Why living alone can feel like an actual paradise

When we were teenagers, many of us couldn’t wait to grow up and live on our own. Generally speaking, “living on our own” didn’t necessarily mean by ourselves. It simply meant freedom from being told what to do and how to do it by the “real” adults in our lives. We could achieve that while living with roommates or even a significant other, right?

Then, we learned that that all depended on who the roommates are, because as many of us know living with other people — though it has its perks — can turn into drama. Regardless of whether you’ve had positive experiences with housemates, it can be hard to get your own space when you’re sharing a kitchen, a bathroom, and sometimes even a bedroom with others. However, living alone isn’t always a possibility. It costs more money, and having others share the expense is obviously really helpful (and sometimes necessary). And there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you ever find yourself in the position of being able to swing it, here are a few reasons why truly living alone is super amazing.

You can be as messy or as clean as you want to be.

The importance of this cannot be overstated. When you live alone, you don’t have to answer to anyone about the dishes that are still in the sink, your unmade bed, or the pile of clean laundry unfolded on the floor. Same goes if you’re a “clean freak.” If you have the urge to vacuum, run the dishwasher or laundry machine at all hours of the night, no problem! Nobody is around to be bothered, complain, or passive aggressively leave you notes on the fridge about your behavior. IT’S AMAZING.

You choose everything.

There’s no need to ask anyone what they want to watch on Netflix or what sounds good for dinner. You don’t need to run it by anyone if you have a friend who wants to stay over for the night, and you don’t need to consult anyone about decorating. It’s all for you to decide, and if you want to ask for an outside opinion, you can, but ultimately it’s your choice.

You are responsible for yourself.

In the same vein, when you live alone, you have to take care of yourself. There’s no one around to cook or clean for you. If you are too lazy to go grocery shopping or make something to eat, well, you’ll go hungry (or you’ll order takeout!). If there’s something wrong with the plumbing, either you better figure out how to fix it, or you’ll have to call your landlord or a plumber. You make sure the place doesn’t burn down. You pay the bills. You take care of everything, and doing so teaches you to be independent. If the dishes in the sink pile up to the ceiling and the apartment starts to stink, you have no one to blame but yourself! But, at least when you do finally clean up, it’s your mess, not someone else’s.

Being alone is good for self-reflection.

Living alone doesn’t necessarily make you a complete recluse. You’ll still see people at work, school, and at social gatherings with your friends. But there will be times no one is around — unless your significant other or bestie is with you so much that they practically live with you, in which case you don’t really live alone in the standard sense. As you spend time in solitude — doing whatever you choose to do, whether it’s reading, watching TV, creating something or just thinking — you’ll get to know yourself better. It’s easy to get caught up in doing what other people want to do when you live with them, but when you’re living solo, you’ll have to figure out leisurely time for yourself, to some extent.

Despite the many reasons living alone is awesome, there are tons of justifications for living with people, too. It’s fun to live with roommates, and living with a significant other can really strengthen and grow a partnership, but living by yourself — at least once in your life — also can be really amazing. Living alone will help you become more independent. It will teach you about yourself. And you’ll likely have a lot of fun, too.

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