On Living Alone

I think there is a misconception about living alone. There is a vast difference between being alone and being lonely. Miles and miles of vastness.

I was far more lonely in a dead marriage that had not yet been declared dead and properly buried. 

Being alone is having solitude. It’s sitting outside and just watching the birds. 

I find that I very much need that.

So here are some of the best reasons I like living alone:

1. Eating What You Want, When You Want

I have eaten Chinese tofu and vegetables for three nights. I will eat it again tonight. 

I like knowing there is a meal for me in the fridge. I don’t care if I’ve eaten it for a week. I simply heat it up and put it all together in a big bowl with white rice and sit in front of the TV and fork it in.

2. Taking Leisurely Baths 

I never liked sharing a bathroom. I can’t seem to properly relax when I can hear someone walking around outside the door either. 

I like to know I can soak as long as I want, as often as I want. And no one else will be waiting for the tub.

I like to lie in a bathtub in cool water and just chill, literally.

3. Decorate However I Want With No One To Object When I Change Things Up

Men hate it when you move furniture around. But I could no more stop moving furniture around than stop breathing. I am an inveterate furniture arranger. 

Always have been. Always will be. I would die of boredom if I had to look at the same arrangement for years.

4. Having Just Pets As House Mates

Abi and Charlie are everything to me. Right now I am glancing over at Charlie asleep on the couch. His tongue now hangs out the side of his mouth a lot because he’s down to two teeth. 

I find this very endearing. And I see him as more vulnerable. I can’t help but smile because I would conquer a bear to protect my babies.

Not everyone likes to sleep with dogs. I happen to think it’s grand.

5. Enjoying Coffee In A Peaceful & Meditative Place

Mornings are almost sacred to me. I love mornings. I love brewing coffee and sitting down and just taking in that rich aroma before my first sip. 

It is my favorite part of the day.

You just can’t beat a good cup of coffee.

6. I Can Happily Be Compulsively Compulsive

You can count on knowing what I’m doing by looking at the clock. The dogs know when I’m about to head to the bedroom for evening stretches. After which I will bathe, feed them and then myself.

I like knowing the towels will stay perfectly folded. I like to know the dishes are all washed and put up before I go to bed. 

I don’t like messes, clothes thrown in the floor, toothpaste caps left off, or toilet lids left up.

7. I Can Go To Bed When I Want To Or Read Far Into The Night

There’s no one around to irritate because I’m staying up a bit later than usual. No one to tiptoe around so I don’t wake them. 

I don’t like getting jostled by someone else while I’m trying to sleep. 

I typically stick to schedule. But sometimes instead of reading my Kindle I will watch endless Law & Order reruns. 

I don’t know anyone else who likes endless Law & Order reruns. I love their back-to-back marathons on Wednesday.

Okay, that is my list. Seven has always been my favorite number, so I guess it’s best to stop there. I could come up with a dozen more reasons why I prefer my own company.

With Asperger’s, I need lots of quiet. I can’t function well if there are constant diversions or noise. 

But to each his/her own.

Why do you prefer living alone, or prefer living with someone else?


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  1. You have Asperger's? Was that a serious comment?
    I too have Asperger's, and it has crippled my ability to have relationships.
    Have you written about this anywhere on your blog, or elsewhere?

  2. Brenda, this list is perfect! 🙂 I've lived alone longer than being married and I treasure my privacy. I've always had the need for alone time and when my kids were little and I was sleep deprived, I stayed up at night after everyone was asleep for the blessed quiet. I loved being married when it was good, however, I don't think I could live with someone again. I pray that I have my independence and dignity until the very end.

    A friend of mine lost her husband of 30 years about 3 yrs ago and she was devastated. You know, they both had their own home, just a few blocks from each other. 🙂 She always said that was the secret to a long and happy marriage. He liked the Frank Lloyd Wright style and she just couldn't live in it. She had a little antique cottage and absolutely loved it! They had dinner every night except when he was out of town and weekends together. You know, whatever floats your boat!

    Thanks so much for sharing your list ~ it's so "me" !


