Does Being Alone Mean You’re Lonely?

Many of us fear being alone without a companion, believing that without a partner we would be lonely.

As humans, we strive for connection. We all want to feel supported and appreciated. This need sometimes leads to our attachment to someone, believing that if we lose this one person we would not be able to handle being alone –without him or her. We confuse the sense of connection with the physical state of being part of a unit. We associate being alone with feeling lonely; while in reality they are two separate conditions: one being a physical state and the other being an emotional one. Consequently, we sometimes choose to stay in unhealthy or toxic relationships out of fear of being alone, and hence feeling lonely.

Being alone is a physical state created by our own beliefs and choices. Sometimes we feel that we are alone and it is, more frequently than not, a state manifested by our own perception and definition of the word “alone”. We believe we are alone because we do not have the strength –or confidence– to seek those around us. We do not recognize the different types of relationships in our lives that could provide us with the company and assistance we need. Each one of us has a support system: a person or a number of individuals who are there for us in times of need. We need to recognize our support teams.

To know who your “team” is, ask yourself, “Whom can I count on to help me?” “To whom do I vent and confide?” “Who is willing to lend me a hand?” “Who is the person I can rely on to hold my hand when I need it?”  Acknowledge the people close to you –be they family, friends, colleagues, or neighbors. 

We are never alone. There are always those who love us and care about us, and want the best for us, and are willing to assist unconditionally. Learn to ask for help and support. It’s a sign of strength not weakness. This strength lies in knowing our limitations as individuals and as human beings, and in being able to admit it to others and ourselves. We all need support and help; this is, I believe, why we have been put here on this earth together.

Once you’ve recognized that you are never “alone”, you become efficient in being on your own.  While feelings of loneliness might arise, you will be aware of the irrelevance of those feelings to your state of aloneness.

In dealing with loneliness, we first need to define it. Feelings of loneliness arise from the need to connect, the desire to belong. Being in a relationship does not necessarily mean that we can’t –or won’t– feel lonely. We can be physically with someone and yet not feel any connection, making us feel lonely.

Overcoming loneliness starts with connecting with yourself. Start by focusing on being truly present through every experience. Push out any thoughts that distract you from being fully invested in every moment. Learn to appreciate the preciousness of time. Then concentrate on getting to know the person you are today, and where you belong in this world. Imagine the person you want to become. Explore yourself. Discover your interests and beliefs. Pursue what excites you. Meet new people, for we get to know ourselves through others. Step out of your comfort zone, and live new experiences. You will be surprised by all the new things you didn’t know you were capable of doing. Get to know the real you –all sides of you. Start a relationship with yourself. This new relationship will minimize any feelings of loneliness. Give yourself care and be kind to you. Embrace your imperfections, and work on becoming a better version of who you already are. Be your own best company. Become the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Through bonding with yourself, you become aware of the healthy types of connections you need and are seeking with others. You become more comfortable with who you are, and more in touch with your wants and needs. You then start attracting those who reflect who you’ve become. Because of your honesty with yourself, and your confidence in who you are as an individual, you will be able to recognize real connections. You will no longer “settle” out of fear of loneliness. You have learned the difference between being alone and feeling lonely, and how to navigate through both states.

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