On loneliness

I’ve been feeling more lonely, more often, over the last few months. There, I admitted it.

I do enjoy my own company and usually *need* time on my own to stay sane.

But lately, it’s felt a lot more like ‘lonely’ than ‘alone’.

I have friends, but I no longer seem to have a best friend. She’s got her hands very full with two small children, a husband and a hectic life. She’s been drifting away from me for a few years now, if I’m honest. And it’s not for the lack of trying on my part – but after being turned down repeatedly when I suggest we meet up for coffee, or a drink, or even dinner if she can get away, I’ve kind of stopped asking. (She never calls me to suggest a get-together.) I miss her so much. She could always make me laugh until I wheezed. And she was always the person I could tell anything to.

So there’s a big gap in my life without her. I have other friends, but none who I feel I can call at 10pm when I’m having an anxiety attack. Which sucks, because I’ve been having a few of those recently, relating to a health issue.

How I wish that when I wake up in the middle of the night, and scary out-of-proportion thoughts flood my head, and my breath gets shallow and fast, and my heart thuds in my chest, that I had someone I could snuggle up to. Who would put a comforting arm around me and tell me that it will all be OK and that he’s there for me, and that I’m not crazy. And tell me to go back to sleep and it will all seem less awful in the morning.

Because it’s starting to feel like I’m never going to have that. That I’m weird and there’s something strange about me that just puts people off. Is it how I look? Should I lose weight? Do I walk funny? Do I smell bad?!! Or is it this unapproachable aura I apparently project, that makes me seem prickly or aloof and just not the kind of person you’d want to get to know. How is it that everyone else knows what to do to find The One?

I’m dreading getting older and having to deal with health issues on my own. Having to cope with the ageing and eventual loss of my wonderful parents without support. And not having a companion to hang out with and weather life’s ups and downs with.

Yes, I love being single. But no, I do not want to be single for the rest of my life.

21 thoughts on “On loneliness

  1. You just stop been important to people as they have someone else. You end up on the edge always looking in and not part of the group. When they go out they are going out with “their friends” – wait I thought I was one of your friends!

    Try to be happy on your own, failing that alcohol helps a bit lol!

    People eh!

  2. It’s certainly normal to long for “your person” be it a close confidant, lover or mate. The person you can count on to reign you in, wipe the burdens of the day clean from your slate, and bring out the best you.

    It’s normal to mourn the loss of your closest person as their energy becomes focused more and more on their family. Some adults realize they need an identity and ties outside of parenthood and some don’t, thus the single-childless friends are left as an afterthought or a once-was.

    Set the clock, mourn the loneliness, fear and abandon. Then when times up stop. Clear the slate and redraw your boundaries making room for new people into your life.

  3. Hi, this is how I have been feeling for a couple of years. I am actually a little bonkers, I think, because of this feeling. Most of my friends are at that place -family, husband, family. I cannot get a hello, yet I am invited to every birthday party for their kids.
    I am quite sociable just not sure what I am doing or could be doing to have a healthy relationship. I rather be alone with the wrong guy (Again). Thanks for blogging.

  4. Hi, this is how I have been feeling for a couple of years. I am actually a little bonkers, I think, because of this feeling. Most of my friends are at that place -family, husband, family. I cannot get a hello, yet I am invited to every birthday party for their kids.
    I am quite sociable just not sure what I am doing or could be doing to have a healthy relationship. I rather be alone than with mr. Wrong(again). I enjoy your blog.

  5. Thanks for blogging. I’ve found my singleness stands out more during the Holidays. I would like to spend time with my good friends. But when they have kids and husbands, I’m shuffled to the last on the list. I’m beginning to realize my destiny is up to me and I need to start making my social life my top priority. One of my New Years goals is to join clubs to find more friends like myself. Fingers crossed!

  6. Hey look, I know exactly what you’re going through. I am single in my thirties. The best response to battling loneliness is to go out there, pursue hobbies and interests and meet new people and make new friends along the way. Stop it with all these insecurities. There is nothing wrong with you. Go out there and have fun!

  7. This is bullshit- I’m just looking for all the single professional people in their early 30’s who want to meet someone of worth:) and I’m sure there are tons out there! Let’s all just join and have a lively, and lovely evening together!

  8. Yeah, I’m finding that once I’m over 30, people expect me to have kids or be married. I would love to meet up with other single professionals in this situation without the pressure to be using “online dating” websites to do this. Any thoughts?? Which country r u all in? I’m in Sydney, Australia and u just want to know how others r supported at this life stage.

