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Is Anyone Else a Recluse?

(89 Posts)
Caleo Thu 22-Jul-21 08:51:25

I compare myself with the Lady of Shalott. But whereas she wanted to be sexually active with Lancelot I have no ambition like that. So I am happy to be a recluse in my house and garden. Yesterday I went to the dentist which was quite a treat .However the receptionist, nurse, and dentist, and my nice son who drove me there and back were all perfectly professional and sociable so I felt in safe company with no need expectation of inane small talk.

MawBe Thu 22-Jul-21 09:13:32

I think the pandemic and the lockdowns have encouraged the “inner recluse” in many of us. It becomes a complex thing- at what time does being “fine with your own company” morph into becoming a recluse?
And why does it not necessarily mitigate feelings of isolation and loneliness on the “down days” ?
Answers on a postcard please 🙏

Peasblossom Thu 22-Jul-21 09:18:49

Fear of missing out. Everybody’s having a better, more interesting life than me😬

When you were all having my dull life I was happier😜

JaneJudge Thu 22-Jul-21 09:19:34

I have always been a loner. I find it far less stressful to do things 'on my own' The thought of going on something like a 'girly shopping trip' fills me with dread and I hate going out for lunch with people unless its someone I know well and I have always been the same.

Flexagon Thu 22-Jul-21 09:31:17

Do you mean this is a way you have chosen to live since Covid or that you prefered a secluded life before that? No harm in either if you are not someone who craves company.

I'm interested in introverts, ambiverts and extroverts and the preconceptions and myths that surround them. A recent thread here requesting topics for NWR - I suggested Susan Cain's book and TED talk about the power of introverts. We are not unsocial - just happy in our own company and creative occupations and prefer to talk to others about meaningful topics.

You raise a good point, Mawbe. I admit to not having minded lockdown that much. Maybe it is because I have lived alone for twenty years. However, I did and do find it necessary (healthier?) to leave home once at least each day to engage with the outside world to some degree (and for exercise).

I did, rather unwittingly I think, use the period to recalibrate, realised who and what I missed, who and what I didn't.

Caleo Thu 22-Jul-21 09:41:51

I have had reclusive tendencies for many years, perhaps always. Before Covid I tried to fight these tendencies out of a desire to be normal and not miss out on whatever fun there was to be had in company.

Now I am old enough to happily relinquish my car and personal freedom to go places. I do need my dog, however. I also get quite a lot of validation from reading favourite authors despite these require concentrating on them that sometimes makes me go to sleep. Unlike living people the authors do n ot mind if If their company makes me go to sleep.

Nonogran Thu 22-Jul-21 10:01:48

I too am a bit of a Covid recluse. Every time I think of meeting up with my friends, I get cold feet and don’t bother to contact them. I have to say, not many have made renewed contact with me either so maybe they’re the same? Was it something I said? Haha!
I’m happy on my own but do enjoy my chap being with me of course. We don’t live together all the time so that suits my reclusive tendencies too!
There’s nothing wrong with being a loner. Some might think it selfish but the freedom is heady stuff.

timetogo2016 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:03:23

When i left my x,i moved to a house 15 minutes away and loved every minute of it
Then 10 months later along came the future dh.
And the rest as they say is history.
But oh for that peace and quiet.

merlotgran Thu 22-Jul-21 10:15:53

I'm a Gemini so I'm happy to chop and change. grin

Being alone doesn't bother me at all as I lived a reclusive life for many years in an isolated farm house (Bliss!) These days I'm more likely to feel lonely in a crowd of people.

Blondiescot Thu 22-Jul-21 10:19:50


I have always been a loner. I find it far less stressful to do things 'on my own' The thought of going on something like a 'girly shopping trip' fills me with dread and I hate going out for lunch with people unless its someone I know well and I have always been the same.

This is me to a T! Always been happier in my own company.

GagaJo Thu 22-Jul-21 10:29:00

I am by nature a recluse. When I was younger, I used to fight it, but would find myself at social events and within an hour or two, be desperate to leave.

Now, I live with my daughter and my grandson. I tolerate it, because I want to enjoy him as much as possible while he is little, but my preferred living situation is to live alone.

I really only accepted that I was an introvert / recluse about 10 years ago. I'd moved countries and joined in with a lot of social activities in an attempt to make friends, but invariably hated it. The irony was, the friends I was making while sociable were not my type of people. Once I withdrew and started living the way I wanted to, being alone, doing things on my own, friends who WERE my sort of people appeared. And that has been the pattern ever since. I seem to make friends easily, because those I'm compatible with gravitate towards me.

Redhead56 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:35:06

Now we can visit our son and daughters families we do. We have been out with our long standing friends for the occasional lunch. I love them like family so I wouldn’t let them down. Beside that I am quite happy to see nobody else. I don’t want to venture out as I did pre COVID. I worry about my little GC because schools are being closed as the virus is still with us. I know I am not depressed but I have lost confidence something I have never lacked. I hope with the passage of time I get back to my old self very much the social chatterbox.

ayse Thu 22-Jul-21 10:35:56

I’m a bit of a recluse too but currently very busy with family and DH. It would be good to have some time on my own to potter.