  3. HI Brenda, I can relate to your list of seven. Especially no. 1. No one saying "What's for supper" I have been living alone 10yrs. I love silence. I'm from a family of 14.
    Although I do love it when my children come to visit. In the summertime I have a house full, some of my siblings come for a few weeks also.
    I have a large property that I maintain myself with lot of flowers to keep me busy. I understand you fully, I relish my time alone.

  4. I would be broken-hearted to be without my husband of 41 years, but if anything ever happened where I was on my own I know I would never marry again. I'm an introvert and I require lots of time to myself. I do think I could easily live by myself with my dogs if it ever comes to that. My husband and I are both retired now, living life in our new and very downsized home. We've managed to work out a schedule in this little house where we both have plenty of time to ourselves, which makes the rest of our time that we spend together much more pleasant. I especially treasure my early morning time alone with a good cup of coffee and plenty of quiet. Brenda, you make living alone sound like a real treat. I remember my poor grandmother was trapped in a terrible marriage for years. When her verbally abusive husband died she treasured the last few years of her life living alone….

  5. Although I have been married for 47 years, I have learned to live very much as though I am alone. My life is almost like you described, yet I also have a husband to share things with as we both please. Being alone is definitely a state of mind, with or without someone else living in the same house.

  6. I agree there is a VAST difference between being alone, and being lonely! I need lots of alone time; that is why we bought this house! My studio is upstairs, so DH can watch his shows downstairs, and I can listen to my music and create upstairs.
    It works out perfectly!

  7. I have a houseful right now and I am so grateful for it, but I crave time alone for all the glorious reasons on your list. Kids are off from school now and hubby has recently started working from home after 21 years. Now that is a big change!!

  8. I think that even if you don't live by yourself, it is good to learn how to enjoy being alone. I didn't really learn how to savor being alone until after I got divorced. Our two kids would go visit their dad on the weekends and I would really miss them, but I grew to enjoy the time by myself. I puttered around the house and yard and went to thrift stores. I would read a book while eating a bowl of Grape Nuts cereal with chocolate chips and walnuts. That could be three times a day if I wanted! Years later I remarried, and I love spending time with my husband. He is a delightful person. But, I do enjoy times when I get to be in the house by myself and get to read while eating chocolate chip-enhanced cereal. I don't do that when we are together because we like to talk to each other as we cook and eat actual meals. As for sleeping with the pets, that doesn't work at our house. We have two cats, and they walk on our heads if we let them sleep with us. So they stay in a different room at night. It's too bad they won't settle down for the night, but that's cats for you.

  9. I really enjoyed reading this. I am married and have 3 kids at home ( oldest is leaving for college this summer) I love my mornings too, I would also call them sacred! I get so grouchy if I sleep longer than my family! My husband has a herniated disk and about two times a month when it acts up he sleeps in our guest bed because it is very firm…those are my best night sleeps!!!!

  10. I know what you mean, I have dreamed of such a life since I was a kid. But.. I got married and now I am not only a wife but a full time caregiver for our child. What you appreciate about your life never happens in mine. I have to tiptoe, sometimes I never get 10 minutes alone and never get the house as neat and organized as I would like. Oh well…

    1. Try, if it's possible, to get someone to sit in for you so that you can have some "me" time. You really need that.

  11. As you know, I am married…will be 32 years in Sept. I was chuckling inside when I read your post because I do every single one of your 7 things, even though I'm married! I am very blessed that I am married to an easy-going guy. He doesn't care what food I make/eat or what time; he doesn't mind if I rearrange furniture or how I decorate; we each have our own bathroom now that we're empty nesters; we both give each other a lot of space since we're both introverts; he's a neat-nik like me so he doesn't leave towels or clothes in the floor, etc; we both love our cats. So, there you have it – I have the best of both worlds! 🙂 He also works a lot – and crazy shifts – so I have a lot of alone time too.

  12. I think I would do great living alone, as I so enjoyed my 24-hour alone times whenever The Man worked as a firefighter for many years. Since his retirement in 2008, finding alone times has been challenging, but I do enjoy time spent alone. Having said that, I've been married almost 36 years and I would miss many things about having a human companion.

