Why You Should Spend Some Time Alone

Some of us do it by choice. Some of us do it because we have to. But for most of us, during our lifetime, at some stage we will have to live alone. It can be a great time for independence and learning. Living alone can engender a sense of control and freedom.

We usually share our home with someone for one of two reasons. Either we need help paying the bills, or we enjoy somebody’s company, whether they be friends or a partner. But there are times in life when living alone may be the best answer.

Maybe you are moving out of home for the first time. Maybe you are leaving a long term relationship. Maybe you are living in a share house and just yearn for solitude. There are many reasons why you may be thinking of going it alone.

While living alone may seem quite solitary, it can also have some benefits.

1. It’s a chance to become stronger and more independent.

When you live on your own you learn to cope on your own. You learn to shoulder the responsibilities that go with living alone — paying bills; dealing with tradesmen; maintaining your home or flat. You become a stronger and more independent person. If you have been used to relying on other people, living alone can build your confidence. Because there won’t always be someone to confide in, you will become more emotionally independent and learn to make decisions on your own.

2. You are your own boss

You are your own boss when you live alone. There is no one to tell you what to do. You make your own choices and decisions. You manage your own time. You can come and go as you please. You can eat whatever and whenever you feel like it, and not have to bother cooking for somebody else. Having no one to answer to every day can be extremely freeing.

3. There is no one to judge you

When you live alone there is no one to judge you. You don’t have to live up to somebody else’s standards. You can put the groceries away when you buy them or just leave them on the kitchen bench until you are ready. You can eat what you like, and out of the saucepan if you want to. You can sleep as much as you like. Having no one to judge you can be extremely freeing.

4. There is lots of privacy and personal space

Having personal freedom and your own space can be wonderful. Living alone affords plenty of privacy. You can walk around the house in whatever state you like. The peace, quiet and mental solitude can help you recover from the stresses of daily living. There is plenty of time to think without interruptions.

5. You don’t need to compromise

Living alone can be very peaceful because there are no disagreements. When you live alone you don’t have to compromise to fit in with someone else. No-one else’s choices or biases come into play. You don’t need to fit into anyone else’s timetable. Things remain where you leave them. You just do what works for you.

6. You learn to enjoy your own company

When you live alone you begin to enjoy your own company. You learn to be happy by yourself. Henry David Thoreau put it this way, ‘ I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers.’

7. You will learn to be yourself

When you live with someone else, you’re constantly modifying your ideas to accommodate other people’s desires and opinions. You want them to like you. You don’t want to upset them. You want to be accepted.

In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz writes, ‘During the process of domestication, we form an image of what perfection is in order to try to be good enough. We create an image of how we should be in order to be accepted by everybody.”

‘Being how you should be’ can become your focus and you find your true personality becoming lost. You can be so busy making things right for someone else, that you forget to make things right for yourself.

When you live alone you don’t have to be concerned with what other people think of you. Nobody will be affected by what you do. You don’t have to conform to what you think they want you to be. So you can just be yourself.

8. You become more accepting of yourself.

When you start to be yourself you will practice far more self-acceptance and self-love. You learn to trust yourself more. When you live alone it’s all on you. You develop your own ideas and opinions. You will learn what you are capable of without the constraints of other people’s thinking.

9. The bathroom will be all yours

One practical advantage of living alone is that you don’t have to share the bathroom. There will be plenty of room for all your stuff and there is no waiting. When you clean the bathroom it stays clean.

10. You can choose your entertainment.

When you live alone you can choose whether you want noise or silence. You might like to have music on or you might like to watch the television. You can choose what you listen to or what you watch. You can be in charge of the remote control.

11. You can have your living space as you please.

The state of your living space can affect your mood. Living alone gives you much more control over your environment than when you are living with others. You can have your home however you like it. You can be extremely tidy or untidy. Whatever suits you. You can decorate it however you like and arrange the furniture however you wish. Your home reflects your personality alone.

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