Self

Accounting for the Costs of Living Alone

The oft-hailed benefits of living alone have lesser mentioned downsides that should be managed.

Sean Kernan
5 min readFeb 21, 2024

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Myself and my +1 for life, Laura.

“So this is my new life,” I thought, standing in the open front door, surveying my home and taking in all the change. I set down my bag and took a deep, measured breath.

I’d been out of town on a work trip, and my then-wife had agreed to move out. The entire divorce experience — from start to finish — was difficult and deeply emotional. But we knew this was the first step to moving forward.

My living room was missing pieces of furniture. Our dog was gone (she was my ex’s before we met). The house felt eerily quiet, and seemed to whisper back at me, “So what do we do now?” As a married man, there’d always been so much activity at my home, be it through social gatherings, taking the dog on walks, conversation, or the TV blaring. Now, it was all silence.

And as scary as it was on that first night, I quickly learned to love my life. I could dominate the temperature and send my Floridian house into a deep winter without regard for anyone else’s survival. My thermostat went into overdrive and TECO Electric sent me thank you cards.

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Sean Kernan

Writer and writing instructor. Always on the hunt for a good story. That guy from Quora. Writing out of Tampa, Florida.