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I’m a Loner (And That’s Okay)

Why being alone or introverted isn’t a bad thing.

By Erin O'NeilPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
I’m a Loner (And That’s Okay)
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

This is something I’ve only recently been okay with. Being a loner. I’ve always been introverted, always had maybe three close friends, and been socially awkward. Growing up, I tried my best to be okay with it, but I always felt like there was something wrong with me. I didn’t want to hang out with most other kids, but I still felt like that just made me more awkward, more strange. Being around large groups of people has always been hard for me, but for years I still had this small part of me that felt bad when I decided not to do things because of it. I think it has to do with the expectation that I should want to do those things, that I should want to make friends, hang out with people my own age. That small part of me felt like I was disappointing people by being different, by choosing to be alone rather than spend time with other people.

A couple of years ago, these feelings finally stopped being small. I felt like being introverted, not wanting to make friends made me broken or wrong in some way. I worked through those feelings and came to a decision. All of those feelings came from what other people thought or expected of me. So I decided that they didn’t matter. What they thought about me didn’t matter. What other people expected of me didn’t matter. All that mattered was my own happiness. I don’t mean that in a selfish way. I mean that since crowds make me uncomfortable, and lots of voices are like nails on a chalkboard to my brain, why should I subject myself to that? I have a couple of really close friends, why do I need any more? Who says you have to have lots of friends? I’ve had these friends for years, and wouldn’t trade them for anything. Who would making more friends make my life any better than it already is?

I also don’t feel any need to be in a romantic relationship. I’m heterosexual, I find men attractive, I just don’t see any need to have one in my life. Most times when I say that, people reply with: “You’ll change your mind when your older.” or “You just haven’t met the right guy yet.” No and no. I’ve had a boyfriend before (and nothing against him, he’s a really decent guy), and never really felt like he added much to my life. He was nice, we had a good time, but that was it. I didn’t need him in my life. I have no empty space, or loneliness that needs to be filled by another person. I’ve even tried dating again on and off, but I just find the whole process exhausting. I honestly cannot think of anything in my life that would be better for being in a relationship.

The follow up argument to the relationship one is always children. “Someday you’ll want kids.” No I won’t. I haven’t liked kids, my age or otherwise since I was about thirteen years old. Just to be clear, I don’t hate kids. They are perfectly fine for other people, just not me. Again, “You‘ll change your mind when you’re older.” No, I won’t change my mind. I’ve thought about this, and have been of the same opinion for over ten years. Having children is like being in a relationship. I can’t think of a single way in which it would make my life any better.

I’ve come to terms with these things and am happy about it. Being a loner is okay. Being happier when you’re alone rather than when you’re with others is okay. Enjoying solitude and silence is okay. Being alone does not mean you have to feel lonely. Being socially awkward and introverted does not make you broken.


About the Creator

Erin O'Neil

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