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Lonely but don’t do relationships

66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,111 Disability Gamechanger
edited January 29 in Coffee lounge

I didn’t post this in the dating and relationships section as I don’t think it’s really about that but please feel free to move it if you feel it is more suited to going there.

I am not into romantic relationships and am asexual - so when I move out of the family home I will be living alone. However I am worried about being lonely and don’t think I could cope living on my own, but I know I can’t live with my parents forever.

It seems to be a bit of a paradox as I couldn’t imagine spending my life with someone else - sharing everything from money and possessions to problems and what you’ve done that day - but then I cannot imagine being alone, either?

To make things more complicated, I don’t think I could cope in a shared house due to OCD. (I just about manage at home as it’s family members.)

Has anyone heard of anybody with this conundrum before and can share any experiences?

Perhaps when I live alone for a few months or years it will force me to want to enter into a relationship?

Just wondering if anyone else can relate to this or can offer any words of support?



  • BrettWBrettW Member Posts: 607 Pioneering
    My son is exactly the same @mustang67 he has never had any iterest whatsoever in having a romantic relationship. He will be 27 next month. 

    He has Aspergers and doesn't mix with people that much but luckily has a tight circle of friends who he has known since nursery school.

    He still lives with his mother and grandmother and is perfectly happy where he is.

    Everyone must live their life as it suits them and know you are not alone out there in being like this
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,730 Disability Gamechanger
    I have to say that being in a bad relationship is far worse than being lonely. 

    I have known two people who never married or cohabited with anyone and both were happy on their own, though they had times of loneliness. I asked one once why they’d never married and they replied that it had just never happened. They’d never met anyone who they would click with to that degree. 

    Perhoas you will meet someone one day but if you don’t then it’s not the end of the world. As often said joining clubs or groups can mitigate loneliness. I’m sure posting on forums helps a little. 
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,232 Disability Gamechanger
    It is hard to adjust to living alone but after time you will find it hard to  not live alone if you get my meaning 

    Living alone has some benefits like being able to do what you want 

    Get up, go to bed when you want,  watch what you want , eat what you want,  you have nobody to answer to 

    But maybe consider a flat which is your own but in a building with others who you may get to know 
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,363 Disability Gamechanger
    @66Mustang my grandson doesn't want to live on his own or with another person he likes haveing a girlfriend but doesn't think he will cope outside of his family home 

    His sister moved out and went back home again becsuse she didn't cope very well  people are different 

    I live on my own I have a partner  but I am the opposite I like my own space my own things  I am ok working but I normaly choose when I want to see people  working is different I can go home to my own house 

    But if some one came to my house I cant tell them to go away as its rude people know me now so its good 

    Its a hard decision to make 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,039

    Scope community team

    It's understandable that would be a concern of yours @66Mustang. I've dumped a few ideas below. 

    Are you planning on moving far away from your family? If you're not going too far, then you could always pop in (when it's safe to of course) to say hello and have some familiar company. 

    You could also invite friends over, again once it's safe to, and try to make new friends in the area you're living in. They don't have to stay overnight if you don't want them to, but it can be nice to spend a few hours together just relaxing at home.

    Would you consider living with one other person that you trusted? I understand your concerns around living in a shared house, especially if there were quite a few housemates, but could having one other person that you'd 'vetted' so to speak be an option? 

    I also want to remind you that every relationship is different. You wouldn't even have to call it a relationship if you didn't want to. I've met people who have been asexual and aromantic, but had sort of 'companions' who were perhaps closer to them than a standard friend, but they were not in a sexual or romantic relationship with. You don't have to live with someone, share money, or spend more time than you'd like to with them, it can simply be someone in a similar position who's there for you when you need them. These are sometimes called queerplatonic relationships. Of course that might not be something that appeals to you at all, but it was just a thought. 

    Filling your time can also make you feel less isolated. Am I right in thinking that you were considering applying for university, as you've been doing other qualifications in your own time? Sorry if I've misremembered that, but studying can be a great way of meeting new friends, as well as keeping yourself occupied. Volunteering could also be another option, and there are sometimes opportunities to volunteer remotely if that's something that appeals to you more. 

