Living Alone: Pros and Cons

I’ve been living in my one-bedroom apartment for a few months now, and a few hiccups aside (leaking shower, wardrobe that still stinks months after painting) it’s been mostly wonderful. It goes without saying though that, like anything, independence comes at a price.

The Good:

1. Personal space and freedom
This is where you’re supposed to say stuff like, yeah you can watch movies until 3am, walk around naked and eat ice-cream and pizza for dinner every day!! I can’t say I have much inclination to do any of these things to be honest; but it’s true, having a place all to yourself is awesome. Cook whatever you want, eat whenever you want, clean the house however often you want, listen to whatever music you want.

2. You can have your place looking just as you wish
I’m basically treating my apartment as a giant creative project, picking every single detail with the utmost consideration. I’m well aware that, if I end up living with a partner some time down the track, I’ll have to work on compromising and letting go of wanting every single thing to be just so. For now though, it’s great to have the freedom to create a living space without having to contend with anyone else’s tastes or possessions, and know that everything in my apartment is there because I want it to be there.

3. Feeding one person is easier
Sure I sometimes end up making classic single-person mistakes like buying too many greens that end up in a rubbish bin. But on the plus side, one person requires much less groceries and the meals made in bulk last longer. I’m quite content to eat the same leftovers for dinner for a few days, and if you spend an evening once in a while cooking up freezer-friendly food, your lunches are sorted for weeks to come.

The Bad:

1. It’s all on you
Mortgage, electricity, water, gas, council rates, body corporate fees, groceries, renovations, repairs. I’m lucky to have a great family who can loan me money and help with things if need be, but still there’s no one there to share these costs with me on a regular basis. Needless to say, my spending habits changed a lot and holidays to Europe will not resume for quite a while. No one to help out with the housework either. Washing the dishes is particularly annoying; you wouldn’t think that one person could generate much, and yet, in a short amout of time, there goes my entire supply of spoons and tea cups.

2. OCD
My particular obsessive behaviour has always been checking the cooktop, and it got much worse when I started living alone. Just before I moved in, I accidentally turned on the gas one day and only realised this when the smell got bad, so this made me even more paranoid. I have to tell myself that the gas is switched off and everything is fine so calm down and chill out for the love of god! at least a couple of times a day.

3. Company (lack of)
Being fairly introverted, this is not usually a problem. After a day in the busy studio at work I’m totally fine with being by myself for the rest of the night, and I get to see family and friends over the weekend. Still, I’m a kind of person who can disappear into their own head a bit too easily, and sometimes, after spending a few days at home, I can feel like I’ve retreated into myself too much. You need other people to remind you that it doesn’t all revolve around you and put your problems into perspective.

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