Before I get into all this I should say that I have chosen (after having an apartment by myself one summer in 1969) to never live alone.) After all, it is a choice, and we can choose to live alone or not as long as we can financially afford it after we are about 18 years old or(even younger for some worldwide).
My experience of living alone was that it wasn't any fun. But then again that was 1969 and in California almost everyone found one or more people to live with just because it was fun if for no other reason.
But today here in 2012 here are some statistics for how many now choose to live completely alone as a percentage of households in that country(this is from page 62 in the latest Time Magazine on March 12, 2012).
I'll start with the U.S. because that is where I live and then go to where the most people live alone and then the least.
29% United States
24% South Africa
Also, the following quote from the article defines why living alone is important to some:
"Living alone helps us pursue sacred modern values-individual freedom, personal control and self-realization"
So, in reading the above quote it is obvious that living alone is a luxury and it allows someone to forge their own way and belief system without interference if that is what they wish. I understand that it is true that there is always some compromise when one either lives with a group of friends, or extended family or even wants to be married or unmarried with kids. However, sometimes the right group of people is more than the sum of its parts and becomes something incredibly spiritual and amazing for a year or a group of years or even sometimes for a lifetime. So, as great as living alone can sometimes be, finding someone to share your life with that is a friend might bring a power of 2 times 2 or 4 into your life. However, being brave enough to risk having a wonderful possibly long time group living experience might be difficult in these days now in 2012 too just like it sometimes was in 1969.
So, for me in 1969 if I wasn't living with friends or camping with friends or Rock Climbing with friends and sharing an apartment or house with friends I sometimes chose to live with my parents especially if I was going to college. I found that I had a hard time studying and getting good grades while living with friends. After college around age 25 I settled down with a steady girlfriend and started raising a family in 1973. But even then there were times when we shared houses with other friends off an on until about 1980 when I bought land and built my own house on 2 1/2 acres. And even then sometimes friends would bring their motorhome there and stay with us for awhile. So, at least for me living solo wasn't something I ever chose to do. However, I think people who live in a big city might choose to live alone because their friends live nearby. Whereas I usually chose to live somewhere very wild and beautiful so it was better to have a group of friends who also liked to ski or hike up in the mountains to live off and on in a group. However, this was a much more mobile lifestyle that was much more common in the 1960s through the 1980s than now. So, I think I'm right about the Living Solo lifestyle being more a large city choice than a living in the country choice worldwide.
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