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My lack of friends is a problem...apparently
Been in a relationship for a year, all very sudden. Met online, moved in together four months ago and for the most part we are blissfully happy.
Our one problem stems from our different social circles. My partner has a massive social life, several different sets of friends, constantly busy and I've always accepted that. I'm the person she comes home to and even if it's an hour whilst she works before we sleep, I still love that.
I'm one of those people who just doesn't want friends, I haven't since school and I'm very happy on my own. When presented with a social situation I handle it just fine and I'm constantly told I'm funny and fun to be around, but I'm not going to admit I enjoy it because I don't. I get along with work colleagues, but have no attachment outside of them being a colleague. My partners family and friends are the most important thing to her and I respect that, but I don't expect to have to attend every single event or pop in every time we pass.
Yesterday we were in the car driving home, I had a sore throat and felt like flu was coming on (which it was). I was asked to pop in for a minute into partner's parents whilst she collected an umbrella. I said no as my throat was sore and I was tired. Instead of it just being a case of ok then, I'll be right back it's resulted in us not speaking all night as I'm apparently rude for not wanting to go in.
This is a constant argument between us, my reluctance to spend time with people and partner can't accept or understand that I like my own world, I love my family and love being with her, I just don't see why I should have to constantly make myself unhappy.
I'm not sure what advice I'm after to be honest, maybe I just want to write it down to see if I'm being unreasonable or not. I'm a bit bothered about me not wanting friends being used as a stick to beat me with when we argue. We won't break up, I just want her to bloody accept the fact I prefer my own company to that of friends.
Have you heard of Myers Briggs Type Inventory? Clear-cut case of introversion v extroversion conflict! Ask her to have a look at it with you. It's very affirming, non-judgmental & really helped me & DH to 'get' and value each other more.
She might possibly feel that your choice to not have friends puts her under a lot of pressure to be your source of entertainment?
I would have felt you were being rude of you hadn't have popped in for a few minutes. But I can also see where you were coming from. However sometimes we need to put our own feelings aside to keep our loved ones happy.
I can see where you're both coming from, I'm not sure this is commensurable long term.
Well, it's not that you're wrong, more that you two are really different as regards this issue.
I do get that you can't change, but neither can she. This is something you really need to discuss, so that hopefully you can come to some compromise. I can see why she was upset that you wouldn't' go into her parents house - it does sound like you were being quite precious and very uncompromising.
Also, inevitably if you won't spend time with her friends, it means she is constantly having to choose between you.
Of course it's a problem. Few people are exactly alike and everyone makes allowances and compromises in order to be with a partner, but if your different attitudes to sociability are causing constant arguments I think you're deluding yourself it to call it 'mostly blissful'. It's not a case of reasonable and unreasonable. It's a case of a serious incompatibility which is already starting to drive a wedge. 'We won't break up' may not ultimately be something that is in your control.
I'm a pretty introverted introvert but in that situation I would have popped in to see her parents - I presume it was a go on, talk for a few moments and go out again?
I'd agree that this doesn't really go hand in hand with blissful tbh
I have heard of Myers Briggs, and I'm sure it is introversion vs extroversion. I don't let it bother me in the slightest, I'm happy for her to go out and enjoy herself. She works awfully hard so deserves her winding down time and seeing her friends.
She certainly doesn't need to be my source of entertainment, I can create that on my own. I'm pretty certain she doesn't think that either as it would've came out in one of the rows about it. She most of the time just says she doesn't understand why I wouldn't want them.
From her POV, you refusing to just look in for a few minutes to say 'Hi' is you snubbing her family and making it clear they don't rank very highly in the list of things that matter to you. That's probably why she was upset.
She needs to recognise you are happy with your own company but you also need to see that rejecting people who are important to her because they are not important to you is a step too far. Since it's all about compromise, learn to engage with key people - her family especially, whether you want to or not and in turn, ask her to let you stay home for other social events.
But bear in mind that this might cause a rift. My DH is like you and I got pretty fed up of being the only one whose partner can't be arsed to make the effort and get engaged in family life. TBH it's an aspect of his character I lack respect for. It seems selfish and immature. Socialising isn't all about what suits us, it's also about cementing our place in the world of our loved ones or our work.
I should add that DH and I have been together for 20 yrs and this has always pissed me off about him. I resent it, if I remember to, and my social life has shrivelled up because he never joined in. But there is so much else going on for us that is brilliant that it's never been a deal breaker - just a source of annoyance. So I agree with you OP that it doesn't mean it's an insurmountable problem, but it is a pretty strong incompatibility.
