I have started a story of my life in the first person. Do I have to have dialogue? Or would it be very boring without it?
Of course you must have dialogue! All of life is about the exchange of information. You are creating a dialogue (between you and the reader) just by writing the story of your life.
Dialogue does not just have to be between two people in your life, it can also include inner dialogue where you are talking to yourself in your own mind. I imagine that you will have a lot of this in your story - everyone gives themselves a bit of a talking to every now and again.
Also, because this is your story, don't imagine that you have to present dialogue in the same, formulaic way that publishers will push you towards (although it may be easier to read) - you can experiment with different approaches such as putting a dash at the beginning of a line to denote speech, or putting the words of someone speaking in italics.
At the end of the ends, give yourself the freedom to be yourself - just make it interesting along the way.
Lots of novels don’t have dialogue, epistolary novels, stream of consciousness, etc.
The problem is that you are opening yourself up to the danger of ‘telling’ your story rather than ‘showing’ it through scenes with action and dialogue. It gives a sense of hearing a story told instead of feeling and experiencing it or being part of it.
The other danger of telling the reader what happened is you’re expecting them to take your side and your word on all the events, rather than allowing them to see for themselves and draw their own conclusions. Readers like to figure things out rather than be told what to think.
Dialogue is a powerful tool for conveying nuances of character and creating conflict between characters. People don’t always tell the truth or say what they really mean and it’s exciting for a reader to try and decipher meaning from dialogue.
For me, personally, I feel there’s a sense of laziness in not creating scenes that show. It’s so much easier to just tell your story in page after page of narrative exposition. Stories come alive in the reader’s mind when they’re beautifully balanced with action, dialogue and exposition. But it’s not easy.
It can be done. There are no rules that say a novel must have dialogue. But you are making work for yourself in that you will have to avoid pitfalls inherent in stories that only tell and you may end up with no emotional connection from your reader.
There’s a similar question here, too, which may help: