posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 12:12 PM
I'm not sure you can include married people in the socially isolated category.
I met and married the love of my life rather late. Before that I lived alone for a number of years; sometimes I had roommates but by and large
preferred to live by myself. I thought I was doing just great by myself, but I have to say there is nothing like having someone always around who
actually cares about your ups and downs, your moments of inspiration or sorrow or fear, what you had for lunch, etc. I do deliberately cultivate
friends and a social network in addition to my husband, as no one person can fill all your needs nor should they be expected to.
When I was alone I likewise cultivated friends and acquaintances, but I'd like to mention one observation about my single life: If I was depressed
(which I was occasionally) I would tend to isolate even more. It felt like social interactions were too difficult and stressful to manage, so
sometimes I would avoid them, even knowing that I would feel better after some socializing, at least with trusted friends and relatives. Isolation
tends to lead to further isolation, until, without knowing it, you are making yourself lonely.
From the responses I see to this thread I conclude that many ATS members consider themselves "loners," and it's good to hear the positive side of
aloneness addressed. There are, indeed, many benefits to being solely in your own company, and we both tend to seek some time during each day for our
separate thoughts and activities. At the same time, isn't ATS an essentially social activity, thus filling many peoples' need for social
affirmation and being in the company of at least a few like-minded individuals?
In short, because of the benefits of being with just one person who loves and at least tries to understand you, I wouldn't consider married couples
in the loner category. Unless, of course, they have a rotten relationship.
To each his own. Considering the many other possible causes that can lead one to live a slightly shorter life (you could, theoretically, also be
murdered by a friend, co-worker or lover) it shouldn't be cause for concern to those who enjoy solitude and their own company.