5 Perks of Living Alone
You free yourself from a lot of tight shackles once you move out of a guardian's place
There are certain advantages to living with your parents. They pay all the bills, you don’t know where your food is coming from, and your clothes are magically clean every time you open your cupboard to change. You don’t have to worry about security, because they most probably live in an upmarket area or a gated community that comes with its own security services. But be that as it may, nothing can compare to the joy and satisfaction of returning home from work to an empty house, with no one to eat your brains out the moment you do.
You may have strong feelings for your parents, relatives, or the guardians you’re living with. But once they come in the way of your daily responsibilities, affecting your inner peace and sanity, something that you desperately need to perform well at the office, you know it’s time to move out. It’s either them or your career.
Earning a living is hard. And it is a well known fact that many of us cannot juggle family life and a corporate career at the same time. Quite unfortunately, some people realize this only after getting married, or continue living with their parents even after being employed in a high stakes role, when things start falling apart. But some of us already know this beforehand. That having an empty house with no one to eat your brains out the moment you arrive home from work is a non-negotiable. And that silence and solitude is a prerequisite to our long term emotional and mental health and well-being.
But having an empty house where you can only hear the echoes of your own thoughts and indulge in your own creative process without any external influence isn’t the only advantage of living alone.
Here are a few more:
I don’t have to care how the house looks
I don’t have to care whether I did the dishes, folded my blanket, or picked all my clothes from last week off the ground. Unless I’m having someone over, these are the least of my concerns, and I can wholeheartedly focus on my work for the entirety of the day. No one yelling across the hall or screaming down my neck to pick my clothes off the ground and put them back into the cupboard.
I don’t have to pretend that it’s a spotlessly clean, spic and span place ready to welcome the Queen of England at a moment's notice. Since I barely have any guests over, I don’t have to use up excess mental resources stressing about the cleanliness of the place. There’s literally spots in my living room where the last creature to walk on the floor was my neighbour’s cat. 😄
And there you have another benefit. My neighbour works from the office most of the time. So in the evenings when I’m done with all my work, I sometimes let her cat in to roam the house and watch her funny antics. Now imagine me trying to pull off such stuff at my parent’s place. They wouldn’t even allow me to keep a dog!
“the number of people living alone globally is skyrocketing, rising from about 153 million in 1996 to 277 million in 2011 — an increase of around 80% in 15 years. In the UK, 34% of households have one person living in them and in the US it’s 27%.”
I don’t have to care how I look in the house
Just like not having to care how the house looks, similarly, I don’t have to care how I look in the house.
I can walk around topless, bottom less, or completely naked without a care in the world, and no one to judge me for my choice of comfort or bodily expression. Unless you live in Singapore, this is one of the biggest perks of living alone, especially in the summer when you just want to rip all those sweaty sticky clothes off your body the moment you get home from work, and feel the breeze of the ceiling fan caress your entire naked exterior.
Like this article from Huffpost says:
“unlimited privacy means clothing is optional. No pants are the best pants.”
I could also choose to not do my hair, trim my beard, wash my face, or make myself look presentable for someone else. I can happily continue to wear clothes with food or coffee stains on them, or even wear hippie clothes. When I used to live at my parents’, they would always berate me for looking shabby in the morning, and would constantly nag me to go change my clothes (This is extremely demoralizing to hear first thing every morning). Now, I can repeat the same clothes every week without worrying about what anyone would think or say.
And who wouldn’t want to be freed of such trivial concerns, especially in this productivity-obsessed world?
And however disgusting it sounds, I no longer have to resort to silent farts, sneeze discreetly, or run into a bathroom to blow my nose under a tap. 😜 I can indulge in all these completely natural human behaviours wholeheartedly without the threat of being admonished or shamed for it.
No need to talk to friends on the phone in hushed tones, either. And no more lowering the volume on the TV.
I don’t have to worry about guests suddenly arriving into the house, and being caught unawares in my pyjamas. When I was at my parent’s place, they would have guests over frequently. Sometimes, they would give me a heads-up before the guests could arrive, and sometimes not. Now I don’t have to dress myself before getting out of my bedroom expecting someone to be there and plastering on a fake smile in my sleep-deprived state to greet them just out of courtesy.
My mind doesn’t have to constantly be tethered to my watch
I can hang out in the city for as late as I want without being bothered about reporting to anyone. And where I live, safety is usually a matter of concern only when one is alone outside late at night. So I’m pretty much free to roam around and do whatever I want without constantly fretting about the movement of two hands on a timing device. For most of y'all who’ve lived alone or are currently living by themselves, you must be well aware that this point isn’t about staying out late or partying beyond midnight. It’s about the mental bandwidth that’s freed up in your head by not having to constantly check the time, or answer a call from someone every half hour you’re not at home.
I could be attending a business meeting with my colleagues for all you know. Or I could be having a one-on-one session with my mentor. Late nights are not just about partying or “driving around town wasting your life”.
I can have friends over whenever I want
Since I now have a place of my own, I can have friends over whenever I want to chill, relax, and socialize. (Or even work on a side gig for all you know!) I can party or have a board game night right in the comfort of my own home, without worrying about dressing up to go outside. If I’m too tired on a particular weekend or had a hectic week at work, I have the option of calling friends over to chill and relax over a couple of movies and boardgames, instead of making the effort to go out, which was the only option I had at my parents’.
This article from Solo Living elaborates a bit on this point:
“Living alone doesn’t mean always being alone and so it stands to reason that you will want to share your home with friends and loved ones but on your terms. Hand-picking guests and inviting people when you choose are all freedoms you can control at your own pace. Be sure, though, not to leave yourself with an open door policy (unless that’s what you want).”
I can leverage the house to engage my creative pursuits
I can turn the living room into an art studio. I can hang up a projector on the wall to conduct workshops related to my passions and hobbies. I can conduct Clubhouse meetings and Instagram live sessions. Even if I’m attending a workshop or discussion online, I can openly speak my mind without constantly worrying what my parents or guardian might think of me. I can even start my own YouTube channel and like so many YouTubers out there, talk to my viewers while freely walking all around the house, without being restricted to my room or workstation.
I can be a pet sitter or even run a daycare on the weekends to earn on the side. Likewise, I can happily get lost in a novel all day, without the clanging of pots and pans in the background.
And being the fitness enthusiast that I am, I can even install a smart indoor bike trainer and go racing with my cycling buddies on Zwift over the weekends or whenever it’s pouring outside.
Verily, the benefits of an empty house don’t have to be only physical in nature. Even the silence could be leveraged to read, write, meditate, exercise, practice yoga, or just act a den of peace and quiet to come and crash in after a weekend spent tirelessly hiking in the woods.
The possibilities are endless, really!
After noticing how much of the world opens up to me once I started living alone, I finally understood why Americans and people of so many other cultures leave their homes at 18 to be all on their own, and also why there has been a spectacular rise in solo living over the past decade.
After all, one cannot be bossed over at home and at work, can they? There should be at least some aspects of our lives that are completely in our control, which we can proudly claim to be the only stakeholders of at the end of the day.
How have you leveraged your empty house to your benefit? Do let me know in the comments bar to the side.