I look at having someone with whom to be as an enhancement on single existence. I have been living pretty much alone for a year now. I don't go out very often, and when I do it's almost always without company. I socialize at work, even if that is mostly with a couple of friends back in engineer alley, but I really don't have much of a social life outside of work. From reading some of my other friends, I see them start to get anxious and start wondering about their own mental health if they go a couple of months without getting out and away with some friends. It's been more than a year since I've done something like that, other than a dinner and some visits with Robert's family (we were discussing McGuffin at the time). I am not one to go out and surround myself with friends. I generally only like hanging out with one or two people or even a handful, which is something rather rare for me. I very rarely get what someone would call lonely. Sometimes I suffer an overpowering need to hear a friendly voice, to have someone with whom to talk so badly it's a kind of consuming ache, but that generally passes after a good night's sleep or a day or so. Otherwise, I'm pretty self-contained. I don't bore easily. I have an active mind and I have plenty of ways to entertain myself.
Nevertheless, this doesn't mean that I don't want companionship. For me, the desire for companionship is something that's pretty steadily always there. It doesn't really wax and wane; it's more of a constant level background thing for me. From having a wife and children in the house, you get used to being around a small group of special people "to whom I belonged" all the time. It's a comfortable existence, if you're constitutionally suited to it, like I am. I love doing almost anything with company. I'm very demonstrative, I like wooling and conversation and can keep either or both going for hours when I'm inspired. I love having someone special or one or two friends around in the vicinity, even when not interacting with them. In school, I used to take my calculus homework with me over to the art building where Crystal and her roommate used to work on art projects in the evening. The three of us usually had a studio all to ourselves. I could sit there and work on my stuff and listen to them talk or watch them create and it was really cool.
It feels good to me to have that kind of company. It's not necessarily a "clingyness" although that's how the ex thought of it when she was feeling less than pleasantly disposed to me. They way I look at it, companionship is like harmony. The tune will stand without it, but it is a much richer piece when it's there. It's AM radio alone, but FM stereo with a special companion. I love to do almost anything more in intimate company:
- reading (out loud, to your partner -- a lovely forgotten nineteenth century indoor sport!)
- camping -- this is almost indescribably fun
- walking -- the beach, in the woods or fields, or in the rain, or downtown -- it's healthy and fun!
- singing and/or listening to music -- Hey, I'm not Pavarotti, but I've played two or three instruments and can carry a tune!
- dancing? I used to tap-dance as a boy, but I haven't danced since, but with a partner I'd try it.
- cleaning and yard work -- YES! Drudgery is actually entertaining with an entertaining and conversational partner.
- sex (obviously!)
- wooling (That's cuddling in female-speak)
- movies! -- at home or in the theater it's one of my favorite activities
- board and card games
- computer games -- head-to-head or together
- crossword puzzles and word games
- TV -- yes, with company, even the idiot box looks good
- taking and looking at pictures
- visiting zoos, art galleries, and museums
- amusement parks and fairs -- no fun without company, the ex hooked me on renaissance fairs and the Wicked Tinkers
- driving and travel in general -- what my grandfather used to call "messing around" way back when gasoline was cheap
- sleeping -- a king-sized bed feels like sleeping in the middle of a football field without company
Of course, on the other hand, there was that time late last year when Robert and I had made some significant progress with McGuffin where I came home at three AM from his house psyched on adrenalin and enthusiasm and really missed having someone with whom I could share my news and excitement. I don't know. Well hell, maybe penguthegreek is right and there are times and conditions where mood makes me miss companionship more. I'd say that I miss it more though, when things are going great for me than when I'm stressed and disappointed. I tend to manage adversity pretty well, although I do appreciate moral support in times of trouble, as much as the next person. It's just that not being able to share a positive is the thing I think about when I think about not having companionship. I think I just argued myself into a circle. Maybe it would be better if I had someone with whom to discuss it. Heh heh.