When I was growing up, once my sister had left the house, my parents always had me bring a friend to events so that I wouldn't be bored. As I got older, I realized the wisdom of bring friends to social events and other types of get-togethers. Obviously, there are times when it is great to go to events on my own (I particularly love going to the movies alone), but sometimes it is a good thing to have someone there for protection, intervention, support and encouragement.
I didn't bring a friend this weekend to the conference I went to and while I was surrounded by friends and people I know, I wasn't with anyone. It wasn't a bad thing - just different than I have participated in such events in the past. I was a little bit freer, but a little bit lonelier. I think much of it is my own creation, but I don't know how to change it.
The temptation was certainly to hang out with my co-workers and people I see regularly. At the same time, I didn't want them to feel like they are stuck with me since I am in an administrative position. I want to be sure that people know they are free to have fun without having me as an albatross around their neck. I don't know that they see it that way, but I want to be sure they don't, so I think I isolate myself more than I should. I'm working on it. And I think I will bring a friend next time. :)