About living on your own

posted by Jeff | Monday, July 16, 2007, 12:03 PM | comments: 6

Kara's post got me to thinking about living on your own. I remember when Stephanie moved into her own apartment after the separation that it was the first time she lived alone, and she loved it. I didn't think much of it at the time, but realize now that I really dig it too. Carrie and I have had a lot of conversations about it too, sharing divorce stories. The truth is, there's something very powerful about the arrangement.

Most everyone that I know has rushed into living with someone. I can't say that's universally a bad decision, but in terms of relationships, I feel like I really fucked up not getting the chance first. Being able to spread your wings, establish your own domain and have time to yourself can start out being pretty scary when you first get the chance, but the payoff in the long run is enormous.

Why didn't someone tell me this shit when I was 20?

Granted, it's a lot more fun when you can pluck a sexy-ugly couch out of the furniture store, or tie the deck together with an outdoor rug. But even just knowing that you're the only one who gets the toilet dirty is a good feeling (though for the record, I will probably always put the seat down).


Carrie, July 16, 2007, 4:23 PM #

And another thing I'd like to offer on this topic... or related to this topic... or something... is that there really is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Sometimes we make the two synonymous with each other.

I lived with someone for years and was incredibly lonely. When you are not really connecting with someone it makes no difference if they are there or not. Now that I am living alone I am quite fulfilled with time spent with friends and family and such. There are even times now that I have to look for time to decompress by myself and I covet that time!

It's all very interesting.

Jeff, July 16, 2007, 5:16 PM #

That's a distinction that I guess I've never considered, but it is very real. I'm not always lonely when I'm alone, but I'm also not always not lonely when I'm not alone. Fascinating! :)

CPLady, July 16, 2007, 6:40 PM #

that there really is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Sometimes we make the two synonymous with each other.

That's something a lot of people don't pick up on right away.

I bought my own house at age 20, but made the mistake of getting married a couple months later (God forbid I live in sin!). I was never so lonely as when I was living with my first husband. By the time I was actually living alone, I was thrilled at having complete control of my own life and schedule.

Why didn't someone tell me this shit when I was 20?

Would you have listened if someone HAD told you?

I've always maintained you can't be happy living with someone else until you can be happy living with yourself first.

Maybe I'll post something I wrote a few years ago that touches on some of this.

Catherine, July 16, 2007, 9:27 PM #

I lived alone for a few short months during grad school. It was absolute bliss. I lived in the ghetto in east cleveland, in a third floor hovel above some crack dealers and a woman who stole my mail. It was great. I could walk to the bus, and to Coventry. I could even walk to the gym. And like Jeff said, the only dishes in the sink were mine, the only messes were mine, and I could walk around naked if I wanted (I still have trouble with this one even though I have roommates). After the initial shock of being alone, it is incredibly freeing. I loved having my own space and I look forward to having the financial freedom to do it again soon.

Tekno, July 16, 2007, 10:22 PM #

I love living alone (I wish I did right now, I miss it). I think people get into relationships and lose their 'young adult individuality' as I like to call it far too soon before either marrying or shacking up.

Katie, July 26, 2007, 10:15 PM #

I'm 22, and I have never lived alone before. I was married at 16, and even after that relationship ended at 20, I lived with my parents, and then got into another relationship, in which we lived together for over 1 and 1/2 years and had a daughter. He and I just seperated, and I am living with my parents again, but I am moving out... for sure... in a month or so. I have never ever lived all by myself... so I am very nervous. I hope that it's as great as every one says. I'm not looking forward to the parties and normal, 22 year old things... I am looking forward to not having to be responsible for anyone but me (and my daughter, of course). I think it's worse to live with someone who just makes your spirit feel small, then to live alone and not have that repression on your self. I'm looking forward to the peace (relatively, anyway).

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