No Strings Attached - Living Solo
Independent. Free-Spirit. Maverick. Introverted. Selfish.
Perhaps these are a few terms used to paint adults who choose to live independently as a single occupants. Regardless of whether they married, had children, live fulfilling professional lives or live more humbly -- this population is growing, at both ends of the age spectrum.
Unlike the days of black & white television programs, few of us know our neighbors, let alone let them walk-in unannounced. Whether retired or just starting a career, independent-living adults are active and connected to their preference level -- more on that later.
The beloved Golden Girls (note: we have progressed to an era of color TV) captured the attention of many across generations of maturing with autonomy and company. However, as sociologist Eric Klinenberg studied in his book Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, Americans like a little space. Relaying in a 2012 AARP interview, Klinenberg identifies a few myths related to living alone. Many of these revolve around how resources impact life choices: if one can afford to live alone, one does.
According to the Pew Trust, just under 30 percent of U.S. households are occupied by a solo resident (12% male, 15% women). Considering the conveniences of larger cities, it's not surprising that the density of independent residents exists there. Thanks to organizations such as the AARP, outlets for the engagement of seniors are becoming much more diverse and visible within residential environments catering to this audience. With such social connection and community, it reduces the chance of social isolation that can morph into ill-health and depression.
This is also applicable for younger populations including younger Boomers, GenXers and Millennials. Layer the aspects of independent living and the app-economy, and nearly every aspect of life can be ordered, negotiated or made available. Can't make a show you want to see? No worries -- it might be streamed. Feeling too out of it to make a cup of coffee? Not to worry -- we can have it delivered with the meal of our preference within an hour.
[Shucks, this is one of the reasons Let's Check-In exists: want relied upon and relaxed conversations without seeing the person -- ever! When you want them; how you want them.]
There are joys to sleeping in the middle of the bed, eating everything that you prepared and always controlling the remote. However, it is always good to have a check-in partner. Because social media profiles can fabricate "proof of life," call someone or show face just because. Even hermits are part of a greater community.
Here's a gallery with a few of Klinenberg's myths of living independently.