The pros and cons of living alone they say that one is the loneliest number but does it have to be?
We live our lives surrounded by other people, for the most part that’s a good thing socializing is important after all but sometimes the best feeling comes at the end of the day when we cut ourselves off from the world and enjoy a few restful hours of peace, quiet and privacy.
Assuming you can afford to live without roommates of course but is living alone really the ideal scenario?
If your roommates are messy or obnoxious you might feel like the grass is properly greener on the Solow side of the fence, but how can you know for sure.
We were curious enough to wonder this as well so we are going to examine the pros and cons that come with living alone
For many young people especially those living in big densely populated cities sharing an apartment can be an effective way to save money at the expense of things, such as privacy and quiet, and for a long time living with other people was the standard when it came to households in the United States.
Ihis was a topic of particular interest for Eric Klinenberg, author of the book going solo the extraordinary rise and surprising appeal of living alone.
In an interview with the Smithsonian magazine Clennon Berg broke down some interesting statistics about the increased popularity of living alone throughout American history
According to Klinenberg about 4 million Americans were living by themselves in the year 1950 making up less than 10% of all American households
By today’s standards the number of people living in single occupant households has expanded to somewhere around 32.7 million, composing about 28% of all households in the United States
Part of this has to do with social changes over the years, for example Clennon Berg notes that nowadays more American adults are single rather than married, and it seems as though just about everyone knows at least one friend or family member currently living the solo life
So with so many people living in roommate free zones, there must be a fair deal of incentives to make them so willing to foot the bill on rent by themselves.
So what are some of the benefits of living alone, kevin Zawacki of Mike dot com interviewed several young adults currently living the solo life to see what they enjoyed most about living by themselves.
According to the participants many of the benefits of living alone include personal freedom, increased productivity and lack of judgment or self-consciousness when at home or in their apartments, and as it turns out many of the pros that come with living life sans roommates also have a fair amount of scientific research backing them as well.
Stephen Koontz of the New York Times notes that living alone can actually help facilitate major breakthroughs, when it comes to personal growth and self-discovery.
Carruth writes this what emerges over time for those who live alone is an at-home self that is marketed ly different in ways big and small from the self they present to the world
We all have private selves of course but people who live alone spend a good deal more time exploring them, in other words living alone gives you the freedom to be yourself, your real self and to do things that you’ve always wanted to do without the fear of shame or embarrassment.
Whether it’s karaoke sessions at 6:00 in the morning this much-needed downtime might not be something you get regular access through.
If you’re busy scraping the dough to one day upgrade to a single person apartment these are just some of the many benefits that you can expect from your decision, of course well teaching yourself to play the guitar or eating whipped creams straight out of the can while laying on your kitchen floor in sweatpants at 11:30 night on a Wednesday.
Hey we’re not judging surprisingly living by yourself might also make you more social according to Klinenberg single people who live on their own tend to have more active social lives as they’re more likely to socialize with friends and neighbors compared to people who have relationships with spouses.
Because people who live alone also socialize on their own terms, they also get more downtime as well which can be extremely beneficial for your mind and mental health.
In an article for Scientific American on the importance of downtime, Ferriss shibir had this to say, downtime replenishes the brain stores of attention and motivation encourages productivity and creativity and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.
This means that a little more peace and quiet in your life might actually be exactly what your brain needs to keep running efficiently as possible, if you have a roommate who enjoys impromptu we’ve already discussed some of the upsides.
We’d be remissed to mention the potential downsides of living alone as well some of the silver linings of choosing to live with one or more roommates are fairly obvious, you can afford a larger space, you can split the bill on rent and utilities and assuming you actually like the people you’re living with friends are never hard to find.
By contrast living alone typically means an increase in personal financial responsibility and as fun as having time to yourself can be the solitude that comes from being alone and be a double-edged sword.
In an article for medical news today Tim Newman suggests that living alone can potentially increase the risk of conditions and illnesses which affect your mental health, other studies have also conducted research in an effort to investigate possible correlations between living alone and increased mental health risk.
In a study published by PLoS ONE for instance, researchers did indeed identify a link between living alone and common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.
The reason that people who live alone are at an increased risk for these kinds of conditions, be at least partially due to the inherent loneliness that comes from living by yourself and the effect of these CMDs doesn’t appear to discriminate.
In other words they can happen to anyone, some experts such as Marissa King even described our current social climate as being in the midst of what she calls a loneliness epidemic, as increased feelings of isolation affect one in five adults worldwide.
According to King not only can loneliness affect your mental health but your physical health as well.
King writes this loneliness has a substantial effect on people’s health and happiness higher systolic blood pressure body mass index and high density lipoprotein cholesterol have all been associated with loneliness.
Loneliness increases the likelihood of early death by 26%, an increase in risk roughly equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day or obesity for many people living alone and being alone are seen as important rights of passage marking the transition into adult life
We take pride in the ability to fend for ourselves and the peace and privacy that comes with having your own personal space brings a number of physical and mental health benefits, however it’s important to remember that we’re still social creatures and increased periods of loneliness can have a profound detrimental effect on our physical and mental health as well.
If you live alone or plan on taking the plunge in the near future, make sure that you balance your solo downtime with periods of socializing with friends and family.
While they say familiarity breeds contempt nobody wants to get stuck inside their own head for too long.
What did you think of this article? what are your thoughts on living alone versus living with roommates instead? let us know what you think?