  13. I agree that living with someone who's supposed to be loving, but isn't, is far lonelier than living alone. I'm now living with a wonderful spouse but we're both retired, downsized and in a 2 bedroom house and together 24/7. I love to craft, play the piano and have alone time so he built me my own "little house", 28 X 14 plus an 8 ft. porch. I can escape, sew, arrange florals, sew, read or play the piano as loud as I want and even sing if I wish. It's my piece of Heaven. Every woman who desire solitude while married, deserves such a retreat!

  14. You and my youngest daughter both binge-watch Law and Order. At 41 she has never been married but she seems to need more alone time and definitely doesn't want anyone monitoring what she does every minute of everyday. I was single 4 years before I remarried but my girls were in school so I wasn't totally alone. Hubs and I have been married 25 years and the dynamics changed when he retired and closed his business. Most of my recharging time is gone…love him to pieces but I crave some quiet. Love your excellent list!

  15. Brenda, I can so relate to the seven things!! I am married but I get to spend the mornings after he leaves drinking my coffee, doing what I want for the most part! We have too many animals to share the bed with or they would be there with me! I love to watch Law and Order also!! Sitting on the deck enjoying the birds is always nice. I sometimes will do that in the evenings, too, although I am usually drinking tea or lemonade! My hubby loves to cook so I am pampered in that way, He is pretty good to me. He spends time with his friends fishing and I am ok with that, it gives me more alone time!! I think it is time to rearrange some furniture or something! I love to do that and he is ok as long as I do not tough his room!! Ha!

  16. I am very happily married but the downside is hardly ever getting alone time which I quite enjoy. I really like watching Law and Order marathons too.

  17. As you know my husband passed from Alzheimer's in March, and change was never a good thing with him. So now I'm busy clearing and decluttering to beat the band! I'm loving it. I will never marry again. I was single 16 yrs between marriages, and it feels good to be able to do what I want now. Great post. And yes, my Morkie sleeps with me, he's very comforting.

    1. I know his passing was very hard on you, Annette, for I've known you a long time. But enjoy your life now to the fullest. And yes, our dogs are comforting and loving.

  18. I am married and love my husband. However, i could just as easily live alone and the seven reasons you mentioned apply to me as well (except I don't have dogs). Carl Jung said that living alone is dangerous and addictive because once you have experienced the peace that it brings you aren't likely to want to change things ever. Henry Thoreau also praised the solitary life.

  19. I lived alone for the first time when my husband died almost 7 years ago. I miss him still, but I love living alone, for all the reasons you mentioned and a host of others. I hope and pray that I will always be able to be independent and on my own.

  20. Such a great post.. Brenda, I have been married to hubby for 43 years. He is the most wonderful husband.But , I too, like my quiet , alone time.. Since we retired , we have worked out our time.. He works outside all the time and does things he likes.. And I ..do the house stuff I like.
    Now, if I could get him to ignore my desires to paint things all kinds of colors, etc. ha..
    The eating what and when you want to , would be nice too. smile..
    SO… I guess all in all.. being loved and comfortable with your mate is very important.. So sorry your ex was so "difficult". Proud you got out of that situation.. And found a happy wonderful place to live..
    Thank you for the post.. Love all your beautiful things..

  21. Sometimes I miss football Sundays. It was a huge tradition while I was married, cooking all day, watching football all day, family around. I say sometimes I miss it, yet I have not really sat down and watched an entire football game since leaving him. And I love the game. I enjoy being alone. Being able to purchase a dress and not hiding it, being able to get up on the weekends later, being able to buy as many flowers as I want, being able to breathe! But the best part is, being able to talk to my parents without hiding in the garage with the telephone. And enjoying my friends again. Yes, I like being alone with my dog and enjoying the birds sing, watching the bees buzz by, watching nature in my own little backyard…enjoying the serenity.

    1. And we owe it to ourselves to never have to feel like that again. I don't watch football (and I never understood the game) because he would watch his alma mater play and those were the worst days in terms of his being abusive and drunk.

