Things That Make Me Nervous10 Reasons Living Alone Makes Me NervousNicole Paulhus

“Aren’t you lonely?” and “Don’t you love it?” These are the two questions I get when I tell people I live alone. It’s one or the other. They either can’t fathom the idea of living alone or think it’s the best thing ever. I am of the “best thing ever” camp. I’m a bit of an introvert, somewhat of a slob and deathly allergic to confrontation. So, it’s the perfect living sitch for me. I get my daily dose of “me” time, while never having to worry about fighting with roomies over dishes or drain hair. Though, just as young Kevin McCallister learned, the independence of living alone has its consequences. Here are ten reasons why living alone makes me nervous.

1. Strange Noises

When you live alone, every strange noise is something that’s probably going to kill you. The wind rattling the front door is a burglar. The hiss of the heater is a toxic gas leak. The car backfire is the gunshot of a trained killer who knows enough not to leave witnesses. Without roommates to tell me I’m crazy, these things seem wholly possible and often result in lack of sleep. Speaking of lack of sleep…

2. Spiders

You might be saying, “Well, you’d have spiders in your apartment even if you had a roommate.” To which I say, “Yeah, but at least it would be two against one.” Do you know how many spiders I’ve let slip through the cracks while living alone? I turn my back for a second to grab a tissue and poof… he’s gone. I lay awake all night, knowing he’s out there, waiting to make a move. Having a roommate means having someone to run surveillance while I tissue-up. It also means having someone to backup my story later on when I tell everyone the tale of the six inch spider.

3. No One To Borrow From

You’re running late for work, you run out of toothpaste and you live with roommates, no big deal.  You bum some Crest off someone for a day or two until you have a chance to get to the store. You’re running late for work, you run out of toothpaste and you live alone, you’re screwed. You’re either going to work with unbrushed teeth or stopping to buy toothpaste, making you even more late. When you live alone, there’s no one around to borrow from, which kinda blows.

4. There’s No “We” In “Living Alone”

If you screw up, it’s on you and only you. The angry note from the guy upstairs will not be addressed to “Residents of Apt. 3”, it will be addressed to you. You alone will face dirty looks in the laundry room after waking everyone up with your 3am dance party.  And if something breaks, the landlord knows you’re the one who broke it. There’s no shared responsibility. Everything that happens in your pad is on your shoulders and when the landlord is pulling a crazy amount of hair from the drain and blaming you for destroying his plumbing, there’s no one there to share the guilt with.

5. Getting Ready Alone

My favorite part of having roommates was getting ready to go out together. Aside from the fact that it’s more fun to get pretty as a group, roommates are great to have around for catching things like unremoved store tags, unzipped flies and mascara smudges. I also find that I’m less likely to forget something if I’m going through a checklist with someone. “ID?” Check! “Keys?” Check! Without roommates, I’m always nervous that I’m going to walk out the door keyless, with a big ol’ stain on my butt.

6. I Need To Be Judged Sometimes

If there’s no one around to say, “You’re better than this,” when I’m shoveling peanut butter into my mouth with my bare hands, I’m probably going to continue shoveling peanut butter into my mouth with my bare hands. Roommates force me to see myself from the outside and adjust accordingly. Left to my own devices, I fear I will turn into a complete monster.

7. I’m Not Prepared for Your “Pop-In”

I have a few friends who are fans of the “pop-in”. They show up on a random Sunday afternoon just to chat. When I had roommates, I loved these “pop-ins”. My apartment was usually relatively neat and I was always somewhat presentable out of respect for my roomie and the possibility that she may have someone over. Now that I live alone, I’m not used to having people around and I’ve grown accustomed to my bra-less squalor. “Pop-ins” are my worst nightmare.

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  1. you’re so true, Its even harder for a girl to live alone!
    well, It also has some good points, sometimes its better for a mid aged to be alone and far from parents pressure, brothers and sisters, ect…
    Its been almost two years for me in this lonely world, doing engineering. and my fears are missing the family back in Dubai; not focusing on studies, wasting time; and spending money on useless stuff and ending up broke at the end of the month! with an empty Ralph Lauren wallet…
    at last I hope you, me and everyone here a great life weather living alone or with family or friends!

  2. I live alone and I absolutely love it. The only real fear I have is that I’ll never want to live with people again. What if I forget how to share?! Oh, and also when someone knocks on my door I always hide under my bed.

