I am a loner. For as long as I can remember, it’s when I’m alone that I’m at my happiest. If I were in an old-timey movie, I’d be that hermit off in a little hut somewhere who occasionally sticks her head out the window for a one-liner that doesn’t really make any sense. Whereas some people think being alone is some sort of death sentence, for me, it’s the best way to live.
But the problem with preferring to be alone is that often, non-loners just don’t understand. And when you date someone who isn’t a loner, getting them to understand that maybe, just maybe, you’d prefer to go on a trip by yourself, fly solo for lunch, or even sit on your couch alone isn’t easy.
I’d suggest loners only date fellow loners, but I’m pretty sure that relationship just wouldn’t function. Because as much as it sometimes pains loners to have to share our space and time with someone else, even someone we love deeply, we also know that in order for us to flourish we need to be around non-loners who kick us in the ass and demand that we occasionally put on our social pants.
If you’re going to date a loner, you need to prepare yourself. We need lots of alone time, a ton of space, and if we don’t want to see you, you just can’t take it personally. So before you fall for one of us, here’s a glimpse at what you can expect.
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YOU might MEET US ON ONE OF OUR RARE OCCASIONS OUT SOCIALIZING
You know, that one party we go to a month where we spend most of the time in the bathroom hiding or in the corner sulking.
but most likely, you'll find us at a cafe or park, ALONE WITH A BOOK
At first, WE'LL BE TOTALLY STAND-OFFISH
We can be shy, after all.
WE MIGHT EVEN ASK YOU TO GO AWAY
But if you persevere, we might quit scowling and even smile. Well, our version of a smile.
TRYING TO NAIL DOWN A FIRST DATE WILL BE TRICKY
Yes, even if you look like Ryan here.
BECAUSE WE're likely to CANCEL MORE THAN ONCE
It's not because we're not interested. We're nervous.
AND WE'LL SECRETLY HOPE YOU'LL CANCEL, TOO
Which involves crossing our fingers and tossing pennies into wishing wells for days.
IF YOU DO CANCEL, we'll feel a WAVE OF RELIEF, even if we're disappointed
Don’t take it personally. We're just relieved we don't have to go on a first date.
BECAUSE WE HAVE A NEVER-ENDING LIST OF REASONS AS TO WHY WE CAN’T SOCIALIZE
I actually have a book of excuses a fellow loner bought for me, and it's used A LOT.
LIKE, "A FRIEND JUST SHOWED UP CRYING BECAUSE OF A BREAK-UP"
OR "I'm PRETTY SURE THE MAYO ON OUR TURKEY SANDWICH WAS SPOILED"
Similar to being “sick,” this one can’t be overused, because eventually you’ll either stop believing us or get concerned about our health “issues.”
or "THERE WAS A WATER MAIN BREAK IN OUR BUILDING!"
Loners know the key is to make excuses believable, without messing with our karma. In other words, loners would never say that a relative who’s alive has died. No good right there.
BUT EVENTUALLY, WE will GO OUT WITH YOU
...Just don't expect to see us for another week or two
It's not because we didn't have a nice time.
WHICH WILL CONFUSE YOU AND eventually LEAD TO THE "TALK"
Where we'll tell you how things go with us:
Time to understand that I'm not like those extroverts.
LIKE HOW to us, NO PLANS ARE THE BEST PLANS
For a loner, nothing says, "awesome weekend ahead" like not having a single plan on the docket. It’s just something you need to accept right off the bat.
and how WE'RE NOT GOING TO NEED YOU AROUND ALL THE TIME
But it doesn't mean we don't care!
you'll say it doesn't matter to you, but some things will prove harder to swallow
Some habits are harder to understand than others.
...like how we PREFER TO TRAVEL ALONE
You may think a romantic getaway, just the two of us, is the best, but we think it would be better if we had that romantic weekend separately.
and how WE'RE also BIG FANS OF DINING SOLO
Also, I’m sorry I tried that new restaurant without you.
and how IF WE TELL YOU TO STOP TALKING, WE’RE NOT trying to BE MEAN
It’s about space and silence. We love our space and silence, and while we’d love to hear about your day, we’ll ask when we’re ready.
yes, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE A SPECIAL TOLERANCE FOR US
AND ACCEPT THAT MAYBE, sometimes, WE'LL TURN OFF OUR PHONES FOR DAYS
AND THAT WE MIGHT not always understand YOUR SOCIAL BUTTERFLY WAYS
Like, why would you deliberately go out and talk to people?
(though IF YOU ARE ONE, WE’RE TOTALLY DOWN WITH IT)
Why yes, please go out and talk to people for me!
HELL, GO AWAY FOR THE WHOLE WEEKEND!
if you move in, THE SLEEPING-IN-SEPARATE-BEDS DISCUSSION WILL ALWAYS BE ON THE TABLE
Cuddling is wonderful, but the thought of cuddling all night is enough to make any loner with space issues break into a cold sweat.
BUT it DOESN'T MEAN WE DON'T LOVE YOU
Or that we don't love being near you.
IT JUST MEANS WE SHOW OUR LOVE DIFFERENTLY
And you might even find you prefer sleeping alone sometimes, too.
YOU'LL HAVE TO ACCEPT Other WEIRD SOCIAL HANG-UPS
LIKE HOW DOUBLE DATES MAKE US TWITCH WITH ANXIETY
If my husband suggests we do a double date afternoon of apple picking with any of our coupled-up friends again, I’m going to shoot daggers out of my eyes at him.
AND HOW ANY EVENT THAT INVOLVES MORE THAN JUST US WILL GRATE ON OUR NERVES
BECAUSE, LET’S BE HONEST, us loners have NEVER BEEN TEAM PLAYERS
There’s no “I” in team, therefore making it a strange and foreign concept.
we might not understand when YOU TELL US THAT WE SHOULD SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER
You’re talking to a person who legitimately loved being single.
OR THAT YOU MISS US WHEN IT’S BEEN ONLY TWO HOURS
Couples who say that are so effing weird.
OR THAT YOU’RE NOT GETTING ENOUGH ATTENTION
BUT YOU'LL COME TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE'RE WORTH THE HASSLE (we hope)
It's called full-blown acceptance.
and THAT BEING IN LOVE DOESN'T have to MEAN BEING ATTACHED AT THE HIP
Don't you value you're alone time, too?
because KEEPING TO A SCHEDULE OF ALONE TIME IS JUST OUR THING
So we can actually miss you, see?
Hey, don't say I didn't warn you.