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Do people really enjoy being on their own? Or is that a defence?

(151 Posts)
grantothree Mon 24-Aug-20 15:05:14

I do mean this from a position of wanting to understand rather than a belittling way. I've never had any issues talking to new people - I'm interested in new people (hopefully not too nosey!) and enjoy having a chat. I respect that's not for everyone and I do try and be aware of signals if someone wants me to move on. But if I'm honest I struggle to understand that some people do truly prefer being on their own. Of course, I do enjoy a walk on my own sometimes and reading a book quietly some afternoons but on the whole I really get such a buzz and companionship out of talking to others. Do some people really enjoy being on their own?

Lucca Mon 24-Aug-20 15:12:44

I do. It’s certainly not a defence, It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy socialising etc but there are many times when I am very happy to come home and close the door !
Better that than be In a relationship which is boring or annoying or worse !
Obviously I admire couples who have sustained a long term close relationship But it’s not for me.

Baggs Mon 24-Aug-20 15:18:16

Yes, I do. Luckily I get to spend a good deal of time on my own.

I'm an introvert. This doesn't mean I'm anti-social though. I'm actually a very sociable person but small doses are enough and most of the time I'm happy on my own.

Grandma70s Mon 24-Aug-20 15:26:38

I’m another. When I was young, I didn’t like being on my own, but now I love it. I like having visitors up to a point, but not for too long. Even when it’s my own family I’m quite glad when they go.

Ellianne Mon 24-Aug-20 15:34:55

I am never bored when on my own, although I do have conversations with myself (and the dog). There is so much I can find to occupy my mind.
Equally I enjoy company, particularly that of younger people who provide a different perspective on life.
Half and half is good.

tidyskatemum Mon 24-Aug-20 15:36:34

Me too. I like socialising in small doses and not in big groups. Some people really enjoying chatting about anything and everything but I’m afraid I tend to avoid them as I find it positively exhausting. I do marvel sometimes how people manage to talk so much. And they probably find me hard work!

paddyanne Mon 24-Aug-20 15:40:01

I love people BUT I love being on my own too.My idea of heaven is a whole day in the house alone ,listen to music I like,watch anything I want on TV and eat when or if I feel like it .Like a previous poster I dont get bored ,ever.Lockdown has been the first time in 45 years marriage where we dont have at least one child living with us and it has been amazing ,Much as I love them its been lovely being just the two of us and when OH is out and about having space to myself

fevertree Mon 24-Aug-20 15:40:09

I need time on my own. My family know that when I've had a run of socialising, I talk about needing a buffer zone of time on my own.

Like Baggs I'm not unsociable, not at all. I just want to be alone too at times.

AGAA4 Mon 24-Aug-20 15:47:01

I feel very lucky in that I love company but equally enjoy being on my own.
I enjoy time with family or friends but walking on my own in the countryside, reading a book, watching a film is fine on my own.

sparklingsilver28 Mon 24-Aug-20 15:56:19

Here is another loner. MIL quote "go to bed when you like, get up when you like and do what you like". My idea of heaven! Live where you like, house tidy, every thing in its place, furniture placed as you like - no radio no TV - blessed silence! No, I am not anti-social, I'm fortunate enough to like people but do not need them. Married for thirty-eight years a widow for twenty and life alone absolute bliss.

grantothree Mon 24-Aug-20 16:31:37

Interesting. Thanks for responding. It's actually reassured me - I often worry that people on their own are lonely. It can be tricky sometimes to know I suppose, if someone wants (or needs) company and is putting on a brave face and is actually very lonely, or if they genuinely are very content - as so many of you seem to be - in their own company. I do hope I'm sensitive enough to the signals. But it can be hard to tell and I know an aunt of mine suffered terribly from loneliness but we only became aware of it quite late on just not long before she died. She'd always seemed so independent and when she finally told us she'd been lonely it made me feel so guilty. I think I've been subconsciously seeking out lonely looking people too to make amends. Be helpful if everyone could just wear a badge saying 'Talk to me' or 'Leave me alone'! grin

AGAA4 Mon 24-Aug-20 16:44:54

grantothree you are a kind person and should still chat to people who seem to be on their own. I am not lonely but do enjoy a chat and there will be some who are lonely who will feel so much better if you chat to them.

Grandmabatty Mon 24-Aug-20 17:08:54

The loneliest I ever felt was when I was married and it was failing. I love company, have family round often, look after my dgs some of the week, call friends, visit family and friends, have hobbies that involve going out but, and it's a big but, I sigh with relief when I close the door and I'm at home myself. I am content with my own company.

sodapop Mon 24-Aug-20 17:19:34

I like company in small bursts but I am quite happy alone with my books, TV and dogs. I do think though its quite different if you don't have a partner, friends or family to see even if only occasionally. There is a difference between being lonely and being alone.
I felt like you Grandmabatty it is contentment being at peace on your own.

