Single Life Paradise: Cartoons Portraying How Being Single Is Pure Bliss

By Louise P

Living alone has become something our friends tease us for. “How could you live like that?” and “You must be so depressed,” and so on. We have heard it all. But artist Yaoyao Ma Van As has set out to show the world how living alone can be much more of a blessing than anyone ever thought! She lives in L.A. with her faithful four-legged friend Parker and describes herself as an animal lover and vegan. She has worked on major productions like Rick & Morty and at Disney TV Animation, but it is her portraits about the single life that have caught our undivided attention. Yaoyao is living her best life (along with her pup!) and loving every moment of living alone. Have a look at some of the perks (and downfalls) of living alone, as seen through the eyes of this artist.

All images courtesy of yaoyaomva on Instagram.

Living Alone Means Shedding

We sometimes find ourselves wondering: “How do we even have any hair left on our heads if THIS is the amount of hair on the floor?” Shedding to this extent can’t possibly be normal, can it? Apparently, “normal” is a relative concept.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

But living alone means you can shed all you want, and cleaning up is optional. Well, we think you SHOULD do it. But gathering up those strands can also become a “later” problem. You call it hair; we call it personalized confetti.

Living Alone Means Plants

The “crazy cat lady” trope has evolved into the “plant owner who chooses not to marry” analogy. This is a stereotype we strongly identify with and can fully get behind. Studies have shown plants make us happier, so you can just call us scientists.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

How many is “too many” plants? Is there even such a thing? It depends on who you’re asking. We will continue buying ALL the plants until there is nothing but a 6,000 km river distinguishing our apartments from the Amazon rainforest.

Living Alone Means Cuddles

Ok, so the artist doesn’t completely live alone. She has her trusted canine companion, Parker. This friend is more loyal than any human partner could ever dream of being, and Yaoyao is well aware of this. Parker and Yaoyao forever!

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Working from home when you live alone can be extra fun. No one is peering over your shoulder to see if you are really working. Or even getting dressed for the day. Yaoyao and Parker can cuddle as much as they want during the workday, judgement-free!

Living Alone Means Being Dramatic

We are well aware that being alone and being lonely are two completely different things. But sometimes, these two things collide, creating the perfect breeding ground for being a little overdramatic. *hits repeat on Adele’s “Someone Like You”*

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

There is nothing wrong with curling up on the floor, finishing a box of tissues, and making our way through our trusty “Sad Songs” Spotify playlist. With no one there to see you, this is wholly cathartic. Let it all out, girl!

Living Alone Means Chaos

Working from home comes with its own set of complications, and we can’t even imagine what home offices look like where partners are involved. Our worst nightmare would have to be living AND working in the same space as a significant other.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

But luckily for Yaoyao, she is all alone in her cozy home office, and chaos reigns supreme. No annoying distractions and no need to be organized. She has double the space, which means more room for activities! She probably wished “work from home” never had to end.

Living Alone Means Dance Party

When you live with someone, it is common to try and keep your kooky behaviors under wraps for as long as possible. It is frustrating but sometimes necessary if we want someone to stick around for longer than a week.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

But when you live alone, you can literally let your hair down and go buck wild! Pump up the jams, jump on your bed, wiggle your booty, and have the best time. Private dance parties are all the rage in the single community.

Living Alone Means “Me Time”

Partners often intrude unknowingly on some much-needed “me time.” Maybe you want to watch some T.V. or take a walk alone, but you don’t know to say that without sounding rude. But living alone means “me time” is all the time.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

You can take a relaxing walk at your own pace, stop to smell the roses, and feel the warm autumn sun kiss you on the cheek. Uninterrupted time to yourself is highly underrated, and we cannot advocate for it enough.

Living Alone Means the Bed to Yourself

Do you want to lie down and doodle silly drawings for hours on end? Feel the urge to lose track of time while scrolling through TikTok till the cows come home? Well, for the low-low price of living alone, you can do so shamelessly!

