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Introversion, independence, and being "forever alone"


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Warning: angsty 2am Dodec ramblings incoming.

 

I don't know why I've been thinking about this a lot lately, but I have. I just really find the idea of living with someone like a QPP comforting--mutual support, idyllic domesticity (something I realized I was actually kind of missing in dorm life when I went back to live with my mom over winter break), generally enjoying the other person's presence, all that good stuff that so many people say is why it's great to live with someone. But when I see all this, I have to wonder if I'll ever really be able to have that. Not because of my aromanticism, because I know QPRs are a thing by virtue of sort of halfway being in one in the moment (albeit long-distance, because we go to school on opposite sides of the country, but that's neither here nor there), but because I just genuinely don't know if I would be able to handle being around another person that much. I don't have a roommate, and so I still get a decent amount of alone time on a regular basis even though I'm living in a dorm. I've never really been in a situation where I'm sharing a living space with a person whom I'm that emotionally close to, and with whom I'd theoretically be doing a bunch of stuff, and so all of this stuff is very much just a big neon flashing question mark in my brain. I don't know if my introversion would eventually win out and I wouldn't be able to deal with having another person permanently in my space all the time, or if my brain would be able to recognize that it can make an exception. I don't know if I would subconsciously resent doing lots of things with someone, having that person always know where I am, having someone waiting on and expecting me, now that I've finally been able to break free of that since I'm living on my own in college and out from under my overbearing mother. I don't know if being exposed to the same person to that extent for an extended period of time would result in us getting tired of each other and no longer getting along--I've seen that happen all too much in my family, but I would hope it would be different with someone who lives with you by choice rather than out of obligation or necessity. The idea of having that kind of cohabiting platonic relationship at some point sounds great, but I just don't know if I'd be better off alone. I don't know that I'm built to be anything other than alone. In general, with respect to anything like this, I just don't know.

 

Do any other very introverted aros ever feel this way?

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Yes! I'm in what could be considered a QPR right now, with someone who's also a major introvert like me. I don't think either of us would want to permanently live with each other (even though we've roomed together before, since we met at a summer camp). I think that would be too much contact for both of us, really. 

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I have found people who are such a minimal drain on my resources that I can be around them almost constantly ("wanna meet up and ignore each other" is a common phrase) but it's yet another item on the already near impossible list of qualities I require in a nesting partner. I would probably need my own space within a living space, whether it's an extra bedroom or study or somewhere to consider safe and mine, but I think it's still theoretically doable.

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I'm also extremely independent and introverted, and I love living alone.  Sharing a house or apartment, even when I have my own space within it, feels kind of restrictive to me. When I was in college, I got lucky and did have a good suitemate situation, and I didn't mind it. But the older I get, the more I seem to enjoy living on my own. Last year I had my own apartment without any flatmates or anything, and it was great :)I don't have enough money to live completely on my own where I am now, but if I did, I certainly would. Maybe one day I'll find someone I don't mind living with, but I'm not so sure.  At this point, I've never had anything even close to a QPR, and I'm not sure if I would consider it in the future.  It doesn't sound appealing to me right now, but maybe one day? I have no idea.  

 

3 hours ago, Lynx said:

I have found people who are such a minimal drain on my resources that I can be around them almost constantly ("wanna meet up and ignore each other" is a common phrase) but it's yet another item on the already near impossible list of qualities I require in a nesting partner. I would probably need my own space within a living space, whether it's an extra bedroom or study or somewhere to consider safe and mine, but I think it's still theoretically doable.

 

This sounds like what the situation would have to be like in my case, if I did want to find someone in this capacity.  

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6 hours ago, Lynx said:

I have found people who are such a minimal drain on my resources that I can be around them almost constantly ("wanna meet up and ignore each other" is a common phrase) but it's yet another item on the already near impossible list of qualities I require in a nesting partner. I would probably need my own space within a living space, whether it's an extra bedroom or study or somewhere to consider safe and mine, but I think it's still theoretically doable.

 

I can't say I've found people who drain me that minimally, but I have definitely found people who drain me a lot less than others do. Interestingly, I've found some people inexplicably cause more drain than others, despite being very similar in personality and presentation -- no idea what's up with that, but it's definitely a thing.

 

To date, I've only found one person that I know I could live in an apartment with, and it helps that she's also a severe introvert. When we were roomed together in first year of college, we ignored each other about half of the time, and the other half were stupid for-fun arguments and uncalled-for film/meme references. Even so, I've discovered that I would need a bedroom and a work-room or study all to myself to be able to feel comfortable living with someone, even someone I could stand to be around for tons of time, and at the end of the day I definitely prefer living alone over living with someone.

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My ideal situations are either living alone or with some sort of best friend. These both have pros and cons: living alone would be less stressful most of the time, but I doubt my ability to live completely independently (and if I couldn't deal that would be exponentially more stressful than basically anything else)

 

Basically, living with a college roomate I really get along with would be awesome, but that's just a hope for the future and I'd need lots of space for my own ;)

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My ideal situations are either living alone or with some sort of best friend. These both have pros and cons: living alone would be less stressful most of the time, but I doubt my ability to live completely independently (and if I couldn't deal that would be exponentially more stressful than basically anything else)

 

Hum, I live alone and I love it. After moving out at my parent's home I never shared a flat with anyone, and I didn't live in a dormitory as a student (it's not quite like that in Europe, anyway). There are times when this is hard for me, especially when I am depressed (I mean, a major depression, not just being a bit down). But I don't consider myself as being totally "independent". Although I don't have a connection with my neighbours, I have a social circle around me, co-workers, friends, health providers, other kinds of service, and of course my parents, although I live abroad. So, I have never had the situation in which I had to deal with anything completely on my own, I always had people to help me out or give me advice. On the other hand, having to deal with certain things on my own made me much more independent than I was before. There is a certain truth in the saying that "one grows with one's responsibilities" (at least, that's a saying in German). 

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I definitely relate to this. I'd quite like to live with someone else - financially, and just to have someone there, but I don't know if I could. I like being home alone during the day but I'm not great when it starts getting late, not sure if that's down to little experience (I've spent like one night on my own...) or something else.

 

I'd have to have my own room and for the other person to understand I like to spend most my time alone, I think I could deal with that.

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4 hours ago, cokakoala said:

I relate to this thread.  

Ideally I want a "you do you and I'll do me, but know we're here for each other if either of us needs help" kind of setup. And the need for personal space is so real. 

I like this description xD 

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im a rlly introverted person and ive also been diagnosed with major depression for about... 2 years now so thats not really a good recipe for "being around people and associating and having relationships" bcos i self-isolate a LOT and i need to not do that

 

im not close to any of my friends (i have someone who i consider my best friend but i still dont tell them everything, and i dont even see them very often) but i WAnt a qpr? i want that sort of emotional closeness but also im Terrified of opening up to people and its just bad all around :( as for housing im going to college next year & ill be in a dorm situation, which will keep me in a social area most of my time & i dont know how to feel about that

 

however im really liking the idea of cooperative living & moving into a house w a bunch of friends & maybe their romantic/sexual partners and not adhering to the typical nuclear-family-unit is way cool to me & i want to do it but i dont have any friends who might be on board lol

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I spent a long time thinking I must have "the one" and now as an aro I'm kinda getting over that, and like I said above, I kind of want something QPR-like but honestly... I don't really know if I do. I have (???) a close friend but it's been a real struggle, I think my introversion (or something else??) is getting in the way...

 

I like having "casual" friends, internet friends, groups of friends (because hanging out in a group is easier than one-to-one conversations imo) and I just don't think I need to have someone I'm super close with. I think I could live on my own or a group of a few friends, but living with one person feels too relationship-like.. can anyone relate to that?

