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If you’ve ever been a single woman who lives by herself, then you definitely know it can be the struggle. Don’t get me wrong, living alone is a glorious right of passage, but sometimes that independence can be lonely.

Also included in this situation are single women who have long-distance significant others. Because really, that struggle is essentially more or less the same on a day-to-day basis as those who are single.

Basically, if you find yourself almost in tears trying to open a pickle jar, or standing on the couch refusing to get down because you spotted a mouse and you have nobody in your apartment to help you (and no boo, to call to help), you definitely know what I’m talking about.

And here are few lessons you’ll probably learn from being this independent woman:

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1. You learn to do all the “heavy lifting.” 

Quite literally. If there’s anything that you learn you’re going to have to take care of fast – it’s how to move heavy household items up and down flights of stairs (or awkwardly fit them into an elevator). Of course this isn’t limited to household items, it’s just about anything that is made easier with two, you learn to do solo as much as possible.

2. You learn how to ask for help.

We all need help – that’s a fact that you’re going to have to get used to sooner or later. It’s easy to fall into being an I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T. woman in such a situation and thinking you have to do it all by yourself. But whether it’s help with spring cleaning or just you need a friend to binge watch Netflix with over a few glasses of wine because you might be feeling lonely, you’ll realize the importance of learning how to ask for what you need.

3. You learn to appreciate solitude. 

If you ask anybody who’s ever lived alone, especially if they’re single or spend most of their time alone, they’re going to tell you that they enjoy it. It may seem daunting to come home after a long hard day ad have no one to talk to. But I can tell you that although it may suck on some days, on most days it is so nice to come back to peace and quiet. People, as a species, can be tiresome. (Even those you love.) And it’s nice to just be able to deal with yourself.

4. You learn about your good and bad habits really fast. 

When you only have yourself to deal with and take care of, you learn a lot about your lifestyle habits. You learn whether you’re messy and can work in disorganization, you learn whether anything being out of its proper place drives you up the wall. Sometimes when you live with people, you tend to cater to their habits without even noticing. When you live by yourself, you learn to see yourself for what you are.

5. You learn how truly lazy you can be. 

Whether it’s realizing that you would rather go to bed hungry than cook, or that you’d rather watch TV from your computer than venture into the living room, you will surprise yourself at how entirely lazy you can be when it comes to things. You’ll also learn the acceptable number of days you can allow your dishes to sit in the sink before you muster the strength to wash them. (And you will forever keep this piece of knowledge to yourself.)

6. You’ll learn the real true financial reality of your life. 

One downside to living alone and being single while doing so, is that you will rarely split the cost of anything ever. And with that comes an education of your finances like no other. If you’re smart, you’ll learn how to be ahead of the pack – how to budget carefully, how to save, how to invest, etc. You’ve got mostly only yourself to worry about and you can turn that into something good!

7. You’ll learn that no matter what, the one person who should always have your back is you. 

It’s simple really. Sure, you may be able to take care of your physical needs. But you’ll also learn that when it’s all said and done, you’ll realize during that time you’ve been alone taking care of business, you’ve also grown to treat yourself with compassion and kindness and knowing that even when it felt like you were failing, you were probably doing the best you can. And in that way, you’ll know how to pass that message onto everyone you meet.

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If Living Alone As A Woman Doesn’t Teach You These Lessons, You’re Doing It Wrong  was originally published on