Lonely isn’t just about being alone. There are different types of loneliness. Feeling alone in the world due to lack of friends or a social circle. Feeling alone because you don’t have a partner. Or you do, but you’ve been drifting where you no longer see the island. That’s one of the worst types of loneliness. It’s not just feeling lonely but also lost and sometimes trapped. Feeling alone because you don’t feel understood. Feeling alone because you feel far from God, the universe, your soul, things that are greater than your thoughts. Feeling alone in what you are doing. Feeling alone because you haven’t found your calling or purpose. There are so many ways to feel alone in this world. I’ve experienced all of the above.
But, since I chose a photo of me half-naked spooning a pillow, let’s talk about romantic loneliness. Feeling lonely because you have no one to love or haven’t found your soulmate. I think many struggle with this, so let’s break this shit down.
On the surface, you feel lonely because you are not sharing your life with someone. That’s obvious. But on a deeper level, loneliness has to do with a disconnection with self. Not to say that people who have a solid relationship with themselves never get lonely because they do. When people feel lonely, they seek. They search for others to fill that loneliness. Okay, wait. I feel like I’m writing some clinical bullshit. I’m trying to be a therapist and tell you why loneliness is a healthy thing and to bring it back to you…blah blah blah. Yeah, there may be some truth to all that but let’s get real.
I’ll tell you why you feel lonely. Because what you get from an intimate partner is something you can’t get from anyone else. Because those conversations and waffles on Saturday morning makes the world make sense. Because spooning puts you to sleep like a little baby. Because tongues fucking feel good. Because looking into someone’s eyes for longer than three seconds reminds you that we’re not animals. Because being emotionally naked makes you feel loved and alive. Because you can’t really tell your friends how your day went every single day. Because we’re meant to give and share, lose ourselves and find ourselves through others, and love, hard. Because ordering in is so much better when you have someone.
You feel lonely because you want these things and you haven’t found someone to experience them with. That’s why you’re lonely and that’s okay. There’s no reason to skirt that and force yourself to go on some kind of Into The Wild adventure to auto correct your emotional self. Unless you feel like that is what you need. But for many, and by many I mean most, we’re just lonely because we haven’t found someone we want to love. That’s it. Stop judging and labeling it. If you haven’t slept, you’re going to feel tired. If you haven’t loved anyone in a while, you’re going crave that experience and feel lonely.
Now, know that loneliness is a feeling. Just because you feel lonely doesn’t mean you’re going to be alone for the rest of your life. That’s not loneliness. That’s fear. You’re not lonely. You’re afraid. And I think that’s what most of us struggle with. Afraid we’re never going to find our “one”. It’s what drives us to eat shitty food and swipe right. So maybe feeling lonely is less about being lonely and more about being afraid. So then the question is how do I stop being afraid?
First, acknowledge that you are afraid. Ignoring it will only make it grow. Then when you’re ready to get over this fear and I hope that’s soon, stop feeding it. Stop worrying. Stop imagining what life will look like 5 years from now. Stop seeing yourself alone for the rest of your life. Stop building expectations. Stop thinking that finding someone will be the solution or missing piece to your happy puzzle.
The truth is as long as you participate in life, you will collide with someone you want to invest in and who wants to invest in you. I don’t know when but it’s inevitable. There are billions of people on this planet. It’s happened before in your life and it will happen again. So if you’re lonely, don’t deny or reject it. Accept it, knowing it will pass. And if you’re afraid, acknowledge that too and then stop feeding your fears. Finally, just be you, be fully present, open, and allow shit to unfold.