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I feel the same way. I recently spent two weeks living with a friend. It was so suffocating. I couldn't get any alone time. She insisted in sleeping in the same bed. She always cuddled up to me. I hated to much and made it painfully obvious but she ignored it all and kept doing it. If I ever have to live with a roommate again I'm putting down some strict boundaries before I agree to move in. I would much prefer living alone.

 

But before this I was thinking all the same things. I wanted company and to live with someone, but I had no idea if I could handle it. I think if I'm given my space, like this person so obviously did not, I will find it fine. I'm hoping that living alone won't become lonely for me. Perhaps if I surround myself with pets it'll be fine. I love cats so much but I'm allergic... Need some hypoallergenic ones lol.

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I could never decide if I'm an introvert or an extrovert, all the myers briggs tests seem to hate me. Is there such a thing as a mix of these?

I'm not sure how much of it is social anxiety, and how much is my personality, but I get this unpredictable mix of the two.

Sometimes social situations drain me, sometimes they charge me up. I'm perfectly fine being on my own, and I went long periods in my life being alone.

But I'm more than happy to have company, large crowds are great too.

 

As long as we can give each other the space we require, I'm thriving on human interaction. I need to have people around me to be healthy, ideally several, very different kinds of personalities. Instead of The One™ (platonic or romantic), I was always more interested in looking for a good group dynamic. Even back in the day, when I did not know I was aro, I wanted to live in a big house with lots of others, couples or not. Its not even a sexual desire, but somehow people always seem to think it is.

I mean the physical side of it isn't really a problem, I actually like to cuddle or share a bed with someone (in all senses of the word), as long as its like a sleepover party, not the default arrangement.

But the main motivation is this need for fully platonic social connections.

 

Quite a few alloromantic people informed me that this sort of "juvenile domesticity" was weird, uncivilized an/or an awful thing people are forced to do to save money.

I had a roommate for a couple of years, and it was okay, but only because they were very considerate an introverted. I did house shares too, with the right people they can be awesome, and I love the domesticity of it. I want to enjoy it while it lasts, as I'm a bit scared that I will age out of this specific age group, and I won't be able to have this type of arrangement again.

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2 minutes ago, Cassiopeia said:

I could never decide if I'm an introvert or an extrovert, all the myers briggs tests seem to hate me. Is there such a thing as a mix of these?

I'm not sure how much of it is social anxiety, and how much is my personality, but I get this unpredictable mix of the two.

Sometimes social situations drain me, sometimes they charge me up. I'm perfectly fine being on my own, and I went long periods in my life being alone.

But I'm more than happy to have company, large crowds are great too.

Ambivert is a mix/something in between, but I don't know loads about it and it doesn't quite have recognition the way introvert/extrovert does.

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3 hours ago, Cassiopeia said:

I could never decide if I'm an introvert or an extrovert, all the myers briggs tests seem to hate me. Is there such a thing as a mix of these?

I'm not sure how much of it is social anxiety, and how much is my personality, but I get this unpredictable mix of the two.

Sometimes social situations drain me, sometimes they charge me up. I'm perfectly fine being on my own, and I went long periods in my life being alone.

But I'm more than happy to have company, large crowds are great too.

This sounds kind of like me. As people before have said, it's called being an ambivert. Although I guess it's kind of also a scale (people love to make little neat definitions for things but it's not really so simple most of the time :/ ). I would consider myself more of an introvert most of the time (possibly due to my shyness).

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I could never decide if I'm an introvert or an extrovert, all the myers briggs tests seem to hate me. Is there such a thing as a mix of these?

 

Do you know the term "ambivert"? 

Here are some links:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukebailey/ambiverts-for-the-silver?utm_term=.wq681D5JJ

http://lonerwolf.com/ambivert/

http://www.scienceofpeople.com/2014/12/ambivert-extrovert-introvert/

(just a random google search, nothing "expert proof")

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As to the living question, I absolutely loved living in a tiny (I mean tiny) apartment inside a house, where the neighborhood bar was basically my living room. I was the kind of person to bring a novel and drink my beer while reading in a noisy bar. I know. xD But I enjoyed having my "den" where I could retreat, but had the option, in walking distance, to socialize if I wanted, or just not be all alone while I read. I miss that. A lot, actually. 

