Sunday, November 17, 2013

5 Ways that Living Alone After Divorce is Awesome… Except When It Sucks

"Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time
you most need to be by yourself.
Life's cruelest irony." -Douglas Coupland

Being home alone is awesome... except when it's not.
It’s been 75 days since Max and I sold our condo and officially went our separate ways. My new apartment is awesome and I’m thrilled to live by myself. I can be deliciously selfish. Everything is the way I want it, according to my rules. I don’t have to be considerate of anyone else’s feelings, tastes, or judgments. After living with my ex for so long, these are especially welcome changes!

But I’m discovering that living alone when I was 23 and single is very different from living alone because I got divorced. I guess I didn’t really anticipate that when I moved here in September. I thought I would love living alone as much as I did the last time.

Confession: I don't fully love living alone (yet).

Sometimes, especially on Sundays, my own company doesn’t quite fulfill me. Sometimes, I find myself wanting to do something some trivial task and then I realize it’s very challenging alone but it would be easy with someone else. Sometimes, I have to admit that I can get a little lonesome.

As I've noted several times since I got divorced, it's amazing how often I can experience opposing feelings at the same time. My current living situation is no exception.

Here are 5 ways that I'm finding living alone after divorce is both cool and uncool:

1. Cool: Monday through Saturday.
Uncool: Sunday. I’m still struggling a little with the first day of the week. Max and I always enjoyed our Sundays together, usually just chilling at home and getting ready to start another week. At night, we often got a pizza and watched a movie. Then when Jason and I were dating, we spent pretty much every Sunday together. Now, it’s just me.

2. Cool: I don’t have to clean up after anyone. I keep my apartment clean!
Uncool: There’s no one to help me with the cleaning. Max was much better at vacuuming than I am. I get bored and the skip corners. He would actually move furniture to get every surface.

3. Cool: I can decorate my apartment however I want.
Uncool: Hanging stuff on the walls. It’s really hard to hang a picture on the wall by myself. Plus I get really impatient when it comes to measuring and Max was so meticulous with stuff like that.

4. Cool: I can be a little sketchy and no one has to know. I had to walk the straight and narrow with Max because he walked the straight and narrow.
Uncool: Temptation can run rampant! I could bring home a different guy every night. I could smoke pot every day. But are these good choices? Probably not. The only way to keep myself in check is my own conscience. Boring!

5. Cool: I can cook whatever I want. I don’t have to come up with recipes that would work for both a vegetarian (me) and a meat eater (Max).
Uncool: There’s no one to talk to over dinner. There’s no one to compliment my dish (should it actually deserve complimenting). There’s no one to do the dishes since I did the cooking.

But don’t get me wrong, dear readers! Overall, I really, really like living alone. I am so overjoyed to be rid of our condo, truly no words can express it. It’s a bazillion times healthier to not live with my ex-husband. But as with any big change, transitioning can kind of suck!

What was the hardest part about adjusting to living without your ex?

See also: What Successful People Do On Sunday Nights
I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop


  1. 6 cool days to 1 uncool day is a pretty good ratio. Probably better than most people can say. :) I'm glad that you're sounding happy, even though lonesome pays a visit every once in awhile. I think that's normal. When we're married we long for a little peace sometimes. When we're single we long for a little married sometimes.

    And I hate hanging pictures too!! Centering to the beam drives me mad.

    Thank you for linking up to Super Sunday Sync.

  2. It's true, the married person craves alone time and the single person can crave companionship. The old "grass is greener" debate!
    Thanks for visiting, Rosey!

  3. Hanging pictures sucks - get a buddy and a 12 pack of beer and hang them. They probably won't be straight but you will laugh every time you look at them.

  4. Sundays were the worst day for me too...better now because I take social dance lessons.

    I most miss a warm back in the cold sheets...but you are totally right Kat, lots of upside too.

  5. I've been single now for 6 years. At first I missed some of the things you mentioned, although we seldom spent time hanging out together, enjoying each other's company. But now, now I don't know that I'll ever not be single. I absolutely love it. It would have to be one amazing, incredible man to make me want to give up being single.

  6. For me, the hardest part about readjusting to living alone was the sleeping alone part. The bed just felt big and lonely....and was a nightly reminder of my newly single status.

    I found that the best way to get over the loneliness is to get a dog! You never feel alone when you have a dog. And you have to walk them, so they get you out in the neighborhood so you meet new people all the time!

