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Damilola O: Why Living Alone is the Best Decision You Will Ever Make



Choosing to live all by myself is still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The freedom, the peace of mind, the responsibility, the learning and unlearning … it never gets old.

Deciding to get a place of your own can be difficult. It’s either you are wondering how you will cope in a new environment, the free food you’ll miss, having to pay certain bills, or going through the pain of finding the best place to live. However, if you are mentally, physically, and financially stable and prepared, you should take this bold step.

So far, I have no regrets; moving out of my parent’s house and staying alone is the best thing that has happened to me. There’s a kind of solitude I’ve never experienced before, but it’s beautiful. I can decide to move around my apartment in all of my glory, dance freely because no one’s watching, and just truly be myself.

Still not sure of why you should live alone? Let me highlight the beauties of it:

Live by your rules

My house. My rules. Even if my mum pays a visit sef, I can tell her what I want and how I want certain things to be done with my full chest. Turn the house upside down? Dance like there’s no tomorrow? Jump around for no reason? Laugh hysterically? Do yoga naked? There are just so many things you can do in your home.

You can choose whether you want noise or silence, music or movies. You can choose what to listen to, what you want to watch and how you want to watch it. You can be in charge of the atmosphere. There’s that freedom of acting crazy without having anyone around to rain on your parade. Just you, the furniture, and the wall. Bliss!

Get to know you better

Sometimes I could be an introvert, other times I could be an ambivert. There are days when I just want to be left alone and days when I want to be on my worst behaviour with friends. I’ve realized that I recharge best when I’m alone. This lesson was especially potent for me because I work from home, so I don’t have co-workers to get some physical interaction with. There are times I don’t step out of my house for days and I’ve never felt more refreshed. When the pandemic started and there was a shelter-in-place order, I had no issue with it because it was my normal life.

By living alone, I’ve learned to love myself. I’ve learned to be introspective and self-aware. I’ve also learned to be creative in my spare time.

You become more independent

You learn to shoulder the responsibilities that accompany living alone – paying bills and maintaining your home. You become a stronger and more independent person. Living alone can build your confidence, help you become emotionally independent, and learn to make decisions on your own.

Financial independence makes you smarter

Bills suddenly seem enormous, and that’s because it’s up to you to pay all of them, by yourself. Even if you’ve saved as much as possible before moving in, you are still caught off guard with how much you’ll have to spend. This makes you become extremely careful with what you spend your money on. I became smarter with spending (well, not totally). I still beat myself up for how much I spend on food. Food oh!

I learned to keep track of what I spend, and where I spend. I’m not the best person to advise you on spending because I’m still a work in progress, you get the drift? But then, I know when I’m broke there’s nobody to turn to, so it’s just me, my sense and my extra common sense.

The beauty of cooking

I can eat what I want, when I want, and how I want. When you are on your own, you cook every meal for yourself, as opposed to cooking for the whole family. This can get pretty interesting and annoying since you’re always cooking for one person – you. For me, the whole process of making a meal for one serving at that moment seems like I’m in my own cooking show.

Recently, I cooked Jollof rice for the first time and it was amazing. Thanks to the Kitchen Muse. I remember when I tried to make Jollof rice for my dad and it came out like rice and stew. I didn’t hear the last of it that day. At least if you mess up, nobody will make you feel bad – Nigerian parents are so good at this.

You surprise yourself with what you can do on your own

You may have always felt all grown up and mature, but nothing tests you more than living alone. There’s a kind of joy that comes with getting things done on your own, by yourself. The small accomplishments you experience regularly while being alone – whether it’s taking out the trash and recycling, paying every bill on time, fixing something that’s broken, whipping up a recipe – make you so proud of yourself. In short, living alone empowers you in a way you’ve never known.

There is no one to judge you

When you live alone, there is no one to judge you in your home. You don’t have to live up to somebody else’s standards. You can put the groceries away when you buy them or just leave them on the kitchen bench until you are ready. You can sleep as much as you like. Having no one to judge you can be extremely freeing.