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On 4/26/2016 at 10:47 AM, Cassiopeia said:

I could never decide if I'm an introvert or an extrovert, all the myers briggs tests seem to hate me. Is there such a thing as a mix of these?

I'm not sure how much of it is social anxiety, and how much is my personality, but I get this unpredictable mix of the two.

Sometimes social situations drain me, sometimes they charge me up. I'm perfectly fine being on my own, and I went long periods in my life being alone.

But I'm more than happy to have company, large crowds are great too.

 

As long as we can give each other the space we require, I'm thriving on human interaction.

 

I'm the same way, myers briggs says I could be either an introvert or extrovert, intuitive or a sensor, a judger or a perceiver, the only thing that it was sure about was that I was a thinker. 

 

I like being around people and living with people but I don't necessarily have to interact with them all the time, I just like to know they are around. I like the idea of a QPR, but I do not know if I would like to be with someone permanently.  I also think I would be perfectly happy with roommates for the rest of my life, as long as I had my own room though. I currently live in a house with two roommates and am perfectly happy, I know that they want to get  married to their significant others eventually though, so at some point  in the future I will have to find new roomies. 

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22 hours ago, LunarSeas said:

As to the living question, I absolutely loved living in a tiny (I mean tiny) apartment inside a house, where the neighborhood bar was basically my living room. I was the kind of person to bring a novel and drink my beer while reading in a noisy bar. I know. xD But I enjoyed having my "den" where I could retreat, but had the option, in walking distance, to socialize if I wanted, or just not be all alone while I read. I miss that. A lot, actually. 

 

That sounds like a pretty nice arrangement. I really miss that about living in a dorm on campus. You could walk down the hallway and if someone had their door open, it was an invitation to pop in and say hello or hang out. Or, retreat to my room whenever I needed to study or concentrate on something.

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41 minutes ago, Blue Phoenix Ace said:

 

That sounds like a pretty nice arrangement. I really miss that about living in a dorm on campus. You could walk down the hallway and if someone had their door open, it was an invitation to pop in and say hello or hang out. Or, retreat to my room whenever I needed to study or concentrate on something.

 

Dorms are amazing, I kind of miss it too. Ours used to have regular diy study groups. Like five math majors, a litre of vodka vs. their homework assignment in one of the kitchens around 3 in the morning? Art majors painting each others portraits in one of the bathrooms?  And we actually had a tiny bar/diner that operated on the third floor? You could buy beer, wine, five different liquors, milk, hot dogs, curly fries and toasties. And nothing else. :)

We also had an illegal snail breeder. They were popular, as technically pets were not allowed, but snails were quiet and easy to hide, so every third room had some.

It was like a little village. A very weird little village.

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5 hours ago, Cassiopeia said:

 

Dorms are amazing, I kind of miss it too. Ours used to have regular diy study groups. Like five math majors, a litre of vodka vs. their homework assignment in one of the kitchens around 3 in the morning? Art majors painting each others portraits in one of the bathrooms?  And we actually had a tiny bar/diner that operated on the third floor? You could buy beer, wine, five different liquors, milk, hot dogs, curly fries and toasties. And nothing else. :)

We also had an illegal snail breeder. They were popular, as technically pets were not allowed, but snails were quiet and easy to hide, so every third room had some.

It was like a little village. A very weird little village.

I wish that was what my dorm was like. We really only have constant games of Magic: The Gathering in the common room and the occasional impromptu musical theatre singalong that happens about once every few days, and sometimes Super Smash Bros. Melee. I've attempted to start a knitting group known as the Illumikniti, but it hasn't really caught on.

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