    I also think that you might just have to wait and see how you find it. Many people absolutely love living alone, and don't find that they get lonely. Others find that they do get lonely, so put things in place to reduce their isolation, such as making an extra effort to keep in touch with friends. Sexuality can change over time for some people, but you might just have to 'go with the flow'. It's not something that you can, or should, force. It could be the case that spending more time alone could make you consider whether you might like to have some form of non-romantic and non-sexual relationship in the future, but what that relationship might look like is totally up to you.

    What concerns you most about being lonely, and what does loneliness look like to you? Are you worried about the lack of physical interaction? Not having someone to talk to in-person? Identifying what you feel you might miss could help you to put things in place to reduce the risk of feeling lonely.
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  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,562 Disability Gamechanger
    I feel so lucky and I am lucky I married the love of my life 40 years ago this year and yes we have had our up's and down's but we've survived them.
    I suppose the secret to living on your own would be to keep as active and busy as possible where possible.
    But it's a strange thing that you might look at someone surrounded by a large family and think that they aren't lonely and yet sometimes even they will feel lonely in a room full of people.
    I was always very outgoing and friendly but my epilepsy knocked my self confidence and cost me most of my friends.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,451 Disability Gamechanger
    Perhaps unsurprisingly, I live in the same paradox.

    I can (and do!) live alone 'comfortably'.  I have no desire for human contact at all.  Every time I go out I get endlessly annoyed by other people and just want to be left alone.  Part of that is due to the OCD and fears around contamination and illness transmission, but there's more to it than than that, something I can't explain, I'm just not like other people socially.

    But bizarrely I still get lonely and feel very distant & isolated from the real world.  I also have no interest in romantic relationships, and the whole idea of a physical relationship and how we come to be here makes me feel physically ill tbh!  I also feel that by our age, most people are looking for that type of relationship, it sometimes seems like that's all there is to life.

    I think the chance of this extremely slim, but I've been hoping for a sort of 'Big Bang Theory' type scenario, where I just end up living next to someone that feels the same way, where we could watch TV together and go to local events etc, but still live in our own place for the majority of the time.  I can't imagine ever living with someone myself, but can't imagine there are many others like this either.  Having said that, my 'new' neighbour moved in 4 months ago, about my age, has a nice car and is also a gamer...but we haven't said more than 'hi' so far lol.

    On the flip side to this, I have elderly relatives that have been left widowed and cannot stand being on their own.  It's definitely not for everyone.  They're constantly on the telephone to people without any particular reason just for a chat.  I suppose I get a bit of socialising through forums though, can imagine I would feel worse without that...I'm ok with it as long you are all kept at the other side of the internet!  :D

    I think the only way you'll know is by trying it.  Don't forget that your parents and family members will still all be there, just over the phone or internet instead.  And you'll still have us on here, as well as any other forums you're on.  You won't suddenly be plunged into complete isolation the minute you move out.  Then you can see how it goes with regard to relationships, you might warm to the idea, or you might not.  As others have said, it's your life and your choice. :)
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 713 Pioneering
    I believe a lot more people than we know do feel similar.  There is a thing called LATS, meaning living apart together, so even people who do want a romantic relationship often prefer their own homes to go back to.  Maybe not everyone ever did want to live in a way where they wouldn't  have independent space all to themselves. After all, if you have a castle you have an entire set of rooms for the Duchess, and another for the Duke!

    Those with particular difficulties, such as the O.P., have extra need for their own space of course.  There are, often in other countries, more communities-by-design.   Not single generation and not disability ghettos, just inclusive places  that make it easy to be apart and easy to be together.   (N.B. Some well meaning co-housing movements insist on communal physical labour, and/or communal eating, which is in both cases  discriminatory against disabled people)   

    My ideal would be a self contained flat with it's own terrace for a personal substitute garden. I have seen various places designed as tourist hostels, where there are usually well thought out communal areas.  The receptionist/caretaker/trouble shooter will usefully be in the open area between the open plan kitchen/diner and the inviting communal living room, opening into the communal garden.   That way, if someone left dirty dishes in the shared sink, or on the shared tables,  they would be noticed,   or if someone was disturbing someone else, there would be protective intervention so everyone felt safe. There would need, at least, to be two lifts, on different systems, if immobile people are not to risk being stranded.  Some occupants would be semi-permanent, others shorter term .  Most comfortable living needs good sound-proofing.   There could be some families, some couples, some, probably a majority, singles.   Now there are all the empty offices and shops, it should be a perfect chance to create deliberate opportunities for communities by architecture and planning.   

