Dating with Loneliness: How Do We Cure It?
You hear people say that they’ve found the one. They just knew that this person was going to be the one they were going to spend the rest of their life with. And it makes you wonder, am I ever going to have that feeling? Or is that feeling even real at all?
There are many reasons people get into relationships. Some are based on love, lust, convenience or simply just loneliness. So how do we know when it’s real?
For now, let’s focus on loneliness.
Loneliness is a longing for attention, understanding and comfort from another. It’s searching or waiting for companionship. It’s feeling incomplete on your own… It’s a weariness from doing everything by yourself. It’s thinking your prayers will be answered if you could just find someone – Brenda Knowles
Have you ever had that relationship that you look back on and think, what the hell was I thinking?? It’s likely those relationships were built out of the fear of being alone and the longing to share your life with a partner. Julie J. Exline (Ph.D.) suggested that if loneliness is in the driving seat we’re more likely to impulsively jump into ‘high-risk sexual encounters or soon-to-be-regretted relationships’ (ring any bells??). Similarly, loneliness can often be felt by those in relationships… Maybe these relationships were created out of fear rather than genuine commitment?
So how do we “cure” our loneliness?
Surprise – there is no cure, only action! I know it’s cliché but when it comes to relationships, the best place to look for any insight is within ourselves. How do you feel about being alone? What do you believe a relationship will change for you? It could just be you want someone there to change the lightbulb and share the bills, or someone to fill a void and distract you from what you’re running from.
Whatever the reason, the first place to look is in the mirror.
Single time is the time to work on yourself. What are your key values? What is it you’re looking for in a person? It’s the time to clear out the emotional closet and make space for something new. Figure out whether your current or past experiences have been based on genuine love or simply just attachment?
It doesn’t work when you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.
It’s important to learn to love yourself and to learn how to respect yourself. Then, when you come across someone you think you could be with, you’ll know what you deserve, what you will and won’t put up with and you’ll know exactly what it is you want from the relationship.
We all have choices and we all have responsibility. So make sure your experiences are worth it! Focus on those in your life. Let the people around you know you love them and see those friends you haven’t seen in months.
And be proactive. Use the time alone to figure yourself out and create the space for someone new!