The Art of Living Alone

I loved this morning’s episode of Where We Live, which was all about living alone. Here’s a little background:

In the 1950s, less than a quarter of American adults were single. Today – that number is up to about half.

But when we say “single” – we mean not part of a couple. A different – and slightly antique-sounding term – “singleton” means people who live by themselves. That number is up to some 31 million Americans.

I weighed in on this trend a few weeks back in my Singleton post. But in that quick post I didn’t say anything about why I think living alone, at least for a little while, is important. Continue reading


I love these kinds of stories… you know the kind that say unmarried women are, statistically, happier than married women — the opposite being true for men — or, in this case, that women living alone are happier than men in the same situation. But the funny thing about this article, is that I can’t stop thinking about MaryAnne Singleton from the Tales of the City stories.

But I digress:

But modern conditions make it possible to combine an active social and romantic life with the option to retreat to a solitary haven. When you can step outside your door and find three cafes, five bars, and streets teeming with acquaintances and intriguing strangers, living alone is no sentence to solitude. Still less so when, from your kitchen table, you can chat, text, email, or Skype with remote confidants.

I do have to wonder, though, if social media and other modern communication tools will help men who tend to isolate build better networks of support.