    Although I dislike segregation, I don't deny that some people do need extra provision.  Possibly those with untreated addictions or an inability to control outbursts, or with certain other conditions where specialist helpers and/or specialist facilities are needed.. 

  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,111 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you everyone for the posts, I really appreciate all of the insight, experience and ideas. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    I’m not looking at moving out in the near term as I’m still working with psychologists etc. and hopefully from this will get some more independence. However it’s just something I want to start thinking about 

    @Tori_Scope asking those questions really made me think. I think I just need someone with me as a safety net even though I don’t usually use it if that makes sense?

    An example could be how I never go out alone - always with someone else - however I am more than capable of making all the decisions and planning a journey, just for some reason I can’t do it on my own. A good example is in the car as if I have someone else with me and there is a closed road and I’m uncomfortable driving the alternative route, I have another driver to take over. Or, if I come across a blocked road and have to turn round and suddenly lose all confidence I can get them to drive. I guess I just have some fear that I’ll come to some situation and completely lose it if that makes sense!!

    Another example would be using a knife to cut food - I am happy to do it if there is someone else in the house but on my own I leave the knives well alone because I’m worried about harming myself. Again no one has ever needed to intervene but I have that “what if” worry.

    Sorry - gone a bit off topic from relationships and on to why I need someone with me but I hope that makes sense!
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,730 Disability Gamechanger
    @newborn I know two people who live in separate houses just as you say. They are perfectly happy having their own space. They are somewhat older however, in their early eighties.
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 713 Pioneering
    Mustang that is so interesting.  I know someone who could almost exactly have written your words about the driving.  If you live near public transport or near shops you may not need a car, and the expense of it would be re-directed to getting a cab now and then

    What you might do for knives is borrow work-arounds from an arthritic relative.  For example, certain types of food preparation are impossible because of the strength and grip power needed, so the only knives in the place are a table knife too old and blunt to do anything but spread things on toast.   If that is not to hand, rather than hunt for it, she will use the back of a spoon. 

     Her hands can grip a  small stubby serrated knife, but often she uses a peeler, instead of a knife, if it's to prepare root vegetables. She  buys  sliced meat, filleted fish, not much ready-meals because it isn't always healthy, but she   invests in a lot of frozen stuff, because it is ready chopped up.  I know that your reasons to avoid knives are not to do with strong grip, but I'm thinking if they bother you, you could possibly find ways to just do without them?  
  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,111 Disability Gamechanger

    Thanks for the post, really appreciate it. 

    My only issue with what you suggest, and I’m not trying to argue, just raise a concern, is that my issues are purely psychological and with psychological issues, the more you avoid, the worse the fear becomes. A doctor told me it’s like a comfort zone where if you always stay within your comfort zone it gets smaller and smaller - you have to keep pushing it.

    I am aware I’m not helping myself by always having someone with me! But working on that.

    I hope this makes sense but I do take on board what you are saying.
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 713 Pioneering
    Oh dear, in that case I guess the doctor would want you to live alone, and have in your kitchen one of those disposable wooden knives, then add a table knife, and work up to a vegetable knife, and finally a serrated bread knife, and with him enthusiastically applauding each step!   What he said  does make sense, about the comfort zone, doesn't it?   But I suppose whatever you do, it is all a form of work-around until you get where you want to be.  I'm sure we should be confident you will get there soon.   Hope we soon hear of your new life!   Best of luck 
  • gabriel336gabriel336 Member Posts: 24 Connected
    Hi a pet is a wonderful companion. There are so many who need re-homing and the people who run these places find one who suits your personal situation. If not a pet then plants are a good experience for having something to care for other than yourself. 
    Go for it! If it doesn’t work out you can always go back home? All my love and best wishes for the future xx
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