So Grace, I hear you’re celebrating the single life these days? Absolutely – I love living alone. There are, of course, pros and cons with any domestic arrangement but I am really enjoying my new life. It’s been two years now and no-one is more surprised than me at how much I love it.
After thirty years of marriage, we decided to go our separate ways. Friends and acquaintances automatically leapt to the conclusion that I must be devastated; they appeared to feel sorry for me and thought I was being terribly brave. But extricating yourself out of a stale marriage/relationship can be a life enhancing thing to do. People assume I must miss being part of a couple and this would certainly be true in a good relationship, but a mediocre one? We only have one life and it’s for living in the best way you can. I have been liberated in my sixties and it’s a fantastic feeling.
Obviously there are many of you in very happy partnerships who think that living alone must be hellish or some who don’t live alone by choice. Nonetheless, I thought I’d point out a few of the good points of single occupation for those of us that are in this particular situation. Why am I not lonely? I honestly don’t know because I imagined I would be. But I’m having too good a time doing exactly as I please! Anyhow, here are some of the joys of living alone that I have discovered:
Small victories such as installing my video doorbell and chime without resorting to asking a male for help which, to be fair, used to be par for the course. Now, YouTube is the one I turn to. It has videos on absolutely everything, often specific to the brand you are using. Next DIY job? Changing my wifi password (OK in truth am still thinking about tackling that one) and, to be absolutely honest there are still jobs that I ask/beg my son to do and he is kind enough to regularly clean my little car. Generally speaking though, I’m more confident about solving problems on my own.
Eating what I feel like and when it suits me. So, if that’s a dull calorie-free broth at midnight or three mini Magnums, it’s only me that knows! No longer do I need to worry about anyone else’s food fads – apart from my gastronomic Sundays with Marvellous-Mother-In-Law or the odd occasions when I’m entertaining (does ANYONE have dinner parties these days? Perhaps they do and I’m not invited anymore because I’m a singleton?) Another, rather glorious, thing I’ve noticed is that I am a healthier weight. Can only imagine this has to do with not having to cook for anyone else on a daily basis and my food preferences tend to be reasonably healthy ones despite my regular consumption of Cotes du Rhone and Sauvignon Blanc!
After three decades of cohabitation, the freedom to do exactly as I please is overwhelming. Or should I say overwhelmingly fabulous. TV springs to mind. No rugby or Grand Prix or anything else I have little interest in. No-one interrupting the programmes with banal observations or inexplicably wanting to discuss mending the dishwasher.
I get up and go to bed when it suits – me I can read, play online Scrabble or do some bedtime yoga with the light on and without disturbing anyone. Accordingly, my sleep quality has improved dramatically. No snoring to drive me mad – can’t hear my own snoring of course! Plus there’s no-one to hear me fart or burp (new to me, perhaps because I am now so relaxed?!) or talking to myself! As to working from home on A&G, I can pop on the computer any time, day or night… and although I don’t usually work late into the night, I CAN IF I WANT TO! The long and the short of it is that I have developed my own regular(ish) routine, which is perfect and without compromise, and tailored to my developing wants and needs.
Don’t have to put up with anyone’s irritating habits or problems – things that you thought were cute when you met and end up driving you nuts several years later. If you have a partner, you’ll need no further explanation from me! Suffice it to say, I think I am now less stressed – not least because I don’t have to worry about their problems, just my own!
Spending time with people I actually like. Long gone are the days when I’d be duty bound to visit anyone I didn’t really connect with. I find I really value my true friends these days and relish the fact that we seem closer than ever. Plus I’m more flexible and can be spontaneous compared to when I was in a relationship ie only my diary to consult.
No longer have to be a one-man woman Being single means I can see whomever I like. However, absolutely no rush to find another partner although it might be a bonus to have some male company – so long as he is solvent, healthy and washes his own socks. I have dipped my toe in the digital dating waters – more on that in a few weeks. In the meantime, no more sexy G-strings for me, just truly comfortable gym knickers.
Ah, I can hear you saying – what happens if you are ill? True, if I broke a limb life would be a bit tricky with no-one on hand to help me with the practicalities of everyday life. But so far, so good. Just a cold which wasn’t a problem as I love luxuriating in bed!
Probably the most crucial result of living alone is that I have found myself again. I am no longer someone’s wife, I am just me, warts and all. And that me turns out to be a happier and more confident person who has a renewed relish for life.
I hope, if you are living alone, that you are equally content. This book might help if you think life could be better – more info here. Would love to hear your thoughts on living alone…