The older I get the more I like being on my own. This is not a bad thing as I spend the vast majority of my time actually alone. I work from home and I live alone. I am single. I’m an introvert and find large groups of people exhausting (one-on-one I love). I’m not particularly shy, and can be downright gregarious in the right situation, but on the whole, I prefer my own company.

For many years, this was a problem. The three big relationships of my life were with extroverted men who had lots of friends and like to hit the town at every opportunity. New Year’s Eve was always a battle as they (and yes, all three of them felt the same) wanted to go out and have THE BIGGEST NIGHT EVAH!!! and I wanted to stay at home, light candles and ease into the new year thoughtfully and calmly. I’m sure you can guess who won those battles. One of the greatest joys of these last eight years on my own has been getting to welcome each new year in exactly the way I want.

It’s only in the last few years I’ve truly accepted that this really is how I am. For the longest time I thought my lack of sociability meant there must be something fundamentally wrong with me. My twenties were a blur of college, first jobs, relationships and trying my best to be the extrovert I thought I was supposed to be. I tried, I really did, but it was exhausting. And then another party invite would arrive and we’d go but I’d spend the whole time wishing I was at home. Now I understand how introverts and extroverts work my twenties and early 30s make so much more sense to me. Honestly, this stuff ought to be taught in school — how much easier would life be if we understood how we processed the world right out the gate? Rather than being made to feel we’re boring or strange for liking — sometimes preferring — our alone time.

I’m pondering all of this because this introvert is preparing to put herself back out into the land of dating. I’m remembering my previous attempts at on-line dating and wondering if there are any guys out there who don’t need to have the Biggest Night Evah on New Year’s Eve. Eighty percent of me would rather stay at home than go on what is basically a blind date. I like it here! It’s calm and soothing and all my favourite things are around me. After the rocky start to the new year I’m in a good place, emotionally, so why would I want to risk that? But then there’s this pesky twenty percent….. the part of me that misses the kind of companionship where you can be alone together, quite happily, on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The kisses, the love, the building-a-future-together. The delicious stuff that requires another person be in the same room as you…

It’s time to leave the hermitage.