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"But don't you get lonely?" they sometimes ask.
"No, not really," I say.

Or they wonder: "don't you get a bit, well, bored?"
To which the answer is: "Nope. Not so much. I like living on my own."

In fact, I love living on my own. Right now, I don't think I'd share again for the world. It's coming up on a year since I moved into my flat, and the past twelve months have had their ups and downs, certainly, but in terms of where I'm living I think I'm as happy as I've ever been.

I prefer it to living in a student house, in that I have more peace and quiet and privacy and god knows, although my parents are great, that I prefer it to living at home. Living on a staircase in college comes close in terms of satisfaction; there I still had privacy, but the added bonus of friends immediately on hand. It loses out, though, by dint of the fact that my flat is mine, and not just rented.

Maybe I'm selfish. I freely admit the mine factor is a big part of the attraction; I don't have to keep it cleaner than I'm happy with, and I know where everything is in the kitchen because I put it there. Maybe I'm a natural control freak. I like knowing in advance when and where I'll see people; even unsolicited phone calls, welcome though they may be, can sometimes throw me off balance. And then again, maybe I'm just a loner. I read a lot, after all, and that's something of a solitary pursuit, and much as I love my friends I'm not sure there's anyone I could live with on a permanent basis.

And to be honest, I don't really feel alone. People come round for dinner on a regular basis, or I go to see them, and for those that live too far away there's livejournal and email and instant messaging and text messaging to help me keep in touch.

This is just how I feel, though, and moreover just how I feel at the moment. In twelve months, who knows?

And now, it's over to you:

Do you live with anyone else?

Nope.
12(24.0%)
Sometimes (e.g. relatives stay if they're in the area)
1(2.0%)
Yes, my significant other.
19(38.0%)
Yes, I share with one non-significant (but not insignificant) other.
4(8.0%)
Yep! It's a fully house.
9(18.0%)
Yep! I live on some kind of commune thing.
2(4.0%)
Other (please elaborate in comments)
3(6.0%)

What would your ideal living arrangements be, right now?

Me, myself and I
13(26.5%)
Other people come and go, but don't stay.
3(6.1%)
Live-in SO, in true Dork Tower style.
18(36.7%)
I like knowing that somebody else is around.
8(16.3%)
I like living with a group of people.
4(8.2%)
Other (please expand in comments)
3(6.1%)

And I'd add to that: what's the best thing about your current situation? What's the worst thing about it?

EDIT: Man, I hate it when I get a typo in a poll.

EDIT2: Not only that, but I forgot the clicky! I am ashamed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
You left out 'significant other and children' (I suppose that could be 'it's a full house', but I didn't think that was what you meant)

as a sociable person I find nuclear family living a bit frustrating sometimes, and wish it was supplemented by friends within easy walking distance: this is absolutely no reflection on my family, but on the fragmentation of suburban living
You left out 'significant other and children' (I suppose that could be 'it's a full house', but I didn't think that was what you meant)

No, it's not what I meant. Dammit! That should have been an option. I was still thinking in the student mindset, clearly. :)

as a sociable person I find nuclear family living a bit frustrating sometimes, and wish it was supplemented by friends within easy walking distance

I sometimes have to work quite hard not to begrudge my loved-up friends their relationships. One in particular has become very hard to get hold of since he moved in with his girlfriend.
This post is almost word-for-word true for me too (except that I've been living alone for three years rather than one). Thanks for this post; it gives me a real sense of recognition.
Heh. By the same token, thanks for the comment; always good to know I'm not the only one! Maybe it's something that a biochemistry degree does to you? :)
I seem to be pretty good at living with someone, and enjoy it. But when i lived all on my own for a little more than a year, i loved it. Your own space is a wonderful thing, and while sharing with someone you go out with is fine, i couldn't do a house-share after uni.
I suppose my university house-sharing experience was somewhat more negative than the average, and that it may have strengthened my living-alone-is-the-way conviction...but I suspect I'd have tended this way anyway.
I said commune because it's more than a house at the moment - 12 person university housing - but not really fitting anywhere.
I've owned my house for 10 years. In that time I lived along for approx. a year, had a lodger for 6 months, lived alone for another year, then had a lodger for 6 years. She moved out in Nov 2002.

Most of the time I like living alone but I do get rather lonely so spend a lot of time nipping to the pads or Caroline's for coffee. Plus I'm out quite a lot during the week anyway so I don't feel it much. I'm always happy to have people drop by but it doesn't happen often nowadays - the time I had Caroline with me the house was such a tip I was embarrassed to ask anyone round and now I'm out of the habit.

Caroline and I living together worked but only because it was my house and I am the neurotic one. I think it would work again if we had sufficient space - an ideal situation would be in two completely self contained flats :). I ticked other on the second half of your poll because things change from week to week. I know that if I'm off work, for instance, I find myself craving someone to talk to of an evening.

The best thing about my situation is that I can wander round indoors in whatever I like. The worst thing is having nobody to talk to about what is on the telly.

I'm always happy to have people drop by

Despite what I said above about having control of my social life, I'd like to think that my friends would feel free to drop by if they're in the neihbourhood. I'd just appreciate a warning text message first, is all. :)

I think it would work again if we had sufficient space - an ideal situation would be in two completely self contained flats :).