Just the other night, I was watching a movie in bed and I cried. I realized how special it was to have the privacy to do so. I was grateful all over again for this time in my life. And the amazing part? I have never felt lonely in any way.

So do you live alone? Wanna share your sweet and not-so-sweet experience?


Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Damilola Olatunji is a creative trailblazer and a savvy digital editorial leader who creates compelling content for over 1 million unique monthly readers. As a Senior Content Associate, she supervises BellaNaija's editorial strategy to ensure the needs of each audience are met. You can contact her directly via Instagram (@datshortgirlcalleddami) or on Twitter (@olatunji_dami).


  1. Favour Ogudu

    September 18, 2020 at 11:53 am

    I live alone in school and intend to still live alone in a different environment for my NYSC and after. I love to live by my rules. Like @DonCorleAnnn said, I hope more African girls experience living independently before they get married. Paying rent for your apartment, having hired help to cater to your needs, walking naked in your apartment, washing dishes to 70s disco music, complaining about the price of food, experiencing bliss. Staying out late till 4, crawling into your bed dead drunk knowing its your home & no 1 can say shit. Closing up your home for a week to go on a trip with the girls, having soirees in your home. Learning how to fix pipes, decorating your home & having sex on the kitchen counter. It comes with its own problems, bills and Lord knows it hurts paying rent when you’ve been a freeloader all your life but by grace it’s your home, all yours and no one can tell you shit.

  2. Chisom

    September 18, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    This is beautiful and quite inspiring. See me blushing and smiling all through the read. I tasted leaving alone just for few months before my youth service and it was cool. I can’t wait to start enjoying that experience again. I stay with my friend in her apartment right now but then again it’s nothing like being alone.

  3. British Caribbean African Beauty

    September 18, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    I live alone and i love it!
    The only downside is sometimes when watching something and you want to comment on something on the show and there is no one to comment to or laugh with. I just pick up the phone and text or call my people to laugh with me hahaha
    The only time I have ever wanted to live with someone/people is during this pandemic there was a point where everything seemed so bleak that I kept thinking how nice it would have been to go through this with other people or another person just have people around to make it easier. But I weathered it!

  4. Tayo

    September 18, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    It’s just the idea of living by my own rules that thrills me. I’m thinking of moving out of my sisters place but I don’t know how the conversation would go down because she is totally against ladies living alone before marriage. But I think it’s time and I’m hoping to have the conversation at the end of the year. God would give me the wisdom I need to say the right things.

  5. Toby

    September 20, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    I have been living alone for 3 years and I do not regret it. It’s so much fun. Peace of mind, the privacy, living by your own rules is totally worth it.

  6. Nana Afia

    September 23, 2020 at 3:40 am

    I have been living alone for 2years now. I like the learning and unlearning parts.
    Learning to pay my bills and budget my monthly stipend. Knowing that no one is coming to my aid because I live in Asia whilst my family lives in Africa is quite enlightening.
    Like the freedom to come and go as I please. Cook and eat whatever floats my boat. Plan my weekly grocery hauls. Replace things as and when they run out. I still dislike cleaning my bath tub and try to spray bleach daily until I literally have no choice than to scrub it.
    I really am glad I get to live alone for at least 4years before I marry. Living alone is “adulting” on a whole different level.

  7. Ink

    November 11, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    I lived alone throughout uni in UK and I enjoyed it. You leave your toilet paper and come back to find it right where you kept it. Peace of mind as well

    Cook small and that’s it. When I go away for the weekend, I know no one is going through my stuff. Lol

    You learn a lot about yourself too, that it’s OK to be alone sometimes

  8. Rob

    September 19, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    I am a sixty five year old white male living on the south coast with my lab. Since quitting Alcohol and loosing most of my mates in the process, I have taken the decision to live alone rather than dwell on the fantasy that things will change for the better. I am a vegetarian and don’t drink or smoke. I enjoy keeping fit and healthy through yoga and cycling. I would like a close female friend, but I am an HSP and getting started is a daunting prospect. I find these types of articles most helpful/uplifting and wish there more like it out there.

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