Comedian Chris Rock once said that you have two choices in life: you can be married and bored or single and lonely. Although things aren’t always that black and white in reality, there will certainly be times when you’ll feel like spooning with your humongous teddy bear and crying yourself to sleep while blasting the Titanic soundtrack on your stereo.
Loneliness is one of the biggest problems singles face. And the work and technology-driven culture we live in only aggravates the pickle we’re in. Sure, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter make it easier for you to connect with friends and curious strangers from your cell phone or computer, but a gadget is no replacement for a real human being.
Everyone Gets Lonely Sometimes
First things first, remember that loneliness is a normal feeling that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Many people confuse being alone with feeling alone. Remember: just because you’re single doesn’t mean that you’re destined to feel lonely and miserable!
Even people in relationships feel lonely at times. Loneliness only becomes a problem if you let it control your life. For example, if you are single and lonely and you enter a new relationship to avoid being alone, you’ll probably end up with someone who’s not right for you and stay in the relationship just so you don’t have to face your fears. Watching couples hold hands and enjoy romantic dinners together might make you feel inadequate, but you’re only noticing the couples around you more now because you’re not in a relationship yourself.
5 Steps for Combating Loneliness
Tired of letting your loneliness consume you? Follow these 5 steps to overcome those pesky feelings and take control of your life.
#1 – Recognize that loneliness is not a permanent state. You might be single and lonely at this very moment, but that could change very quickly, as soon as tomorrow! You’ve probably been in love once before, and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll fall in love once again, so sit tight. Enjoy your time alone and participate in activities that interest you. The happier you are as a single, the more likely you are to meet someone special. People who are a good match for you will notice you more if you act like yourself instead of someone who’s depressed, single, and lonely.
#2 – You can’t always choose whether or not you’ll be alone but you can choose how you’ll react to it. Contrary to popular belief, it’s possible to live contently as a single person. Treat singledom as a time to nurture yourself and enrich your life so by the time you end up in a relationship, you’ll be a better partner.
#3 – Plan your schedule days and weeks ahead so you’re aren’t stuck at home on a Friday night, eating straight out of a half gallon ice cream container, watching Seinfeld reruns, and feeling sorry for yourself. Arrange fun activities and outings with friends so you can enjoy other people’s company and fulfill your basic need for human connection.
#4 – Learn how to face your feelings of loneliness by practicing meditation, yoga, tai chi, or another type of activity that teaches you to live in the now. When you learn to focus on the present, it puts your feelings into perspective and helps you cope with them so you don’t get the urge to run away and use alcohol, relationships with people you don’t care for, and other escapes as a band aid.
#5 – Get a pet, especially a dog or a cat, if you’re single and lonely. When you have a pet, it automatically gives you something to care about, which is often what we miss most about being in a relationship. Not only do pets show their owners unconditional love, they also provide companionship. Having a pet comes with several emotional benefits, whether you’re single or taken!
#6 – Bonus Tip – Join an online dating site. Even if you’re not looking to date, nothing is stopping you from making new friends.
Remember: This Too Shall Pass
Whatever you decide to do to combat your loneliness, remember that you are never truly alone and that this too shall pass. Take one or all of the above steps when you are single and lonely and watch as your feelings of loneliness fade. Before you know it, you’ll be in a new, impassioned relationship with someone you truly care about!