People who isolate themselves when they find a partner? Hormornal related?

You know the friend who was always around for things when they were single, but falls off the face of the planet when they find a boyfriend or girlfriend. This intensifies, when they have kids.

This seems like irrational behavior to cut off your social options. Their significant other can’t be everything to them, nor can their kids. I’m not above this either, when I find someone special, I struggle to keep in touch w/ other people, eventhough I know it would be crazy not to.

Has there been any documentation of any hormone or brain chemical being responsible for this sort of behavior? Oxytocin perhaps?

I’m sure there are hormonal changes involved in forming those strong emotional bonds, but perhaps a simpler explanation can be found in the basic reality of schedule constraints.

Spending time with a partner, and even more so taking care of children, uses up time that you might previously have had available for other members of your social circle. In addition, those bonds create new obligations with regard to previously unknown other people (in-laws, partner’s other relatives and friends, children’s caretakers and teachers, etc.). Do we really need to invoke hormonal changes to explain why old friends often get neglected?

There won’t be any non-IMHO answers to this, as there is no objective way to determine if there is any effect other than the economics of time allocation.

My IMHO: what Kimstu said, with an additional factor: The more time you spend at activity Z, the less time left for activites A to Y, and activities T to Y were motivated anyway, at least in part, in finding a partner.

I’ve taken that into consideration and it is definately a factor…but what about the couples and families who have less responsibilities? The lovebirds who are still in college and don’t have a career or any children yet? Or the retired empty-nesters?

In my case, I wasn’t much into socializing anyway. Going out was just a means to get laid. After I hooked up with my wife, there was no point in going out anymore, and neither of us particuarly enjoyed bars or parties anyway. I still had friends, and still saw them, but my primary relationship was more important, and after kids came along, a social life became all but impossible. Most of my friends got married and had kids too. That part of our lives where we hung out and drank every night just lost its function. We’re still in touch, but live in different states, and I just never feel any desire to go out on the town anymore.

For me, it’s that I only have a certain number of hours that I want to spend socializing, and 90% of those are taken up by socializing with my significant other. It’s not that I don’t want to see <friend X>, it’s that most days, my need-to-socialize is about an hour or two. Mr. Athena’s is slightly more than that. Thus, I spend most of my time feeling over socialized and wanting to just go sit in a room by myself and read a book or play on the computer.

But we’re not hermits, either, and we have other family obligations (parents, etc) so despite feeling over-socialized almost all the time, I still go out and see family members because it’s important to me.

Further down the list are friends. We’ll occasionally get together with friends. Most of the time we run into people while at a restaurant (small town living) and have a glass of wine and catch up. Inevitably, I’m a hermit the next day and growling at Mr. Athena to just LEAVE ME ALONE.

Halo is fun. Sex is funner.

I just like my SO more than I like anyone else in the world. Why would I want to leave my favorite person to spend time with people I like less?

This is just slightly tongue in cheek. Of course, I do like other people, I just prefer them coming to my place so I could hang out with them and my SO at the same time! I really have to psych myself up to get out of the house without him, and yeah, I’ll be honest, obligation motivates me more than affection, although I do have a good time once I’m out.

As far as getting together with friends less after you have kids, there’s nothing irrational about that. It’s a practical necessity, at least so I’ve discovered.

You see, a baby or small child needs adult supervision all the time. You can’t run off with your friends without making some arrangement for who will watch the baby in the meantime. Very soon you realize that that’s a lot of hassle. You may have some friends or relatives that will babysit for free. But you don’t want to impose on them too much. And you certainly don’t want to pay for a babysitter too often.

So by simple practicality you stop going out without the baby as much.

It is absolutely more than the constraints of time allocation. We’re in love. She is my whole world. We’re two of those people who, once we moved in together, disappeared suddenly from the social whirl. WhyNot said it perfectly. If I have the choice of who to hang out with, I choose my sweetie 10 out of 10 times.

I had been very unsociable through most of my life, and for some years before I came out, actually had no friends at all because I was too unmotivated to go make friends. At the point when I came out, a little over 6 years ago, I suddenly became very outgoing and made tons of new friends rapidly. Coming out propelled me into a radically more active social life than I’d ever known (with more interesting people than ever). But once I settled in with my sweetie, if not for Facebook, my friends would have assumed I’d dropped off the face of the earth. We’re both introverts. I’m an introvert who paradoxically loves to socialize. I’m more toward the middle between introvert and extrovert. She prefers to stay simply introverted.

Even before we were a couple, we did everything together. I brought her along to all my social events. I sometimes felt I was dragging her along to more events than she was really up for; she just liked my company, so she she went along and didn’t mind. Well, that got old. We’re both simply happier with each other more than with anyone else, so then we cut way down on going out. Over the last half a year, I’ve finally dropped out of social life pretty much totally, as I’ve been through a protracted spell of ill health, and could not spare any “spoons” (the daily finite amount of energy available to perform tasks) for socializing. Whatever oomph I can muster these days goes to personal maintenance and recuperation, with nothing left over.

