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7 Tips for Women Who Live Alone: Living Alone Doesn't Have to be THAT Bad

Updated on March 13, 2011

Whether you're a woman who lives alone by choice or because that's just the way things turned out for you, it can often be a lonely and even overwhelming experience. Going to bed alone, waking up alone, cooking alone, cleaning alone, looking after the finances alone, planning for the future alone -- these things can indeed get old after awhile but I am here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that bad.

I say this because I am a woman who's been living alone for a year (with no signs of things changing in the near future) and while I won't lie and say that I'm necessarily happy about it, I have managed to come up with a few ways to cope and to make the most of it.

I sure don't have all the answers, but here are a few tips of what's worked for me in no particular order and I see no reason why some or most of these could not apply to men as well.

1. Get a dog.. or two.. or maybe a cat: After a bad day, sometimes you just want to come home to someone who will give you a hug and tell you that everything will be okay. When you live alone, this isn't an option but getting a dog can help. While your dog will not tell you that everything will be okay and can't really give you a hug either, it's nice to come home to a creature whose entire world revolves around you.

As soon as I walk in the door, my dogs act like they haven't seen me in years and even though they're "just dogs", it makes me feel loved and needed. I would recommend dogs over cats because in my opinion, most cats just sit there and don't seem to care whether you exist or not. However, If you live in an apartment, you might not be able to get a dog in which case a cat could be better than nothing.

2. Keep it Clean: While it can be tempting to not do the dishes or scrub the floors because "who's going to see them anyway?", it's not a good idea to let your housework go too long. The reason I say this is because it's often depressing enough to come home to an empty house (even with dogs or pets), let alone to a messy one. I really have to force myself to keep up with the cleaning but I always feel better when I do. Sometimes it's just a matter of picking something and doing it - a little dusting here, a little toilet scrubbing there - and before I know it, I'm on a roll and the house is clean. If you have slipped and let things go too long, hire a housekeeper if you can afford it. I've done this before and it's really helped me to get back on track.

3. Find a Hobby: Having too much spare time on your hands is usually a bad thing especially when you live alone. I find that if I sit around for too long without doing anything, that I start ruminating over why I'm alone, what's caused it, will it always be like this, what's wrong with me, etc.

While a little soul searching can be a good thing, too much of it can leave you feeling bad. Find something, anything to get you doing rather than just thinking. I must say that I'm having a fair bit of trouble with this myself. I do like writing though which is why I joined hubpages. Photography can be fun too. I also like traveling but it can be expensive...

4. Don't Isolate Yourself: Just because you live by yourself doesn't mean that you have to live in your own little world. Make sure that you talk to friends and/or family as often as you can. Go out to dinner with them, go to the movies, invite them over, get yourself invited out of the house, etc. I'll admit that my natural tendency is to act like a hermit (that could be why I live alone!) but it is not good for you to spend all day, every day outside of work alone.

5. Love Your Job: Whether or not you live by yourself, it's important to like your job as much as possible because this is where you spend most of your time. I think it's even more important to like or even love your job when you live by yourself. Let's face it, when you live alone, unless you somehow manage to lead a very enriching personal life (and good for you if you do!), your job takes on another level of meaning. While a married mom with kids might be working for a living, us ladies who live alone are sometimes living for a working (excuse me if I've offended some but it's the truth!). If you don't like what you do, consider switching jobs or moving to another location that might have a job that you can be passionate about. The benefit of living alone is that we often have more flexibility than the family type so it can be easier to move around a bit and find work that we really enjoy.

6. Exercise... sorry: I hate to say it and I should really follow my own advice, but regular exercise is really one of the keys to feeling good especially when living alone has you down. I used to engage myself in hardcore exercise most days of the week but I fell off the bandwagon. Now I'm just trying to get my body moving at any level of intensity. I've recently discovered Yoga which I really enjoy (okay, so there's another hobby) and it's not as "out there" as I was expecting it to be. If it's been a while since you've exercised and the thought of working up a sweat leaves you nauseous, you might want to consider Yoga. At the beginner level, it's pretty easy and has the added benefit of being meditative. If you don't like that, walking is always a good choice.