  3. I still live with my parents at the moment but hope to be living in my own place soon when I have found my ‘grown-up job’. All of the fears I have about it are on here plus some more I hadn’t thought of haha thanks for that :).
    Despite my fears though I cannot wait to live alone. I need my me time when there’s nobody to judge me in my own home, nobody to argue with and I have sole custody of the remote control. I’ve never been one of these people who has to be buddied up for absolutely everything in life. I know I will get the “well aren’t you lonely?” questions and the ‘oh poor little you living alone’ glances but I don’t care. I’ll be dancing around in my perfectly decorated living room, having 80s movie marathons in my cinema room/cushion room(a room totally filled with colourful cushions that I can just jump into after a hard day) and sleeping in my amazingly magical bed which I am determined will be the closest thing to a cloud on earth.
    Living alone is where it is at. Bring it!

  4. There are times when Hello Giggles makes me feel so old. This is one of them.

    I remember feeling all of these points as a young woman with no true experience of the world. (Some worse than others). As an older woman, living alone is my sanctuary and the time I treasure being away from people who bombard me with noise, expectations, and senseless busyness.

    I know it’s meant to be funny, but I just felt old. And in some ways very glad that I am not young anymore, where these worries are learnt away.

  5. It’s a good thing I live alone too because when I read “bra-less squalor” I laughed too long and hard for any other person to think I’m normal.

  6. You really crack me up. I look forward to your posts. BTW, your link to your blog in the bio section doesn’t work. How can I cyber stalk without proper links? ;)

    • Thank you so much! I actually deleted the blog. I found tumblr to be a dark hole of distraction to which I needed to cut myself off. Twitter is bad enough!

      • I had to remove the Twitter app from my phone. I never did anything productive when it was on there. Avoiding it with my laptop is hard enough. #needTwitterAnonymous

  7. I totally relate to reason number one. Even if I’m still living with my parents, I haven’t got used to my surroundings here in Canada yet. It’s too quiet here, unlike in the Philippines where I’m from. The one thing that still freaks me out is when the postman stuffs our mail into the slot of our front door and I imagine it as a house break-in.

  8. While you make some great points, getting away from roommate drama in my senior year of college was the best thing I ever did – I loved it so much I lived alone for the next eight years until my boyfriend (now husband) moved in. And, as much as I adore him (and he’s much easier to live with than any roommate I’ve ever had), I still like my ‘me time’ when he’s not home…

    By the way, it’s way easy to merge your stuff together when the guy moving in with you hardly has any! :)

  9. This is so true, I get nagged for living alone all the time, and for alone I mean “alone”, no boyfriend or husband, and I guess where I live that’s weird.

    • People question me all the time too. I think that they believe that living alone makes me a lonely, sad pariah or something…and it’s like they almost pity me. I always turn it around on them and ask them if they’ve ever lived alone because if they haven’t, it’s they who are missing out. I think everyone should experience living alone at least once in their life. It really isn’t bad and it gives you a more sense of self, so to speak.

      Anyway, I think that the worst thing about living alone is having to share my living space with the occasional freeloading, sneaky spider. The.Worst!

  10. This is so accurate.

  11. “bra-less squalor” is the best thing I’ve ever read.

  12. This list is everything! I have lived on my own for 2 years and I can attest to almost all of these. In the next year I’m moving to go back to school and the idea of not living alone is giving me heart palpitations. I’m a person who needs their own space. Thank you for confirming that I’m not the only one out there who thinks someone is coming to get me when the wind rattles the windows.

  13. This is a great article! Thanks for making me smile. :)

  14. Almost exactly how I feel. Though I have a boyfriend who might move in at somepoint soon, so I’m struggling to rein in the yellow kitchen table or in my case almost completely purple bedroom decorations, that without room mates are making their way into the rest of the flat.

  15. I’ve lived alone for almost 3 years now and this list is PERFECT. I also recently bought a condo, so now not only do I live alone, but I OWN alone. It’s a whole new set of issues on top of the old ones. I recently had to deal with bed bugs and cockroaches all in the same two weeks. One night, I ran around my kitchen trying to kill a cockroach with hairspray while screaming. It didn’t work. I had to spend hundreds of dollars on exterminators and do battle with my condo association to get the building exterminated (they were coming up the drain pipes!). Back when I rented a studio, I missed a whole day of work and spent several hours crying in my hallway because there was a GIANT hornet flying around my 250-square foot apartment and I couldn’t kill it, and it kept diving at my face, and I was worried about my cat who kept swatting at it. It was awful. I feel like a hardened veteran now. Hahaha. So many things can go wrong…if anything breaks, if I lock myself out, if I become infested with mutant rats, I have to deal with it alone. I really do love living alone, though. My favorite part is not having to compromise on interior decorating…and being ‘intimate’ with my boyfriend wherever/whenever I want!!!! :)

    • I understand your pest issue. My cat recently killed a mouse and I spent an hour talking myself into picking it up. That involved a lot of squealing, screaming like a banshee and pep-talking myself into it with “you’re a strong woman. you can do anything. You can get rid of this body, no problem. EEEEEKKKKKK”. Living alone, isn’t it fun?