Monday, February 13, 2012

On Being a Hermit

Recently, I read an excellent article about living alone from the New York Times Basically, this article contends that living alone is more acceptable now than it ever has been in previous social times. It also says that contrary to popular belief, living alone means being more, rather than less social. Long story short, I completely agree with this article. It explains why I'm becoming such a crazy cat lady in my old age.

When I was younger, and lived with roommates, I constantly made plans. No, I wasn't living alone, but I was extremely social. I had each weekend booked up with things to do, and I actively organized lots of plans with my friends. When Kev and I moved in together and got engaged, I swore that we wouldn't become "that married couple." You know the ones. They spend all their time with friends talking about their wedding and then once it is over- POOF. They disappear into a cloud of matching linen sets and formal flatware, never to be heard from again. Indeed, I started this very blog in the hopes of refuting some of those stereotypes. To make matters more complicated, Kev and I had very few local, close friends who were in serious relationships at the time we got married, so they were all happy to predict that big scary changes were coming our way.

Now, after nearly three years of marriage, I'm realizing that my friends were right, to a certain extent. Kev and I have a cozy condo with two cats, and complicated work lives. Kev is still getting his master's degree, and I am still recovering from finishing mine in June (not to mention starting a new job). If we are invited to weekend events, we almost always say yes, but if no invite is forthcoming, well, we get lazy. We stay in. We drink champagne and wear sweatpants and don't get out of bed until noon. Because we can.

I think there is something about having an automatic partner in crime that makes the rest of the world seem a little less pressing. Four years ago, I would have jumped at the chance of a free weekend to organize a big outing to an unusual restaurant or one of Chicago's many fests. Now, it all seems like a lot of effort, when I can use that time to lounge with my favorite person in the world. I would argue that I've gotten less social as a result of living with someone I love, rather than more. I feel some guilt about this. I know I've let some friendships slide and grown apart from some people from whom I was inseparable, but that's life. I know I need to find a happy medium between "us" time and "the world" time, and I know I'm wasting valuable opportunities to venture out in the city. I know that time is ticking before we have kids, and it may never be this easy to get out and about again, but really....I'm just not as motivated as I used to be.

Shacking up has made me a hermit.

Do you think that living with someone you love makes you more or less social? Why?
Are you offended when your cohabitating friends don't call?
Am I a terrible person?


  1. I think there are social changes that come with different stages in ones life. For example, before marriage - out and about, after marriage but before children - snuggled down and cozy, after marriage and with children - shuttle service to every corner of the world for the childrens needs, after children leave the nest - time to rock and roll again :-) Yes, you will probably return to true socializing in about 30 years or so but it is all good. The main thing is to not forget date nights for the both of you to keep the romance cooking :-)

  2. You're not a terrible person. Your real friends won't care if they see you once a month or once every three months, and it will be the same no matter how much time lapases. And if it isn't, sometimes it's okay to realize you're growing in a different direction.