{the lessons} On Living Alone

by Rachel on February 27, 2012

I read an article in the New York Times yesterday called One is the Quirkiest Number: The Freedom, and Perils, of Living Alone. Basically, the article talks about just that — the benefits and disadvantages of living by oneself.

The article talks about how “the solo dweller is free to indulge his or her odder habits — what is sometimes referred to as Secret Single Behavior Feel like standing naked in your kitchen at 2 a.m., eating peanut butter from the jar? Who’s to know?” The author interviewed a bunch of people who live alone, who all support this idea — that living alone allows you to be you, as weird as you might be. It’s when you are free to do all the things you can’t do in public or with a roommate. And, the article seems to say, it’s the only time you can do those things. As soon as you get a roommate or move in with your partner, fun’s over!

I couldn’t disagree more.

I’ve lived alone on a few different occasions since graduating from high school and from these experiences, I’ve learned who I truly am. I actually see living alone as the perfect starting point for owning everything you do. Because when you live alone, you never have to compromise.

I learned this the summer I lived alone while I interned in New York. I had just finished my junior year at Michigan State, my first year living in the sorority house. And living with 50 women in a house belonging to Sigma Kappa Corporation (which is made up of a lot of older women who have a lot of rules) was pretty much a daily exercise in compromise. Now, compromise isn’t bad, of course. It’s just that it’s really hard to figure out what you want, believe, and care about if you are compromising all the time. After nine months of thinking of what “we” should do — “we” being my roommates and me, my friends and me, the chapter and me, etc. — I just wanted to figure out what I actually wanted to do.

And to figure that out, I had to be alone.

That summer New York was incredible because I really didn’t have any friends and so I had no choice but to do what I wanted to do. I didn’t have anyone to ask for advice so I just started trusting my gut and learning what works for me and what doesn’t. After just three months, I had so much confidence in who I was and what was best for me.

Here are some things I learned about myself.

  • I never want to go out on Friday night, unless “going out” means a trip to Target. Ultimately, I want to come home from on Friday nights and sit around reading blogs, magazines, and watching women’s programming on TLC.
  • Beyond a little “What Not to Wear” and “Say Yes to the Dress,” I want to not watch very much TV. Even though I like these shows, I could totally do without having a TV at all.
  • I want to get takeout for dinner at least once a week, usually sushi or Thai food.
  • I want to go to bed early and get up early.
  • I want to spend my evenings writing and talking to my friends either on G-chat or on the phone.
  • I want to make my bed every day.
  • I want to not do dishes every day.
  • I hate cleaning my bathroom and don’t do it very often.
  • I want spend Saturdays shopping and running errands and I want to buy what I want, not what my friends tell me I want. I also want to not buy what I don’t want rather than not buy what my friends tell me I don’t want. Ultimately, I want to spend my money how I see fit.

Aside from those things, I also learned a lot about the relationships I had at the time. I figured out who was toxic in my life and who had my best interest at heart. I learned which of my goals were really my goals and which goals were based on other people’s expectations. I figured out what my priorities were. I figured out who I was.

But the article says, “What emerges over time, for those who live alone, is an at-home self that is markedly different — in ways big and small — from the self they present to the world.”

And that? Is where I’m calling bullshit. How are the things we do when we’re alone somehow  not representative of who we really are? Aren’t the things we do alone showing us exactly who we really are? I’ve always thought so, and that’s why I’ve always thought living alone is so valuable.

But the article keeps driving the point home that you have to change who you are when you go back to living with people: “For people who are comfortable and even good at living alone, there is often another concern: a fear that the concrete has set, so to speak, on their domestic habits and that it will be difficult to go back to living with someone else.”

Well, yeah, it’s hard to go back to living with other people. But when I went back to living in the sorority house or when I moved in with Eric, it wasn’t hard because I had to hide my weird self away all of a sudden; it was hard because it wasn’t about me anymore. I had to compromise. And yeah, compromise is a pain in the ass. But I’m OK with compromising after I’ve had a few months or even a year or two to figure out what is important to me. I can let go of the little stuff because I know I’ll continue to say “sorry I’m not sorry” when it matters.

Chill Friday nights? Are something I need to have to recharge my battery and I won’t change that, no matter who I live with (or don’t live with). But washing dishes? Well, I can do that for the sake of getting along. That said, the dishwashing me isn’t some front I’m putting up. None of my roommates thought I was some fastidious dishwasher because I’ll happily admit, “Look, I’m going to do it because it matters to you but, I, at the core, hate doing dishes right away and prefer to just let them soak in the sink for a day or two.”

