financial independence
Not everyone will take this one fully on board! Basically, it means that you are financially free as well as in control. What you bring home is yours with no need to share or distribute anywhere else other than your own choosing.
Financial independence is something many people crave and yet in solo life, it is kind of a given which is reason to be thankful – honest!
4. You become your true self
We’re so caught up with our friends and what they think of us that we never get the chance to think about what ‘we‘ actually want.
Living with someone who engages in risky behaviors has slipover effects, and an anxious roommate can make you more on edge while a happy roommate won’t necessarily have a positive influence on your mood.
Living alone allows us to do what we want, when we want, on our own terms. It liberates us from the constraints of a domestic partner’s needs and demands and permits us to focus on ourselves. After all, living alone serves a purpose: it helps us pursue sacred modern values – individual freedom, personal control and self-realization – that carry us from adolescence to our final days.
5. Share your home on your terms
Living alone doesn’t mean always being alone and so it stands to reason that you will want to share your home with friends and loved ones but on your terms. Hand picking guests and inviting people when you choose are all freedoms you can control at your pace.
6. You’re more social
Most solo dwellers are surprisingly social.
People who live alone compensate by becoming more socially active than those who live with others and that cities with high numbers of singletons enjoy a thriving public culture.
Living alone doesn’t mean being a recluse. Fact is, many solos report having a better social life and a great network to draw upon because of living solo, not in spite of living alone.
7. You face your fears
Living alone you have to brave up in order to deal with strange and scary sounds or being the only one to answer the door. You have to deal with the bills and security. You handle the creepy-crawlies and you learn when to ask for help.
8. Having your own space
When it comes to living alone you can really grow to appreciate your living space – your home and thus, your own personal space.
With busy lives, it can be hard to appreciate our surroundings. Living alone and working towards it successfully, can help you become more attuned to your space. You’re able to mould it exactly the way you imagine. Even if your home is a work in progress right now, it is your own and you are totally in charge of it.
9. Your productivity increases
About a third of the workforce works at home and that means that there is a good chance you could use some peace and quiet to focus on your job. Whether you are a freelancer building your business or burning the midnight oil for The Man, you can work without any distractions getting in your way.
There’s no faster way to accelerate in your career than by living by yourself.
As we mentioned earlier, you can easily slip into your roomies’ negative behaviors – like partying every night instead of getting your work done, which all adds up to slacking off at work. And slacking off at work is NOT how you get ahead.
When you fly solo, your time is solely yours. Living with a roommate is like working in an open office; you’re setting yourself up to be constantly interrupted.
“I’ve realized there’s a distinct difference between loneliness and being solitary. There are times when I want to go out but no one is available so I feel ‘lonely’ but then I look around and see laundry and dirty dishes and decide to be productive and exist alone. And then I’m content in my solitude.” – Jesse E.
10. Embrace life with your whole mind
Sometimes, discussing the benefits of solo living can be lighthearted – the reason for the list of small joys mentioned in point 1 of our list. But, those of us living alone by choice or who have grown to enjoy living alone are likely to recognise this reason more readily.
Thinking, feeling and truly living alone is much more about embracing this life and being fully immersed in it, allowing you to be completely present in mind and body.
Living alone helps you feel comfortable in your own skin, enables you to develop who you want to be which in turn, can have a positive effect on how you present yourself to others.
11. Complete independence
You’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve already touched on this but actually, what we mean here isn’t about doing things on your own. Living alone gives you that freedom of course, but it also brings with it the ability to be actively independent.
Anyone can be independent (even when living as a couple) but living alone brings with it authentic independence and self-discipline like nothing else.
One of the best things you can do for yourself – maybe even the best thing you can do for yourself – is become independent. And living alone will allow you to do just that. You don’t need to fear dependency, because you can understand independence and can be open to partnership.
12. Alone doesn’t mean lonely
When it comes to living alone, there is a huge difference between being by yourself, and being lonely. If you want to curl up with a book, potter around your house, or daydream in a luxurious bath, then being by yourself is absolutely fine.
In fact, being able to do these things without interruption is one of the greatest joys of living alone! But if you want to download after a hard day and there’s no one to hear you out, then you might well start to feel a bit lonely.
That doesn’t mean though that being alone is a bad thing. Many of those living on their own feel far less lonely now than they did when they lived with others – especially where they were in relationships that weren’t working out.
Loneliness does happen, and we know it’s more common when living alone doesn’t feel like a choice (for example, following a bereavement), or where physical or mental health make it hard to socialise. But for every person who regularly feels this way, there are many others who feel loneliness rarely, if at all.
In other words, we may be lonely, or we may not, depending on our circumstances. It’s all too possible that we’re actually connected, happy, and loving our solo lives!