Is it normal that... I don't want to make friends with my neighbours?

I don’t talk to my neighbours any more. It’s easier this way.

I refuse to talk to my neighbours because I’ve had really bad experiences in the past. Yes, I’m punishing my new neighbours for the sins of past neighbours, but it’s better this way.

We’ve just moved into an amazing home and we want to stay here for years. I don’t need any bad blood so I just keep my distance.

In our old house we were pretty much forced to be friends with the entire street. It was a small, double cul-de-sac filled with families who had lived there for years. We moved in just before Christmas and received a flyer in our letterbox inviting us to the annual ‘Christmas Street Party’. We felt obligated to attend and met everyone on the street. We made quite a few new friends that day, which was extremely inconvenient.

Every time I’d rush the kids out the front door on the way to school, running late, I’d be stopped for a hello and a chat. It’s like they KNEW I was running late because on the days I had time, there was nobody in sight. My children became friends with the kids who lived next door and they used to have conversations over the back fence and ask for play dates.

So we organised a few. Then, they had a huge party and we weren’t invited. My kids were so upset and I had to explain how friendships with neighbours are different. We’re not really friends, we’re only friends because we live near each other.

I try to avoid this from happening.

Then there was some awkwardness with our neighbours on the other side who always put their bins out in the spot we put our bins out. It became a bit of a game to see who would get there first.

Then there was the older couple across the road. Every single time they went away, and it was often, they would ask us to watch the house, pay the lawnmower man, put their bins out and collect their mail.

I was so happy to be moving out. Now, I keep my distance from the neighbours and so does my husband. We keep ourselves unapproachable so we can maintain a healthy distance and not foster any closeness, just in case they turn out to be annoying or demanding.

Just because we live next door to each other doesn't mean we have to be friends.

What do you think? Are we the world's worst neighbours, or do you keep your distance, too?