When you spent most of your adult life living with roommates, living alone can feel lonely. It's a big transition going from three roommates you spent every breakfast, happy hour, and dinner with to you shuffling all alone in your big ol' apartment. It's almost like you can hear your voice echo off of the walls — how are you supposed to stay sane?
While it's a big change, you don't need to tailspin into Grey Gardens type of isolation. It's not like the whole world abandoned you and there's no one left outside your door. We're all still here, but I understand the weird feeling of not having anyone to chill on the couch with or nod good morning to in the hallway. But with that odd quiet also comes a perk: Complete and total freedom. You can do whatever you want, when you want, as loud as you want. On top of that, you now have ample time to not get distracted by others and learn a bunch of new things about yourself: You can start projects, fail at hobbies, fend for yourself, dabble in something completely weird and embarrassing, all in the comfort (and secret) of your home. I'll prove it to you: below are seven ways to enjoy living alone without actually feeling lonely.
1. Take The Chance To Figure Yourself Out
Yes, you don't have a buddy to binge watch shows with while simultaneously eating a box of donuts, but with that negative comes a positive. You have a lot of free time to figure yourself out — this is the time to let your freak flag fly. The way you act at home is significantly different than you act in ways you act in front of company, and now that you don't have the judgements or close friends or roomies, you can dabble in a lot more hesitation-free than you would if you had someone shacking up with you.
Lifestyle writer Patrick Allan at Lifehack pointed out, "You can become more self-sufficient, adventurous, or just get all of your crap together so you’re really ready for when you’re not alone in the future. Best of all, you can take the time to get to know yourself. You can be as introspective as you like, learning who you really are without others affecting your thoughts and actions." So go ahead, learn how to brew wine at home, get a cat only to return it (oops,) bring a ton of people home (or never at all,) or learn how to cook big, messy meals without the potential eye rolls of roomies.
2. Indulge In Your Hangouts With Yourself
When you have someone as awesome as yourself to hangout with, you should never be lonely. Keep those lonesome blues away by constantly going out with yourself — to movies, dinners, concerts, cupcake runs. It's easy to fall into the trap of sweatpants + takeout + reruns evening in and evening out, and that's what makes us feel lonely in the end. You're boring yourself by keeping yourself trapped!
Lifestyle writer Daniel Wallen from Lifehack wrote, "Who says you can’t go to a movie or eat out by yourself? I love treating myself to hot dates because I can choose to go wherever I desire without considering anyone else’s opinion. Going out by yourself will help you become comfortable with being alone." Step outside into the world — you'll love it.
3. Avoid Those Lonely Moments
Sometimes, though, it's hard not to fall into those pockets of loneliness from time to time. During moments like those, prepare yourself little distractions to remind yourself there's always someone to talk to.
Lifestyle writer Adrienne Breaux from Apartment Therapy explained, "One of the best things about living with someone in my opinion (either a roommate or a partner) is having someone to greet you when you get home and someone to talk about your day with. A little hard when you come home to empty rooms. So combat that by scheduling a call with a good friend. Or sending a text to your mom when you get home, asking her how her day went." If you know your little loneliness triggers (like coming home to an empty living room,) you can have an offense ready to jump over them.
4. Host Get-Togethers At Your Place
Just because you're living alone doesn't mean you're the only one with an access pass to your front door! To make your apartment feel more lively, host get-togethers at your place with all your favorite buddies and fill those rooms up with laughter.
Breaux suggested, "Remember that you don't have to have some formal dinner party — just inviting a few friends over to play board games is a great way to bring laughter and conversation into your home." Whether it's just to watch a movie, cook dinner together, or have an all-out Saturday bash, inviting folks over will liven up the place.
5. Take People Up On Their Offers
Similarly, when people invite you out, make an effort to actually go. Even if it doesn't sound necessarily like your cup of tea, you feel lazy in sweatpants, or you're nervous over the fact there won't be too many people you know — by accepting those random invites that flitter through, you'll get yourself out of your solo routine.
Allan offered, "When you get invited to something, make an effort to go. Even if it’s just for a little bit." You don't have to stay out all night, but after the fact when you come home to your empty place, you'll feel more appreciative of your cozy situation.
6. Marvel In The Silence, Rather Than Be Depressed About It
You guys! You have no annoying roommates blasting their Blink 182 music, hanging up paintings at all hours of the day with a hammer, or inviting their loud friends over for a night cap. The quiet isn't something to be bummed about; it's something to marinate in and celebrate.
Lifestyle writer Kevin Zawacki from Mic said, "When you live with roommates or a significant other, there's always some sort of clamor: your roommate's Spotify playlist, your other roommate vacuuming his bedroom for the third time this week. Not so when you're alone." Boom — you're winning already.
7. Remember: You Never Need To Wear Pants
And when all else fails and you're still feeling kind of blue being alone in your big ol' living room, just remember one thing: You don't need to be wearing pants right now, and no one will care you're not.
Columnist Lyndsay Rush at lifestyle site The Everygirl very helpfully pointed out, "Without roommates or their friends/boyfriends ruining things, you can confidently and happily wear whatever you want around the house without fear of an awkward run in, 'Oh, sorry! I thought you were going to the gym, Lisa. I’ll put pants back on.' This is freedom at its finest."
Living without Lisa has never felt so good.