I’ll give you the five main reasons, although I could give you 100.
1. You report to no one.
Nothing’s worse than having the worst day in the world, and having to come home to anyone besides the TV, a bottle of wine, and a pet. Sure, sometimes it’s nice to know you have another human soul awaiting and looking forward to your arrival, but a lot of the time, you don’t want to deal with one more person when the day is done. When you live with other people, there’s never any telling what type of mood they’ll be sporting, and when you’re in a terrible one, that unknowing is an instant anxiety-inducer. Is he going to try to talk to me? Did she have a wonderful day and want to brag about it? What if, she too, is in a horrible mood but instead of dismissing herself to her bedroom, insists on remaining on the communal couch, making it impossible for me to soak in my misery alone and binge-watch “Sherlock”? Many roommates are born without the sense to read someone’s vibes and are unable to take the massive, middle-finger hint that is your “DON’T ASK” facial expression. But, when you live by yourself, you have no one to answer to but you and a bowl of ice cream. And maybe some popcorn after that if it was seriously a really bad day.
2. You can be naked. All the time.
When you have a roommate, it’s not often you can walk around in just underwear or your birthday suit. You have to do really annoying things like respect their space and wear clothes that cover your lady bits and man parts. But when you live alone, you can be naked whenever and however often you want. Do laundry naked. Cook naked (but wear an apron). Lay on the couch under your fluffiest movie-watching blanket that’s covered in wine stains — naked. If you live alone but have yet to indulge in the sweet, liberating pleasure that is carrying about in the nude, well then you haven’t lived. Sit on the couch, butt naked, and laugh. Admire how your body jiggles when you laugh at yourself in mirror. Do all this, and I promise you’ll see a spike in your self-confidence as well. That’s right – living alone and constantly being clothed in nothing can do wonders for your self-image if you let it.
3. You don’t have to share.
It doesn’t matter if it’s laundry detergent, shampoo, Hillshire Farms Oven Roasted Turkey Breast — roommates always mooch. You’ve done it. They’ve done it. When you live with someone else, amongst their personal possessions, crossover is bound to happen. You’re in your communal shower and ran out of conditioner. What are you gonna do? Forgo conditioning for the sake of sparing them that dime-sized squirt you need and walk around with insultingly dry ends? No. But once you start doing these small things, you can’t stop. And neither can they. And, suddenly, your OJ is down to half a cup when you could’ve sworn you had half a bottle left. Their conditioner is almost completely gone and you know you’re to blame. Worlds are colliding and everything’s out of control! But live alone and all is yours and yours only. No more do you have to be mindful when using the communal laundry detergent or dry swifter pads. You’re living in an every day free-for-all!
4. You’re the only one to blame.
Trash overflowing? Garbage disposal clogged? Toilet paper roll empty? Wet laundry sitting in the washer for hours? You have no one to blame but yourself. There’s a twisted joy in living alone and realizing that if something doesn’t get done, it’s no one else’s fault. The silo lifestyle forces you into accepting complete and total responsibility for all your domestic habits. If bills don’t get paid or doors don’t get locked, it’s all you, baby. It’s a lot of self ass-kicking, but it beats having to leave passive notes around the house pretending to kindly remind your roommate of roommate responsibilities. Or worse, send passive texts to said roommate when you’re both home, only rooms away from one another.
You: Hey hey. Leaving for work early tomorrow. Would take trash down like I normally do, but know I’ll barely have time to shower and catch my flight. would you mind dealing with trash?
Roommate: I’ve taken trash down plenty of times. But yeah, that’s fine. Have safe travels! [Insert airplane emoji to ease disgustingly passive tension.]
Cut to you feeling an odd mixture of injustice, rage, and anxiety in your bed, literal feet away.
5. It’s your way or no way.
Hands down, the best part about living alone is that everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – is your way. From the way you clean, to the way you don’t shower daily and fall asleep in your own post-gym filth, to the volume at which you like to watch TV, to the very specific way you like to organize the refrigerator (lower is colder, so all produce and meats on bottom). No one is going to mess with the way you operate. Leave the doors double-bolted with no worries about whether or not your roomie will be locked out. You can laugh really loud, cry even louder, sing in heinous voices, dance around naked and no one can say a damn thing. Except for your conscience.
Emma Golden is a 20something living in Dallas who loves eating, buying clothes she doesn’t need, wearing lipstick, and writing what we’re all thinking anyway. The way to her heart is through Chipotle and a working knowledge of “Seinfeld.” You can find 4+ years of her rantings and much more on her blog.