8 reasons why living with the right flatmates beats living alone
1. We're not designed to spend lots of time alone
Us human beings are social pack animals, not hermits.There's even been a study showing that living alone can increase risk of depression by up to 80%.
2. The desire to live alone is a new thing, not the historic norm
Living alone is a relatively recent phenomenon, growing from the 2nd half of last century. Before that people tended to live as family units for the most part. Now, as most people have much greater personal freedom (and often live somewhere other than where they grew up), we've developed a notion that living alone until you find someone to settle down with is the ideal situation. I couldn't disagree more.
3. Gain a surrogate family
If you get it right, flatmates can occupy a space between family and friends (and indeed many become life long friends, or in some cases even family - we know of quite a few SpareRoom weddings!). If you live in a different city or country from your family, they can be a real grounding influence in your life. Ive heard many (particularly those from other countries) describe their flatmates as their surrogate family.
4. Keep some spontaneity in your life
Were all creatures of habit to some extent, and if you live on your own theres nothing to break you out of your routines (good and bad), so life can get pretty predictable. When you share you add spontaneity and randomness into the mix. It starts with the small stuff - like coming home to find your housemate has cooked enough for you too, or the impromptu decision to nip out for a midweek pint in the local. But its much, much more than that - its the new people you meet, the new experiences and influences, and the new things you learn. It keeps you connected and curious. And of course it can simply be a lot of fun.
5. New friends (or lovers?!)
When you get a flatmate you don't just get one new friend, you inherit their social circles too. And if you're single, that's lots more opportunities to meet someone you click with - if you're tired of finding weirdos on dating sites, there's no better recommendation than a friend of a friend.
6. Live in a soap rather than watch one
At its heart its the trivial things that make sharing great- just as its the trivial things (such as different attitudes to cleanliness /tidiness) that can make it awful. Its sharing your ups and downs with someone at the end of the day that can make both the bad stuff and the good stuff better. Rather than coming home to an empty place and 'unwinding passively in front of the TV, I often liken it to living in your own little real life soap opera. With your regular friends you only get a summary of the highlights and lowlights of whats happened in their lives since the last time you saw them - which could be weeks or months ago. With flatmates you get to see their stories unfold each day, and of course you influence the outcomes and are part of those stories.
7. Feel smug that you're helping save the planet
Two people living together have a 40% lower carbon footprint(per person) than they would living separately; this rises to 59% for people sharing a 5 bed house!
8. Get more for your money
Last, but not least, are the obvious financial benefits. Live in a better standard of property or location than you could afford alone. Or simply save money!
So, if you have to share, embrace it (and change your flatmates if youre not loving it). If you dont have to, join us anyway, youre missing out! The desire for isolation is so last century.