I have never lived alone. I went from my parents to my husband - with no time inbetween (unless you count college where you are never alone - with room-mates and classmates, etc.)
DH and I got married 2 days before my graduation - had a honeymoon in the French Quarter in New Orleans, and then back to LSU Baton Rouge for graduation.
But this 'living alone' is something I think about... not because I would ever want to do it, but because so many people I know do. Some have never been married, some have lost their spouses or partners, some just prefer it. Most seem to like it, a few - not so much... but I've heard some of the pros and cons and they just make me wonder.
I've heard that women live alone better than men. Don't really know if this is true, and not sure why this would be, so perhaps someone could enlighten me. My guess is that men are more used to being 'taken care of'... and women generally tend to do this naturally. Not that men don't take care of women as they do... but in a different way. As I see it, they offer security, comfort, and not only the ability but the strength to do some things around the house and home that are not necessarily beyond a woman's ability, but more to a man's nature. Does that make sense?
I've been told that some people prefer to live alone as by doing so, they can set their own schedules and do as they please... and that they don't want to share their living space with anyone. Several women have told me this.
I would certainly like to hear other people's comments. Pros and cons from both women and men would be helpful. IMO I don't think I would like living alone. Not that I don't like my own space and quiet time (as I tend to be an introvert), but sharing a life (even if only with a pet) appeals to me more.
I imagine what it boils down to is one's own personality and life style, perhaps one's upbringing or experience, and your general concept of what constitutes a good life.
Possibly the death of my good friend's husband recently made me think about this. She is doing well and has children, family, and friends around to help... but still, it's difficult... and I really wonder about those without family (but surely friends would take up the space?). And choosing to live alone and losing a husband of 50+ years I realize are very different scenarios.
And I'm sure that someone will bring up sex... but in today's world, one does not have to live with someone to have a sex life (although it may make it more convenient). But I'm not referring to a love life here, just general living arrangements. Do others wonder about this?
That's my 'wonderings' at the moment... nothing crucial, just one of the many things I wonder about.
(And by the way, DH just got his Covid test back. Apparently he's positive... ??? How??? Who knows?? But he feels fine, cold symptoms appeared about 8 days ago... and have now subsided. He has no fever, a little coughing, but that's it at the moment. We're kind of shocked as we have been vaccinated, boostered, and stay home pretty much. But who knows?)
Hugs (definitely virtual),
First, I hope your husband recovers quickly. It's my understanding that Omicron is so transmissible that most of us will get it. It's so mutated that the vaccines can't prevent infection, though for the most part they do prevent serious outcomes.ReplyDelete
Second, I've lived alone for almost 21 years now, after divorcing. I absolutely would have preferred to have had a good life partner, but life didn't work out that way. It is what it is. I've been alone too long now to want to share my space again, but I still miss the companionship and help. (If you have a helpful partner, of course, which is not a given.) I just don't have the patience to pander to a sensitive male ego (which was part of the problem with the ex), and I never was interested in having a grown "child" to care for, as so many men seem to need. No thank you! Lol. The bottom line is that I never was cut out for a lifetime relationship, and so I've just done the best I can, as we all do. I will say that I love not having to compromise on a myriad of things, both small and large. :-)
So whatever our living arrangements, there definitely are pros and cons, and it's what you get used to, IMO.
Since DH has been sneezing and coughing around me for over a week, I would think that either I already have it (without symptoms) or am not going to get it. Our doctor doesn't seem concerned and said that it wasn't necessary for me to get tested unless I get symptoms. He knows we don't go anywhere so we are self quarantined anyway.Delete
And I liked your response to living alone. And I agree that I think that I would probably prefer to live alone if my spouse was not who he is (which is a kind gentle man who definitely contributes ).
