Read This When You’re Lonely

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You are enough. You are loved. You are a person of substance. You are complete, independent of whether or not you have a partner.

I know this doesn’t always help. Self-assurance can’t hold you at night or join you for a movie. It can’t listen to you vent about work, dry your tears, or massage your back. The proper assessment and reminder of your innate value may not make you feel special, but it can make you feel whole.

That matters. As do you.

Think about the reasons behind your loneliness. Does it stem from a genuine sense of lack or just boredom? Do you simply believe that this stage of your life calls for a partner or is there a yearning for companionship? I ask because understanding the source of loneliness helps us better address its manifestation.

Not that it’s any more bearable based on the underlying cause, but longing that isn’t attached to emotion is only short-lived. It will pass more quickly. We’re probably best served to just wait it out rather than potentially hurt another person with inauthentic expressions of deeper interest just to pacify our pining.

If there is pain, longing, and suffering, ask yourself if it’s worse than the pain of regret or settling for unfulfilling relationships with warm bodies.

These alternatives may soothe our angst in the moment but often leave us feeling even emptier once it has passed. When we fill a void with someone detrimental to our well-being, they take something from us when the arrangement inevitably comes to an end—usually a chunk of our esteem, trust, peace, and joy. Ask yourself if this is worth losing in exchange for fleeting comfort. When we weigh it against this substitute, a bit of loneliness doesn’t seem so bad.

You know that loneliness is universal, right?

Feeling this way is not a unique condition and nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s ok. Humans instinctually crave connection. So, we should all feel lonely sometimes. It indicates that we’re alive.

There are married people who feel lonely. They lay next to a partner every night, yet still feel alone. We can be in a room full of people and feel lonely. This state doesn’t signify that you’re unwanted or damaged.

We tend to try and avoid negative emotions. They bring us down. So, we aim to do whatever we think will save us from having to feel them. But another person, a relationship, and sex are not finite solutions. You can have all of these things in your life and still find yourself dealing with bouts of agonizing internal isolation.

The healthiest thing we can do is allow ourselves to endure negative emotions, such as loneliness. Acknowledge it. Sit with it. Be present and assess the thoughts that it triggers. Embrace where you are in these moments. That doesn’t mean you have to like it. But it’s usually the pain that we try to hide from, run from, and ignore that leaves us most exhausted.

Your capacity for love is infinite.

Your worthiness is immeasurable. When you feel lonely, remember there was a time when you didn’t, and that time will come again.

(If you’re a woman who often feels lonely, my book may help.)


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