queenc723, I absolutely understand and agree.
After I had been working diligently for about 5 years, I received a comment from a previously unknown distant and MUCH younger cousin "these are my 3xg grandparents. Not bad for only 2 weeks!" He had not done anything in 2 weeks, except stumble upon my 5 years of research.
At that time my tree was public, so I MIGHT not have "met" him with a private tree. Through him, eventually, I met his mother (not active on ancestry), his uncle, his uncle's son, etc. etc.
He has long since quit subscribing to ancestry.com, but I am in regular contact with his mother, who is my age. We share photos, obituaries, stories.
For the most part, I have had better, more intelligent, contacts with other members since taking my primary tree private.
I also keep a barebones public tree on ancestry.com. Never hear from anyone on that one ......