Whether luxurious or lonely—from Live Alone and Like It to Miss Lonelyhearts—our cultural images of living alone tend to fall at one pole or the other. But dwelling solo isn’t all about mahogany four-posters or weekends in sweatpants with only a cat for conversation. There are as many ways to live alone as there are people living alone, a number that nearly doubled in the U.S. over the last half century.
Those of us who choose to live alone are motivated by the desire to maintain a relationship with a partner whose ideas of cleanliness and sleep schedules don’t mesh with ours, a sense that we’ll be safer on our own, or a wish to filter out the world after days spent in chatty open offices. Living alone can feel freeing, calming, isolating, anxiety-inducing, or all of the above.
Curbed’s living alone issue is all about the ways our solo spaces have evolved from bachelor pad to cocoon, what living alone means for our relationships with other people, and how we behave at home when there’s no one else around. —Sara Polsky
Writers: Jeff Andrews, Laura Fenton, Briallen Hopper, Jacqueline Kantor, Brock Keeling, Mallika Khanna, Joanna Scutts, Angela Serratore, Julia Sklar
Editor: Sara Polsky
Art direction: Alyssa Nassner
Illustrator: Niv Bavarsky
Photo direction: Audrey Levine
Copy editor: Emma Alpern
Engagement team: Jessica Gatdula, Stephanie Griffin, Sharell Jeffrey