It’s such a weird myth that we, single people, are “very selfish” because we choose to think and focus only on ourselves. Let me tell you one thing – yes we do, and there is a reason for that. Especially when you’re talking about single folks in NYC.
The thing is that you have to focus on yourself because no one else will do it for you.
The first problem you encounter as a single person is an apartment. Renting a place only for yourself is tough because apartments in NYC are very expensive ($700 for a room is a bargain). If you choose to live by yourself, as I did for 2 years, you end up spending most of your money on rent. At some point you just have to consider having a roommate. And good luck with finding one here – it’s always an adventure. You’d hear a lot of horrifying stories about finding a roommate on Craigslist. I got lucky so far and my current roommate is a very nice girl (I found her on Facebook page Gypsy Housing last December).
Another thing is that you sign a lease for a year, not longer, which means that every year when your lease is coming to an end, you’re afraid of two things. One: you’ll be kicked out of your apartment and will have to look for a new one again. Or – If this doesn’t happen, you have almost 100% guarantee that your rent will go up. There is no way that your rent stays the same, no chance. You will pay more. Say good-bye to that trip you were planning on having.
If the first scenario happens, the whole process begins again. You have to find a place, which means find time to go and hunt. So now you’re not only dealing with your job and managing your duties, but have to somehow squeeze in an apartment search, which means going on a train for an hour just to find out that the room you were hoping for is close to the one you’ve seen in the movie “Room”. Finding a place, a moving company or friends with cars and a free afternoon who will help you to deal with it… that’s another task you need to do. You don’t have a boyfriend who makes these phone calls for you, or will do a search of his own, or will pack your stuff. It’s you, yet again. You can’t call your parents, because they are either a few hundred, or a few thousand miles away. Adult life. Deal with it.
In every apartment, you have to deal with a landlord yourself. There is a mouse running around your kitchen– well, buy a mouse trap and try to schedule a day your landlord will come to your apt and fix those holes he forgot to mention to you when you were moving in. The water is leaking to your neighbor’s apartment (as happened today to me) – try to reach out to your super or a landlord at 9 pm on Saturday night. Oh, and good luck with that.
Not to mention money – you spend money on everything by yourself, you can’t just share costs, so you end up spending a bit more, which means you can’t just spend money on things you think we do spend it – parties and alcohol (parties – what is that?).
And there is one more thing, the most important one. Any kind of decision – concerning a job, a problem, a situation we have to deal with – is also 100% ours. We can’t just sit down with our partner to discuss things and arrive at an agreement. We have to count on our own judgment and hope it will not screw us in the future. If we decide wrongly, we can’t just blame our partner or share responsibility – we can blame only ourselves. So don’t be surprised that our focus is slightly more on us than on anyone else. We just have no choice, because there is no one who would do that for us. We, single people, gain many things, that’s true, but our life is no different as the one you have in a couple. The difficulties are just a bit different. And to live by a single pair of shoulders.