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

We often have to pinch ourselves to ensure we are actually living our childhood dreams. In our own space, with our favorite furry friend, talking to boys on the phone, and spending all day in bed. Yoayao seems to be living the life too!

Living Alone Means Early Mornings

The struggle is real if you are a morning person and have the misfortune of cohabiting with a night owl. Sneaking around in the mornings until they eventually come to it is not only frustrating but also a genuine inconvenience.  

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

But when you live alone, this is not something you need to worry about. You can wake up at the crack of dawn if you please, and there is no need to tip-toe around your house. Feel like a smoothie at 5 am? No problem!

Living Alone Means Fewer Dishes

When you are cooking for one, dishes become a breeze. You have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to “one-pot meals,” and doing the dishes is optional at best. You might have someone over and be forced to attack the Leaning Tower of Pisa in your sink.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

But when you have a friend like Parker around, even a mundane task like doing the dishes can become a pleasure. And who cares if you get suds everywhere? Parker is happy to be around her, no matter what the occasion.

Living Alone Means Hobbies

We often find friends asking, “how do you get time to do that?” Well, we don’t have to deal with anyone else’s wants or needs. Living alone means you have tons of free time that you get to spend on your hobbies and interests.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Want to learn to paint? Sure! Feel like doing some macramé? No problem! Is it time to experiment with your sewing skills? There is no time like the present! Yaoyao is fully embracing her inner Picasso with all her free time and space.

Living Alone Means Reading

Another one of the illusive hobbies that lone wolves get to indulge in is reading. Having space for a reading nook is an even bigger perk. You can also have as much shelf space as you want to add more of your favorite books.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

We won’t mention that you will probably never end up rereading most of them and that a Kindle is a way more economical and logical solution. Being surrounded by heaps of books brings a sense of comfort that cannot be replicated.

Living Alone Means You Get Lonely

Like we said, living alone can get lonely too. It’s not all fun and freedom all the time. Sometimes you think of something funny that you just want to share with someone, and you realize there is no one around.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Lonely nights are few and far between, but they are there. Pets like Parker do a heck of a lot of good when it comes to combating these feelings. But wet kisses and furry snuggles only get you so far.

Living Alone Means Fewer Laundry Days

Do you remember as a kid it felt like your mom was doing laundry almost every day? Where did all of the dirty things come from? How is it that we can keep going until we run out of underwear? Fortnightly laundry day, anybody?

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

And everyone that lives alone also knows “the chair” all too well. Clothes that are too dirty for the closet but too clean for the wash. The chair is an infinite resource of ready-to-wear outfits and usually shifts between the bed and the chair, depending on where we want to plant our bums.

Living Alone Means Being Gross

Undoubtedly one of the biggest perks of living alone is being gross in your own way, without judgment. Yes, yes, we clean up eventually. But if we want to make wall art from our loose hairs in the shower, that’s our prerogative.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

The only problem is, how will we ever unlearn these weird habits when we do eventually move in with someone? Or shall we just plead ignorance and pretend that this is a normal thing to do and that our partners are weird for not doing it?

Living Alone Means Experimenting

Everyone has their eating habits and a list of ingredients that are just not allowed in the kitchen. But when you live alone, you only need to consider your own likes and dislikes when pretending to be on Master Chef.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

If we feel in the mood for a blue cheese and pickle casserole, that’s what we will have. Half the fun also lies in making the mess while testing out some wild and wacky new recipes! If only we had a little robot to help with the cleaning, that would be great.

Living Alone Means Pampering

Running around after kids or a partner seems tiring. When you live alone, you can squeeze in time for a much-deserved pampering now and then, even if you are on a budget. A pedicure is a pedicure if you ask us!

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Even more, if we want to spend hours on the phone talking to friends, so be it! No need to divide your attention or consider other folks in the room. People who live alone are by far the easiest to keep in touch with and the best friends to call if you need some support.

Living Alone Means Being Sad

The only thing worse than being sad is being sad and alone. Somehow the sadness seems even more overwhelming, and we can’t entirely be held responsible for the actions that may or may not follow. Smashing a phone against the wall is not unheard of.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

It is also common knowledge that bangs always sound like a good idea when the black dog is looming. Sorry sister, a flirty new haircut is not going to, um, cut it. In times like these, we need to learn to reach out and channel our emotions constructively. Or deal with the consequences of our new do.

