I had often thought to myself what it would be like to live on my own, back when I shared with housemates or lived at college. I never thought that I would be able to manage in a house by myself. Six months into living alone, I’m actually really pleased with my current situation. There are a lot of benefits to living on your own.
It’s not all sunshine and roses though. Solo living definitely has it’s pitfalls as well, and it’s not for everyone.
Is it expensive?
In my experience, living on my own is very expensive. When you’re by yourself, you have to cover all the household expenses including rent, utilities and groceries. When I shared houses with friends there was always someone else to split these costs with.
Although the bills in multi-person households do tend to be higher, paying a fraction of these bills still works out to be cheaper than paying the entire bill for a one-person household. For example, although there are two people using the electricity in a two-person house, there are a lot of appliances that are on all the time and use the same amount of electricity no matter how many people live in the house. So although bills do go up when there are more people in the house, they don’t neccessarily double or triple when you go to a two- or three-person household. So yes, it is quite expensive to live on your own.
Do you ever get lonely?
I do get lonely sometimes. However, I don’t get lonely as often as I expected I would. Also my bouts of loneliness have gotten less frequent since I started living alone.
I’m lucky in that I’m very comfortable with my own company. I’m an introvert and I enjoy being on my own. There are times when I do crave human interaction and contact. Luckily for me, I have family very close by and friends who are just a phone call or a text away. If I feel lonely, it’s easy to get in touch with someone who will cheer me up.
How do you deal with bugs and spiders in the house?
I laughed so hard when I read this question, because this was one of my biggest concerns about living alone! While bugs in general don’t worry me, I am deathly afraid of spiders. I had always gotten my boyfriend or my housemate to deal with creepy-crawlies, so I didn’t know how I would handle it when I was faced with one by myself.
I faced my fear of spiders a few months ago, when there was a Daddy-Long-Legs in my bathtub and I wanted a shower. I couldn’t handle the idea of washing him down the plughole, so I scooped him up and put him safely outdoors. It was scary, but I survived and so did the spider.
Bigger, nastier spiders are a different story though. I’ve only had one of those in my house while I’ve been on my own. It was a huntsman, sitting on the ceiling of the kitchen one night. I freaked out, but it was very late and I couldn’t justify calling someone to come and kill the spider at that time of night. So I decided to go to bed (with the door firmly shut) and deal with it in the morning. When I awoke, the huntsman was gone, so I didn’t actually have to deal with it at all!
What are the best parts of living by yourself?
Having total autonomy to fill your time with whatever you want. Cleaning the house and having it stay clean for hours. Not having to queue for the bathroom. Never arguing over what movie to watch each night. Being able to play dress-ups and have dance parties without anyone to giggle at me.
Also, I’ve become a lot more self-reliant. I’ve had to take total responsibility for myself which has made me a much stronger person. This hasn’t been easy, and I still have some work to do, but I’m very happy with my progress.
Do you ever feel afraid being on your own?
Honestly, no. When I lived in Melbourne I used to get freaked out when I’d be home alone and I’d hear a weird noise outside. In the country I feel a lot more secure.
There was one time when my neighbors had a huge party and things started getting violent. They were setting off fireworks (on a day of total fire ban) and screaming abuse at one another. It was pretty scary, and I felt tense waiting for the police to arrive. But that was the only time I’ve really felt afraid.
Would you ever want to live with someone else in the future?
Sure, but it would have to be the right person. I’m not about to give up my awesome solo-living lifestyle for just anyone. A person (whether friend or lover) would have to be pretty darn special for me to want to live with them.
Do you have any questions about living alone?