Charleygirl5 Mon 24-Aug-20 19:02:51

I have been on my own since 1988. I certainly never wanted to get married again and on the whole, I like living on my own but I do not have any family so obviously it is friends only and that has been difficult since retiring 18 years ago as they all wanted to live in different parts of the country. I like London so I stayed here.

I was an only child and left on my own for hours so that has helped.

I do not think I would be so content if I did not have my computer. I have met such lovely people in normal times when we had our monthly meetups.

I also keep in touch with three people online via email, none of whom I have met but we just seem to "click" when writing.

EllanVannin Mon 24-Aug-20 19:17:37

I'm alone but not lonely. Widowed for 25 years and never bothered with wanting/needing companionship. There's a lot to be said for pleasing yourself whatever you do, it's great.
I couldn't be doing with anyone under my feet. grin

I was a sociable animal up until my life-long friend ( of 56yrs ) died nearly 3 years ago and haven't bothered since.

FarNorth Mon 24-Aug-20 19:33:56

I really get such a buzz and companionship out of talking to others.

I often feel quite exhausted after being with people, even if I've enjoyed it at the time.

It must be caused by different wiring.

eazybee Mon 24-Aug-20 20:56:10

A defence against what, enjoying being on your own?

I never feel lonely, or bored, probably from years as an only child, and I didn't find lockdown hard at all.

One is more self-sufficient, I think, and not dependent on others for company or approval.

Chewbacca Mon 24-Aug-20 20:56:40

Perfectly happy on my own for much of the time. I'm lucky enough to have family living close by and I happily see them a lot, but I'm always glad when they've gone home! I like seeing my friends too but again, in short bursts; too long a visit and I feel drained. Nice to see them arrive and nice to see them leave.

GrandmaMoira Mon 24-Aug-20 21:20:21

I'm another happy to be on my own. I've been living on my own for a couple of years now, since my sons left home and love it. I've had family here a lot recently and enjoy their company but love having the house to myself and peace and quiet.
I can also chat a lot when with friends. It's definitely more lonely living with the wrong person.

Luckygirl Mon 24-Aug-20 22:47:41

I am newly widowed and truly hate living on my own. I guess it would not feel so painful if it were not for social distancing etc.

I am not bored - I have plenty to do; but I am lonely, very lonely.

Londonwifi Mon 24-Aug-20 22:56:57

I do and it’s definitely not a defence. After I divorced my husband I revelled in the time alone. I would quite happily go to a hotel or restaurant on my own but there were always suspicious looks from women who were there with their man and others that thought I needed rescuing! I’ve always enjoyed my own company. It’s nice to be around my friends and do things together but large social events or parties at a friends house are an absolute nightmare for me and always have been. I’d rather be at home with a good book, great meal and a glass of wine.

Esspee Mon 24-Aug-20 22:57:08

Luckygirl. I chose to work evenings and weekends after my husband died as these were the times I felt most lonely so I know how you feel.
Sometimes on the way home from work I would call in at Asda 24h store just to put off returning to an empty house.
I hope you find peace.

JuneRose Mon 24-Aug-20 23:23:02

I think sodapop has hit the nail on the head. If you have family and/or friends who you can see when you do want company time alone might be a luxury. If you have no-one not so much.

geekesse Tue 25-Aug-20 00:24:16

I love living on my own. I have friends, acquaintances colleagues and lovers who sometimes enter my space on my terms, so I’m certainly not lonely. My home is calm, quiet and stress-free, and I don’t have to accommodate anyone else’s temperament, moods, or likes and dislikes. I get up and go to bed when I feel like it, or when my work requires it, and I can read or snore in bed, or go to the loo at 4am without having to apologise. I choose what, if anything, to watch on TV. I don’t have to be nice to anyone in the house if I’m feeling grumpy, and I don’t have to be sensitive to a resident misery-guts if I’m feeling chirpy. I don’t have to discuss major plans with anyone else - if I want to move or apply for a new job, it’s no-one’s business but my own.

I think the only down side is that I have to do all regular domestic chores myself - I can’t say ‘could you just unload the dishwasher, please?’ If I don’t do something, it doesn’t get done. That includes home and car maintenance tasks, evicting or dispatching unwelcome wildlife and unblocking drains. Over the years I have acquired a decent set of skills, which means I can be pretty self sufficient, and thus not dependent on a spouse, relatives or odd job people.

In a perfect world I’d have staff - a cook-general, a gardener, a ladies’ maid and a butler - but none would live in. Alas, my budget only runs to a cleaner, because housework is the one think I hate doing and do very badly. She is cheaper and a lot less hassle than a husband.