For myself, I’d love to have one good hour of solitude a day – and I don’t often get it. Solitude means no one talking to me, and minimal chances of anyone talking to me. So being at work doesn’t count, even if no one actually does talk to me during the course of the day. My journey (on foot) to and from work counts, sort of, though having to watch out for cars adds a level of stress that I don’t quite associate with solitude. I’d also prefer not to be doing hard manual labor during my solitude. While getting something done is not totally incompatible with solitude, nothing beats good old-fashioned idleness.
So what’s the range here? Do we have any social butterflies stressed out by solitude? Or, on the other end, do we have any pole-sitting hermits? Do tell!
I guess I need about an hour a day, which I get on my drive to and from work- 30-35 minutes each way. And for me, “solitude” doesn’t necessarily mean “silence”. It just means a time for me to clear my mind and/or let it wander. I also enjoy a nice 10-minute visit to the restroom about mid-morning, which is usually empty and good for some deep thought.
But when I get home, it’s just me and my SO, and we’ve been together 10 years, so it’s not as though we feel the need to talk to each other every minute. So I suppose I can have as much as I need.
However, those 30 minutes in the car mean more than any other kind of solitude. When my car was broken down some time ago and he was dropping me off and picking me up every day, it was stressing me out quite a bit that I didn’t have any quiet time in the car by myself.
I have a long commute to work (at least 45 minutes each way; often somewhat more depending on traffic), which I actually don’t mind because it’s a nice bit of alone time. Just me, some music, and my thoughts. I get on edge if I can’t have at least an hour or two per day with no demands on my attention from other people.
Ditto, only sometimes I actually get back into “Single Solitude Mode” where I just sort of forget that he exists altogether, so when he comes bounding into the room, calling out, “Whaddaya doin’?” it sometimes scares the crap out of me.
Then I need more solitude just to recover from the scare.
On mondays I bunker down and lock myself at home after an entirely public weekend of kids, family, visits, etc.
I don’t care if there is food in the house, I don’t need to shower, no tv, no nothing. Reading is fine and I do check email and forums but it is mostly about not having to deal with anyone. Once I get my fix, I can go back to dealing with the world.
Oh yeah. He can come up the stairs quietly, and I get involved in what I’m doing. So I’ll just have the desk lamp on in my room, or worse yet, working on the sewing machine, and suddenly he’s behind me. GAH!
More than what I am getting. Then again, I have a 15 month old that I’m always with except about 30 hours a week. For some reason, knowing she could wake up/start crying/whatever at any moment doesn’t allow me to relax much.
We only have one car, so I only get it when I go to work, which leaves me kinda trapped here. It adds to my anxiety.
I know a formerly married couple that divorced largely due to the solitude issue. When she got home from work, she wanted an hour of nothing but being alone and quiet. He was all like “Let’s talk, how was your day, let’s do something, what’s for dinner, yadda yadda yadda.” When she insisted on alone time, he took it as personal rejection, and would start a fight. It was a marriage doomed from the start. I’m convinced that the reason the divorce rate is so high boils down to solitude issues.
Myself, I require much solitude. 5+ hours per day of me time.
About an hour will do me just fine, and since I get to work a good hour and a half before classes start, I’m usually good for the day before the day even begins. Both the wife and I let the other have their play time at the computer without disturbance, so that isn’t an issue either.
Just curious. How do you work this? Say you sleep 8 hours. Then you have 16 left. Out of those 16, you work 8. That leaves you 8. 5 hours of solitary time - that leaves you 3 hours to mingle with your SO or whatever. I would think this would only work if they wanted the same amount of solitary time.
I live alone so I get a lot of solitude time, which I love. But I make it a point that Saturday’s and Sunday’s from the time I get up around 5am to noon is mine. I refuse to do anything with family or friends until after noon except for the once or twice a year that I go out to Sunday morning breakfast with the family but that is so rare that I don’t mind.
I think you have a point, but as a person who thrives - THRIVES! - on solitude and who gets really twirly and exhausted if I don’t get enough of it (case in point: about this time last year, I was extremely excited about having the days between Christmas and New Year’s off from work, and spending them alone, alone, ALONE (sort of a Christmas present to myself) . . . and when I learned that my husband’s aunt, uncle, and eight children (yes, EIGHT) were planning to drive up and stay with us during that time, I bawled my head off for a good day or so), I have to say that there is always the possibility of compromise.
I mean, it seems like they could have worked something out where maybe they’d have a couple of nights of hanging out, and then a couple of nights where she got to shut herself in the guest room with a box of bon bons and a romance novel.
My own little compromise was that the aunt and uncle (who are actually quite pleasant, and those 8 kids are a hoot) showed up, and I sucked it up (losing a couple of pounds in the process, because my lack-of-solitude anxiety was killing my appetite, so hey - there’s a plus ) . . .
. . . and now SkipMagic has to suck up hearing about that incident for the rest of his life.
I get home at around 6pm. I go to bed around midnight. If a talk to my GF for an hour on the phone, that leaves me 5 hours. I see her on weekends, but really only at night. Days are for me. And yes, she values solitude as much as I do. Vacations together can be a little stressful, but they don’t last forever.
That would have been great had he not been so insecure. Some people need to interface 24/7, and there can be no negotiation on that point. Come to think of it, my GF’s ex-husband was like that. It’s the reason she left him. (That and his EtoH-induced cruelty.)
While I do know that there are people like Mr. 24/7 interface on the planet, and can logically reason that those kinds of people think I’m as weird as I think THEY are, it just seems so impractical to lack the ability to be alone.
(Then again, I suppose it’s also impractical to lose your appetite every time you have houseguests . . . )
Come to think of it, I knew a kid who couldn’t stand to be alone (a teenaged kid, not a small kid who shouldn’t be left alone anyway), and could articulate his feelings about it quite well. (Unfortunately, he was usually articulating those feelings at MY HOUSE, which was driving me slowly mad.) I assumed he’d eventually grow out of it, but maybe not . . .