  7. There are the ups and the downs, indeed!

  8. The bed adjustment was a big one. Since Max and I lived together until our condo sold, we slept in separate bedrooms, so I had time to adjust to sleeping alone. I wrote about it here:
    I'm allergic to dogs, otherwise I'd be all over that idea!!

  9. I feel like I can get where you are! Being single has so many positives. I feel like I've embraced that socially, it's mainly my living situation where I'm still adjusting.
    Thanks for reading my blog!

  10. The bed was a tough one. I wrote about that a few months ago:
    Good idea to sign up for something fun on Sundays... going to see what my options are in my community. Thanks! :)

  11. haha true, I do have some good buddies who could be bribed with beer. :)

  12. Can you believe - I have never lived alone! I would've liked to for a little bit anyway. I hope Sundays will get easier for you. Enjoy your Me Crib! :)

  13. Sunday will get better... eventually I will relish the peace and quiet of a Sunday. Thanks for reading my blog!

  14. Okay, Kat here are my categorical responses;
    1) I go hiking or snowshoeing on Sunday with Meetup and some friends. Then I drink beer! Come home and cook meals for me and my son for the week. So just keep busy...
    2) I am a dude and my son doesn't care, so why the big emphasis on cleaning? If I don't vacuum every week, no biggie.
    3) Take a nail and hammer. Drive nail into the wall. Hang picture. Really, are you going to be at that place the rest of your life? If not, then why does it have to be perfect? So what if one picture is an inch lower than the other?
    4) You have options, honestly what is so bad about that? I didn't go to bed until 5am last Sunday because I met someone from my hiking club at an event. She was someone I admired for her actions a month ago on a hike. We blew off the event, went dancing, shut down the nightclub and then had breakfast! I spent the majority of my Sunday hungover and accomplished very little - did cook and do some cleaning, but it was so worth it! It is called FREEDOM! Relish it, in fact, try not cleaning for a week!!! ;)
    5) Okay, you got a point here. However, have some friends or family over. Or meet a nice guy who appreciates a home-cooked meal! Even if there is no meat...
    Cheers, --Mike

  15. Hi Mike -- I keep very busy most of the week, but Sunday is the slow day. I realized today that I'm also used to football Sundays because my ex loved football. I need a Sunday activity beyond cooking.
    Hahaha and don't worry, I'm not exactly a cleaning freak. :) Max and I often argued over housecleaning so we ended up hiring a cleaning service! I don't have one now, so I'm like, hmmm the shower doesn't magically clean itself. How unfortunate!

  16. I know exactly where you are! I had never lived alone until my divorce...ever. I always had roommates to avoid being alone, but some lessons can be delayed, but not avoided. I had moments of elation that were dashed to the ground when I'd come across one lone little kid sock in the middle of the hall. Alone time rocks when you do cool stuff, not so much when you are just alone.

  17. It is a strange thing how sometimes I CRAVE alone time (especially when I was married) and now being alone can make me a little blue. Good thing most of the time I like my apartment and I have good friends nearby.

  18. I feel you! Mine is a little different since I have kids 50% of the time, but the days I don't have them are much like this! I get bored really easily now when I'm alone!

  19. Thank goodness we have our blogs and Twitter, right? ;)

  20. The hardest part was not having someone to talk to about my day or someone to laugh with. Even though I enjoyed being alone I missed being alone in tandem with someone.

    When we separated I lived in the house alone for 2 months before moving and IT. WAS. GLORIOUS. I kept busy by getting the house ready to be put on the market and packing which helped and I did whatever I wanted, watched whatever I wanted, etc. Then I moved up north and lived with my oldest sister for the first 10 months. That was nice because it slowly transitioned me into freedom; I came and went as I pleased, I had my food and she had hers but since she was family I didn't DARE bring anyone (a date) over. It's probably the closest I've had to a roommate. Once I took my 2nd job I think that helped soothe the antsy loneliness I was feeling.
    This past July 1st I moved into my own place alone and, while it was exciting and freeing, it has definitely been lonely at times. I have to depend on myself to cook, clean, grocery shop, do laundry, manage bills/legal stuff and entertain myself. While I enjoy when the boyfriend comes over to hang out I also enjoy when it's just me and I can be lazy on the couch watching "Say Anything" and "Heathers" on Netflix like I did last night =)

  21. Don @ HowYouCanFindLoveJanuary 19, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    For me it was just not having the person there to share in the little moments that I found funny. I suddenly had to laugh at things by myself.

  22. That is true. For example, I used to love watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette with my ex because we'd just make fun of everyone. I'm trying to watch it alone and see if I can still have fun with it.