The 5 Worst Misconceptions About Living Alone

published Oct 26, 2016
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(Image credit: Chloe Berk)

Living with roommates isn’t always easy, but for some reason, there are so many preconceived notions about living alone. Your living arrangement doesn’t necessarily reflect on who you are as a person—it’s more about doing some soul-searching and figuring out what works best for you.

All living arrangements come with pros and cons, but living alone is too often unfairly written off as something for shy, anti-social people—and it’s often considered too expensive, which may not always be the case depending on your habits and where you live. If you’ve ever lived alone (or currently do and enjoy it) you’ll know that these misconceptions aren’t always true:

If you live alone, you’re an introvert.

It seems like a common idea that people who live alone are shy and introverted. Sure, if you are an introvert, living alone might be a good option for you because you don’t have to go out of your comfort zone (though personally I find that living with others helps me get out of my own head when I’m feeling reclusive). But it doesn’t mean all people who live by themselves are shy. Sometimes living alone is actually the best option for people who are extroverted, because it gives them a safe space to socialize at will and recharge their batteries. Putting yourself out there isn’t easy, no matter how outgoing you tend to be.

You are (or you’ll become) a homebody.

Living alone means you have a quiet place to come home to and relax, and that can be a great thing, particularly after a long day at work. Some people who live alone might be more inclined to stay in all the time, but not everyone who chooses to live alone is a homebody. Having your own place gives you tons of options—you can stay home, you can go out and have fun and still come back to a safe space that’s all yours, or you can have guests over whenever you like. In many cases, living alone might actually force you to go out more often, because you’ll know you’re coming home to an empty home otherwise.

You’re difficult to get along with.

Just like living alone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not extroverted, it also doesn’t mean you’re difficult to get along with or hate being around people. If you enjoy living by yourself, it’s probably because you like having control over your own space and what you come home to. Living alone has a lot of perks that have nothing to do with your attitude towards other people: You never have to worry about carving out alone time (because even the most social, people-loving people need alone time sometimes), you can decide what level of cleanliness is important to you, you can decorate how you like, you can have pets (if you live somewhere that allows them) without worrying about roommates having allergies—the list goes on.

Living alone = loneliness.

Just because you come home to an empty apartment, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be lonely all the time. Sometimes the solitude can get a little daunting—especially in the winter when it’s cold and people are more likely to stay inside instead of going out, but not all alone time is bad time. Living on your own can also force you to learn how to be more independent and enjoy spending time by yourself, and maybe even inspire you to take up new hobbies. And again, living by yourself means you have options—it’s your place, so you can have guests over whenever you’d like without running it by anyone else, so you might never feel lonely at all.

It’s more expensive.

Sure, the rent might be more expensive when you live by yourself, but you also save money in many ways. You won’t be splitting utilities with others anymore, but you’re also only paying for what you use—if you normally don’t ever watch TV and you’re the only one in your household, you don’t need to pay for cable, for example. And if you’re usually good about saving electricity and hot water, you might find that you end up paying less than you did when you lived with roommates. Then, there’s food and supplies—you’re the only person using the toilet paper and eating the groceries, so you can wind up spending a lot less on the necessities when you live alone. If you’re especially frugal, it might add up to even out the extra rent you’re shelling out to live alone in the first place.

Do you live by yourself? What do people tend to get wrong about your living situation?