I think just about any committed introvert (like myself) will be able to empathize and heartily agree with your article, for all the same reasons you listed. Please understand that this comment is intended to help and advise if (on the off chance) you haven’t considered already the things I’m about to point out.

Thing is, as the years go by, chances are that you will begin to feel the loneliness, as in “who’s going to be there for me when I’m sick or feeling bad, or when I need a shoulder to cry on?” That may not seem like a big deal now since you’re still young (at least you’re young in the eyes of retired people like myself), but it becomes a very big deal later on in life. There’s a saying by Margaret Willour: “The elderly need so little, but they need that little so much.” That will apply to you, too.

Me, I got really, stupidly lucky - I found a girl who was patient and understanding enough to give me the space I need, my “alone time” without which I go nuts. I can’t stand small talk…unless it’s her small talk. She’s the only person I’ve ever found whose small talk I can really enjoy (instead of just tolerating), and we can yak and yak about everything and nothing for hours at a time. And we’ve got true love. Yes, it sounds sappy and over-the-top, but it’s the realest thing I know.

Also, she’s got a big family (forty-odd first cousins alone), and at family gatherings, they wonder why I’m doing the wallflower thing. But like her, they’ve come to understand that’s just how I am.

So whatever you do, don’t ignore the possibility of someone to love, to spend your life with. Yes, that person must learn to understand your need for alone time, for self-sufficiency, just as you’ll need to understand that person’s social needs (or lack thereof). It may not be something you need now, but chances are very strong that you’ll need it in the decades to come. Don’t be afraid of love, for you’ll need something to keep you warm as the years grow shorter and colder.

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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