The Realities Of Living Alone For The First Time In A Long Time

March 15, 2017  |  
1 of 21 view of a woman waking up in her bedroom

Even if the person was totally wrong for you, and even if getting out of the relationship was the best thing you ever did for yourself, if you leave somebody with whom you lived for years (or decades!) you lose more than a romantic partner; you lose a roommate. Your friends are probably checking in on you to see how your broken heart is coming along, but nobody remembers to ask how your very empty apartment feels. Admit it; you’ve even taken some comfort remembering other roommates who you didn’t like much, just because you knew they were there if somebody tried to break in, or if you choked on your breakfast. Losing your live-in partner can be weird in more ways than one. Here are the realities of living alone for the first time in a long time.


There is no rush to get home

You stay for one more drink at the work happy hour; you hang out to watch the short film after your friend’s short film at the festival. You know that nobody is at home waiting for you.

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You might wish there was a rush to get home

This change is freeing but can also feel as if the rug has been pulled out from under you. Having someone waiting at home gave you some sense of structure, now the night seems like some bottomless abyss.


It can be scary

You may absolutely adore having the place all to yourself until you hear a thump in the night. Then you’ll realize that bumps in the night can be scary when there is nobody there to tell you it’s nothing.

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You may not be good at being alone

When you lived with your partner cleaning the apartment on a Saturday was social. Now you are alone unless you make an effort not to be, and you realize that being alone causes you some anxiety.

No Love On Tinder


You’re not good at socializing

You may also realize that calling someone and comparing schedules feels like hell; you’re not good at planning, and really, your friendships have only survived because other people made an effort.


You’re a slob

There is a good chance that 50 percent of any level of cleanliness you used to have was because you didn’t want to piss off your partner. It’s amazing how bathroom trashcans can just overflow when there is nobody to stay clean for.

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Bottles of wine are hard to get through

Oh, right; you two used to split a bottle of wine. Now you have a glass one night, a glass or two the next, and the bottle spoils before you can finish it.

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It takes a while to do laundry

You cannot justify doing laundry for nearly a month because you just don’t create enough of it on your own. Oh, and there is nobody else around to help you transfer clothes from the washing machine to the dryer while you run out to do an errand.


You have no idea what you want to watch

You’ve had to choose something to watch with somebody else for years. You’ve grown to like some genre because it was the only one the two of you could agree on but left to watch whatever you’d like, you’re not quite sure what that is.

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If you were to die…

You wonder if anybody would find you for weeks if you were to die. You end up texting the one neighbor you’re friends with, asking that she knock on your door if she hasn’t seen you outside for a few days.

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You eat weird things

You used to attempt to assemble a meal that made some sense because you were assembling it for two. Now you eat frozen dumplings, tomato soup and a can of tuna on a pumpkin bagel.


You miss the verbal rewards

There is nobody around to tell you what a nice job you’ve done keeping the place clean, or what a nice lunch you made, or what lovely cutlery you picked out. And to be honest, you miss the affirmations.

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Pets really do make good companions

You never realized before that your pet really does feel like an extra person in the room. But you realize it now because you are so grateful they are there.

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You’re kind of gross

You’ll leave a used tampon on the top of the trash can for the world to see for weeks unless you have a guest over. Oh, and you’ll leave dirty underwear hanging on doorknobs.

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Binge eating is too easy

Perhaps the only reason you used to stop eating at a certain time was that the other person stopped eating, or because you had some agreement that you’d do something at a certain time. Now you could just eat and eat…

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You can pleasure yourself whenever

You’ll rediscover the joys of masturbation. And rediscover them, and rediscover them…and dive deep into the exotic toys portion of Amazon. Your friends will wonder where you went.


You work faster than you thought

If you work from home or even complete some tasks at home on your computer, you realize that you work quicker than you thought! Your partner was just always distracting you.


You have to be bossier with contractors

Nobody wants to admit it, but sometimes contractors (like the people redoing your bathroom) try to get women living alone to pay more, thinking she won’t haggle with them. Now you see that, and you have to deal with it.

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Some people think it’s really cool

Some people will be thoroughly impressed when they find out that you live by yourself. They see you as independent, strong and stable.

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Some people think it’s sad

Some people will offer to “Come over any time you’d like…” because they assume you’re sad, lonely, and incapable of finding somebody to live with you.

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