More and more lately I see and hear about people who are choosing to live on their own. Some of these people have never been in a long-term
relationship (or married). They have elected to live on their own – and not engage in a romantic relationship, or even the kind of friendship that could evolve into a living situation. They often have a significant person in their life and choose not to live together. While others have ‘friends with benefits’ to satisfy their sexual desires. There are many options.
Living on your own can be a time of immense self-discovery, self-love, and positive independence. Conversely, living with a significant other can be a time of deep connection, learning, and growing while becoming closer to someone you care about. Imago relationship theory is based on the premise that we grow best by being in a relationship. That only in a relationship with a significant other can we heal any childhood wounds that we may have and grow fully.
There are positives in both situations, and only you can determine what living situation is healthiest for you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Exploring the positive and negative elements of living alone will help you decide what is best for you.
Living alone has some significantly positive psychological benefits.
- It encourages independence and self-sufficiency.
- It promotes interior solitude.
- It helps to reduce your feelings of loneliness by building up your capacity to be alone.
- Solitude can help to restore and reenergize you.
- There is less chance for uncomfortable conflict when you can keep your home anyway you like.
While living alone can be peaceful (and you’ll never argue over what you’re having for dinner, or what music you listen to), it has a few negative aspects to consider.
- You may miss the companionship of sharing a space with another
- When you are in a relationship, you can either be in the relationship
or you can be right – you cannot be both. Living alone allows you to
be – and always stay – “right.” There is nobody in your space to
challenge your beliefs.
- The kind of sharing, that comes from living with and building
relationships with people we care about is something that comes with
practice. Living with a significant other can help us build these
There comes a time in all our lives when living on our own is appealing, usually when we graduate high school. It may even be necessary for a time while we grow to be comfortable on our own, and in our own skin. It can be helpful in developing a sense of independence, or it can help us find joy in simply being.
On the other hand: conflict and compromise often are what help us stretch and grow into the very best version of ourselves. The truth is, there is no right answer as to whether you want to live with a roommate or partner, or on your own. Both situations come with drawbacks, but both present you with opportunities to grow and learn more about who you are as an individual.
So, what do you do? My suggestion: embrace where you are in life. Listen to your own heart, and confidently go in the direction that will provide you with what you need right now. You deserve to be joyful and to find a deeper, truer version of you – find a living situation that allows you space to do just that.