I have enjoyed going to the gym and meeting people for a short while but happy to get home as well.

I’m also a Gemini and can happily do both except for socialising with people I don’t know. That’s challenging.

Flexagon Thu 22-Jul-21 10:52:21

Ah! Caleo. The power of books and books as friends. I'm repeating myself but here's the link to the Susan Cain TED talk for anyone who prefers a good read to being "rowdie" (sic). You will understand what I mean when you watch it:

Interesting what you say about being more comfortable with introversion or a tendency to reclusiveness in older age. We often have threads on here about couples experiencing compatability problems in older age. We don't talk any more. We don't do anything together anymore. I do sometimes wonder if one person in the partnership has been struggling with and concealing their preference for quiet and solitude for years. Now, in older age, they are starting to live how they have wanted to for a long time, which can be hard to understand for the other person in the relationship who may be an extrovert.

henetha Thu 22-Jul-21 10:54:19

Yes, I count myself as a recluse. I prefer to be alone much of the time. But not the whole time. I have learnt that I need to mix with others occasionally otherwise depression sets in.
But when I do socialise I find that two hours is quite enough.
I just want to go home after that.

missingmarietta Thu 22-Jul-21 10:56:13

I was an only child [in a female household, Gran, Mum, Aunt] so learned to occupy myself and have space and time to myself. No visitors to the house, no holidays so I have always found it difficult to socialise and if on holiday I wait to go home - but haven't had one for years now.

I've been very lonely at times, had friends, relationships but felt uncomfortable with it too. Not having long chunks of time to myself makes me edgy, feeling trapped, losing myself. I've also been heartbroken many times, various reasons. I'm an introvert, like peace and quiet, quiet people, and conversation, not small talk. Hate large get togethers, parties etc. Deep thinker, a lot of people don't like that.

So yes, I am now a recluse. Lived on my own for many years now. Just see my sons and grandchildren as often as I can and a friend once a week, and that's enough. I have lots of interests, a rich 'internal' life, have lots to do, rarely bored and love my home and garden. Suits me.

DiscoDancer1975 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:56:39

I love my husband/ family, and have a couple of friends we love to see. Outside of that, we’re not bothered. I too, am like you JaneJudge. I’ve never liked the company of just women. Always a mixed group. Wouldn’t want to be totally alone though.

Kate1949 Thu 22-Jul-21 11:38:21

I've got my husband and family. That will do for me. I've never done the whole friends thing. I've always found friendships rather stressful. One good thing about the pandemic is that I no longer feel pressured to meet up with ex colleagues or 'friends'.

MoorlandMooner Thu 22-Jul-21 12:55:15

Missingmarietta - I agree with so much that you say. Never bored, need time alone to feel normal, peace is everything.

I used to be more sociable but have found I just don't need company as I age. Perhaps I always felt that way and the confidence that comes with age has freed me from the need to conform to the norm.

I find people so exhausting that I cut my own hair as I can't bear having to talk to a hairdresser for the half hour it takes.

Framilode Thu 22-Jul-21 15:57:29

I also am reclusive. I can be very sociable and good fun in company but it is an act and when I get home I am drained.

Lockdown has made me realise that I prefer my own company. Now it is over various village social events are in the offing. My husband is sociable and I feel pressured to go to these when I know I won't really enjoy them. I may appear to do so, and will probably have a bit too much to drink in order to get through them.

I think the other posters are right when they say as we get older we don't need so much company. A quick chat on a dog walk is enough for me.

GagaJo Thu 22-Jul-21 16:17:37

Weirdly, while I am fairly anti-social, my teacher personna is completely different (and it isn't an act). In the classroom, I am lively, chatty and have to actively shut myself up, to let my students work. It IS the area of my life where I am my best self, but it doesn't transfer across into my personal life at all.

Callistemon Thu 22-Jul-21 16:22:14

We've been out quite a lot lately.

The hospital, the surgery, the dentist.
Must make a visit to see the friendly optician.

At least it gets us out of the house.

AGAA4 Thu 22-Jul-21 16:33:07

I am quite happy on my own. I don't think I am a recluse as I need some company but can go for days hardly seeing anyone and find it restful.
As long as I can see my family I am content. I keep in contact with friends but haven't met up with them for ages for various reasons.

hollysteers Thu 22-Jul-21 20:44:52

I’m not sure what my label would be as I like/need long periods to recharge my batteries and do creative things but like henetha depression can set in if it goes on too long.
Against that, I love being with lots of people, walking in town, theatre and concerts on my own, but like my mother, I prefer them around me but not too close. Very keen on people watching and observing (nosey😁) I like large parties where I can move about and not get stuck with someone. Much prefer a large party to a small gathering in a house for coffee etc.
I truly enjoy company (the people I like) but I think, getting older and living alone, it can be tiring.
It’s nice to be one’s own best friend!

GagaJo Thu 22-Jul-21 20:47:42

Yes, I like to be AROUND people (not parties/gatherings) but not to have to converse or socialise with them.