10th July 2019

London Living - Together Alone


Are there moments, however fleeting, in your life that you have felt lonely? That might feel like quite a personal question and its not one we are expecting an answer to, but it’s a growing issue. In this latest article, written by our analyst Jessica Mueller, we investigate loneliness for those living and working in London where although you are rarely further than a couple of metres from the next person in distance, emotionally it can often feel like miles.

Most people dream of living the London Life and being part of the hustle and bustle that’s everywhere you turn. Instagram paints a flawless picture of a happy and fulfilled city lifestyle whether that involves meeting new people, a successful and exciting career or the perfect brunch. In reality London is a very disconnected capital, despite having a population of over 8 million people, which is continuing to grow.

London is multicultural and vibrant, with countless opportunities to try new experiences and meet different people. There is something for everyone whether you’re interested in music, food, fashion or sport. The difficulty is, that most Londoners stay in the same friendship circles and attend the same events. For someone moving to London on their own, it’s a tough reality that it is not only expensive, but can also be very lonely at times. Only 7% of Londoners strongly agree that London is a good place to meet new people – not a great statistic if you’re moving into London solo.

Typically, you’d move into an old Victorian converted townhouse with a few strangers, paying c. 50% of your earnings – maybe not quite the start you had been expecting. The endless Snapchat stories and opportunities leave Londoners feeling inadequate and that they should be constantly busy and leading a fantastic life. This creates an anxious energy or guilt if you are on your own at home. It may come as no surprise then, that London is the loneliest city in the world according to a Timeout survey of 18 cities – 55% of respondents admitted to feeling lonely.

London is fast-paced and can be stressful, not necessarily what Instagram portrays. The lack of social networks is increasing the number of individuals who feel unsupported and alone. The need for change is apparent and Londoners are now more aware of the benefits of having a community, opting to pay for clubs, groups and gyms to meet like-minded people. But with statistics like the one from the Timeout survey, surely it’s time to introduce new ways to connect with each other to keep the city and its residents thriving?

Jessica Mueller


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future.

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