I used to be one of those girls who was perpetually in a relationship.
From 16 to 27 years old, I had never been alone – let alone lived alone. But when I was and did, I realized that it was essential to my growth as an individual and in fostering a sense of self-discovery.
The thing is, most females I know never really embraced the time they lived alone. Instead of relishing in the freedom and empowerment of the situation, they focused on the depressing parts – the lonely Sundays, the city’s sky-high rental prices (a legit concern), or the fear that they would get so set in their ways that they would become “an old spinster” for life.
Instead of celebrating this time of self-reflection and independence, they looked for ways to escape it in constant pursuit of that serious relationship and subsequent life of cohabitation.
But every female should take advantage of that often small window of time that we have to live alone in between the college roommate stage and a serious relationship.
Here are 12 reasons why every female should live on her own at least once in life.
1. You’ll appreciate the concept of personal space.
Few things reaffirm the human need for personal space and alone time more than living on your own and getting to experience it in all its couch-filled glory. Once you appreciate this concept, you’ll enjoy a healthier living situation (and so will the other person) when you do finally move in with someone.
2. You can do whatever you want, judgment-free.
When you live alone, nobody can judge you for binge-watching trash TV, ordering Swiss Chalet three times in one week, having nothing in your fridge but Champagne and limes, or leaving dishes in your sink for days.
3. You’ll become handier around the house.
When there isn’t a handy parent, roommate, or significant other around to hang a painting, put together a furniture delivery, or fix a leaky faucet, you learn how to do it yourself, building essential life skills in the process. And if you don’t, well, there’s an app for that.
4. The bathroom is all yours.
When you don’t have to share a bathroom, you’ll look better and probably start the workday on a less stressful note. Plus, you can pretty it up with as many candles as you want.
5. You discover what you like in the decorating department.
When the walls and rooms are all yours, you’re free to put your Pintrest finds to use and decorate them any way you like. Not only do you not have to look at someone’s HomeSense art that you can’t stand, you’ll gain a greater sense of your own design tastes when you have a blank canvass all yourself.
6. You can be more productive.
When you live all alone, you have more time (and quiet) to focus on things you need to get done – whether that means a side project or painting your room. You’re on nobody’s schedule but your own and don’t have to waste precious time making small talk with roommates.
7. You stick you your own lifestyle changes.
Along the lines of your productivity, living alone means you’ll be more likely to stick to that “healthy living” resolution you made a few months back. There’s nobody to tempt you with a pizza delivery or bag of gummy bears, or to pressure you to join them for a booze-filled night on the town (at least not in person).
8. You’re free to express your emotions in any way you want.
If you want to scream in a frustration at a broken computer, cry like a baby at a commercial, or vent to your BFF on the phone, you can take comfort in the fact that there’s nobody there to witness it (because nobody needs to see that).
9. You learn to budget.
Our cities aren’t cheap, and neither is living alone. When you live alone, you learn to budget everything from your rent to the costs of maintaining a home – groceries, toilet paper, cable bill, everything.
10. You can make the most of your “me” time.
“Me” time is the best time to be all alone. When you can read a magazine in a bubble bath with a face mask on and a glass of wine within arm’s reach totally uninterrupted for as long as you want, life is good.
11. When you finally move in with someone, it will be a relief.
As liberating and great as living on your own is, once you move in with a significant other the division of chores, bills, and overall responsibility of maintaining a home will come as a major relief (even if a new-found mortgage isn’t).
12. But you’ll miss these days.
Once you’re waking up with the same person every single day and sharing a home with them, you’ll look back and miss the time you had all to yourself in your tiny piece of personalized paradise.