My Selection— “Solitude Is the Richness of Self”

Centuries of wise and witty words from people who love their solitude

Bella DePaulo
My Selection
Published in
5 min readFeb 5, 2021


Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

If you are single at heart, meaning that single life is your best life, you probably love the time you have to yourself. But all sorts of people, not just the single at heart, appreciate solitude and try to make room for it in their lives.

Over the centuries, many people have written insightfully or amusingly about solitude. I want to share some of my favorite quotes here. The first set comes from Fenton Johnson’s At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life. I wrote about Johnson’s inspiring ideas previously, in “Solitaries: Who they are and how they offer more than you ever imagined.” The second set of quotes is from another wonderful book, Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude, by Stephanie Rosenbloom. In the last section are a few other quotes from my collection.

Quotes from “At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life,” by Fenton Johnson

1. Louisa May Alcott:

“I prefer to be a free spinster and paddle my own canoe.”

2. Amelia Earhart, to her husband in her “wedding letter”:

“I may have to keep some place where I can go to be by myself now and then, for I cannot guarantee to endure at all the confinements of even an attractive cage.”

3. Walt Whitman’s description of an unnamed person (Fenton Johnson thinks Whitman was talking about himself):

“He was seldom less alone than when alone.”

4. Marianne Moore:

“The cure for loneliness is solitude.”

5. Henry David Thoreau:

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off.”

6. Friedrich Nietzsche:

“It is a business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong.”

Quotes from “Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the



Bella DePaulo
My Selection

“America’s foremost thinker and writer on the single experience,” according to the Atlantic. SINGLE AT HEART book coming on Dec 5, 2023.