Man is a social animal, they say. But with many people choosing to live alone or doing things all by themselves, such as enjoying a dinner at a restaurant, watching a movie or shopping, solo living — as we like to call it — isn’t all that bad! Think about it — a life with no parents, roommates, girlfriends or boyfriends to tell you what to do.
When Shruti Chakraborty, a 23-year-old media professional, moved to the city a few months ago, she preferred to live by herself rather than choosing a PG or getting a flatmate.“I like my space and it’s very important to me. Coming home to an empty house in the beginning was a little daunting. But five months later, I love every bit of it”, she says, adding, “Now, it’s nice to come back home and not be subjected to a humdrum of casual chitchat — especially when I’m not in the mood for it. Now I get so much time to think and just do my own thing.”
Going solo is not just about living alone, it can also mean you taking some time out for yourself and engaging in an activity that involves you alone.
Twenty-five-year-old Chris Isaac, who works with a city NGO, loves going for a long ride on his bike whenever he is feeling stressed or low. “It always helps me get over foul mood swings and gives me time to think clearly, without being interrupted by anyone else,” he opines.
Content writer Vaishali Choudary, 26, loves shopping alone as it gives her the freedom to choose whatever she wants. “I don’t like people telling me what to buy. When they do, I easily get influenced. Besides, I think it’s a great stress buster. I feel some things are just meant to be done alone,” she says.
Until a few years back, if you’d walk into a cinema hall or a restaurant alone, you'd get a shocked and pitiful glares from people. But not anymore. “Eating alone at a restaurant used to be such an amusing experience. People would look at me as though they were looking at someone who had just lost a loved one!” laughs Isaac, adding, “But nowadays no one cares!”
Alone or lonely?
Does choosing to be by yourself have its own disadvantages? “There is a lot of difference between spending time alone and being a loner. Spending time with yourself is a healthy trait, it helps you analyse your own behaviour and life decisions. However, you should be careful to not over do it because at the end of the day, you do need people in your life,” says psychologist Dhananjay Gambhire.
Feels Shruti, “When you live with a roommate or your family, you have a support system and you can rely on them. You spend less too. But when you live alone, you have to take care of everything! But then you can take it the right way and learn a lot from the experience.”
Solo living rocks
Helps in analysing your own behaviour and decisions
Allows you to do things at your own pace
Helps hone a skill that needs time and dedication
Don’t become a loner
Avoid reckless behaviour
Don’t let solo living make you irresponsible and lazy