Living Alone Means Closet Space

When it is only you and yourself occupying your dream apartment, you get to enjoy twice the amount of closet space! Capsule wardrobe who? Do I really need six pairs of skinny jeans? No. Do I have room for them? You bet!

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

On top of that, nothing stops you from having daily fashion shows when it is time to get ready. The mirror only needs to accommodate one fabulous body, and you have all the floor space you could dream of. Lights, camera, action!

Living Alone Means Your Way

Have you ever gotten into the cleaning spirit (usually while trying to procrastinate) and ended up getting in way too deep? Far beyond the levels of just surface dusting and a quick sweep. We are talking about “finding old baby photos” deep.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

When you live alone, this kind of deep cleaning rabbit hole is totally a joy! You get to move things around at your pace, and it is completely fine if you make more of a mess than you actually clean!

Living Alone Means Relaxing

Having a bathroom all to yourself is a luxury few people ever talk about. Being able to shower or soak at your leisure should be a fundamental human right, and he who dares disturb the peace shall get a smudge on their permanent record.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Ok, that might be a bit drastic. But when you live alone, a disturbance is the last thing on your mind. You can soak all your troubles away and even let in a second round of hot water if you must!

Living Alone Means Binging

Adulting is a whole mood. It means bills, responsibilities, and jobs. But it also means if you want to pig out on Chinese takeout five nights in a row and drink wine from a Mike Wazowski cup, that is perfectly fine too.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Living with someone makes it hard just to let go and eat as much as we want. You want to keep up appearances and make yourself look a little more put together than you are. But when you live alone, no one is watching, so binge away!

Living Alone Means Playing Games

Living alone can admittedly be a bit boring sometimes. You have made your way through all the seasons of Seinfeld. You have cleaned more times than you care to remember. You read all your interesting books, and you just don’t have the will to try and cook.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Luckily, Yaoyao always has Parker when boredom strikes! Playing hide-and-seek with her pupper sounds like a great boredom buster, and we kind of envy her for it. Perhaps we should look into fostering a little critter of our own. They come with someone that cleans up after them, right?

Living Alone Means Licking the Spoon

It is said that you can more easily get salmonella from eating raw cookie dough than it is getting it from undercooked chicken. We choose to look the other way and denounce these heinous claims. Bring on the batter and dough!

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Getting to lick the spoon all on your own is any little kid’s dream come true. No pesky siblings to share with. We already know we might pay for this in the morning, but sometimes the punishment is worth the pleasure.

Living Alone Means Quiet

Enjoying a quiet night at home has a whole new meaning when you live alone. It often does mean absolute dead quietness, and being engulfed by the silence is bliss in its purest form. No blaring T.V.s or nagging spouses. Just you and the quiet hum of the city.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Yaoyao’s porch swing is also the thing that dreams are made of! Does she live in a romantic comedy or something (minus the romance)? You would not be able to tear us away from that porch even if you tried.

Living Alone Means Forgetting to Try

When you live alone, it is easy to forget to try and be better. No one is holding you accountable to take a shower, eat a salad, or make your bed. It is a constant struggle to try and be great for yourself every day, because let’s be honest, sometimes the motivation just isn’t there.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

And before you know it, you have gained a couple of pounds, nothing fits anymore, and it feels like your world is ending. You know, your everyday, run-of-the-mill melodrama. But then we remember we are still the flirty and fabulous person we’ve always been, and we have the will to live again!

Living Alone Means More Cake

Leftovers are a holy entity in our households. If you dare even move my takeout box an inch, there will be hell to pay. But when you live alone, this struggle becomes a thing of the past. Your fridge can be 90% leftovers if you want.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

You can have all your cake AND eat it too! Sneaking a little bite at midnight is a guilt-free pleasure you get to enjoy. If you eat an entire cake, and there is no one around to see it, did you really eat it?

Living Alone Means Chillin’

Yaoyao is from L.A., so she sure knows a thing or two about the summer. She has also found a foolproof way to beat the heat, and we envy her for it! Straight chilling, belly out, with a snack and drink within reach.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

It really is the only way to do it, in our opinion. Even Parker understands the importance of staying hydrated! Thanks for the inspo, Yaoyao. Come next summer, this will be our permanent state of being. You are a true visionary!

Living Alone Means Being Cozy

Some days you just don’t feel like jumping out of bed and seizing the day. Carpe Diem is for schmucks. Well, when you live alone, some days could totally be cozy days where you drag your bed around with you wherever you go.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

You can start your mornings off slow. Rub the sleep out of your eyes and stare out the window for an undisclosed amount of time. Make your way to the couch, where you get comfy for second and third naptimes. That is the life!

Living Alone Means Getting Motivated

Once you have had your lazy day, it is time to get motivated again. It is important to try and stick to a general routine when there is no one else around to avoid spiraling into total chaos. Make your bed, do some yoga, brush your teeth, and half your day has already been won!

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Parker doesn’t seem to mind exercise in the least bit, either. He is probably an expert on down-dog anyway! The bonus of living alone is you don’t have to try and look cute when working out. You can sweat and pull all the faces you want; no one is watching!

Living Alone Means Playtime

No one is happier than little Parker that Yaoyao lives alone. We know that that little dude gets all the attention in the world, and then some. With all the time she has, because she’s not dealing with a roommate, she can use it to play with Parker!

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Living alone also means Parker’s toys can take over the whole house without causing a stir. She can clean up when and how she wants, and in the meantime, Parker can have as much space as he would like. That’s one lucky dog!

Living Alone Means Needing a Shoulder

We have touched on how living alone can sometimes be isolating. You need to surround yourself with solid friends that will offer you a shoulder to cry on when the time comes. There is a lot of heartbreak out there in the world, and it is bound to come your way some time or another.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

It looks like Yaoyao has found her person. Your person needs to know that a hot beverage makes everything better and all they need to do is listen. We don’t want advice, just someone to listen to us run over everything that went wrong out loud over and over again.

Living Alone Means Morning Cuddles

We will confess, it is not the worst thing in the world to wake up next to someone. A morning cuddle makes it pretty hard to get out of bed in the morning, but it is warm and endearing. But then again, so is a good bowl of lasagna, so make your choice.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Yaoyao has made the right choice by making Parker her cuddle buddy. He is loving and adorable and gives the best kisses. And best of all, he doesn’t talk back! Just the occasional bark or yelp to let us know he is there.

Living Alone Means Late Nights

Working from home has been a struggle, and some people like Yaoyao had been going at it for years before it became cool. Forcing yourself to get up in the morning is tough enough, but having your office at home also means many more late nights.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

It gets increasingly difficult to distinguish between home and office, and the boss doesn’t hesitate to ask you for “one last thing.” We have always said we are actually made for the millionaire lifestyle: all play, and no work. Ha, just kidding.

Living Alone Means No Rules

We remember as kids, we were inundated with rules. Don’t do this, don’t do that. Sit like this, eat like that. We never seemed to be able to do anything right. Whoever decided elbows on the table were such an egregious crime?

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Luckily those days are behind us. We live alone, so feet on the table are encouraged. Want to sit on the floor instead of the couch? Don’t even sweat it! Eating like an animal? Who’s looking!? Go wild, girl! Her house, her rules.

Living Alone Means Cleaning Alone

We choose single pet life every day. But no one ever said raising a 4-legged friend is easy! They can make a mess equal or bigger than any child if they feel like it. And unfortunately, you can’t make them clean it up like you can with humans.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Any mess your dog makes becomes your mess to clean up. But it is a small price to pay to have such a faithful companion in your life. If we lose a few toilet rolls along the way, that’s not the worst thing.

