Friends and social life

I have recently been thinking about my social interaction with people and other than the people I work with, I only have my partner for social interaction.

Up to a point I am fine with this and still seek being on my own away from my partner, which he understands and is happy to accommodate.  However, I have been wondering if this is a completely healthy way of going about life.  I'm not lonely and if anything find I will do anything to find isolation following work, as I am normally feel overwhelmed at the end of a shift.

What I am debating in my head is whether I am in a bit of a rut and have accepted this isolation and therefore it doesn't affect me?  At the moment, I am happy being with just my partner and looking after my animals.  My partner has been a little concerned in the past, but I think like me has accepted that this is the way I am and shouldn't force social interactions on me.  I hear from others though that social interaction makes us happy and stops us feeling isolated and depressed.  If I didn't have my partner and animals, then I may be able to relate to this better.  

I find friendships hard work and difficult to keep.  One side of me said I will be putting unnecessary stress on myself by trying to find new friends (especially with similar interests to me!), the other side of me is thinking about the fact that I have become to reliant on my partner and animals for social stimulus and should instead step outside of my comfort zone.

Has anyone else had this debate and come to some sort of logical conclusion of what is best or has experienced the outcome for themselves?  Fr

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  • Hi Starbuck, Yes I have this debate every now and again.

    Sometimes I want to be sociable or get the urge to go places. Other times friends and family have pressured me to go out / see them because they just don't understand the stress this causes me. It's difficult to explain to them that I care but just can't manage fully the social aspects of long term relationships...I've let friends drift away. 

    So what I do after the debate ( usually with myself nowadays ) is to gently force myself out of my comfort zone by planning to see a friend or go somewhere new with my boyfriend and then proceed to experience a lot of stress before , during and after which results in a type of social hangover where I don't want to see anyone for a while!! Sometimes it works , other times it just reinforces my isolation.

    I made a terrible mistake inviting some old school friends over to my house last weekend and although it was a pleasant enough evening ,by all accounts , it has left me exhausted and in pain ( I have CFS & Fibromyalgia ) from having to tidy up the house and I have a terrible 'social hangover'. I'm lucky that my old school friends have very busy lives with careers and children so don't want to meet up too often, they also have their own experience with autistic children so now that I have "come out" as having autistic traits they are more understanding...it's still difficult though.

    I don't think there is anything unhealthy about your situation if you are happy. I find that my partner, children and dogs provide ample social stimulation most of the time.

    I used to ride a motorbike too and struggled on group ride outs but enjoyed being part of the biking community in general. I miss riding my bike ( GSX-R600 K7 ) such an amazing feeling.

    Conclusion: whatever works for you is best, anything outside comfort zone = little steps.

    Also I think it is a good idea to use your interests / hobbies to tempt you (i.e. the song writing ) out of your comfort zone for your own personal growth...you should never feel forced into socialising by someone else.

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