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Living alone has many pluses, but there are benefits to cohabitation, too, I recalled yesterday. 

Until the door knob fell off, I adored living by myself. “Why,” I often asked myself in the mirror, “would anybody willingly live any other way?”

When you rule your own living space you have freedom: you can eat what you want, wear what you want, and pile your stuff any darn place you want not to mention that it doesn’t matter if you wake up looking like a dewy-skinned love goddess or a wreck. Your world, your time and your body are all yours, and you’re not obliged to share them. Yippee.

When living on my own, my plants take on deep meaning and so does my phone. I dance more, I am happier, and my productivity soars; I drink wine less, write in my journal more, and read at least half of everything I’ve been meaning to for ages. My food costs go way down, and I only eat when I want to.

The lifestyle fits me so well that lately I’ve been questioning the need for 24/7 romance–which tends to get in the way of my life goals and my career, all the more since I work at home. I love dating, but living with a boyfriend, having somebody else so close in my world, has proven distracting. I often lose focus of everything except “us” and “him,” and, too often, my long list of faults.

The truth is that while my boyfriends typically say knowing me greatly improves their world, I rarely feel edified living with them. This may have to do with astrology: most of my recent boyfriends have been Virgos, a notoriously finicky sign, and not a good match for eccentric Aquarians such as moi.

My cooking is sub-par, it turns out, my apartment cluttered, my fashion strange, online casino I over-pack, and my sleep schedule is erratic, etc, etc. In other words, living together (at least with Virgos) has taught me that I prefer to live alone–to reside amid towers of books, dress in flowing Indian garb if I want, pack as much as I need when I travel, sleep when I’m tired and to read and write through the night when I’m not.

I’ve become so enamored of my solo lifestyle that I thought until recently that I’d be plenty happy to live by myself for the rest of my days.

However, yesterday when I walked into the bathroom, shut the door and the handle came off in my hand—and it took two hours before the doorman heard my frantic wails—I had reason to reconsider the wisdom of my live-alone stance.

Over lunch, during which I downed several glasses of wine to calm my frayed nerves, I decided that I am again open to the idea of having a roommate of the romantic variety. Well, as long as he’s not a Virgo.

Until then, I´m not stepping behind a closed door without taking my phone.

— Grace Keyes

Profile photo of Melissa Rossi

About Melissa Rossi

Born in Dayton, Ohio, Melissa Rossi's first words were, "Get me outta here!" She's been moving around since she was 17 — living in Seattle, Portland and assorted other parts of the Pacific Northwest as well as in New York, Vermont, and Florida (let's not talk about Iowa and Kentucky). After writing a book about Courtney Love (Courtney Love: Queen of Noise), which Courtney didn't like, Rossi decided to become a world traveler, and has visited most European countries. She has also lived in assorted parts of Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. Fluent in "Spitalnishsian" — an Italian, Spanish blend with a dash of Russian thrown in — Rossi has written for such publications as National Geographic Traveler, Newsweek, MSNBC and George, and is the author of What Every American Should Know about the Rest of the World (Plume/Penguin, 2003). A chronic sufferer of "Urban Deficit Disorder" — she can't focus on one city for long — Rossi probably will never settle down long enough to call one place her home.

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