What an important, if sensitive, issue! But speaking as a married man, it seems that women think about living alone more than men do, because the reality is that men die younger, so women know they are likely to eventually become a widow. So it's natural that women think more about what happens "after". Also, from my experience, women (in general) are more sociable than men, so they can handle being alone better. That being said, my own dad outlived my mother by two years. He had his golf group and his card group to keep him company, but he still had a hard time of it. As for me, my wife is four years younger than I am, and her mother lived to age 103. I don't think I'll be alone.ReplyDelete
Tom, so glad you responded as I hoped to get a man's opinion. Your mentioning the fact that men die younger and women are more sociable is all very true. And that being said, my own dad died at 75 and my mom outlived him by 25 years (at 94)... and she was very sociable (much more so than me).Delete
If something happened to either our relationship or too himself I think I would opt for living alone. Alone with cats. I do understand those who say that they would like to live to their own schedule. Pre covid, I was often alone for a couple of months at a time, while himself was travelling. And I liked it. I didn't feel guilty about suiting myself as I so often do. I will be interested to read other people's responses - and yes, I do think that living alone is easier to introverts.ReplyDelete
"Alone with cats" - I love this! Yes, that might be my choice too should something happened to DH. I always said that I wanted to go first as I don't want to handle all that needs to be done after, but perhaps that is selfish. If it's true that women handle it better, I wouldn't want DH to be left alone... although... he would also likely choose being alone with cats!Delete
PS: I am glad that DH seems to have escaped with only a mild dose of the plague. And hope that you don't get it, or get it as lightly as he did.ReplyDelete
Yes, those are our hopes too. I think since it's been 8 days since his first symptoms appeared, that if I was going to get it (or have gotten it) I would have by now.Delete
I have been surprised as people I see regularly who are triple vaxxed are getting Covid anyway, and so far I have not. If I have had it, I have been asymptomatic. And with no chance of getting a test right now, I'm not going to be too concerned. But I am staying away from most places where I might be exposed.ReplyDelete
I have been with my current husband for more than a quarter century now, and we have grown very accustomed to living together in the way we have developed over that time. Although it's not for everybody, our together/alone system works well. I get my social needs away from him, as I'm extroverted and he's introverted. If he were to die, I'd stay alone or get a cat to keep me company. He's rather indispensable, but irreplaceable as well. :-)
You could be asymptomatic, DJan, since you have been around John and I think you said that he has/had it... or you may not get it at all. And I'm not sure what getting the test does if you're asymptomatic and wearing a mask, etc. anyway. Guess it might limit your walking with friends, but that's outside where there's less chance.Delete
As for living arrangements, I think yours is a good one. And it also seems like 'getting a cat to keep me company' is a popular plan.
So glad DH is getting better and that you seemed to have escaped it all together. I have found that happens a lot to married couples. Maybe it is Nature's way of letting one be healthy enough to care for the sick one.ReplyDelete
I do live alone and am quite comfortable with it. I am never lonely, company is just a phone call or a drive away.
DH seems to be doing fine... still coughing some, but not bad and feels OK... and so far, I'm OK. If I had symptoms, they were so mild I didn't recognize them (I cough and sneeze a lot normally) - although I did have a headache most of the day Thursday (but that's not unusual either).Delete
As for living alone, you are like many I know that find living alone very comfortable.
Oh my, the test results were certainly a surprise. I'm glad your DH is only dealing with a mild case and I hope he's fully recovered soon.ReplyDelete
As for living alone - when I first left high school, I lived with various roommates, sometimes a friend, for sometime my sister, before I lived on my own. But I was pregnant with my oldest child and until she and her younger brother left home sometime in 2006, I really didn't live alone. Then my son returned home in 2008, my daughter in 2010 and even now my son still lives with me. So I can't really say I've lived alone, though I've never had a partner for any period of time (by choice and circumstance).
Yet, I think of myself as being on my own much of time when it comes to my daily life. I'm responsible for most everything around here and (generally) make decisions without input from my son. Occasionally I travel with friends, but more often I head out on my own.
I'm quite happy to be on my own, though when I was younger I did used to hope/wish for a companion. Was that a desire for a relationship or just an adult voice? I'm not sure I knew even then.
