Love & Sex

The Ten Best Effects of Living Alone

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You have never known how very casual nudity can be.

by Rachel Krantz

There's been a lot of buzz lately about people choosing to live alone. Apparently, one in four Americans does it, not to mention nearly one in two New Yorkers. Being alone isn't just for cat-ladies-found-in-their-apartments-with-decomposing-bodies anymore! But apparently, it will still make you miserable. A new study out this week says people who live alone are eighty-percent more likely to be depressed. This is confusing, since just last month The New York Times told us living alone would probably make us happier, quirkier people. Who do we believe?

Well, it just so happens that as this topic was trending, I shacked up with myself for the first time. I mean, after twenty-four years, things were getting pretty serious, and I wanted to take this relationship to the next level. 

What I've noticed about living alone is clearly the last word on the issue. So I'm here to tell you what I've come to believe are the ten best effects of living alone. These findings will be published next month in the reputable Journal of Anecdotal Evidence.

1. You will start singing to yourself. A lot. 

Actual songs? No, probably not. This is what's known as the classic narrative artform Sing-Splainin'. See the classic swing hit "I'm Sautéing Onions, Sizzle Sizzle," or the more somber ballad "Laundry Time, Fancy Machine Takes Cards Not Dimes."

2. You will cook more.

Did you catch that part where you're sautéing onions? Like a Real Grown-Up might, in their Real Grown-Up Apartment? Yup, living alone, you will probably find you cook more. Because finally, no smart-ass gourmet roommates are watching and judging your amateur chopping skills. Also, they're not there to cook you dinner.

3. You will spend a lot more time naked. 

Because really, why bother? Sleeping naked leads to refrigerator-snacking naked, checking email naked… and it's a liberated slippery slope from there.

4. You will very likely masturbate more.

This may have to do with the fact that you're naked all the time. It could also be because there aren't any roommates to hear your loud-ass vibrator, or to wonder why you're taking so long in the shower. 

5. You will find you have more time and space to be creative. 

Without those weed-smoking, guitar-playing, TV-watching roommates to distract you, you have to make your own fun. While this will usually mean watching TV alone, occasionally it will mean more motivation to write, paint, think, or whatever it is we creative types do.

6. You will laugh out loud all the time. 

Sometimes it won't even be that funny, and usually, the joke will be in your head. But hey, it's amazing how happy you can be when no one's watching. 

7. You will actually be less of a slob.

When you know it's all on you to keep your space clean, you actually take ownership of it. Without that roommate who always takes the trash out (you know who you are), you might actually learn how to clean up after yourself. That said, it's nice to know you can leave the dishes in the sink overnight without worrying your roommates will take it as a passive-aggressive statement about that Scrabble game gone awry. 

8. You will feel broke.

Because, well, you are broke. That's what you get for paying all this money to live alone. But at least now you don't have to buy toilet paper as often. 

9. You will generally feel less lonely. 

Counterintuitively, having more alone time can lead to less loneliness. Knowing you have all the space you need means less of a need to shut the metaphorical door to your heart. (You will also find this realization adorable.) Living solo means you're more likely to schedule time with friends and go out, since you know you'll be alone otherwise. 

10. Yes, you will occasionally feel more lonely. 

You are living alone, after all. And you have been talking to yourself a lot lately. But what if that's actually a good thing? Loneliness gets a bad rap in our society, mostly because with all our electronic pacifiers, we're not used to spending time fully alone with ourselves. But as long as it's not leading to major depression, it's important to remember that being alone with yourself is important, even productive. If it makes you feel occasionally lonely, maybe that's not actually a bad thing. Maybe that's part of actually being human.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go make a smoothie while dancing naked to the music in my head.

Want to make someone a smoothie? Head for Nerve Dating.