Yeah, I think this is an important point. I probably wouldn't mind sharing if there was enough space involved!

The best thing about my situation is that I can wander round indoors in whatever I like.

In the past week's hot weather, I have come to appreciate this more than I did previously. :)
Just me... plus robot dog, plus two cats soon, plus three birdies, plus bf who comes to stay sometimes... but basically just me myself and I :)
You plus menagerie. Check.

Is that one of those Sony dogs?
I'm currently living at home, due to various reasons such as laziness and not having any friends who want to rent (most live at home with parents and are quite happy to save money. I'm quite happy to blow that money I'm saving on more books). They don't charge me rent and do all the usual things like cook and clean for me, but they also nag me constantly about my books (is buying about 30 books a month normal for anyone reading this?), buying stuff, not saving money, not buying a house etc etc.

I think I'd like to live by myself because I keep odd hours, and I don't want to be in a situation where I feel pressured to spend time being social with my flatmate(s). I didn't have a bad time of university as such, and I loved the people I lived with in my final year, except for the minor fact that they often went to bed at 10pm whereas I'd be up until 1am. Oh, and their ideal Friday was spent in the pub as opposed to going out for a meal or seeing a film.
(is buying about 30 books a month normal for anyone reading this?)

No, but I wish it was. :-)

I had to give up buying DVDs and CDs almost entirely when I moved into my flat, and over the past few months I've been cutting down on books, too (although I admit it may not seem that way to the casual observer). I'm down to only five or six a month...

I think I'd like to live by myself because I keep odd hours

I did when I was a student but (more of necessity than anything else) I have to be relatively normal these days. Still, I agree that it's an advantage during holidays and such.
(Deleted comment)
Hmm. Why am I not convinced by this? :-p
(Deleted comment)
I really envy your living situation. While waking up to Dan's Leonard Cohen playing in the nextdoor bedroom was actually quite relaxing, there's a lot that drives me mad. I empathise with the control freakishness, and I like to be able to plan all the little things, which gets almost impossible when housemates decide it's their right to do stuff that encroaches on the rest of our living space, like being very loud, leaving junk all over the house to trip on, or saturating our cable modem bandwidth for the umpteenth time. These cause me daily stress and annoyance, especially the noise point. I'd really love somewhere that's mine (broody nesting instinct?), but for now, the ability to work and read in peace and quiet is the thing I want most :-)
bandwidth

Yet another thing I'm glad I don't have to share! ;-)

(broody nesting instinct?)

The one part of my astrological profile that I think is accurate is that I'm somewhat houseproud. For all that I may sometimes not clean up as much as I should, I like looking after my flat, and I like playing host.
What would your ideal living arrangements be, right now?

Ideally, a small flat of my own, in an area which is accessible to lots of my friends so they can all come and visit regularly. Sadly, this ain't gonna happen right now, so second choice is sharing with a friend who knows me well and respects my need for privacy/alone time, which should hopefully happen by September.

My best housing experiences have been the times I lived with friends at uni. The places I've been living (on my own) for the past year have had their down sides, but not necessarily to do with being there alone.

what's the best thing about your current situation?

I get lots of time on my own, which I do actually need. It's nice and quiet. It's cheap (OK, free). It's convenient.

What's the worst thing about it?

One of the reasons I'd want to live alone is to have my own personal space, and where I'm living now is emphatically not my space, so I don't feel all that comfortable in it. And although I need a certain amount of time on my own I do also like being able to see friends on a regular basis, which is tricky at the moment, and I do feel a bit isolated at times.
which should hopefully happen by September.

\o/

I get lots of time on my own, which I do actually need.

I get that. It's like...time to recharge. If I keep seeing my friends, and I haven't had time alone to think and absorb new stuff, I can start repeating myself with alarming rapidity. :)

I also agree that it can be a tricky balancing act.
I have to elaborate in the comments, apparently. :)

Currently I live in uni accomodation. In first year this was a room in a house, randomly assigned, meaning I was sharing with some nice people who occasionally got drunk and noisy and played music at loud volumes.

Second year I moved into a house with lots of my friends, and we all had a lovely time leaving our doors open, and it was nice to always be able to find someone to chat to. But I ahd problems since I liked my room to be mine - I don't like friends coming in and fiddling with things and touching stuff and mucking about with my computer.

Now I live in a single room at the top of a corridor and it's lovely. Quiet and peaceful (unless someone is throwing up down the stairs which thankfully is rare), also there's no one to keep tabs on people coming and going.

Rambling aside - I'd really like to live in my own flat. Sadly this is not possible for the immediate future, since I will be back with parents. Although I don't find this too bad. Since I've finally decided I want to do masters/PhD type stuff, I think I'm going to be in uni accom/shared house for the next few years, which is fine as long as I share with nice people.

Yes, I'd love a cosy little flat with my SO and maybe some fluffy kittens, but this does not seem imminently likely either. :)
I have to elaborate in the comments, apparently. :)

Yes. Or else I shall hunt you down and poke you with sticks.