So I don’t believe in “secret single behavior” — to me, it’s just behavior and it isn’t anything to be secretive about. It’s what makes us happy. Calling it “secret single behavior” implies that it’s something to be ashamed of when other people are around. But even if it is quirky or weird, it’s still who I am. Even if it’s something small, like making my bed, I have to accept it as part of who I am that I’m proud of so that I’ll be able to accept the big things too. But if I tell myself that I can only do these things when I’m alone, I’m ultimately telling myself that there’s something wrong with me and wrong with my needs. And that? Makes getting what I want out of life damn near impossible.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meghan February 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

Love this! I couldn’t agree more. The first time I lived on my own was in a new city where I didn’t know anyone. I had no choice but to do what I wanted. It made me realize what my priorities are. I don’t want to go out every weekend, I don’t want to stay up late. Is rather go to bed early, wake up go to the farmers market or take the dog for a walk. Living by myself didn’t bring out secret single habits, it brought out my true self. I live with my boyfriend now and there are certainly compromises but I would never change my true self to live with someone else.

Reply

2 Rachel February 27, 2012 at 10:32 am

“Living by myself didn’t bring out secret single habits, it brought out my true self.” THIS.

Reply

3 Jess February 27, 2012 at 11:44 am

As someone who has often been told she’s difficult to live with, I completely agree. Living by myself after college allowed me to determine what I prioritize and how I feel about my after-work time. Now I’ve been happily and I think successfully living with my boyfriend for the past year, and I’ve had to adjust in some ways (for example, we have a TV that we watch frequently, whereas in the past I never watched TV and didn’t own one)—but I think for the better. Learning to determine who you are by living alone helps you suss out what could have been the influences of bad roommates or weird experiences.

This kind of reminds me of those quips that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else, actually.

Reply

4 Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie February 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

Great post, I am with you 100%. I’ve lived alone most of my adult life, by choice, with two just two years of living with my brother in my early twenties. Being able to make choices based on your personal wants, needs and desires really does show you who you are and whatin SF now, and its the perfect situation because you can slowly get used to each other’s habits & learn what works & doesn’t work, while still focusing on your own wants & needs the majority of the time – training wheels so you don’t lose yourself!

Reply

5 MelissaNibbles February 27, 2012 at 10:32 am

I think it’s a personal thing. I do some weird-ass sh*t in my apartment that I would definitely have to stop doing if I lived with someone else.

Reply

6 D February 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

I agree!

Come on, I think you must know that making your bed and not wanting to do dishes are not the “secret single habits” that this article was hinting at. Those are just habits. We’re talking really weird shit that you just would never do in front of your significant other, or any human being.

Reply

7 Rachel February 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I guess I didn’t think anything in the article was that weird either! Singing in the shower, drinking in the shower, grazing on nuts and seeds all day or eating lots of French bread pizza, staying up until 5 AM…none of those things struck me as truly weird! Even in the Sex and the City episode about this…none of the behaviors were so weird to me. I guess while I can see how “weirder” behavior that you wouldn’t want any human being to see exists, I don’t think the article mentioned anything weirder than the things I listed.

Thoughts??

Reply

8 Mel February 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I’m kinda with D and Nibbles on this. When I first read the article, I actually started to think it was sad how anti-social and regressed people were acting…until I realized I do the same thing when I have days to myself! I agree, the quirks weren’t so weird, really, but I think they were trying to draw attention to the adopted attitude (“fuck it, Im alone and civility is over-rated”) mindset behind them.

I think it could be that you are a self-motivating, active person who probably likes to feel her strongest regardless of who is or isn’t around. (?) But I’ve had many days (in a row?) to myself where I literally don’t shower, leave the house, act productive, cook or say a word. Much like “The Day of Chad,” these aren’t “the real me” habits or things I want to own – they just seem to happen because there’s no one around to judge or hold me accountable. (For the record, I have also had these days when I wasn’t alone – I just feel I’m more prone to wallow when theres no action going on around me.) I do dig the lesson you put out there about being yourself, I think I just relate to some of the more superficial habits.

Reply

9 Elle @ Mistakes & Milkshakes February 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm

YES. This is exactly what I was trying to get at. It’s kind of like when you feel kinda sad about something and instead of snapping yourself out of it, you watch Grey’s Anatomy and listen to sad music and look up your exes on Facebook. Sometimes living alone is the whole-life-version of that. Living alone sort of encourages (or at least allows) me to be a worse version of myself.

