No More Roommates! How to Know It’s Time to Go Solo

Our blogger Elyse is contemplating her next move after graduation.

The Price of Solitude by Elyse

Roommates. I’ve had good ones, great ones and terrible ones. With my lease coming to an end in a few months, I’ve been considering the two options of either finding a new roommate, or going it alone. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve loved my roommates. But there have also been the fights and resentment and various other things that come with living with another person. The decision to live alone is quite a personal one, and after a bit of soul searching, I’ve come up with a few personal traits that seem to prove why I should probably try flying solo for a little while.

  • I make impulsive decisions, so I hate having to get the ok from other people for every decision I make. Can someone come stay with us? Can I hang this poster up? Can I move this table? (I like to rearrange furniture) Making cleaning schedules also becomes a pain because everyone has to be there. It has to be fairly divided. I’d almost rather do it all myself.
  • Everyone also has different philosophies on cleaning and organization. I don’t agree with some people’s ideas of how to clean a bathroom, and no matter how many times you discuss how to scrub the shower tile, the other person will still do it their way. I would, once again, almost rather just do it myself.
  • I have a terrible memory. So I need food to be carefully organized otherwise I can’t remember what I bought. When everyone else’s food is mixed in, I lose track and, oh hey, I forgot I bought this cheddar cheese…three months ago. I dream at night of a kitchen with only my food in it.
  • I don’t mind messes that I was responsible for because it’s my fault and I know what that mess consists of. But if someone else makes a mess, it will bug the crap out of me.
  • I’m very financially responsible, which means I always wind up paying the bills. And it either takes forever for people to pay me back—as in until the next bill is due. Or I need to spend the week before the bills are due “reminding” (aka nagging) people to pay me. As much as I may complain, I’m also very uncomfortable with leaving this task up to anyone else.
  • Most importantly, I’m a very solitary person by nature, largely introverted. I need my time to decompress away from people and sometimes going in my room and shutting the door just doesn’t cut it. If you’re into astrology, you can call it the Cancer in me.

Now, if you need to see people every day and get your energy from social interaction, or if you don’t find these other issues as irksome as I do, then go get a roommate. Have a great time! But if you’re like me, then maybe living alone is a good option for you as well. If you’re still not sure if living alone is right for you, just ask yourself this question. Have you ever had those days where you come home and you’re just praying as you open the front door for all the lights to be off? Does this happen to you most days when you come home? If it does (that’s me every day, I will admit it) then it’s probably a good idea.

But don’t forget to make sure you can afford it too. I’ve accepted the fact that I will live in a terrible, tiny studio. It’s the price I am willing to pay for my solitude.

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Comments (12)

  1. Avatar Lulu Tse

    living alone is the best choice I ever had, living with different roommates for three years literally brought me to the brink of death. I just can’t stand it!!! But living alone, you can do whatever you want to do. You can take naps whenever you like, you can go naked and fart. I know they sound disgusting, but it is what it is

  2. Avatar ft73

    I lived with roommates for the first time in a while. One night and am cursing because i could not find my cigarettes in my room. And what does the new roomate, a fresh parole (for some aggravated assault, he said) calls the cops on me. Who would thing an ex-con would be a rat of all people?! Anyway, the cops came, said I did nothing wrong but were treating it as a domestic violence scenario in that SOMEONE had to leave for the night.

    I was on the phone with a woman I was dating at that time who confirmed I could stay at her place. Not having a car, being reliant on public transportation, for what it is worth–I appreciated the lift (ride) to her place.

    I vowed I was so out of there. Paid my rent and moved out the next few weeks. Since it was an apartment that the leasing office rented out rooms to people (not a halfway house, just a kitchen, a bathroom, and 3 bedrooms–no one was left with my end of the rent.

    I VOWED to myself I would NEVER live with roommates again. Anyway, this article I found like over 4 years ago was reinforcement of my decision to go solo.

    Even with really good roommates, in my late 30s, I was just too old for that. The way I see it, even being low-income, the difference once one gets the security despite out of the way is only $25/week. $100/month in the Phoenix area anyway.

    So good to all of you who chose to fly solo too here! Freedom!!

  3. Avatar Sotiredofthisbozo

    I am so (EXPLETIVE) sick of my boyfriend and it’s time to leave. We are in a lease but I don’t have much to lose so I am walking and moving on. I don’t know why I stayed so long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Avatar Olivia

    Ah I’m the same way; when I open my door I hop the lights are off. Even though my roommate is my friend there are little things that get on my nerves. Like use your headphones with your laptop! I don’t need to hear your french and italian movies blasting! And I’d much rather have my own super tiny space, no question.

  5. Avatar pocket rocket

    Wow I feel sane now.

    Thought it was just me

    I’m taking the dog and leaving

  6. Avatar Kelley

    I know this article is a bit old, but I found it while looking through others, trying to figure out if I’m being responsible with my money (every time I try to go to someone, explaining that I have money saved so even if I venture outside the “percentage of paycheck” formula, I’ll be fine – more than fine, even – they still talk down to me and see me as the poor naive girl setting herself up to get screwed over.) I’m looking in particular at nearby studios because I want to live alone. Throughout the article, I said my “yes”s, but also considered that there have been roommates that I was fine living with despite some of them because it cut the rent down.

    Then, at the end, “Have you ever had those days where you come home and you’re just praying as you open the front door for all the lights to be off?”

    Have I ever. Even when I’m home and in my room, sometimes, if I’m feeling particularly anti-social, I’ll look up at my door to see if I can see light through the cracks. If I can, I settle in and wait for it to go off before I leave.

    One of my roommates (the one I love and would gladly live with again) has been touring apartments with me, some as potential “us” spaces, and some as individual ventures we just want second opinions on. Occasionally, we’ll come across a space that’s tiny and she’ll comment on it.

    I remind her that I, personally, do not need much space…I just have to feel comfortable going from room-to-room whenever I please within that space.

  7. Avatar Jane

    I just totally realized that I need to live on my own and for all of those reasons you listed plus infinity. I am neat freak and my roommate isn’t. I do not understand how hard it is for him to either leave a light on in the apartment or put his dirty dishes in the sink. And we have a dishwasher.
    He cooked chicken in a pot and left in on the stove for like two weeks before I washed it.
    I can’t stand complacency and he is like the poster child for it.
    Man, I can’t wait for when I move into my own apartment.

  8. Avatar Elyse Fellner

    Im renting my first place starting this saturday the 1st of october. Im excited but i love shopping so much and getting new stuff that i dont want to end up like a hoarder. any suggestions on whats good and not good for 1st place

    • Sisko Sisko

      Happy moving day! We have loads of advice on furnishing your first apartment. Just click on the “furnishing” or “decorating” tags at the bottom right corner of any page and it will take you to the posts we have done on the topic.

  9. Avatar Julia

    I just signed the lease on my new studio apartment after 8 years of living with roommates. While the rent is almost double, I am willing to make the sacrifice for just the same reasons as the OP: 1) My standards of cleanliness are generally higher than my roommates’, 2) I had all the bills in my name ($300+/mo) and it’s inevitably a struggle to round up funds from the roommates, 3) I got tired of having to dine out because either the kitchen was too dirty or I had no idea what food was mine, and 4) the stereo was right above my bedroom. I might miss the social interaction, but I’ve been dreaming of this kind of freedom for months!