There are both advantages and disadvantages to living alone. There is no doubt that it suits some people much better than others. Those who enjoy their own company may prefer it to living with someone else; whereas those who need regular company may find that they go crazy when not living with at least one other person. If you are faced with the possibility of having to live alone, there are a number of factors that you need to consider before making your final decision.
Proximity to friends and family
If you’re living close to friends and family, living alone may not be much of an issue, even if you do like to have regular company. You can either pop over when you feel like it, or you can have them around to your home – if they share a home with a number of people, they may well welcome the peace and quiet at yours. On the other hand, if you are moving to an area where you don’t know anyone, you may find living alone too isolating, so finding someone to share with may be the best option.
You need to ensure that you have plenty of outside interests if you live alone; otherwise, you could find yourself stuck inside with few options for making new friends. There are periods in most people’s lives when they need to be alone for a while, but if your stint alone is likely to be long-term, you will need to make sure that you have some kind of social outlet – otherwise you could end up being very lonely and depressed. If you’re the quiet type, then try something that you can do alone, but with others around you, such as joining the gym.
Where you work
These days, more and more people work at home. If this is you, and you also live alone, there is the advantage of no distractions. However, you could also miss the lack of social interaction with your colleagues. If your work at home job doesn’t involve much contact with others, it may be more sensible for you to find someone to share a home with, or at least make an effort to get out regularly. Otherwise you may find that the excessive solitude is not good for your mental health.
You should know better than anyone else what would best suit your personality. If you are generally happy being alone, within reason, then living alone may well be the best thing you’ve ever done. If you crave someone to talk to all the time and you can’t face the idea of going home to an empty house, then you are almost certainly going to struggle with living alone. Consider your personality carefully and ask friends and family if you need advice. Don’t forget that if you have recently gone through a split from a partner, you may have lost your confidence and may need the boost that another person can give you.
Ability to look after yourself
Living alone unfortunately means that you probably don’t have anyone to clear up after you. That may not be a problem, if you are happy living in a dirty, untidy house. However, if think that you’re going to have problems caring for your home and paying bills on time, then living alone may not be for you. At least living with someone else will ensure that if you forget to do something, the other person should be able to jog your memory. Of course, looking after yourself is something that you can learn in time, but in the short-term, it may be better not to live alone.
Standard of living
Another thing to consider is your standard of living. It is obviously more expensive to live alone than it is to share the cost of living. Alone, you may be forced to live in a studio flat or bedsit, with little space. For the same amount of money, or less, you can probably have a much larger home – although, of course, you have to share it. If you’ve previously had a good standard of living, then you may find it very hard to adjust to living alone, particularly if you have all the costs of setting up a new home to consider too.
Living alone can be an invigorating, freeing experience. It can also be very debilitating. Exactly how it will affect you depends on your personality and personal circumstances. Think hard about the above factors before making a decision and you should be just fine.