Reply

10 MelissaNibbles February 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Gotta disagree with you guys. I’ve had many roommates and lived with boyfriends. I only really feel myself when I live alone. I feel like I have to put on an act 24/7 when living with someone else. I’m not going to say here the weird stuff I do alone, but it’s a lot more exciting than looking up ex’s on Facebook. I tend to do that at work where I’m going to be paid for goofing off on the internet.

Reply

11 D February 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Hah, I agree with Melissa again. I was trying to come up with examples of weird shit that isn’t “I love to make my bed!” and then realized there’s a reason I keep that shit on lockdown. I watch Grey’s Anatomy, don’t shower, cry over boyfriends, leave dishes piled up, etc and those are the habits I am 100% okay with sharing publicly because they really are not weird. Like Melissa said, definitely not going to be listing the ACTUAL weird habits here. And for those of you who think your weirdest habit is not showering or being lazy or something…you’re kidding yourself.

Reply

12 Mel February 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Touche, @D & Nibbs. I see where you are coming from. I love how this article sparked all of us in different ways.

Reply

13 Rachel February 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm

@Melissa “I only really feel myself when I live alone.” That was sort of the point I was trying to make about the article — that I feel that who you are when you live alone is WHO YOU ARE. Personally, I don’t feel like I’m putting on an act when I’m around people, but I feel like I am most myself when I’m alone. I really disliked how the article made it seem like the opposite, that who you are when you are alone is either 1. not who you really are or 2. someone to be ashamed of.

@D Maybe then the problem I have with the article is that they don’t list anything that deep…to me, it’s all very superficial. While I don’t feel like I have some deep “freak flag” I’m not admitting to here, I also feel like I would have taken the article a lot more seriously if the people they interviewed did. Then it would have made more sense to me. That said, I still feel like your freak flag is who you are, you know?

Reply

14 Susie February 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

I really like this post. I’m living alone for the first time in several years, and post-breakup after living with my (now ex) boyfriend for two years and after moving to a new city with him. Since getting settled into my new place I’ve realized I don’t have as strong of a sense of self and still need to figure out who I am – I have broad ideas for the future but I know I need to get my basic shit together first. I’m definitely going to make mental (or real) notes like your list of things that I learn about myself along the way.

Reply

15 Natalie February 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

“…wasn’t hard because I had to hide my weird self away all of a sudden; it was hard because it wasn’t about me anymore”

Exactly! Every time I live with someone, I find that I need to alter my behavior to be a “good roommate.” I still let my Freak Flag fly at all times…

Reply

16 [SMASH] February 27, 2012 at 10:53 am

I think my home life, both while living alone and living with roommates and/or my boyfriend, show that I’m exactly who I am at home and in the outside world. I’m easy-going. I’m a homebody. I like routine. I’m mostly put together but can get a bit sloppy at times.

Reply

17 Dallas February 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

This. This exactly.

I lived with someone last year who had very exacting standards when it came to keeping house. Everything should always be spotless, nary a dish in the sink, nary a stray book in the common areas, etc. As a result, my bedroom always looked like a hurricane hit it!

Since living on my own, I’ve discovered I don’t actually loathe housework. I just want to be able to do it in a few days, not immediately. So, the dishes sit in the sink for a couple of days, the laundry piles up a bit, but then I come through and take care of it. The result this time is that my apartment is always about 10-15 minutes away from being company ready. It works way better for me.

Also, not wearing pants. I had to wear pants when I had roommates.

Reply

18 Elle @ Mistakes & Milkshakes February 27, 2012 at 11:37 am

Rachel, I enjoy you IMMENSELY, but in this case I think maybe you feel that way because you … just aren’t that weird. Wanting to spend Friday night in the house, and not liking to do dishes are not exactly things I’d be ashamed to let a roommate or significant other see. :)

I lived alone for quite a while, and on the one hand, I loved it — being able to dance around to the Smiths in your underwear at 7am is like a little gift from the universe — but on the other hand, it also allowed a lot of my weirdness and anxieties to start getting out of control.

I sort of feel like the guy in the article who said if he lived alone he’d weigh 300 lbs and be an out-of-work alcoholic. As much as I believe your philosophy of being who you are and being “sorry I’m not sorry”, I do think there are always going to be parts of us that we don’t like and don’t want to foster. For many people, depending on what those things are, living alone can bring those out. Living with someone, for me, is a way to keep my life in check — not that I’m necessarily being someone I’m not, just that my fiance is kind of a grounding presence in the house, and keeps me from being the person I DON’T want to be.

