As a woman, living alone can be both liberating and frightening. Of course, you have your own personal space, you’ll always know when you use the last of something, and you don’t have to clean up after anyone else. But, there are also some downsides to living alone, particularly when it comes to safety.
If you’re spending your nights constantly imagining all of the ways that someone could break into your apartment, then not only will you be sleep deprived, you’ll also never be able to relax in your own space. You’ll always be anxious and on edge. And that’s just no way to live!
For the first time ever in my life, I’m living on my own. And, I wanted to ensure that I felt secure in my new space so that I could enjoy this time in my life, rather than stressing about the “what ifs” that could happen.
So, in the hopes of making sure other women can relish living alone, I have listed below some of the precautions I’ve taken. Hopefully you will find these as useful as I did!
Anytime I meet a guy and we start dating, for the first few dates I never have him pick me up at my apartment; I always meet him at our destination. It’s important that you’re not announcing to the world that you live alone. I’m not saying that you can’t tell anyone (that would be silly), but don’t tell every person that you meet how you love living on your own. It could make you a target.
It’s almost impossible to keep your neighbors from knowing that you live on your own, which could be both a good thing and a bad thing. Of course, we’d all like to think that everyone is innately good, but unfortunately that is not reality. Build trust with neighbors that you feel you can confide in. That way, if anything does happen, you have somewhere quick and close to run to.
I shouldn’t even have to write anything about this one. Dogs are amazing and cute and fluffy and loving and…I digress. The point is, in addition to you not really being “alone” dogs are excellent protectors. Even if you get a tiny one, their barks can alert you to danger and have been known to deter potential break ins. Dogs = noise = attention. And no robber wants that.
When I was looking for an apartment, I made sure I searched for areas that I personally knew to be safe. I even checked City-Data to confirm that the area wasn’t secretly keeping their high crime rates hidden from the public. Whenever I visited a place I would always ask myself these questions:
Am I going to feel safe walking the dogs at night?
Am I comfortable with the distance from my car to the apartment?
I have two dogs and I take them out several times throughout the day and right before I go to bed. It’s important that I feel safe walking them on my own. The apartment that I chose has a courtyard within the complex, which means that I don’t have to leave the comfort of those locked doors at night.
Considering that every time I come and go, I have to walk from my apartment to my car and vice versa, I need to feel safe making that trek at any time of the day. I originally had looked at a studio at my complex, but when I found out that I had to park on the street, I upgraded to the one bedroom with a parking spot in my complex’s gated lot.
There are small steps that you can take to secure your apartment. Installing a chain lock on your front door. Putting wooden rods or dowels in your window tracks to prevent them from being opened. Keep mace, a bat or (if you’re a badass) a gun, by your bed for easy access. Have a plan for how you’ll call for help if someone tries to break in. And, of course, if you can afford it, I would highly recommend getting some type of home alarm system.
Lastly, I can’t stress enough how important it is to have some type of support system geographically close to you. Luckily for me, I moved around the corner from a very close friend of mine. So, although I don’t have any family within 100 miles, he keeps an extra set of keys and is my emergency contact. I know that he’ll be here for me within minutes if something happens. Find someone that you trust implicitly, because in a desperate time of need, the last thing you want to worry about is who to call after you dial 911.
And, in addition to everything above, pay attention to your intuition and instincts… trust your gut.
“A woman knows by intuition, or instinct, what is best for herself.” – Marilyn Monroe