I think as humans we have a tendency to say things are a certain way without asking the question. And to contextualise this blog post, I don't mean asking others I mean asking ourselves these questions. I think we can sometimes fall into the trap of stating something as fact about ourself. I mean it makes sense, no one knows us better than we know ourself. So why do we need to ask ourselves questions when we are the ones answering it? Well I think there's something different about flagrantly stating "I am..." instead of asking "Am I...?" Because actually it causes you to think a little deeper about whatever it is your feeling and maybe why you're feeling that way.
So having said that, lets try... ask yourself this question "Am I lonely?" Of course this question looks different for each of us, what does it mean to be lonely? Now you may think I'm writing this because I am lonely myself, and you might be right. But also I think it's normal for us all to experience loneliness once in a while.
Let's start off in a broad sense. An indicator often used to determine whether someone is lonely or not is whether they are in a relationship or not. Now I can concede that the notion that single people are probably more prone to loneliness is probably accurate. But that doesn't mean that ALL single people are lonely or that ALL people in a relationship aren't. But when thinking about loneliness in this sense we are attributing the concept to not having a physical and emotional connection with someone, which I think is something a lot of us long for. When you come home from work who is waiting for you? You spend the day playing a character only to come home to be jailed within your own thoughts and body.
Because actually a lot of people may argue that we are our true selves when we are by ourselves. But you know, I don't think I believe that. I think certain people bring out our true authentic self. And this person is most likely going to be your partner. Now if we took this as fact, the notion of being single now becomes very scary. With no one around to bring out our true selves it can become a lonely life.
Now of course... friends exist. And don't get me wrong, I am a heavy believer that friends are able to fill this role. But friends aren't always around, they have their own lives, their own relationships so they're not in your life as much as your partner would be. So is being in a relationship a remedy for loneliness? I mean quite probably, but is being lonely enough of a reason to seek a relationship? That's for you to decide.
With social media we are always peering into the lives of others and we somehow think that everyone else always seems to be doing something except for us. But here is a news flash. a lot of those same people spend the majority of their nights - alone. Now of course being alone isn't the same as being lonely but I do think that perception of constantly seeing people live their best life does somehow magnify your own insecurities of maybe not having that much of a social life.
I am in no way saying though that we should strive to constantly be doing things, thats not a sustainable life. And actually a night in alone watching Netflix might sound like the perfect night for you. But what if every night is like that? Its no longer a choice but actually it's your only option. And that's the point where the loneliness starts to set in. We grow addicted to social media, constantly swiping in the dating apps in an attempt to grasp on to anything that can stop us from feeling that loneliness. And it's true it doesn't have to be a physical thing.
You know emotional loneliness is a thing. You can be surrounded by 100 people. But if you aren't able to emotionally connect with any of them, then whats the point. It's something I think about a lot, I've had quite a few jobs or been in situations where I am surrounded by so many great people. But amongst that I still feel like none of them really know me. And actually this might be worse than being surrounded by no one. Because in this case you start to question yourself, why aren't you able to form those bonds and connections with people. How many of these people would I be friends with outside of work?
And then when you think about how much life comes and goes. The future becomes a glaring horror as the reality that you might be single forever starts to sink in. That was a bit morbid - sorry. Be honest with yourself though... loneliness is normal and a LOT of people are experiencing it in this day and age. Especially young men. Don't take any of your relationships for granted whether that be romantically or otherwise. Less lonely times are coming - I promise.