And I still get to dance around in my underwear. Not giving that up any time soon. :)

Reply

19 Julie February 27, 2012 at 11:47 am

This is exactly what I was coming here to comment! I really think that you feel so strongly in this direction because, well, you’re just not doing anything super weird. And if you’re NOT doing anything super weird, then GREAT! I think you’re totally dead-on with your observations. But, as a closet weirdo who’s been married for about 3 years, I’ll totally own the fact that on the Tuesday nights that my husband is playing basketball, there is a whole lot of awful singing and dancing in underwear happening up in here. And that naked peanut butter eating? Not exactly foreign to my secret single self.

Reply

20 Rachel February 27, 2012 at 11:57 am

@Julie — Is the awful singing and dancing in your underwear something your husband doesn’t know about though? I mean, I understand that some things are just sort of private because no one WANTS to see that, but my question is, is it something you’re too ashamed to have him even know about? Not disagreeing, just trying to understand more!

Reply

21 Julie February 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Haha, you’re right, I should have clarified. He definitely knows. And there is a LOT of dancing that happens when he’s here, believe me. It’s more… belting it out terribly with a mouthful of cheese stick. He and I are absolutely best friends, but there are just some things (and, let’s be real: singing and dancing in my underwear are sooooo just scratching the surface of this) that you need no one around to witness.

Reply

22 Mel February 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Funny how much I relate to this! I love being alone and can keep myself great company but living with others makes me a happier and more productive person in the most part.

Reply

23 Cat February 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I agree with Julie’s comment that your habits aren’t all that weird. I think that your overall point here is a good, sound one: no, there should be no shame in who you are and if you are hiding that from your sig. other, then yeah, you’re going to have problems that are bigger than leaving the dishes in the sink overnight. But, I think it’s hard to compare 3 months of living alone at the age of 20, to what many in the article are experiencing or many adults in general (and many commenters here). I lived alone for most of the my 20s (23 to 30) and it was mostly awesome, but not so awesome at times. There is something to be said for the idea that others keep you in check and without other people, some of us fall into disarray, though that is probably for people that are depression prone. I did find out a lot about myself while living alone (and do think most people should try it at least once), but there were some really dark periods that I doubt would have happened had I been living with someone. I live with my boyfriend now and besides trying to be neater (I’m a little slobby) I don’t think there are many things I wouldn’t do in front of him. But anything that is just for me…well, I just find time/privacy to do them comfortably, on my own terms and I think that’s healthy. We don’t need to do/know everything about our partners. Unfortunately, the only thing that comes to mind that I do is read my mail on the toilet when I get home. Weird? Not sure, but not something I’d talk about with him or anyone.

Reply

24 Rachel February 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Ah, I should clarify — I lived alone for a full year right after high school too. That was probably a lot more formative, but the other one, the summer in NYC, was a better example for the sake of this post because it was sandwiched between two years of living with a LOT of people.

Reply

25 Rachel February 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Also, I totally agree with this: “But anything that is just for me…well, I just find time/privacy to do them comfortably, on my own terms and I think that’s healthy. We don’t need to do/know everything about our partners.”

I wish the NYT article had said THAT and not “you MUST do these things in private and only in private because you should be ashamed of them!” Especially because the article listed things similar to what I listed, things we’ve now decided are firmly in “not weird” territory. It made me feel like it was telling people to be ashamed of really mundane things.

So I guess I wish the article had:

– Said ho you are in private is cool, even if you don’t care to share it with everyone you meet
– Put less emphasis on “you are two different selves” and more “your private self is private not because you are ashamed of that person but because it’s OK to have a private life”
– Actually listed some “weird” things

Reply

26 Melissa February 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I think you hit the nail on the head. I’ve lived alone for a long time, but I’m not doing anything secretive. I know that I’m obsessive about the way I load the dishwasher and other various things, but I OWN that. Yes, I have my single lady quirks, but I’m not hiding them. If I live with someone again, they’ll see all that because it’s just me being me. I mean, do they need to see me popping zits or something like that? No. But everyone has some stuff they do that’s totally private. I don’t think living along makes you weirder or secretive. Maybe for some people, but definitely not for me.

