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Get Your Own Space Before You Get Married

Ditch your parents, the roommates, and significant others... Really. It's time.

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According to the Pew Research Center's recent study, more millennials are living with their parents than past generations, and even once they do leave the nest, they are generally shacking up with roommates or significant others.

While that's all well and good, I'm here to stress the importance of getting your own space before you hunker down for the long haul, ie. getting married or some variant of the like.

I know, I know- it's hard...

So what.

The rewards far outweigh the risks and efforts it takes to have it happen, and I assure you, if you are committed to having it happen, it will.

I get that right now you want to spew statistics at me that show how the current job market and wages don't match up with the hikes in rent and property prices, and I won't even try to argue with you about it. You're right. But I'm not trying to say it will be easy; I'm just saying it will be worth it.

Here are a few of the things you will miss out on if you never choose to live completely on your own, sans roommates, parents, or significant others:

1. Having the only say in where all the furnishings and decorations go.

Nick Stanley

This is a big one, because I guarantee that there has been more than one fight between you and whoever you live with about where your Ravenclaw tapestry should be hanging. I know I've had a few roomie altercations over furniture placement, and it sucked having to compromise literally everything about our shared living space. When you don't have anyone living with you, you have the freedom to put anything anywhere you want- and you can change it every day if you want!

I don't know if I can really express what a freedom that brings to one's soul. I mean, you are literally creating your surroundings exactly as you see fit, as opposed to merely sifting yourself into the cracks of someone else's version of what that space should look like. It puts you in a place of creative power that allows you to brush away all the preconceived notions of what you should want, and opens you up to what it is you really want.

It seems like something so simple, but the effects are profound beyond measure.

2. Being able to invite over whoever you want, whenever you want. Or not.


How many times have you snuck a friend into your parents house at 1AM, tiptoeing down the hall to your room, only to catch slack the next day for laughing too loud while watching Family Guy with a pair of shared earbuds? Or how many times have you had your significant other over, only to join your roommates in laughing at yourself the next day about how you howl like a dragon while having sex...

Do you ever really let go and allow yourself to have good sex when you live with other people only 10 feet away on the other side of the drywall? Probably not. And if you think you do, I'm letting you know you really don't.

Having the freedom to have whatever company you'd like, whenever you'd like, is one of the best possible things about living alone. Mainly because, you also have the freedom to have nobody around. I can't stress how many times I've come home from work and just wanted to grab some junk food and veg out to an episode of Doctor Who, but my roommate just must fill me in about her day before I can retreat to my room.

Having the mental and emotional space that comes with having one's own living space is invaluable. Without that personal time, we all go a little mad eventually.

3. Stocking the cabinets and fridge with all your favorites, and not having them mysteriously disappear.


It's one of the deepest roots of all conflict when sharing a living space with others, no matter who they are. You know you bought a six pack of mac and cheese, but two days later there's only one in the cabinet. Where the hell did it go? Let alone your six pack of double IPA.

At least when you are the only one consuming what you bought, you can count on it to still be there when you reach for it the next day. And I bet you notice your food budget suddenly stretches a lot farther, too, since you're not having to buy things twice or three times to only enjoy them once.

4. Having your place as tidy or untidy as you please!


When you live alone, you can throw you dirty socks over the back of the couch if you want. Or on the other hand, you can be rest assured that there won't be a pile of toast crumbs and congealed jam on the counter when you get home from a long day at work.

I can't tell you how hard it is to find anyone to live with who is genuinely in tune with your personal cleanliness standards. I'd even go so far as to say that no one ever matches up completely, we just all learn how to eventually compromise to avoid conflict.

5. The knowingness that you can be independent.


When my friends hear that I live alone, a lot of them tell me that they are thinking two things: 1. That I must have a lot of money. And 2. That they probably can't ever do that themselves.


I don't have "a lot" of money. I bust my hump to pay my own bills, and some weeks I am actually a little depressed over how tired I am from giving away so much of my time to that ever present money chase.

And, I simultaneously look back at this list in my mind and remember that I am working for something much greater than four walls. I am working for my independence and the knowingness that I needn't rely on anyone else. That's different than saying I don't look to others for support; I do that all the time. But it's a different kind of support... It's the encouraging words and votes of confidence. It's the, "I'm here for you"s. It's the freedom that comes with not needing someone else.

So basically what I'm getting at is...


Having one's own space is representative of so much more in this world than we like to give credit for...

When you take the time to create a space that is only yours, and you work toward it, earn it, you learn what means something to you, and what doesn't. Maybe it doesn't matter to you where the couch goes, as long as the counters are clean... Maybe it doesn't matter if the counters are clean, as long as you're afforded alone time... And maybe alone time doesn't matter that much, as long as you know that no matter what, you're capable of having your own back.

Whichever way you see it, the point is, you have to take time for self discovery and exploration, or you'll spend a lifetime wondering if everything in your life is merely some form of compromise or predisposition... And that's a recipe for regret.

So get the hell out there- Live alone for a little while... Trust me, you'll never regret that choice a day in your life.

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