our everyday life

How to Be Happy Living Alone

by Amy Bartley

The 2010 census revealed 31 million one-person households in the U.S. Whether or not you plan to live alone permanently, you can enjoy the advantages of this increasingly common lifestyle. Happily living alone means you control your home's decor, ambience and entertainment; you can turn in early or sleep in late; you can eat breakfast for dinner or skip dinner altogether. Focusing on the unique pleasures of living alone will make it the perfect way for you to live, for now or forever.

Make Your Home Your Own

Approach living alone with a positive attitude. Instead of thinking about all the things you miss about having a roommate, focus on taking ownership of the whole apartment or house. Paint, wallpaper and decorate in a way that truly expresses who you are. Surround yourself with colors, textures and objects you love. If your funds are limited, find secondhand shops for furniture and fixture bargains. Hang art on the walls and buy fresh flowers every week along with your groceries.

Do What You Want To Do

When you live alone, no one cares if you eat cheese and crackers for dinner four nights in a row. You can watch reruns of *Game of Thrones* for hours on end or leave on the basketball channel while you cook, clean, study, work or take a shower. You can play classical music or heavy metal; sing, dance, paint pictures or vacuum naked. Take advantage of your privacy to practice yoga, meditate or read. Learn more about yourself by deciding what you really want to do when no one else is around to object or influence you.

Make Socializing a Priority

Single people living alone tend to have more friends and more frequent contact with them than married cohabiting couples, according to Rutgers University sociology professor, Deb Carr. Make your social life a priority. Get to know your neighbors. Give dinner parties, accept invitations, buy tickets to sporting events and concerts and invite friends and loved ones to go with you. Make dates for coffee, a run, a walk or a workout. Take a cooking class or attend a self-improvement seminar.

Maintain Healthy Boundaries

Learning to say no and establish healthy boundaries is essential to your happiness when living alone. Well-intended friends and family might assume that because you live alone you are lonely. As a consequence, they may come over uninvited too frequently or expect you to put up overnight guests. Let your friends and family know what your preferences are. Being direct about your needs will help you avoid conflict and guard your privacy.

Resources

  • Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise And Surprising Appeal Of Living Alone; Eric Klinenberg

About the Author

Detroit native Amy Bartley has been writing for publication since 1999. An expert in relationships and family dynamics, Bartley majored in counseling psychology at Rochester College. Her work has been published by Soul Studio and the National Library of Poetry. Previous clients have included Henry Ford Health System.

Photo Credits

  • Berc/iStock/Getty Images