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The Pros and Cons of Living Alone as an Adult

Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics - hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!

Though living with family or roommates can be fun, living alone will be a great chance to learn about yourself and your preferences, dislikes and habits.

Though living with family or roommates can be fun, living alone will be a great chance to learn about yourself and your preferences, dislikes and habits.

Every Adult Should Live Alone at Some Point in Life

There is so much awesomeness in living by yourself! I have been living by myself for about 10 years now. I really enjoy it most of the time. Yes, sometimes I think I enjoy it a little too much and that perhaps it would be difficult for me to live with someone else, but hey—I can adapt. Anyone can adapt to living with someone else or adapt to living alone. I personally believe you should try both options at least once in your life to decide which you prefer.

Pros of Living Alone

Some of the great things you can do when you live by yourself are:

  • Dance like no one is watching...because no one is watching! Go crazy!
  • Walk around half-dressed or nude anytime you want.
  • Watch terrible reality shows all weekend and never admit it to anyone.
  • Talk to yourself (and answer your own questions, if you like.)
  • Read without anyone annoying you.
  • Sleep whenever you want.
  • Stay awake as late as you'd like.
  • Come and go whenever you want.
  • Sing in the shower at the top of your lungs.
  • Decorate your home entirely the way you want it.
  • Adopt as many pets as you want and name them whatever you'd like.
  • Eat cereal for dinner and pizza for breakfast.
  • Be a slob.
  • Be as neat as humanly possible, if that's what makes you happy.
  • Sleep on whatever side of the bed you choose.
  • Don't bother sharing any of your food.
  • Be the all-mighty ruler of the remote control!
  • There is no need to explain any of your actions.
  • Snore, fart, or burp anytime you want without worrying about it.
  • Make as much noise as humanly possible until your neighbors complain.
  • Have anyone over at any time, day or night.
  • Never clean up after anyone else!
When you live alone, you can read, watch, and listen to whatever you want without fear of judgement.

When you live alone, you can read, watch, and listen to whatever you want without fear of judgement.

Cons of Living Alone

In all fairness, there are certainly downsides to living by yourself. Not every day is a picnic, and that is why some of us who love being single eventually look for a companion. Although each day can be a learning experience living alone, you only have to experience some things once before you decide that you'd never like to do that again. There are valuable lessons to be learned from difficult times. Each adult should experience these character-building moments, but they can be painful.

Some of the negative aspects of living alone that make you a stronger, better person are:

  • Crying yourself to sleep alone because of a difficult experience that day.
  • Killing a spider on your own, or dealing with the mouse infestation in the kitchen without help.
  • Learning the hard way that sometimes you must call the repairperson instead of fixing it yourself.
  • Deciding whether you are going to pay your phone bill for the month or have enough food to eat since you can't afford both.
  • Trying to figure out how to make yourself chicken noodle soup while you are sick.
  • Having to get up and investigate that scary sound in the middle of the night on your own.
  • Accidentally setting something on fire in the kitchen and then desperately trying to get the fire alarm to shut off before any of your neighbors notice.
  • Finding nice ways to get rid of unwanted house guests without someone there to fake an emergency.
  • Having to use duct tape to fix pretty much anything because there's no one to ask for help.
  • Becoming that is "set in your ways" so that it becomes challenging to ever adapt to the habits of significant others, roommates, or family members who eventually move in.
When you live alone, you can lie in bed as long as you want and eat wherever you want.

When you live alone, you can lie in bed as long as you want and eat wherever you want.

Living Alone Will Teach You About Yourself

The bottom line is that everyone should have the opportunity to live alone at some point in their life. You discover things about yourself that you maybe didn't realize before. For instance, you might find out that you sleep much better without anyone else around. . .or that you can't sleep at all alone! Either way, you'll learn a valuable life lesson.

I am not trying to mock the people who don't live alone in any way—I am, however, pointing out that everyone should at least try to live alone at some point in life, if circumstances permit. Though you might think to try it temporarily—for, say, six weeks or so—living alone has to be a way of life for a while before you can really appreciate it. Even the worst aspects of living alone get easier over time, but without actually experiencing it for a while, one may never know that.

So, if you live with your parents or roommates but you can afford to move out on your own, give it a try. If you are unhappily married but don't have the nerve to leave your spouse because you've never lived alone, don't let fear be the only reason you stay.

It is a great learning experience to be single and live alone for a while, and you will grow as a person. If you've lived alone for years, but you no longer enjoy it, find someone else to live with for a while. Having a roommate can save you money! Or maybe a family member needs some live-in help. Basically, try living life more than one way and you might be pleasantly surprised at what you learn.


Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on April 05, 2015:

Thanks! :-)

Julie K Henderson on April 05, 2015:

You are welcome. I completely agree with you.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on April 05, 2015:

Thanks so much, Julie. I do think it is a shame when people do not have the opportunity to live alone. Even if they don't like it, it is still good to give it a try to know that for sure.

Read More From Pairedlife

Julie K Henderson on April 03, 2015:

This article includes many worthwhile points. I've known a few adults who have never lived alone, and it seems as if they have missed out on an essential experience. Thank you for pointing the pros and cons of living alone, and for adding humorous pictures. Well done.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on January 16, 2014:

fpherj48 - Thank you for the advice. I am definitely slowly approaching the situation and we are setting rules already. Of course, I am nervous though. I think I enjoy living alone too much!

Sunshine625 - I can't believe you've never alone. Sometimes I do wonder if that is easier. I am used to living alone, so living with someone else is outright terrifying for me now. I guess the key is living alone for a while, but maybe not for more than 10 years in a row!

ChitrangadaSharan - You are right... there is a major difference between being alone and being lonely. I am rarely ever lonely and enjoy being alone most of the time. Thanks for the vote up!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 16, 2014:

Interesting hub! You discussed some valid points here.

I agree with the title of your hub. Living alone sometimes is necessary and unavoidable too, and it is good to discover ourselves during that time.

Living alone is different from becoming lonely.

Thanks for sharing this thought provoking hub! Voted up!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on January 15, 2014:

I would think of 6 weeks as a vaca! I've never lived alone. I went from my parents to husband to just me and my kids for a few years to next husband and kids w/grandkids. Oh my!

Suzie from Carson City on January 15, 2014:

I wish the best to both of you and hope that it works out well. Little secret from one of your "elders"......If you prepare yourself, Jeannie, to accept that, no matter how long you've been together and/or how well you feel you know one another....."Living under the same roof," is a whole new ball game... It really is. You 're about to discover this and I think you'll do just fine.

Oh yeah.....and for heaven's sake, don't decide: "Well, we're living together, WE MIGHT AS WELL GET MARRIED." There is no such rule. OMG, Listen to me......Moms never stop preaching. Sorry.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on January 15, 2014:

It is nice to try living both ways and good that you've had the opportunity. Having a child does pretty much mean not living alone for a long time... I have not been on the voyage before. I am thinking about moving in with my boyfriend though, so we'll see how that goes. I've lived alone for a long, long time!

Thanks for the vote up and for sharing!

Suzie from Carson City on January 15, 2014:

Jeannie......I have lived alone, far less often and for shorter periods of time....than NOT. Merely having one child, assures us of at least 20 years of NOT being alone. Know what I mean?

I've enjoyed the journey WITH a shipmate...and also without. Seriously, they both have pros and cons.

I will admit though....with or without.....I have always valued my "alone time." It feels to me, to be so necessary!

Great Hub, Jeannie......UP+++ pinned & tweeted

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on December 12, 2013:

You are right... before you can be completely happy (even as a couple) living alone for a while is a good idea. It is also about personal growth too. I can't imagine I'd better the strong person I am today if I had not lived alone for years.

Thank you for your comment!

erinshelby from United States on December 11, 2013:

The cultural expectations of communities vary greatly. Are there any messages around you telling women (or men) that being paired off is the way to be seen as a winner? I think many would say YES.

It's a valid point that finding happiness as an individual first is a good step towards finding happiness as part of a couple (1 and 1 make 2, not two halves make a whole.) no matter what your living quarters may be.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on August 19, 2013:

It is sad to think how many women never became independent back in the day. Sadly, the article I read was not from an older lady. She seemed to be around my age or perhaps a little older at most. Thanks for checking out my hub!

Laura Deibel from Aurora, CO on August 18, 2013:

I agree that it is invaluable to live alone for awhile. Independence and the ability to care for oneself is invaluable.

I think it was older generations of women who went right from high school or college straight into a marriage and never developed these skills. My ex-husband's Mom was an example. She refused to even drive. After her husband died, the kids inherited caring for her and she became still more demanding as she descended into Alzheimers...

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on June 17, 2013:

You are so right! I learned how to avoid laundry and dishes in college like a champ! As a matter of fact, I am not sure I ever did dishes once when I lived in the dorms. It is all about disposable plates and bowls! 6 weeks is not enough to learn about real dishes. ;-)

Isn't it sad how some people can't stand being alone at all? I guess everyone had the right to live life however they want though. Thanks for the comment!

