01751: Introversion + Relationship = Isolation?

I was thinking about the amount of time and energy that I invest in socializing with other people and I realize that I don't really put all that much of an effort - outside our regular gaming sessions of course. And while I totally stand behind my statement that gaming is indeed a social activity, I also admit that I really don't allot all that much time for hanging out with friends and person. But I don't regret this in the slightest - I don't exactly feel obligated to rearrange my calendar in order to change the status quo. It's not like there's anything wrong with the way that I live my life now.

Most standard tests (read: stuff from the internet) inevitably classify my as an introvert. If we go with that concept, then it's only natural to expect that I'm not exactly the type of person who likes to deal with a heck of a lot of other people on a regular. I'm fairly content being on my own, but I'm not exactly opposed to hanging out with other people from time to time. Introversion does not mean that I'm doomed to die a hermit or something. However I do regularly clean up my social media contacts to drop folks that I don't appear to interact with on a regular basis. I guess everything balances out over time.

I'm soon approaching the point when most of my life can be counted as time spent within the context of a relationship - and not just  my adult life mind you (which is already well within that realm), but my whole life including what could be termed as a generally asexual childhood. And across relationships, I've been more than content to invest most of my time and energy into activities with my partner. This isn't something limited to introverts of course - I'm pretty sure we all have those friends who seem to disappear of the face of the planet once they find someone to commit to. But it's certainly a sure way to account for where  most of my free time goes. Although I do wonder if playing the introversion card just means that all the more I don't see reasons to hang out with other people since I'd rather just stay home with Tobie or something.

There are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to traditional social activities and being in a relationship. There's a natural desire to invest free time with your partner given a lot of the week is spent apart given real life obligations like work and the horrors of city living like commuting through Metro Manila traffic. And thus a lot of cases we see that couples map out their social calendars together - an effort to co-mingle their different social circles and thus get friends all acquainted with the current relationship status quo. In our case this means that we schedule game nights with different friends, and that's a pretty awesome way to hang out with friends, quite frankly.

But is that "enough" by traditional standards? I look at my Facebook contact lists and my Twitter followers and I sometimes feel weird that I haven't seen a lot of these people in person for like years now - if at all! I try to compensate for that by being a bit more social online than I ever would be in person with regular comments and posts directly related to these people. But at the same time it does take a lot of effort and many times I just don't really associate with what some of my peers are discussing on social media. And that leads to the question or whether or not we're really friends and why the heck are we still linked online when we don't really relate to what the other is up to anymore? Unfriending follows shortly after that. Wash, rinse, repeat as needed.

Maybe I just have really high standards for friends - something that inevitably supports my nature as an introvert. Perhaps I have too many qualifications that can be used as a basis to stop being a "friend" to someone else in order to limit my social engagements accordingly. It's sort of a coping mechanism for what my personality is oriented to being okay with, or least that's how it seems to me. And so I can totally get through life just limiting my social interactions with someone to Facebook likes and Twitter mentions and then leave it at that.

In the end, I think I had more fun writing about this than actually considering changing changing anything in terms of how I deal with life. Now to get back to confirming gaming schedules for the rest of the weekends in February.