Sammy Nickalls
February 10, 2015 11:29 am

If you live alone, you’re, well, not alone. Over 32 million people in America hunker down solo—that’s approximately 28% of all households, according to recent Census reports.

If you’re a veteran roomie, scoffing at the idea of ever living alone: don’t knock it ’til you try it. Mic just gathered some scientific research that claims living alone boosts your social skills, chills out your overactive brain, and forces you to get in touch with yourself. We can actually vouch for that last one. If you’ve ever lived alone before, you know you get REALLY in touch with your weird habits—like leaving the TV on all night or decorating the bathroom sink with toothpaste globs. No judgments.

And that’s just the beginning of the unique experience of inhabiting your own roommate-free home. Here are some other interesting things that happen naturally when you’ve been living alone for a while—for better or worse. Once again, no judgments.

You might be wearing leggings and no top all day and you won’t even realize that’s not a thing people wear. 

Pajamas? What’s that? You sleep in whatever you managed to rip off from your body before you flopped on the bed. And now that you’re up and walking around the kitchen, you just realized that the top half of your body is a little chilly. Ah, well.

Similarly, there is a moment of panic when you leave the house that you maybe forgot to put clothes on.

It’s a weird thing, not having someone double-check that you’re legally prepared for the outside the world. That is on you, when you live alone. Of course, you’re probably not going to forget to wear clothes, but the thought that you could tends to cross your mind for a second. Because, technically, you could walk out of the house wearing nothing but a headband, sipping a cup of coffee, and nobody would say anything until you left the house. It’s like a childhood nightmare come true.

You take more than the average amount of baths, and sometimes those baths are enjoyed with a side of wine. 

Living with roommates (who you liked, that is) was a total blast, but it was stressful because it was a blast. It was like constantly hanging out, all the time—you didn’t get any downtime because your home was like a get-together constantly. And let’s not even talk about your bathroom time allotment. You probably couldn’t take over the room for the duration of the night, because you know, other people have needs.

Now, you get to lay in the bath with the door wide open, blasting your fave music and sipping on wine without a care in the world. Heaven, I say!

You no longer feel super-possessive about your leftover pizza.

Remember having to label your food, or organize it on certain shelves so that you knew whose food was whose? Sure, you could deal with that—but remember the horror of getting home and discovering that one of your roomies drunkenly ate your leftover pizza you had been saving specifically for lunch? Ugh.

Those of us who live at home know that sweet, sweet satisfaction of putting your food in your fridge and having full confidence that it will be there when you get back.

You have, on some occasions, spent 24 hours without making eye contact with another human being.  

Cats and dogs are another story. Your pet is your BFF, because you talk to your pet all the time. You don’t have a roomie to chat with about actual human things, so instead you discuss the lack of dry food in bowls and partake in staring contests with small creatures. Totes normal.

You get SO MUCH DONE.

Speaking of productivity, living alone means getting down to business. Instead of getting home and chatting with your roommate on the couch for an hour, you can go straight to your desk and get to work, distraction-free. You’re more of a powerhouse than you’ve ever been. You can also not do work and no one will be the wiser.

Your dishes are now for “company” only

LBH, you eat Nutella directly out of the jar. Or you just grab handfuls of cereal from the box and munch on them. Your eating habits have gotten weirder now that there’s no one watching. You don’t need plates because the world is your plate. Don’t worry, you’ll clean up that pile of crumbs you left on the couch later.

But you still have a sink full of dishes—that is, before your one rando clean-up spree

Sometimes, your place is spotless because you go on a crazy cleaning spree. But if you don’t feel like doing the dishes—and let’s be real here, that’s pretty often—you don’t have to. Because there’s no one bugging you about staying clean, you clean when you want to. (And as you read this, you may be eyeing up the pile of nasty dishes in the sink.)

Your apartment is devoid of other people’s personal treasures. Yay!

Back when you had a roommate, you had to deal with that weird Clockwork Orange poster hanging ominously next to the TV, or your roomie’s creepy collection of stuffed animals on the shelf (that you’re pretty sure moved of their own accord when you weren’t looking). But you dealt with it without so much as a grumble, because your roomie let you hang up your New Girl poster in the bathroom.

But now that you live alone, you don’t have to compromise. Your place is filled to the brim with your favorite stuff! No more random throw-pillows—you get to decorate your own place however you want. And hot damn, does it look cute.

You get to live in a haven of everything you want.

Those who live at home know how amazing it is to be able to do what you want without any consultation or compromise. Want to get a dog? Go ahead. Want to let Dirty Dancing play 30 times on repeat on the living room TV? You got it.

Want complete silence? You got it, sister (unless the birds are overly loud outside or there’s a car alarm going off…can’t always get what you want). On the other hand, you can (reasonably) blast music without worrying about repercussions, or you can be loud in. . .um, other ways. Wink wink. (Sorry.)

(Image via NBC)

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