Cindy D Whipany on June 17, 2013:

Using techniques learned in college, I wouldn't even have to do dishes or laundry in a six-week period. Well, if you don't count rinsing out the tea mug. Living alone is so cool even my mom advocated it (sort of). But then I have an older brother who was so terrified of living alone that his second marriage was held before the ink on the divorce from the first was dry.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on June 14, 2013:

hugsnstitches - As long as you are happy, that is all that matters. Some people do seem to be happy never being alone, which is fine, too.

rebeccamealey - Thanks so much. I am glad you liked the hub.

vandynegl - You are so right! I hate having to explain to someone else why I am eating chocolate after I just said I was going on a diet.... Or even worse, getting caught in the middle of the night eating the chocolate!

theluckywriter - Thanks for voting up and sharing! You do have the best of both worlds. I've found I am cleaner when I am alone. I tend to wait for the other person to change the toilet paper roll, take out the garbage, do the dishes, etc. if I live with someone else.

alocsin - Thanks so much for the votes! It is good that you had the opportunity to live both ways in life. Now you can be certain of what you want.

Thanks for the comments, everybody!

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on June 14, 2013:

Glimmer Twin Fan - I am 37 and still not married yet, so I know what you mean. It is just so much fun being single sometimes! But I am sure not living alone also has its benefits.

Relationshipc - I know exactly what you mean! I love eating food whenever I want and not on a set schedule. There are no "what do you want to eat?" discussions either which seems to go on forever when I have guests over. I think you were right about your friend... she would never believe she did not get the full "living single" experience. At least we know the truth!

Peggy W - Thanks for the votes! I did my best to cover all the positives and negatives to living alone... even though I think it is clear that I favor living alone. ;-)

Crystal Tatum - Thanks so much for the votes and for sharing. I am happy to read so many people agree with me on this matter. Everyone should live alone for a while to truly experience it.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on June 14, 2013:

I lived the first 10 years of my adult life by myself. And while I enjoyed the time and the freedom to do anything I wanted, I much prefer waking up with someone beside me. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Stephanie from Canada on June 13, 2013:

Great hub! My husband is in the military, so I spend an awful lot of time living alone, and then the time living together is all the better. I think I get the best of both worlds! I laughed out loud at the "read without anyone bugging you" bit. SO true. For me, a downside is that I'm much less tidy when I live alone. The house gets really messy, which depresses me, which makes me not want to clean, which depresses me... Ha! (And on that note, I'm going to go do the dishes now.) Voting up and sharing.

vandynegl from Ohio Valley on June 13, 2013:

I completely agree with you! I lived alone for two years before moving in with my now-husband. Those two years were awesome! I loved the privacy and space. I still carry that independence with me now and my hubby respects that, but you have to don't always want your partner to ask questions about why you are eating chocolate and reading smut! It's fun to not have to answer to someone sometimes....yet other times, it's nice to have that support person too! A good balance is nice. Great hub!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 13, 2013:

You have brought up a great topic for research and debate. Awesome idea!

Candy H. from Yakima, WA on June 13, 2013:

I definitely appreciate the humor in this article, but I have to say as a woman in a wonderful marriage, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on June 13, 2013:

I agree with this wholeheartedly. I think going straight from the parents to roommates to a life mate in terms of living situation can really be detrimental to a person developmentally. Everyone needs time alone and we all need to find ourselves and depend on ourselves sometimes. Great hub! Voting up and sharing.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 13, 2013:

You have nicely given some of the pros and cons of living alone in your article. Some people have no choice in the matter either due to financial or health problems and others do. It is a choice for each person to make. Up and interesting votes.

Kari on June 13, 2013:

I do miss living alone. I lived in a comfortable apartment for years, and every minute of that time I enjoyed my freedom to do whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it. I also ate less...I think it was because I ate when I was hungry and not when a meal was supposed to be eaten. Once, though, there was a snake in my apartment, and that was one time that I wished there was someone else to help me!

Now, when my husband has a business trip I feel giddy like I did back then. It's funny because my routine with him goes out the window and I instantly revert to single land!

I think living alone for a long period teaches you a lot about yourself and your preferences. (I can't see 6 weeks being enough time to make many self discoveries. Especially someone who has to imply that alone meant 'completely, totally, 100% on my own'.) I have a friend who lived alone for a month and she thought that she had given herself a huge life lesson...I didn't have the heart to tell her, and I don't think she would have listened anywase.

