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Living Alone: Advantages and Disadvantages

Updated on November 17, 2018
revmjm profile image

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.

People either love living alone or they hate it. There is usually no in between. There are almost 8 million one-person households in the United States and about 300 million globally. Some people live alone by choice. Others live alone because there was no other option. Either way, those who live alone are in the fastest-growing group in the world.

Advantages of Living Alone

About 1 in 4 people in the United States live alone. There are many different reasons they do so. There are also many advantages and disadvantages of living alone.

Living alone could present a list of advantages:

  • There is no one there to fight with you for the TV remote.
  • There is no problem with the thermostat setting for heat in the winter and coolness in summer.
  • Senseless arguments are non-existent.
  • No one is there to judge you if you want to eat bacon and eggs for dinner.
  • Everything is left exactly where you put it.
  • You know when something is needed from the supermarket because there are no empty cartons in the refrigerator.
  • You know you can eat the last piece of something without someone complaining.
  • You can play your music as loud as you want and no one is there to tell you to lower it. Also, you don't have to tell others to lower the volume on their music.
  • You can walk around your house in an old robe, sweatpants or a torn t-shirt or nothing at all without being judged.
  • A person who lives alone can do things without trying to please others.
  • People who live alone can replace their toilet paper roll anyway they want.

Research proves that living alone is good for people who can afford to do so. The result of several studies written by Eric Klinenberg in Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise And Surprising Appeal Of Living Alone proved that some of the most sociable and successful people in the world live alone.

Disadvantages of Living Alone

Living alone could present a list of disadvantages:

  • There's no one to come home to.
  • No one is around to say, "Bless you" when you sneeze.
  • No one is available to share the good news with.
  • There is no one to eat at the table with you.
  • In an emergency, there is no one to borrow gas money from until payday.
  • People must deal with the stigma of living alone.
  • There is no one to split the rent and household bills with.
  • The toilet seat is always the way you want it to be.
  • You don't have to be concerned about whether the new toilet paper goes under or over the roll. The choice is left up to you.
  • No one will eat your last scoop of ice cream.
  • The ice trays will either have ice or water in them.
  • Dirty dishes can stay in the sink until you get around to washing them.
  • There is double the clutter when you live with someone. It is frustrating when they don't help clean up.

Living alone can be one of the greatest joys an adult can experience especially since they do not have to deal with those things listed above.

More Me Time

Living alone gives people time to get to know themselves better by having as much "me time" as they need. They are free from the distractions and judgments from others. Steven Kurutz wrote in the New York Times that people have habits that are off limits when they live with someone else.

When someone lives alone, the solo dweller gets to know himself better. He is not being watched and told what to do and what not to do.

When you live by yourself, you will have plenty of time for self-discovery. You can pray, meditate, journal, and do what makes you happy. You can dance as if no one is watching because no one is there to watch.

Creativity

People can be more creative when they live alone. There is no one to distract them when they are in the middle of doing an important project.

Christopher Long and James R. Averill wrote about living alone in their abstract Solitude: An Exploration of Benefits of Being Alone that appeared in The Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. They say solitude has long been linked to creativity, spirituality, and intellect. We are better able to concentrate when people are not around.

Not Sharing Private Space

Living with others who don't share your likes, dislikes and interests can have a negative impact on the relationship.

There can be tension whenever lifestyles are different. There could be subtle negative remarks and spats that elevate to full-blown arguments. To prevent this from happening, it is best to live by yourself.

Myths About Living Alone

It is a myth that people who live alone don't have a healthy social life. That is not true at all. Eric Klinenberg is a professor of sociology at New York University and author of the book Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.

Klinenberg contends that spending time alone helps you value time with family members and friends when you do get to see them. You are not forced to make small talk and pleasantries when you are around them all the time.

It is also a myth that the word "alone" means that a person is a recluse, alienated, or lonely. People who live alone shouldn't be described by any of those terms.

Benefits of Living Alone

For those who live alone, forget about the myths. Know that living alone isn't a stigma. Instead, you can get in touch with your true self. You can be more creative.

Whatever you do at home alone, you can do it all in your old tattered robe or in your sweatpants and you will not be judged.

Do you live alone?

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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      5 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Lovelli Fuad, thanks so much for reading and adding your comments to my article.

    • Lovelli Fuad profile image

      Lovelli Fuad 

      5 months ago from Southeast Asia and the Pacific

      Great choice of topic, Margaret. Growing up in Southeast Asia, with a large family like the rest of my peers, I realize that my generation ends up living a lonely but crowded life. Our current lifestyles just require us to join the crowd and spend a majority of our time alone.

      And to think that when I was very little I dreamt of living alone - but not as an outcast. Living alone knowing that I have a family and a group of friends who know that they are my support mechanism and are ready and prepared for their remote role in a solo life.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      6 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Mary, thanks for reading and commenting on my article about the advantages and disadvantages of living alone.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Revmjm, I hope so. It is still nice to have the company of someone you love and treasure.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      7 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Mary, thanks for reading and commenting on my article about living alone. I have lived alone for many years, and I like it a lot. Once you get used to it, you will probably enjoy it more than you do now.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I now live alone after the passing away of my husband and I agree there are advantages. I don't lack for company with family and friends around but I am just getting used to it.

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