“Go, sit in your cell and your cell will teach you everything.” – Abba Moses, 4th Century hermit
I can’t say if living alone is a current trend, or how long it’s been happening, but it doesn’t lead to isolation or loneliness. Relationships need to be a matter of quality over quantity. It’s logical to think that being on one’s own is healthier than being in a less than satisfying partnership. A bad relationship is not a reliable way to maintain happiness or stability in a person’s life.
I’ve wondered for years on how many relationships come about as a result of peer pressure, fear of loneliness, financial reasons or ego. So living solo for long periods of time is bucking a long established trend. Most singles don’t fit into the stereotype of a female spinster or a set in his ways male. It involves people with lots of passion for life. While family life has its benefits, it can become a closed circle while those living alone can, and do, become more engaged in community life. So there is a lot of overlap involved here. Statistics don’t reveal what being single or married is like, or what the quality of life they have.
There is a big difference between being lonely and being alone. Being lonely is when one latches on to a person or group for no real reason at all. They are much like emotional vampires sucking life from everyone near them. Being alone means being able to stand oneself. Benefits of aloneness is getting to know yourself, working on personal projects and being involved with restorative solitude.
One of the worst things imaginable is being in a relationship, or roommates with the wrong person and the stress involved. It’s great to be set free and regain control over ones social life. A problem is when two people start spending too much time with each other. Proverbs 25:17 says “Seldom set foot in your neighbour’s house, lest he become weary of you and hate you.” When getting married, how many people aim low and settle for less, or fail to take stock of their potential spouses characteristics? Which is better for solitude, big cities or small towns? Both, as long as one knows when to keep their noses to themselves. What I suggest is a middle of the road attitude, avoiding the extremes of the 1950s’s stoic conformity, or the Playboy Magazine mentality of the 1960’s and 70’s. It’s possible to feel more lonely with the wrong person or crowd, than being with yourself.
I can see hand held gadgets adding to the state of loneliness as people live behind the iPad and so on. I avoid social situations where the atmosphere is either toxic or poisonous. Some people always take more than what they give. They don’t take the opportunities to eliminate mental sludge and setting some goals to aim for in life.
Those living in Single Room Occupancy face another dilemma in life. Some feel so low that they avoid family or friends who may brand them as failures or losers. Self imposed loneliness keeps these people from working with others to improve their life situation. Other cases may not trust their neighbours due to alcohol/drug abuse, people that pry into others business or other less than desirable traits. A disadvantage of living alone is if the person is in poor health and dies. It could be a lengthy time period before the body is found. When living alone, it’s easy to spend too much time in front of the TV, surfing the internet or becoming a hoarder losing themselves in stuff.
For myself, I find myself no longer concerned with what people think of me never being married. As in all aspects of my life, I learned to set boundaries.