Living Alone Means No Worries

You know Timon and Pumba were actually singing about the single life when they said, “Hakuna Matata.” Yes, living alone means fewer worries, fewer problems, and it is indeed a wonderful phrase. This picture of Yaoyao perfectly captures this sentiment.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

An underwear dance party is just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes you need to let loose, and dance like no one is watching. All the better when no one is actually watching! Shake that thing, girl. Parker doesn’t seem to mind either.

Living Alone Means Staring When You Want

Weird behavior like staring at your dog for an hour while it sleeps is completely fine. The dog might be freaked out a little bit, but that is the least of our worries. Imagine our pets knew how many creepy pictures we have of them sleeping?

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

We also can’t help but wonder if they stare at us this much while we sleep? Like are they making sure the boogie man doesn’t get us? Or are they just blissfully unaware that we need protection? We are for sure buying a home surveillance system on Black Friday for these research purposes. Important questions must be answered!

Living Alone Means Singing the Blues

This image might be a little more specific, as we don’t all have the ability to play an instrument (or two, as in the case of Yaoyao). But when sadness hits, and you are alone, strumming a few chords can really help keep the blues at bay.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

We can’t help but think a little sadness is all you need to write a banger. Who knows, Yaoyao could be the next Taylor Swift if she can channel her heartbreak into song! But not everyone is destined to be a star, and some of us just need a little tune to get us through dark times.

Living Alone Means Leaving a Mess

People who live alone haven’t completely given up on dating. We still sometimes go out and get our kicks, and getting ready for a date night is still a stressful affair. We can already hear Yaoyao yelling, “I have nothing to wear!”

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

The carnage that is left in the wake of getting ready for a date is something inexplicable. Where did all these things come from?! We could not have possibly tried all these outfits on. Let’s just hope she cleans up enough for Parker to find his toys while she’s out.

Living Alone Means Overcooking

Cooking for one person is impossible. This is just a fact. Pasta will always be enough to feed an army, and who even bakes one cupcake at a time? When you live alone, there is more food for you. Yay! But there is also more food for you. Boo.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Single-person living spaces should come standard with box freezers so we can store all these leftovers better! When food is frozen, it is also harder to eat all at once. But having so many cooked things in the fridge just means one thing: buffet!

Living Alone Means Laundry Mishaps

It is too easy to leave your clean laundry unfolded when you live alone. There is no reason to put it all away immediately. Who cares?! But you do, of course, run the risk of mixing up dirty laundry and clean laundry in the process.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

But it is a risk we are willing to take! With no one around to watch us, it is perfectly fine to sniff some shirts now and then to check if they are fresh. We have even, on occasion, worn a sweater inside out to hide a stain. Or is that just us?

Living Alone Means Any Time is Bed Time

Two people can’t comfortably fall asleep on a couch. That’s just how it is. And no, we will not use the pullout couch; we don’t live in a frat house. So when you live alone, it is best to take full advantage of having it to yourself.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Few sleeps are as good as when you fall asleep on the couch watching a movie. The drool stains on our pillows will confirm this. Something about the snow in the window and the twinkling lights makes us assume Yaoyao was watching a Hallmark Christmas movie when this went down.

Living Alone Means Lying Awake

Many partners complain that they have sleepless nights from a partner’s snoring or tossing and turning. But insomnia is not unavoidable when you live alone either. You sometimes find yourself awake at 3 am thinking about a certain someone or maybe not even someone in particular at all.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

It is just the gentle lull of someone breathing next to you that makes you feel safe and helps you drift off to sleep. No amount of Parker cuddles or leftover cake can help you at this hour. Maybe the reminder that you have a fabulously single life will be enough to put your mind at ease.

Living Alone Means Being Responsible

Throughout Yaoyao’s series, we have fallen in love with her pet Parker and the bond between them is truly something special. But he is also getting older, and he isn’t the spritely young pup that he once used to be.

Image Courtesy of Instagram / @yaoyaomva

Luckily, he gets to spend his senior years with an adoring pet owner who will move mountains for him. We hope Yaoyao and Parker will fill our Instagram feeds for years to come, inspiring us with her fabulous and single life!