Reply

27 Sam February 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Yeah, I agree with the others on the you’re-not-that-weird thing ;) I’m thinking of when Harry moved in with Charlotte on SATC and liked to sit around the house naked…all the time. Sure, it might be something you’re comfortable doing in front of someone else, but are they comfortable with you doing it in front of them? When you’re interacting with someone, it goes both ways. Can girls living with SOs still dance around in their underwear to music blasting? Sure, but I’d argue that when you’re dancing around in your skivvies by yourself it’s a lot different then when you’re dancing around in your skivvies with an audience…at the very least it’s harder to do at 6:30am when your SO is still asleep :)

Reply

28 Amanda February 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Thank you! As a live-alone, single female, your descriptions fit me to a tee. Having an apartment to myself is one of the best things I could have done. In fact, living alone had nearly an opposite effect on me than the article describes; it’s forced me to go out to socialize rather than stay home watching movies and eating ice cream with roommates [not that there’s anything wrong with that!]. And as for the quirks, I love having the time to really get to know myself and I feel like knowing yourself will only help in relationships because then you can identify & communicate needs, problems, etc easier. Also, pants-off-dance-offs for one are the best and I don’t think I’ll ever have to worry about leaving the house without without a shirt [wtf?].

Reply

29 deva at deva by definition February 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I somewhat feel the same way you do – I’m not really that weird, and there isn’t much that I do when The Boy isn’t home that I don’t do when he is home, beyond occasionally fix tofu for dinner, or have breakfast for dinner. My only strange habit that I had when living alone was occasionally scarfing cereal at three am, or randomly deciding that I needed to go to Wal-Mart – at Midnight – for ice cream.

Reply

30 Ericka @ The Sweet Life February 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

My only “secret single behaviors” before I lived with my boyfriend were binge eating when I was depressed. Seriously. It’s sometimes hard because I just want a night to myself to watch whatever I want on TV guilt free (instead of knowing he is giving up his show for mine) and sometimes I wish I still had the “freedom” to go on a food free for all but actually having another person there helps me keep unhealthy behaviors in check. Maybe that’s totally unhealthy or bad to admit but it’s true. I like your point about living with someone being hard because it’s not about you anymore — so true. This is part of what people meant all my life telling me being married is “hard work.” I’m not married yet but…ya know what I mean!

Reply

31 nikkiana February 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I think the thing that really bothered me about that Times article was there was a subtle undercurrent of “it’s wrong to be able to indulge your quirky habits” that I really don’t agree with. In the time since I moved to NYC, I lived with my (now ex) husband, with roommates, and alone. All have been valuable experiences in my life. I learned when I lived with roommates that there were certain compromises that I totally resented… Like having to put on a bathrobe every time I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night or having to do the dishes right away or feeling like I had to socialize with them when all I really wanted to do was go up to my room and read blogs. When I moved into my current apartment alone, it was such a huge relief. I could reinstate all of those quirky habits I was holding in AND I wasn’t dealing with an unhappy husband anymore, so I really got to see how I wanted to live and identify the areas of keeping house that I really struggle with. I don’t imagine I’m going to want to live by myself forever, but I know I’d rather be living with a partner rather than a roommate.

Reply

32 Rachel February 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm

“I think the thing that really bothered me about that Times article was there was a subtle undercurrent of ‘it’s wrong to be able to indulge your quirky habits’ that I really don’t agree with.” YES!

Reply

33 nikkiana February 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm

It also prompted me to start blasting Oingo Boingo’s Nasty Habits in response.

Reply

34 deva at deva by definition February 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm

That. Is. Awesome. I act quirky often – my quirks are part of who I am.

Reply

35 Elizabeth February 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I so do not get why people love to go out on Friday nights! I am a chill Friday night girl as well. My husband knows this – 99% of the time if his friends are going out on Friday night he will invite me along, and unless I go literally right after work without stopping home first, I always bail.

But then it’s frustrating when I’m ready to go out on Saturday and everyone is still recovering from Friday!

Reply

36 Summer February 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I’m like this, too. If I go home first, it’s a pretty safe bet I’m not heading back out!

Reply

37 Summer February 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I’ve always said that living alone is one of life’s greatest luxuries. I’ve lived with roommates and boyfriends for about an equal amount of time that I’ve spent living alone, and I can honestly say that no matter how much I love the companionship of a guy when I’m in a happy relationship, I savor my “home alone” time so much.