So initially, our major move away from socializing was motivated by the value we placed in our relationship itself. But more recently, the need to allocate a finite resource has finished off the last remaining bits of our social life. It being winter now has dampened things a bit for everyone too. I’ve spent the autumn and winter in Irkalla, but am looking forward to return like Inanna to the land of the living come spring.

Pretty much this. The idea of “girls night out” does absolutely nothing for me. If have free time when my husband is also free, we’re together, and that’s the way we both want it. If I can’t be with him because of his schedule, I might occasionally want to spend time with other people, but I’m pretty darn happy to be by myself, too. I have a couple of friends that I maintain, but that’s really all I want, because I do see friendships as something that require work, and I’m lazy and can’t be bothered unless I *really *like you.

I had no idea I had an alternate personality who was a woman and lived in a different state.

You described me perfectly…it’s like I have a “socialization sump” and once that gets filled up, which takes a couple of hours outside my “nest”, I get grumpy and impatient to get back home. And if we go out (which we generally do once or twice a month), I’m usually very prickly all the next morning (which I usually warn my partner about once I wake up) and don’t want to have people too close or else my nerves are frayed.

It’s not just us! Caring for your Introvert describes me perfectly; I’m not socially inept, I’m not shy, I just “find other people tiring”, and need time to recover after social events.

Well, according to the posters we’ve been hearing from in this thread, a bunch of them just never really liked socializing that much anyway.

As far as those people are concerned, being “around for things when they were single” was apparently not all that important to them in the first place; it was just a way of keeping up a minimum level of human contact and/or providing mating opportunities.

As soon as they found a regular companion, they gladly gave up the routine social activities that they were fundamentally not very interested in, and reverted to their normal contented condition of relative unsociability. I don’t see that that behavior requires any hormonal changes to account for it either.

In other words, if you’re seeking some endocrinological explanation for the phenomenon of recently mated couples or new parents suddenly shunning outside social interactions, despite having ample time and personal preference for such interactions, I think you’re first going to have to find some evidence that such a phenomenon actually exists.

So far, all we’ve heard about directly are sociable people who no longer have time to socialize regularly because the kids are such a time sink, and unsociable people who never cared much for regular socializing anyhow and are relieved to be able to abandon it in favor of solitude or cocooning with their partner.

Oh! In that case, the answer is “screwing or trying to get screwed,” IME.

And, perhaps more to your intended angle, I would suspect that there’s a “(s)he’s mine… must protect from predatory potential partners and rivals…” kind of thing.

As others have said, he’s my best friend and I like to spend all of my time with him. I think of myself as a Sim, sometimes - my social meter, while larger than his, fills up quickly. :slight_smile:

Someone said what used to be called love is now called codependency. I think that’s really true. Spending all my time with my SO and missing him when he’s gone is suddenly considered unhealthy and a sign that I have invested too much in the relationship. :confused: I don’t agree.

I suppose there are some who spend every free moment screwing like mad for hours with their spouse and don’t even want to answer the phone. :rolleyes: A more mundane explanation: when you are single, going out a lot, hanging with friends, you might live in a college dorm, apartment building, or in the city. When you get married, you often buy a house further away, or end out in the suburbs or god forbid, the ex-burbs. That alone would cut down on socializing time (unless your friends make the trek out to see you). Figure you work all day, come home, you and spouse make dinner, do laundry, mow the lawn/snowblow the driveway, take the dog for a walk, watch TV together, get things ready for work the next day…unless you are a boundless ball of energy, who wants to come home after a long day of work, make and eat dinner, and then get back in the car at night or in bad weather, and go off to drink or hang out or whatever you used to do with a bunch of friends?..After a few years of marriage and having a kid, I have to say it was a REAL effort to even manage to get up the energy to go to PTO meetings, or open house at school; and then there was the driving the kid to Scouts, gymnastics, dance lessons, sporting events…No time to socialize! The only solution was to meet my friends directly after work before going home - go to the gym, go out to dinner, whatever. Or arrange to go for a hike, go shopping, go visit other friends on a weekend. (it’s just me, but once I’m home, I’m home, and it’s there I want to chill, with my spouse and/or kids, and do stuff with them.)

They’re just not that into you.

I think this is it, having been one of these people who ‘drops off the face of the earth’ in the past few years.

In my case, part of it was that I do things like eat dinner with my wife at home. This tends to put a damper on impromptu “let’s get a burger after work” type events, that used to be a big part of socializing when I was single.

Beyond that, having a SO lets you be the homebody you always kind of wanted to be, without any fear of consequences, other than somewhat neglecting your friends. There’s no recrimination about staying home and watching movies, or eating dinner with her and reading.

In some cases, I’ve actually got back with some friends via Xbox games and other on-line things. In others, I’ve just planned regular outings- Wednesday happy hour at a local beer joint with a close friend is one.

It might simply be that there’s only 24 hours in a day. The fact is that when your buddy gets a girlfriend, he likes her more than he likes you.

A significant other will not only consume most of your previously free time, but introduces new circles of friends.