Life Style

Jan-Anne never wants to expand his social circle again: ‘Feel good being alone’

“I’m not at all pathetic or lonely. Probably a lot of people think that when they hear about my lifestyle. It’s also different from how most live, and in this society everyone seems to have a busy and full schedule, with a lot of friends and other contacts.

Long ago I chose not to participate, simply because it doesn’t make me happy. It is my very conscious and definitive choice to remain single forever and have a very small social network forever that I will never expand again. ”

“I grew up in a close-knit family with three children. We had a good time together. As a young child I was very often ill. When I was five, I got a severe sinus infection. A year later I got a lot of stomach pain. It was only later discovered that I had appendicitis and I was operated on, but the surrounding intestines were also affected and I was in hospital for weeks.

Because of all that sickness, I was often out of school and I missed contact with my classmates. Still, I did have a few friends in elementary school. But when they came to my birthday, it was soon too much and too busy for me. I liked being on my own even then. I had a great time with Lego or reading books. After primary school, the contact with my friends, who went to other schools, became weaker. “

Never seen a pub or disco inside

“I also had a few friends in high school. They sometimes came to my house and I to them. I went with a friend by train for day trips, for example to Zeeland or stay with his aunt in Friesland. When I got older. , many other boys became interested in girls or in the nightlife. I never had that need myself. Until today I have never seen a pub or disco inside. I was not going to date either, I went not after the girls. “

“After high school I lost contact with the friends I had there. I attended the MEAO, and after that it was my priority to find a job. At that time it was crisis and the work was not there for the taking. I was mainly busy applying for jobs. I didn’t see the two friends I had at MEAO afterwards. And to be honest, I didn’t try my best myself. I made a few group trips and then met nice people with whom I still kept in touch afterwards, but that also evaporated after a while. “

Not shy of people

“At one point I realized that I actually didn’t have any friends anymore. And at the same time I realized that I didn’t miss them either. I didn’t need it. It’s not that I’m afraid of people and don’t speak to anyone. I’m religious and twice a month I visit a Bible circle – although that has been shut down for a long time because of corona. I also have an acquaintance or whatever you call it, with whom I sometimes meet.Then we go for a walk together and sometimes have a barbecue.

I also regularly speak to my family. That’s enough for me. On birthdays, I always have trouble concentrating when a lot of people come. The conversations go crosswise and sometimes I find it difficult to follow the conversations. I prefer to go to birthdays where there are few people. “

“Even in difficult times I don’t miss having friends. Ten years ago my father died, my mother I lost last year. Fortunately I received sympathy from the church and my family, so I was not alone. I don’t miss having a partner. Only once did I have a date years ago, through a site. But then I realized that I don’t want to commit to anyone at all. It’s not that I live only for myself and am selfish , but I feel good being alone. “

Autistic traits

“When I was looking for a new job a few years ago, I got a personal test to see what kind of work would suit me. The test showed that I have some autistic traits. I don’t need a lot of people in my life. The result didn’t surprise me anyway. I like structure and I don’t multitask well.

I was unemployed for four years, which I found difficult. But for three and a half years I have been working as a mail deliverer and administrative assistant at a postal company. It is fun and varied work, and I have great colleagues. I only see them at work, and that’s fine. I take good care of my job and hope to be able to do this until I retire. The distance between my home and work is about fourteen kilometers. Every morning I get up at half past five and leave for work by bike around half past six. It is therefore almost thirty kilometers back and forth. In the evening I am often very tired and I don’t feel like going anywhere. “

“I will never expand my very small social network again, because I have no need for a relationship or friends. It quickly gets too much and too busy for me. I have no qualms about not having friends. I can. I enjoy myself fine by myself. During the day I work, I have the Bible circle and the contact with my acquaintance and family. That’s all. “

Open and honest about lifestyle

“Two years ago I told my story at a meeting about loneliness. There were professionals who found my story special and an eye-opener. Later I told about my lifestyle in an interview to a local newspaper. People thought I was open and honest, which was quite a relief, because I was afraid that people would think I was strange.

But you don’t have to dance to the tune of society. Everyone makes their own choices and we have to accept that from each other. I am very satisfied with my life. Working well and reading a good book or the newspaper in the evening, I am very happy with that. “

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Never again?

Do you also want to share your story and tell what you ‘never want to experience again’, do or do not want to do? We are curious about your story. Mail us at weekendmagazine@rtl.nl

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