7. Know a few good take out options: Who wants to come home to an empty house and cook by themselves for themselves day after day? Not me! That's why I know where all the good take out places are in town (trust me, there aren't many) and I use this to my advantage. The downside is that eating out a lot can be pricey and if you're not careful, it can be pretty unhealthy, too. The key here, like with anything, is moderation. Don't become a stranger in your own kitchen - cook for yourself now and then - but let's be honest here, take out can really be the better option when you live alone.

Well, there you have it. I'm sure there are many more tips for helping women cope with living alone, maybe even happily. I'd love to hear about what has worked for some of you ladies!

Bonus Tip #8: Check out the Bestselling Vibrator for Women on Amazon


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    • profile image

      Anna 4 years ago

      I am a senior and have a lot to do to get settled from moving so I'm not able to get out and socialize yet. I plan to do some volunteer work helping animals eventually ~ I'm wondering if anyone has found that volunteering helps keep loneliness away?

    • profile image

      Michelle 4 years ago

      I love living alone. I'm 28 and I am in a great time in my life to expand on my independence. I love decorating my place the way I want, cooking what I want, cleaning WHEN I want. It's the freedom of living alone that I love. I do want a family someday so I am enjoying my own little nest while I can because it won't be this way forever. Despite enjoying my current situation, there are times when I feel a little lonely. The tips above are what help me during those times. A dog will do wonders to bring joy into your home, having an enriching personal life is so fulfilling as well as staying busy and healthy. And like I said, enjoy it! Enjoy doing whatever you want inside your own home because it is not always permanent. :)

    • profile image

      Angie 5 years ago

      Planning vacations alone is a bummer

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      No, I think I can live by myself for as long as I want. I hardly think about people when I'm at home doing stuff like surfing the net, or watching TV or eating (my fav activity). I can read books, write, sing loudly in the shower, play the guitar, and there's like a million other hobbies that is related to outdoors as well. Why would you feel like you have to "talk" to people? Are you actually interested in their problems, or do you care about what they think of you?

    • profile image

      emrysgwen 6 years ago

      I too live alone, I enjoy it in the sense that I can do what I want when I want, and I do not have to explain myself to anyone. As it is coming up to Christmas I am lost on what to do. I cant visit family for Christmas as I have two cats that are my world and know absolutely no one where I live, so I cant travel home to be with them. I asked my dad if he wanted to come to my house for Christmas he said no and that tells me a lot really. I guess I was just born to be alone, I was the one that decided to move hundreds of miles away from home. One thing that I do miss with being alone is someone to talk to, I have been off work for almost 6 weeks now, and have spoke to no one except the tesco delivery driver, so that is hard. All my communications are done through text. Even though I get on with a few people in work I rarely see them and they are all married with children. The house does need a good tidy, I feel so much better when that is done, I just find it hard to keep it clean and tidy LOL. Several of your comments hit home mind, and you were defo describing me with all of it. Good article.

    • profile image

      webworm13 6 years ago

      I have lived alone for over 20 years. At first, i longed for a partner but now, as age is creeping up on me, i am grateful, that my remaining energy can be used for nurturing myself and not having to divide it with a man whom does not even acknowledge my efforts in the kitchen. If i choose to have oatmeal for dinner, it is all well and good. The luxury of living alone is a well guarded secret.

    • profile image

      Joan 6 years ago

      I have a cat but she just sits around, you took the words out of my mouth. I tend to isolate myself and act like a hermit too. I have a crazy craving for affection and it's hard to do things by myself everyday, there's no one to congradulate me for cleaning the entire house or say my cooking is good. IT SUCKS! If I exercise, eat right, clean the house and do my work well I feel better but it still gets lonely. Maybe if I hang out and make more friends I'll start enjoying my alone time instead of dreading it. I noticed that I tend to want to be alone after I hang out too much for a while.

    • profile image

      Julie 6 years ago

      This was a really sweet read! I actually enjoy living alone, but this reinforced some things I should be doing like exercising and considering a pet! Thanks!

    • profile image

      Kayla 6 years ago

      Im a 23 yr old female and I want to move out and live alone soon.. But I'm SO scared of someone breaking into my home! Are any of u ladies scared living alone? Any advice?

    • profile image

      Diana Groves, Sydney, Australia 6 years ago

      A good article; Thanks.

      1 further Tip: Pay for the installation of the best security on windows and doors that you can afford - this will give you great peace of mind.

      + also work hard to find honest reliable tradespeople (generally tradesman) As a woman living alone you're vulnerably to rip-of merchants.

      Finally, try to enjoy living alone - it sure beats living in a dinfunctional family situation.



    • profile image

      Catherine 6 years ago

      Hello. My name is Catherine and Im a total slob due to ADD and just not caring. This is why I must live alone. I've lived alone for twenty years. I had guys offer to marry me and clean up after me (they would have to!!)but I didn't believe it. So that is what is wrong with me.

      I don't believe in depending on other people to make u happy. I might be miserable at times but I might be just as miserable with someone. It's a challenge to be happy generally. When you are in love of course it feels wonderful but that fades.

    • profile image

      Sharon 7 years ago

      Hello, I feel like you're talking about me exactly. I live in a small town and I'm completely alone. Everyone at work is either married or has a boyfriend and family close by whereas I live in a different country. I have often thought about getting a dog but I have such long hours its very hard to live with the fact that they will be alone for so long. I wish I had people around me to connect with but its very hard to find people that know what you're going through. Thank you for your tips:)

    • profile image

      Chris  7 years ago

      I live alone since my bestfriend moved out while I was at work. I love it some times, I'm 22 and love my job in marketing. My biggest problem is sleeping every noise is someone coming to kill Me. I know its my imagination but how do u get over that. And the person who said its not healthy to live alone needs a reality check!!!! Some of us didn't choose to be alone!! And the ones who do choose to live alone that's great .

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      I like this hub, I wrote one similar, I think I'll link yours to mine. I love the practical advice that you included in yours. As a matter of fact I was just about to clean my house before I sat down to do a little hub reading(Keep it Clean). Loooved it PurpleOne, rated it up.

    • Ashantina profile image

      Ashantina 7 years ago

      I like living alone, however I think I do tend to isolate myself, not good.. and yes there are moments when I wish I had someone waiting at home for me.. I miss the sharing.. like cooking and waking up together, and all of the above things you mentioned. Most important tip: don't isolate yourself! Great hub.

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      Thanks for the hilarious advice! I miss living along and the single life in general! I am still very young so that might explain why...

      Great hub!

    • profile image

      Andreia 7 years ago

      I identify myself with your post. I live in a small apartment in Brazil, alone for 3 years already. Love pets but I'm afraid I can't give them all the attention they need so I chose not to have any. I make everything to keep bonds with family and friends strong. Sometimes it's difficult, specially when I have to hire someone for some repairs, there's a lot of preconception against women here. At those times I need to be the man, the woman and the watchdog of the house.

    • profile image

      Mary 7 years ago

      Great advice, but please all you lonely hearts out there, don't get pets unless you can truly make a commitment to care for them for the duration of their lives.

    • profile image

      pasuda 7 years ago

      living alone n not dating past 10yrs. live w dog. no family or close friends. every day a struggle. your article hits home. wasted time in long term relationships. they were fun at the time but now alone i realize i wasn't thinking of my future. too late now i'm 56!

    • Bill Mello profile image

      Bill Mello 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Purple One. Be careful with the pets. If you have to leave social engagements to 'let the dog out', you're limiting your exposure to real people. Then there is the huge segment of the public who are allergic to cats. What good is having a pet that hordes off potential dates?

    • profile image

      andrian007 8 years ago

      PurpleOne - I absolutely agree that finding the right person to live with is a tricky issue. Just because someone is great to hang out with, doesn't mean that guy will make an excellent flatmate. But when you hang out with enough friends, you will know who are the ones who are nice to talk to but at the same time will take the responsibility to wash up the dishes afterwards and actually share in the bills. When you find people like that, living together is an absolute must, it's a lot more fun that way.

      I don't think there is any age beyond which this is not ideal. It's all in the mind. Obviously, if you want privacy, then this is not ideal. But sharing can be great too.

    • profile image

      serene 8 years ago

      really good way to find life so beautiful inspite of being all alone :)

    • PurpleOne profile image

      PurpleOne 8 years ago from Canada

      Adrian007 - do you think there's a certain age after which living with roommates also is not ideal? I guess everyone is different and it's up to each person to decide! I agree that living with a friend/roommate is probably better than living alone but finding the right match even for that can be tricky. :) Thanks for writing!

    • profile image

      Andrian007 8 years ago

      What a great article! I'm a guy but this article applies to us men too. I'm currently 30 and I have lived alone before because I was in a new environment and I didn't know anyone in the neighbourhood and I tell you, it wasn't ideal. The best way to get out of living alone is to go out there, make some good friends and at the end of the year move in with one of them! Sharing a flat with a close friend is a fantastic experience and helps a lot when it comes to maintaining my mental sanity.

    • PurpleOne profile image

      PurpleOne 8 years ago from Canada

      Madison22 - thanks for your comment!

    • Madison22 profile image

      Madison 8 years ago from NYC

      Great tips! An important topic, this is a pass along article. Thanks!

    • PurpleOne profile image

      PurpleOne 8 years ago from Canada

      Onely - It's nice to be able to decide what needs remodeling around the house, when to eat, what to eat, how to sleep, etc. Do you find that sometimes it all becomes a bit much though and it feels like there are just TOO many decisions to make alone? I find that it can get exhausting even though I do appreciate the independence factor. Thanks for your comment. :)

    • profile image

      Onely 8 years ago

      I am in my thirties and I loooooove living alone. It's been an amazing experience owning my house and deciding what needs remodeling and what doesn't. I particularly love being able to sleep with my light on. I love getting up whenever I want to in the middle of the night and making as much noise as necessary. I love eating when and what I want. I love the independence and freedom. Even if I met Mr. Wonderful, I would want him to live somewhere nearby, but not in the same house. I guess I have enough going on outside of the house that I need to keep it Mine, as a refuge and refueling station.


    • PurpleOne profile image

      PurpleOne 8 years ago from Canada

      vrajavala - I can see that if one has to live alone, living in an exciting location would probably help! I live in a small town and it is pretty boring - not much to do here. :) thanks for your comment.

    • vrajavala profile image

      vrajavala 8 years ago from Port St. Lucie

      I've lived alone a few times in my life, and coming from a family on nine kids, it wasn't so bad. it was a kind of adventure. At that time I lived on the Fenway in Boston, right next to Fenway Park. While I'm not a baseball fan, there were tons of Museums and symphony Hall was not too far away.

      Right now, I live with 3 of my grandkids, and I often wish I were back there!!!

    • PurpleOne profile image

      PurpleOne 8 years ago from Canada

      Reiki - thanks for the comment. I agree that in general it's better to live with someone but not just anyone for the sake of it. It's better to live alone than with someone you don't connect with or can't stand. :)

    • profile image

      Reiki 8 years ago

      but with whom u are going to share ur feelings with and for how long might be in ur twenties its fine but not in ur late thirties absolutely bad idea to live alone after some time u will loose your mental balance i don't know how people live alone and why they have to even though you have to make few compromises but never a person shld live alone in their life never can never compensate it with a dog or your hobby its better to increase your tolerance and live your life with somebody around you


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