avatar 05/09/2014

Sole living vs social living

Sole living vs social living

Whether the sound of silence is music to your ears or you prefer the hustle and bustle of living with a bunch of housemates, there are pros and cons to living alone or living with others.

We take a look at some of the good points and bad points of sharing a gaff or living by yourself.

Party like it's 1999

Everyone likes a good house party. Getting some of your mates together, a few drinks* and choosing the tracks beats trekking into town in the rain, paying triple the prices and listening to some lame DJ churn out overplayed songs.

And generally, the more flat mates you have, the more fun a house party is.

It also means the next day, there are more people to share the Sunday morning guilt with from the night before.

But on the downside there is also a TONNE more washing up to do from using every possible glass you own because your flat mates all invited their mates and their mates invited their mates and… you get the idea.

That said, the more housemates you have, the more hands on deck it is to get the tidying done and clean spillages from carpets to try and secure getting your deposits back.

Verdict - throwing a party is SO much more fun if there are more of you living in a house.

*While house parties are a great time to get your friends together and let your hair down, please do drink responsibly.

Social living: 1 Sole living: 0

Do not disturb!

Whether you live by yourself or with 10 people, being in the shower is the time you can be well and truly on your own.

And living on your own makes showering easier. It means you can shower for as long as you like and don't have to wait outside the bathroom door with your towel, or endure a cold shower on a frosty December morning when one of your housemates has used all the hot water.

You also eliminate the risk of a housemate wandering in bleary eyed at 6.30am thinking the bathroom is vacant only to be met with the image of you hiding behind the shower curtain.

Living alone on the other hand - while you-ll never run this risk, it does mean you'll have to solely foot the bill of the long showers you've been taking.

Verdict: Not having to wait, have a cold shower or have someone walk in on you is the way forward. It's a point to living alone on this one.

Social living: 0 Sole living: 1

Food, glorious good

If you live alone, you get all the fridge space you want. You also don't have the truly horrifying experience of spending the day looking forward to tucking into that steak you've got in the fridge, only to get home and find out someone else has eaten it.

That said, living with housemates means you can eat together and take it in turns. So you'll have cook less often and don't have to eat the same thing every night for a week.

It also means you get to try some of your housemates' marvellous culinary creations. And with housemates, a spontaneous take away is far less guilt ridden than when there's no one to share it with and you sit there vegging out on the couch feeling like a right fatty!

Verdict: Surely you can put up with less fridge space and the odd steak going walkabout for the fun of eating with a group and not having to cook as often.

Social living: 1 Sole living: 0

Clean living

The beautiful thing about living on your own is that you can be as tidy, or messy, as you like without being grumbled at. And that goes both ways.

An anally tidy person is equally as annoying as a grubby flatmate who leaves their food to fester until it's unrecognisable.

However, the upshot of living with a group is that there is more people to share the cleaning with and more people to play Bin Jenga with. For those who are unfamiliar with this game, it is a case of carefully placing items into an already full bin. If you're the person who makes it all come tipping out, it's your turn to take the bin out. Simple!

Living by yourself means you don't get to play such fun (albeit unhygienic and essentially pretty disgusting) games with. Instead when you live by yourself, you have to take the bin out EVERY time and do all the cleaning. All of it. From the oven to the toilet. No rota means no help.

Verdict: Living alone wins every time here. Although there's no help when it comes to tidying, if it's just you making a mess, you probably won't have that much anyway.

Social living: 0 Sole living: 1

Social living: 1 Sole living: 0

Noise control

Living alone means you can be as noisy as you like. You can sing at the top of your voice in the shower (which you haven't had to queue to get into!), you can shout answers during TV quiz shows (which you've been able to choose!) and you can play your music as loudly as you like with no one to hush you.

Flatmates on the other hand, no matter how much you love them, can be a real pain when it comes to noise.

Whether it's keeping you up at night or just going about their daily lives - other people and their noise can be really annoying.

But what happens when you live on your own and you hear a noise? If you're lying in bed and you hear something, you're absolutely, categorically SURE it's a ghost or you're being broken into rather than a flatmate going for a night time wee.

Verdict: Keep your mobile under your pillow for the times when you irrationally think you're being broken into. For all the other times, being able to relax and make as much noise as you like is worth it.

Social living: 0 Sole living: 1

Creepy crawlies

Let's face it, living alone means the giant spider that's chilling on the ceiling directly above your pillow is your job to get rid of (or you rearrange your bed so you sleep the other way tonight!)

The more people you live with the more people there are to get rid of giant spiders from the bathroom or your bedroom.

Living alone means you have to do all this yourself. For that reason, shared living gets the point here

Social living: 1 Sole living: 0

Totals - Social living: 4 Sole living: 3

So what's better? Well social living and sole living both have their attractions but based on the above, it seems having housemates offers a more fun lifestyle than living alone.

Obviously it depends how important you consider your own space to be but if you can tolerate living with others generally it is cheaper rent, you get new friends, more variety of food, more people to help with the tidying, better house parties and just simply more fun.

If you're unsure whether to branch out and get a place to yourself or shack up with a bunch of housemates, we vote you go for the latter. Give it a go and see how you get on! Share your experiences of living alone and living with a group on our Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Last of all, whoever you choose to live with and whoever you let your hair down with at aforementioned parties, once again please remember to drink responsibly. For information on safe drinking, see

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