I'll be honest - I never thought I would be the type of person who enjoyed living alone. Since I've always loved being around other people, the thought of renting an apartment on my own sounded isolating and lonely. All four years of college, I shared a roof with either two or three other girls, and after I graduated, I moved in with my then-boyfriend and his brother. I always had someone to talk to, eat dinner with, and make me feel more secure if I heard strange noises in the middle of the night.

The following year, I signed a 13-month lease on a one-bedroom apartment with the same boyfriend, thinking if we got a place of our own, some of the issues in our relationship would dissipate. Not even four weeks elapsed before it became painfully clear - this wasn't where I wanted to be. And not the apartment, but the relationship. Maybe it was out of guilt, but when I finally gathered up the courage to break things off, I let him be the one to move out.

I'll never forget that feeling. I was 23 and freshly single, and not only was I stuck for another 12 months in an apartment I couldn't afford on my own, but I was now living by myself - something I swore I never had a desire to do....

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