Honestly, I think it really depends on what one has known in their life. I don't know what it would be like to have a dependable long-term partner. And I don't expect that will be in my future either. But I do know, I can and will continue to manage on my own...and I don't have to share a closet. :)
You know Mae, you make a good point in that one really just goes along with what life deals you... I never spent a lot of time thinking about what my life would be like (never dreamt about being a bride as some girls do) - just kind of went with the flow. So maybe not living alone wasn't so much of a choice, but more like that. Didn't really make plans then... so why think about it now? What's that ol' song, "What will be, will be"?Delete
I began living alone in my mid 60's a few years ago. It was a shock at first but I was still working and that helped. Now I am retired there are pros and cons. Pros are that you can do what you want, eat whenever you want etc. Even with friends and relatives it is the daily casual conversation that I really miss.ReplyDelete
That's a good point too, J... daily casual conversation would be missed. I think I might have to have a pet... or else I'd be having conversations with a ghost. I wonder if that's unusual...Delete
I've lived alone for at least ten years of my adult life. It has its drawbacks, one of which is being alone in an emergency. I've given it up.ReplyDelete
I would think that was a smart move on your part, Joanne. Stay well and stay safe!Delete
Sorry about the covid, maybe it'll go away quickly.ReplyDelete
I now live alone, no husband, no pet, no children nearby, friends distancing. There are more cons at the moment than pros, but pros there are too. I am not a natural looker-after of other people; when I had to take care of someone I always felt slightly resentful. Doing things together is fine, having company and sharing brilliant, having help and solving problems too. On the other hand, being stuck in an unhappy relationship is joyless and life-draining. Men are useful, women are useful too. And just as capable as men nowadays.
The idea that men provide comfort and security is no longer true either. Divorces are almost as many as marriages and it is a good idea for a woman to be able to earn her living, just in case.
Having said that I do wish I still had my husband, he was one of the old school all-round good ones.
I'm so glad you commented, Friko. Knowing that you lost your husband not that long ago and live in what seems like a fairly secluded location, I was looking forward to your thoughts. I can imagine you miss your husband terribly (and your dog - if I remember correctly), but you seem to be a strong woman and handle things well. From what I can see from your posts, you live in a beautiful area. That must be a pro... for gardening and walks... although as we age both of these things become difficult. Have you thought about getting a dog, cat, bird... to share your space? Just curious.Delete
my comment is gone, do you have comment delay?ReplyDelete
Yes... sorry about that.Delete
Glad your husband is on the mend.ReplyDelete
Living alone -- what amazes me here in Florida is just how quickly people who are left alone re-couple and remarry. It took me years to let in a new man, but I had so much support from female friends and my family that I rarely felt lonely.
Thanks, Olga. He seems to be mending.Delete
As for living alone, although I don't like the idea, I really can't see me ever remarrying if something would happen to DH - but pretty sure I would get a dog or cat (or both) to share my space. And so glad you had friends and family to support you.
I've lived alone for >25 yrs. One gets to do whatever one wants; the flip side - one has to go it alone. There's a village/community to lend a hand when necessary and being in a stable financial state helps to hire help when necessary. Alone does not equal lonely. As Patti says, company is a phone call or drive away. I can honestly say that there's not one couple that I look at and wish that were me. Most often, I'm thinking - OMG, I'm glad that's not me. It's easy to say you're a nice person when you live alone and I do have to challenge myself to step outside my bubble and let someone else be the "boss" and compromise, etc. Every circumstance has its pros and cons.ReplyDelete
All true, Mona. So many pros and cons depending on your circumstances, etc.Delete
Since a large part of the globe is not vaccinated we had better be prepared for more and more variations on a theme! And there is not silver bullet! I think there are both advantages and disadvantages to living alone and we had better focus on the advantages.ReplyDelete
Focusing on the good is always a good idea, Tabor.Delete
Hoping your husband will get better soon, and you will be able to avoid the dreaded mess.ReplyDelete
I think women busy themselves around the house better than men tend to do. I would miss my husband's companionship, but would never remarry.
Thanks, Jo. I don't think I would ever remarry either...Delete
sometimes i think covid flies around in the air and picks random people. not really BUT how did it happen...maybe it came in on the mail!!ReplyDelete
i have never lived alone, i went from my parents, to college, to living with friends to getting married. i have a son who lives alone, sometimes he loves it, other times, not so much. he has lived with 2 girls, neither the right girl and at times he was very unhappy with that!!
Believe it or not, we do lysol spray our mail and packages... even though I doubt that's the problem.Delete
And as for living alone, I do think it would be better to live alone than to live with someone who was not compatible.