  22. I don't live alone, but there is a few things on your list I can do with my family. I'm at my mom's for the past month and my family is sending pictures of our little ones, made me smile. My husband and I share our bed with our little dogs:). Ahh the first sip of coffee and quiet time is a must for all of us. You're right, there is a difference between being lonely and living alone. You know and inspire the difference. Have a sweet day with your pupsters, Kathleen in Az

  23. Brenda, you are a woman after my own heart. This post fits me to a T. I love your posts, and miss you when you are not posting. I'm looking forward to when you get around to re-posting the pictures of your Kitchen, Living Room, etc. I just love looking at them, they inspire me.

    1. I'm trying to get more accomplished (I never think I'm ready to show pictures, but then there's never perfection) so that I will show you more of that. Of course I only have a few rooms to show!

  24. LAW AND ORDER!! You're not alone there, LOVE LOVE LOVE. My daughter and I can binge for days on them. I have a group of friends, online, that all love L&O and we sew to it.. especially the marathons. I love that so many channels now carry whole days of it. SO GOOD.

  25. I agree with you on almost everything, except the coffee. I love the smell, but never drink it. Sometimes, at the drive thru at McDonalds, when they open the window, the morning coffee scent hits me, and so do the memories of over 30 years with a coffee drinker. I do miss the scent sometimes…
    and sleeping with a dog is wonderful, and eating what you please, and being able to keep my own rigid schedule(most of the time…and my Miss Bella is a slave driver when it comes to the schedule!)…and lots of other things. I am OK with being alon, but lots of times I do miss haveing somone to share things with….like going to the movies, walking at the park, vacations, even just long conversations. I have good friends, but they all have family, so they have their own things to do on holidays and such…makes me sad sometimes. I grew up, raised by my grandparents, and we celebrated all holidays, usually with a family picnic or meal. I loved the way everyone tried to out cook everyone else, in a good way. It made for great meals and memories. Now, all my relatives are gone, so no more fancy meals, no beautiful table scapes, no need for a dining room table or dining room. Some changes have been harder than others. BUT…I would not go back to my bad marriage for anything!

    1. Then do all those wonderful things you remember for yourself. Even if it's just you at holidays, like it is for me, create a pretty tablescape and treat yourself. You are worth it.

  26. I, too, crave my quiet time. I need periods of time to be alone, to just be. But I also like to spend some quality time with my daughters, and my sweetie. I guess this is why I bought my own house….so I could spend time with sweetie…and then be alone when I need to. So far, it's working out just fine! Great post, Brenda. xo

    1. I think you did the exact right thing. And I would have done the same had I been able to, bought myself a house out in the countryside. After what you'd been through, I think it was virtually a necessity.

  27. 3 years ago I found myself suddenly single when my husband molested my granddaughter. He is in prison and I am on my own for the very first time in my life at age 64. Being a serious introvert I thought I would enjoy being alone all the time but I find that I don't. I miss sharing my life with a spouse, a peer, someone who shares a history with me. I love my children and they are very good to me, but it's not the same. Do you know what I mean? Anyway, after reading your list I can say Yes to each of your 7 points. I do enjoy those same things. Maybe I enjoy the single life more than I thought! (I love that mug tree. Can you tell me where you got it?). Have a beautiful day doing whatever the heck you want to do!

    1. I got that particular mug tree at of all places my local grocery store. But I had another one I gave as a gift that I ordered online from World Market. I believe it was under $20 and a tad smaller. I'm so sorry for what you've been through. No betrayal worse than that I don't think. I'm five years single. Give yourself a little more time to adjust because you've had a trauma, just like I did. It's only in the past year that I've really felt so in sync with my life.

  28. You seem comfortable and content with your lifestyle. So many in the world would love to be in that position.
    I Have been married to the same man for 40+ years. Over the years we have developed a lifestyle that works for both of us. But, like you I could be content by myself with my dog.

  29. Having done both- living with people & living by myself (for the last 19 years)- I definitely choose ALONE !!
    Doing all the things you mentioned in your post- and more. I agree with you Brenda, wholeheartedly !!
    ::except my two furry kids are kittys::

  30. I love living alone! I've lived with the wrong person too many times and find I love doing things at my own pace. Only cook when I want to. I love the quiet. Unless you are with the right person it's just not a good thing!!

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