I'm exactly like you and so is my dh. My first husband was much like your partner and it absolutely drove me up the wall to the point it was one of the main reasons I left him. He was always out, always on the phone to people, people popping in unannounced (which I can't stand) and his parents would descend for weekend long visits which just killed me.
I hate to say it but I really feel personally like the two personality types are incompatible.
Dh and I both like our own space. We enjoy each others company but have no desire to have friends either at work or otherwise and if a work night out comes up we both inwardly groan and try to get out of it!
Having said that I think not going into her parents for 2 minutes with her was a bit rude. If her parents knew you were in the car it would look to them like you don't like them and that could be awkward for your partner.
Sorry - that last post was meant in a very tongue in cheek way. It's possible to be incompatible in that way and still v happy overall, was what I really mean!
And the only reason I didn't pop in was because I had a sore throat, I felt pretty weak and tired and wanted to be back home to rest. Which turned out to be the right thing as today I woke up and had lost my voice!
We are actually happy most of the time, this is the only thing we ever disagree on. She doesn't ever have to choose between family, friends and me as if it's a big occasion I'd be there for her. I always have been, and I've always got on with her family and friends well. It's not the most enjoyable thing for me but I do it.
I'm not disagreeing with her having friends, which is what you guys seem to think I'm doing, I understand that for the most part people want friends. I don't, and I'm struggling to make her understand that.
I think you just have to explain it again and again and again and gradually she will get it. In my experience, people who get a lot from having others around them can have trouble understanding that some people don't enjoy it, that they aren't just pretending to not enjoy it and that with a bit more practise they aren't going to suddenly realise how great it is and want to be more social. However, if you stay together and keep communicating then she will maybe get to know you better and understand who you are. Or maybe you will find out you aren't so compatible after all and split up.
I don't think you were unreasonable not to want to go to her parents. I would have been exactly the same, cold or no cold.
Well you may be fine with it, but it doesn't' sound as though she is!
"And the only reason I didn't pop in was because I had a sore throat, I felt pretty weak and tired and wanted to be back home to rest. Which turned out to be the right thing as today I woke up and had lost my voice!"
Well yes but I don't see why you could have gone in and whispered 'sorry, sore throat, feeling rotten, need to be in bed'? This was a two-minute job, not a dinner party, yes?
Well, your relationship sounds very similar to mine and DH's - in our case I'm the extrovert and he's the introvert.
I have to say, it honestly doesn't bother me and we don't argue about it. I am a pretty sociable person and spend time with lots of friends. Tbh, the whole socialising together thing doesn't really come up since we have DC and no ready free babysitting around we tend to have to socialise separately.
In the case in your OP I would have happily left you in the car while I ran in to collect an umbrella - I can't see why you had to go in? I would probably have made small talk for a couple of minutes without even mentioning you were in the car.
On the odd occasion where we do something with other families I try to make sure DH has a 'role' - e.g. manning the barbecue or whatever because he's just not that comfortable in social situations.
Sorry, long and waffly, but I just wanted to say - from an extrovert to an introrvert - that I don't think you did or are doing anything wrong.
It isn't about big occasions though. On a day yo day basis it is about her being out with friends while you are at home, and how she responds. Fair enough if she and you are happy doing her own thing, but are you sure she doesn't find herself worrying about you while she is out, and/or returning more quickly than she would have wished because she feels she ought to keep you company? Clockwatching is never fun.
It was indeed a two minute job, one I am usually happy to oblige to if I didn't feel so poorly!
I do actually think that she was unreasonable about the umbrella/her parents. You were on the way home. You were coming down with something and just wanted to get home. If she was just collecting the umbrella then that only takes a minute or two and no need for you to get out of the car. If she was expecting you to come in and all have a chat and have a cup of tea then that is half an hour plus when all you want to do is get home when you're not feeling well.
As for the broader issue of being different maybe you will both settle into each other's ways, maybe you won't. It's not a long relationship and you moved in together quite quickly. Maybe she feels embarrassed having to explain your absence all the time as it looks rude or suspicious to others that she's committed quite early to someone who is not keen to socialise with them.
So rather than you waiting in the car, she wanted you to go in and say hello. Just because she wanted to pick up an umbrella?
Seems to me that the umbrella was her excuse for a visit.
"Popping in for a minute" is never actually that though, is it? Your mum wants you to come upstairs and look at something, and then there's the offer of a cup of tea and then they want to discuss your niece's birthday in minute detail and before you know it, you've been there the best part of an hour. If it were actually a minute, then it wouldn't be a problem.
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