Robbie had been a competitive bastard since childhood, and he was not going to change at the age of thirty-five. He pushed himself and those around him as far as he could, as often as he could. Sure, it lost him friends, but it frequently gained him new friends.
People respected his grit and determination. They respected his energy. His ethics were important to him. This earned him much respect. But he suffered fools poorly. He often took no prisoners. Beige people received short shrift.
Living in an inner city housing development, cheek to jowl with other like-minded people, cocooned Robbie from the ravages of living alone. Grit and determination and energy do not buy one much love. They are the very characteristics that preclude love, as they can indicate a hard-headed person without the ability to appreciate shades of grey. Robbie is only now appreciating this weakness in himself.