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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