Occasionally I indulge my inner masochist and google things like ‘how to live alone’ to see what nuggets of wisdom the internets will throw up.
Today I was reading WikiHow’s entry on How to Live Alone Happily. I would link to it but I don’t want to encourage WikiHow. Does anyone read or rely on WikiHow? It baffles me. Many of the instructions verge on the inane. I’m going to write one on how to fill a bottle with water [Step 1: remove bottle lid; Step 2: hold open end of bottle under tap; Step 3: turn on tap; Step 4: turn off tap when bottle is full; Step 5: replace cap on bottle.]
In this article their ‘steps’ are not unhelpful. I’ve been known to advocate a few of them myself, such as being prepared for getting sick, and applying self discipline. But from the get go, it’s clear WikiHow thinks that if you find yourself living alone, it’s not a good situation. You should fight against it. Step 1 is “engage with the world”. Fight the forces of aloneness! God forbid you actually learn to enjoy being on your own, spending time with yourself, enjoying peace, quiet and solitude.
But don’t worry, finding yourself living alone is not really the WORST that could happen. Step 7 cheerily consoles you with the thought that the worst thing won’t actually happen:
7. Know it’s not forever
Because apparently, there is nothing worse than being alone forever.
Personally, I can think of a lot of things that are worse. Being married to someone you don’t like, for example. Or getting to 85 and realising that you’ve spent the last 50 years of your life thinking it’s not forever so you put off living until Mr/Ms Right arrived.