Claudia Mitchell on June 13, 2013:

Love this! I lived alone for many many years, after graduating college until I was married. I was not married until I was thirty five. Even now there are many times I dream of those days. To say one has lived alone when only having done it for 6 weeks is laughable. I also agree that it is important to know how to live alone.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on June 10, 2013:

I am happy to hear from other people that have lived alone a long time, too. 6 weeks is nothing! Thanks for checking out my hub!

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 10, 2013:

6 weeks? Wow. I lived alone for 9 years before I got married and enjoyed it thoroughly, although it's nice having companionship as well.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on June 07, 2013:

Pamela99 - Yes, 6 weeks is pretty short. You had even more responsibilities raising 3 sons... that is even more life altering than being alone. I applaud you for that! Thanks for your comment.

Sue Bailey - I know what you mean. Every now and then, as a single gal, I have a short pity party, but usually it is only when I am sick. Other than that, being alone is awesome. Happy to hear you made it through the breast cancer experience... I will bet you are a stronger, better person because of it.

elayne001 - Yes, it is wonderful not cleaning up after anyone else. When house guests leave, I am always grateful to remember how nice it is not cleaning up after people that leave crumbs, wrappers, etc. all over the place. Thanks so much!

drbj - Yeah, I gave up arguing with myself long ago. It was just too weird. And no worries about my teeth! I just went to the dentist and I won't have to perform any dental procedures at home. ;-)

Anita Saran - I believe the writer is in the U.S. based on the article, but I am not 100% sure about that. If not, my guess would be Canada. Either way, living alone shouldn't for 6 weeks should not have been that big of a deal for her. I guess people try to cheat you no matter where you live. Isn't that awful? I am happy you enjoy living alone with the dogs despite that. Living alone can be great!

Thanks for checking out my hub and for the comments, everyone!

Anita Saran from Bangalore, India on June 06, 2013:

interesting hub. Voted up. Did the author of that article mention WHERE she lives? In India, it can be a big deal for a woman to live alone. I've lived alone for many years in Bangalore, and I can tell you it's not easy. For one thing, carpenters, electricians, builders, etc are always trying to cheat you. But I love living alone with my five doggies.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 06, 2013:

When you are living all by your lonesome, talking to yourself is fine. But don't argue with yourself. You might lose the argument. And that tool you are holding in the photo, Jeannie, do not attempt to remove an infected tooth with it. Promise me!

Elayne from Rocky Mountains on June 06, 2013:

I like the thought of alone, except when I get lonely! It would be nice not to have to clean up after others, but I do enjoy a rare conversation, as long as it is not a fight! Great article.

Susan Bailey from South Yorkshire, UK on June 06, 2013:

I have lived without a partner for 22 years and without kids around for 5 years. No biggie; for the most part I enjoy it. Occasionally I get a bit 'woe is me' but not very often. The worst was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer but I coped.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 06, 2013:

I would say living alone for six weeks is a mere pittance, kind of like a vacation. Anway, I have taking care of people all my life, and if I end up living alone I know I will welcome it with open arms. Not having to account to anyone and so forth sounds like a great idea. I think it is probably healthy for everyone at some point in their life. I did live alone several years while raising 3 boys, but that did not feel like I was alone, although it was preferable to the previous partner. :) Awesome hub.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on June 06, 2013:

Alecia Murphy - For some reason, that article infuriated me. 6 weeks! But yeah, I guess I need to get past that. I am happy you are loving living alone. It is scary at first, but wonderful once you get used to it. Thanks for the vote up and sharing!

bravewarrior - Oh, you are so right! Being able to create your own schedule is the best part of living alone. Sometimes a friend or family will stay with me for a few days and I get so frustrated with the "what time do you want to eat and what do you want to eat?" conversation. I feel like it takes forever. You simply can't sit a bowl of cereal in front of your house guest at 8 PM and think that solves everything. It just isn't polite! ;-) Sometimes I think I am not ever meant to get hitched either... I am sure your cats are awesome! Thanks for your comment.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 06, 2013:

Jeannie, I so agree with you. Although my son still lives at home, I've been without a spouse for 4 years. In fact, I've been married twice. I just seem to do better by myself. I have no one to pick up after, answer to, cook for at 6, 12 and 6 (who needs schedules?) and I have my bed all to myself. I prefer being single. The only beings dependent upon me are my cats and I prefer it that way. Some of us are meant to be hitched and others of us aren't. I'm an 'aren't'!

Great hub!

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on June 06, 2013:

I didn't read this article but 6 weeks? Lady please. Kids stay at camp longer than that.

I completely agree with your points Jeannie. I haven't been doing it that long but I'm loving it. While there are some things to miss about living with others, overall I think it's necessary for everyone to feel completely independent. Voted up and shared!

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