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To want to be more sociable?

(15 Posts)
Malcontentinthemiddle Mon 04-Jul-11 09:01:48

Despite being personable, friendly and generally good company, my partner hates and will not entertain the idea of pretty much any social gathering, and this is making me a bit sad.

I think generally speaking he regards friends as another annoyance in life - it's perfectly acceptable, of course, not to want to be on facebook, but his reason is that people would start getting touch and expecting responses and he can't be doing with any of it. Friends come into and go out of his life and are never missed or mourned when they change job or move away or whatever. Some of this, I know, is reasonably common in blokes, but it's the rest which is starting to bother me.

He usually finds my friends annoying or doesn't like them, and so I tend to socialise on my own, but I'm not sure that's the answer either, and I don't like things being so polarised.

I'd really like to have a small party at the end of term for the kids' friends - I like their parties and I like to do that for them, and I'd also like it if their parents were to hang around a bit too, but the very thought of it leaves him absolutely cold. I said yesterday that I liked being a host, and he was immediately wary about what I might be going to suggest.

I do struggle sometimes with being sociable myself, but I want to get over it and get better - I worry we're setting a bad and anti-social example for the kids, and I wish we had more of a group of family friends, rather than me doing my own thing on my own.

Finally, last night he made a comment about not thinking you need to carry on making an effort with your appearance once you're in a relationship, because who would you be doing it for? The subtext seemed to be: why did I bother, it couldn't be for any good reason, and whoever I was trying to be attractive for, it wasn't him.

That, combined with the other, suggests a depressing vision of the future in which we just get older and fatter and less attractive together because why would you need friends or to look nice when you have a partner?

Do you think there's anything I can do, and AIBU to want more?
my friends

HelloKlitty Mon 04-Jul-11 09:10:14

There seem to be number of issues. In the same situation, I would have the party and tell him he is free to make himself scarce....or I would do it when he is at work.

It's fine to not be sociable imo. I'm not very sociable....I don't like hosting events and get nervous if DH has people around....just have the party when he's not around.

If he's not interested n having group of familiy friends then you can't really make him change that...only hope that he joins in one day.

As for the not making an effort...he could be depressed? It's not usual to not care about the way you look.

Hullygully Mon 04-Jul-11 09:13:25

Tell him not to be such a miserable depressing old arse.

SloganLogan Mon 04-Jul-11 10:42:22

YANBU to want to be sociable, but YABU to try to change your partner if he's naturally less extrovert than you.

Malcontentinthemiddle Mon 04-Jul-11 11:15:02

Hully grin

Thanks slogan and Klitty too - yes, I don't want to change him, as such, just I'd like that to be part of our lives more.

Hullygully Mon 04-Jul-11 11:36:54

Ok

He doesn't like socialising

You want to socialise more

= socialise sometimes

Don't let him stop you from socialising, but don't fill the house with people every weekend, either, because he does have the right to a reasonable amount of peace and quiet in his own home. One party per term is perfectly reasonable, tell him when you are going to have it and he can either go out or put up with it.
Things to watch out for though: if he is getting steadily less sociable and withdrawing from you and DC, or if his personal hygiene is deteriorating noticably, he could be depressed or developing some form of MH problem. And if he tries to sabotage your socialising eg delaying you when you want to go out, or being rude to people you have invited over, then that would be a red flag for potential abusive behaviour.

Malcontentinthemiddle Mon 04-Jul-11 11:54:37

Thank you.

It's not anything like not washing or anything, I think I've given an unfair impression there! And neither would he ever be rude to anyone.

I just wish we had some shared friends, to be honest.

Ismeyes Mon 04-Jul-11 14:50:29

I tend to see this from your DH's point of view more. There is nothing wrong with being introverted and not wanting to socialise all the time, that is his choice to make. As long as he isn't stopping you being sociable, as is your choice, then its not something to be worried about. I suspect you are encouraging him to be involved in the end of term party, hence his reaction, but if you want to do the party then do it, he doesn't have to participate! I also wonder whether you are a naturally sociable person anyway, you describe wanting to get over it and get better, but who said being sociable is some kind of benchmark?!

SloganLogan Mon 04-Jul-11 17:14:08

Are there things you could do, or clubs you could join, together which are based on a hobby/interest rather than just "socialising"? You'd get to meet people with similar interests but there would be something to do apart from just socialise.

wicketkeeper Mon 04-Jul-11 18:58:58

Totally agree with Hello Kitty - my DH suffers from depression, and while he is very chatty and 'soul of the party'ish when we're with people, it really takes it out of him (it's like he's 'putting it on') and he will actively avoid being around anyone (even me) when he's feeling really bad. It is tough - I find it's best if I just go and do whatever, but make it clear that a) I'd love to have his company but b) I understand that he'd rather not come.

If however he's just an anti-social so-and-so, get yourself out there and have some fun. After a while he might realise what he's missing. As to the make-up etc, laugh it off - sounds like he needs a bit of reassurance, so give him the reassurance, but don't stop wearing the make-up.

SloganLogan Mon 04-Jul-11 19:01:34

Very true, Ismeyes. It's the current cultural ideal to be extrovert, but it hasn't always been, and half of us aren't made that way.

"There is nothing wrong with being introverted"

Asinine Mon 04-Jul-11 19:07:33

Has he been reading too much Satre?

'Hell is other people'

You have married a closet existentialist...

(That's French for grumpy old man) grin

PfftTheMagicDragon Mon 04-Jul-11 19:16:04

have the party.

If he doesn't want to be there he can go somewhere else, but dont let him stop you from making friends and socialising.

But you cannot make him into someone that he is not. Do not let him change you - you be who you are, but you cannot try to change him, he's just not sociable.

There's nothing wrong with being unsociable, but it sounds like this man wants it all his own way and to keep his partner away from other people as well.

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