Solo time: Why is it so hard?

Hi. I’m poly, and I like to be alone. I don’t like to do things alone, though, for some odd reason. It’s so hard to work up the motivation to go take myself to dinner, or go see a movie or anything at all without a companion. Why?

I ALWAYS enjoy it when it happens. I love the way it feels to be solo, to be independent. I love the feeling of being unhindered by someone else’s preferences, even though I rarely have strong preferences of my own anymore. I take enjoyment out of my company instead of the activity, and this means that I’ve had to get comfortable in the company of myself.

This isn’t a thing we’re socialized to do. We’re bred to be social creatures, and it’s in our DNA to seek the companionship and security of a tribe. It’s an active struggle sometimes to cope with the thought of being solo, though some of us take to it more quickly and easily than others.

I find that when I crave solo time, I tend to want to be completely alone in a room. I want quiet, Netflix, and maybe a cat. Part of it is a desire to shut off my brain with escapism, and part of it is that I actively need to not deal with people when I’m replenishing my spoons.

And yet, there’s a different kind of recharge that comes with doing things on my own. I feel more confident, more interesting because I’ve experienced things alone. I have more to talk about, more dimension because I can face the world by myself. I don’t need a posse to make things possible – I can do that on my own.

I find that sometimes I fall into the shadow of my partner and his wife. We do a lot together, and I sometimes hesitate to find my own way. They’re comfortable and safe, and the world outside is sometimes so cold and unwelcoming. As with all things in my world, though, when I change the conversation a bit it becomes much easier. The world isn’t scary – it’s new every day, with fresh things to explore. It’s not cold – it’s a puzzle to be cracked, a 3-D picture to be seen.

Why, then, is this so hard to remember? Why can’t I just internalize this thought process and keep this momentum going? Perhaps I just need to do it more often. Maybe I need to schedule date nights with myself to make sure I have the time and space for it. Maybe I need to take myself out to brunch and a matinee some weekend. Maybe, just maybe, I need to fall in love with myself again, and ride that NRE into habit.

One thought on “Solo time: Why is it so hard?

  1. It is very important to take care of yourself first. I found myself in a similar situation a few years ago; going to the movies was especially hard. And then something happened: after seeing multiple movies alone, I went with a few others to a screening, and I wasn’t nearly as content. I think treating yourself to alone time, and thinking of it as just that, a treat, will set you up for a more loving, less insecure relationship with yourself.

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