Rambling aside - I'd really like to live in my own flat. Sadly this is not possible for the immediate future, since I will be back with parents. Although I don't find this too bad.

I found there was a difference between going back for holidays and knowing that I was going back for good, as it were. Not that I want to make you worried.
I'm really really happy with my living arrangements right now, both in who I am sharing with and in terms of the place I'm living in (I love my house!). I don't think there's anyone else I'd want to long term share with apart from Alex though.
I'm really really happy with my living arrangements right now

I know. It is equal parts endearing and sickening. :)
At the moment I live at home with my parents and one of my brothers (the other is at uni in York and we maybe see him for a week when it's the holidays) plus various random students who mum lets rooms to. Owain sort of lives here too, in that he sleeps here rather than at his flat and is here for some amount of every day. He'll be moving in entirely soon, after his time in the uni flat is up.

At the moment we're waiting to see where we end up - either Brunel or Edinburgh, depending on which PhD he does. Either way, we'll end up getting a flat together.

I have no problem living at home since my parents are pretty laid back and my room is more or less entirely mine. Plus, with the hours I tend to keep when left to my own devices, I can go for days without actually seeing any of them for more than a few minutes...
1. Do you live with anyone else - I answer 'Other' in that I mostly live alone, but do occassional host friends who crash (usually during a film-a-thon), friends who visit (yes, even you, if memory serves correctly, you were most welcome ;-) ), family who visit, and my lovely thommel when she visits or stays for extended periods. We plan on making that a bit more permanent as things unfold. On the whole, with all my expectations and history to date, I don't think of myself as living alone.

2. What would your ideal living arrangements be, right now? - Dork Tower S.O. with nookie, of course. ;-) And with a little time and effort, I'll have precisely that in a few months.

3. And I'd add to that: what's the best thing about your current situation? What's the worst thing about it?

The best thing about my current living situation is a comfortable house, in a good city, with ready access to public transport, and at far less expense than if I were to live entirely on my own. It affords me luxuries of space and finance that I wouldn't otherwise have. The worst thing about it are my familial obligations, and what has been near-continuous remodeling since I moved in, in 2001. Moreover, I'm now at the point where I realise the work will never end. As soon as one thing is done, there is always something else to do. It would be one thing if I gained a thrill from it, but I don't. More of a mute compliance, let's get through this already. Maybe it's a lazy male-brain thing, but I'd rather adapt to something that's broken than to fix it. ;-)

4. concerning your comments about living alone - I agree that, speaking for myself, there was/is a certain amount of pleasure of living on my own. That said, I think it really comes down to how well circumstances match one's accommodations. On the whole, if I were to remain as I am without prospects, I would trade my large-for-one house with all its attendant maintenance challenges that suck dry much of the spare time I can find from work (assuming I don't choose to live with excessive house dust, which I do), for something smaller and thereby turn the city I live in into my 'living room.' Something I effectively did in Oxford, which I thoroughly enjoyed. A less-than-perfect home was a boon for living out.

As for living in the St. Cross Annexe, I have to say that was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, largely because privacy issues were well-secured, and my flatmates were mostly great people. I liked the common living room, kitchen, and bathrooms that were maintained by scouts. A nice hybrid between hotel-life and personality. Even in my preceding 'foreigners ghetto' accommodation, the relatively lousy 'home' pushed me out the door to my benefit. In contrast, the SF house has been larger than I need, and more consuming of my time - forcing me down sedentary paths that comfortable though they may be, aren't invigouratingly happy on my own.
We plan on making that a bit more permanent as things unfold.

That sounds like a good thing. :)

The best thing about my current living situation is a comfortable house, in a good city,

If wishes were horses, that's what I'd change: I'd live actually in London, or at least near enough to be on the tube network.

Maybe it's a lazy male-brain thing, but I'd rather adapt to something that's broken than to fix it. ;-)

I know that feeling! I have some tiles next to the oven that have come loose. I know that I'd fix them, but it's not a huge deal, and I also know that what with the way that heat and grease gets funneled in that area they'd only come loose again before too long...
Live with DH, have done for fifteen years (oh god, I am *so* old). TBH, I can't imagine living with anyone else - I'm fiercly protective of my privacy, and I'm quite happy with my own company. There's even times I need a break from DH, bless him. I find any kind of communal living uncomfortable - claustrophobic even. There's no way I could ever contemplate a housesharing arrangement. I even start getting twitchy when we have people staying for more than a couple of days, or if we stay with other people for more than a day or two. I'd go nuts if I had to share living space with anyone else.
I know exactly what you meant elsethread about needing time alone to recharge - sounds like we are archetypal Myers-Briggs Introverts :-) I use the drive to/from work to unwind, and process out the crap in my head.

I forgot the clicky! I am ashamed.

So you should be.
*wags finger disapprovingly at Niall*
sounds like we are archetypal Myers-Briggs Introverts :-)

Heh. I can't remember exactly what I came out as last time I took that test, but I know it had an I at the start of it. :)

Still, you encourage me that I could end up happily loved-up, and not have to live out my days as a hermit...

P.S. Fifteen years ago, I was still at primary school.