I am fairly antisocial when it comes to being at home. One of my least-favorite things about roommates is the forced conversation and constant interaction. Sometimes I just want to come home and tell the world to fuck off until I have to go back to work the next morning. On those days, I’m not up for the “OMG HI HOW WAS YOUR DAY” conversational pounce from a roommate the second I walk in the door. It’s not even about getting to indulge in weird habits; for me, it’s simply about being left the hell alone. And household chores like cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc are a lot less annoying when you know all the mess is your own. I’m not a neat freak by any means, I’ll let dishes chill in the sink for a few days sometimes or I’ll overlook accumulating clutter, but I hate coming home to a filthy mess that I didn’t create.

It’s all a give-and-take, I suppose. Roommates I really will try to avoid forevermore if I can at all help it, but I’ll continue to live with significant others when the time is right. And at least I have the perks of owning my house, so if someone is really pissing me off I can always kick them out.

Reply

38 Rachel @ Healthy Chicks February 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I 100% agree with you Rachel! Whether I’m alone or living with college roomies/my sister/my best friend I am still my same ol’ quirky self. Maybe I’m not running around the kitchen naked while my best friend’s cooking dinner, but I’m me nonetheless.

I’m moving in with my boyfriend come September and absolutely can’t wait for the new, exciting times ahead. Compromise, late night dinners, take out, cooking, love. It’s all so exciting to me. And you & Eric make living together in a relationship seem super easy and fun.

Thanks for the great post Rachel!

Reply

39 Mary February 28, 2012 at 9:55 am

I’ve lived alone for about 2.5 years now, & I think a lot of my weirdest behaviors have developed more gradually rather than just appearing, so I would also suggest you might feel differently if you had lived alone longer than one summer (unless you’re just more normal than I am). Not to get too philosophical here, but since the majority of our behaviors have evolved/adapted in a way to benefit society as a whole, when you live alone for long enough a lot of that can go the window without you realizing it (kind of like in LOTF). I remember one of the comments on the nyt article talked about how you don’t just start walking around naked, but one day you might not put on pants bc they’re in the dryer, & a few weeks later you might be too cheap to turn on your AC so you walk around topless… & eventually it just becomes the norm. I definitely do weird sh*t today that I wasn’t doing even 1 year ago, & even though I’m not ashamed necessarily, I would never be able to continue if I had roommates or lived with a SO.

Reply

40 Dori February 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I really loved this, and I can relate. I absolutely loved living alone, and I realized I would love living alone when I had a roommate and would dread hearing her say “HI DORI! Did you have a good day at work?” when I walked into the apartment. I just wanted to go in my room and not talk. When she moved out and I was living alone, I relished it. I did my own thing and didn’t have to ever deal with anyone else unless I wanted. I am very much a loner, so this was ideal.

Now I am about to move in with my boyfriend. We already spend most of our time together, I actually hate being alone in my apartment knowing I could be hanging out with him in his. But he understands that I don’t want to talk about my day. I can tell him things like that without hurting his feelings, which I worried about with my roommate. I feel like I can do the exact same activities as when I am alone, but that I am actually a better person when I’m with him because I’m wasting less time annoying myself with the crap that exists on the internet. I’m doing more quality things now, like watching old episodes of 90210.

I am so glad I got to live alone and figure out why I am the way I am, because I can now adapt to no longer living alone, knowing what I want.

Reply

41 Rachel February 28, 2012 at 9:24 pm

So many things about this comment!

This: I just wanted to go in my room and not talk. When she moved out and I was living alone, I relished it. I did my own thing and didn’t have to ever deal with anyone else unless I wanted. I am very much a loner, so this was ideal.

This: I feel like I can do the exact same activities as when I am alone, but that I am actually a better person when I’m with him because I’m wasting less time annoying myself with the crap that exists on the internet.

This: I’m doing more quality things now, like watching old episodes of 90210.

THISSSSSSSS: I am so glad I got to live alone and figure out why I am the way I am, because I can now adapt to no longer living alone, knowing what I want.

Can’t wait to hear how living in sin goes for you!!

Reply

42 Amanda February 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I’m confused by your entire argument here. The point that you are supposedly refuting,

“What emerges over time, for those who live alone, is an at-home self that is markedly different — in ways big and small — from the self they present to the world.”

Is saying that your at-home self is DIFFERENT from your OUTSIDE HOME self, not that it’s “not who you really are”. Actually, it seems like it’s saying exactly what you are saying- that you are free to be your true self at home and you have to compromise when you’re out (work, for example) or with roommates.

I’m just totally confused. It seems that your argument is not really even related to the content of the article.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: