There seems to be this idea that if you’re in you’re in your 30s and can afford it, it’s time to say goodbye to roommates and live alone. It’s like there’s a certain period of time for roommates and then it ends. Obviously, this is different in major, expensive cities like NYC (where I think the cheapest studio in a safe neighborhood would begin around $1200 – and that’s a very low estimate. More likely it’s $1300 now.)
A recent NY Mag article, Does Living Alone Drive You Mad? inspired this post today. The article is mostly about older people who live alone, and the author zigs and zags across different ideas, types of people living alone, and varying circumstances. Deep down, the writer seems terrified of living alone for a long period of time, which is understandable as she was married for over 20 years and now has a live-in partner. But it bothered me that the article had a somewhat negative slant.
I lived alone for nearly three years. I loved it! I loved my space, decorating however I liked, coming home to quiet (heaven for an introvert), cooking whatever I pleased, and on and on. But, I guess I assumed, deep down, that it would be temporary. I didn’t know that for sure of course, but I knew that my intention was to meet someone and get partnered up one day. Perhaps that changed my idea then, of what living alone was really like?
I think what the author of the article neglected to talk about was that living alone (if done correctly) forces you to engage with the world outside your door in a more unique, meaningful and appreciative way that living with other people. When I lived alone, I treasured going outside and made a much bigger effort to see friends, go to activities and even just take small walks to the coffee shop.