  9. Dump your married friends. Single ladies have nothing in common with old married hens. Let ’em go cluck and mutter with each other. Most of them are unsuccessful, unaccomplished housewives whose brief stint at usefulness will end when their youngest reaches adulthood.

    God, I am so glad I am a mother. I am never alone.

    I told my daughter that there are two types of women: Losers and winners. Losers, I told her, are women of average or lower intelligence, no ambition or drive or talents. God marries them off quickly because, without the support of a husband, these leeches would continue to bleed their parents for the rest of their lives. They need a husband in order to survive. (I had a manager at a two-bit job once who fit this description to a T. She was highly annoying – she constantly referred to her husband or being married, very obviously as a buffer for her lack of self-confidence. When the men at our job would go out of their way for me – buy me something to eat or what have you – she’d get jealous. Hey honey, go get your old man to play fetch for you!)

    Winners, I told my daughter, are strong, smart, driven women who understand that in our global society, men and women must be equals. We must both have successful careers and be able to contribute equally to our homes and society. Winners do this. To a winner, marriage is an option, not a goal.

    Single people are a fast-growing population in the U.S. Ten years from now, singles will outnumber marrieds, as marriage becomes passé.

  10. “I have friends, but I no longer seem to have a best friend. She’s got her hands very full with two small children, a husband and a hectic life. She’s been drifting away from me for a few years now, if I’m honest. And it’s not for the lack of trying on my part – but after being turned down repeatedly when I suggest we meet up for coffee, or a drink, or even dinner if she can get away, I’ve kind of stopped asking. (She never calls me to suggest a get-together.) I miss her so much.”

    Wow, this describes where I’m at exactly!😦 I have also been grieving the loss of a close friendship for a while now (since she had children) and have almost reached the point where I feel I have no choice but to let go and give up. This girl was my confidante and kindred spirit. We would chat and laugh for hours and I could talk to her about anything etc. I also feel I have been a very supportive and understanding friend; have been genuinely happy for her; taken an interest in her children; made an effort to keep in touch and so on… but it has reached a point where I am getting absolutely nothing back. Whenever I try calling I ALWAYS get her voicemail; she takes about 3 days to answer a text (if at all) and my emails frequently receive no response. It hurts sooo much because she was an incredibly important person in my life but she is now absorbed in her family to the extent that it is impossible to maintain any sort of friendship. I realise it is probably just circumstantial and not that she doesn’t care – more that she is simply too busy/exhausted/frazzled – but is still deeply upsetting that our friendship has become such a low priority for her and it does feel like a gaping hole has been left in my life.

    Sorry to rant, but I guess what I am saying is that I know how you feel; you’re not alone and not the first to lose a very good friend to marriage/motherhood.

    Thanks for your honest post.

  11. ‘Because it’s starting to feel like I’m never going to have that. That I’m weird and there’s something strange about me that just puts people off. Is it how I look? Should I lose weight? Do I walk funny? Do I smell bad?!! Or is it this unapproachable aura I apparently project, that makes me seem prickly or aloof and just not the kind of person you’d want to get to know. How is it that everyone else knows what to do to find The One?’

    I woke up this morning, like so many mornings recently, feeling just like this – almost word for word!

  12. Reading over these comments makes me feel not as alone. At least I’m not the only one. I’m 31 and single and no one has time for me unless it’s to invite me to a baby/wedding shower or a wedding. But where are they when I’m sitting home alone on a Friday night. Sad women ditch their friends when they meet a man and have kids. I refuse to setting for a loser guy like most of my friends have. It’s hard to hold out hope but a small part of me still does.

  13. You have summed up my exact thoughts… my best friend was widowed and now she and her 2 children have found someone to fill the gap her previous husband had left. I make the effort with no avail. So I stopped. No phone calls. No text messages.
    I too seem to project the “unapproachable aura”. It’s nice to know I’m not completely alone in my thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I can relate to this a lot, except I’m 29, so not yet a thirty something-single, but I have been single for the past seven years. Everyone around me is getting married and having babies and my best friend (or the girl who used to be) doesn’t really make much of an effort to keep our friendship alive. As a single girl people always advice you to make as much new friends as you can and enjoy life, but everyone I meet seem to be in a similar situation as my best friend, they might be really nice people, but they are totally involved in family-life and are hardly people that you can spend your weekends with. I have never been one to chase after a relationship as I only want to be in one if I’m genuinly in love, but I am getting tired of spending so many weekends on my own, my friends busy with partners and kids. I have always liked my alone-time, but not this much of it.

  15. I hear you, Michelle! I often get nostalgic for my college days, when everyone was single (i.e. not married or parents) and we all used to hang out together. Like Friends, or HIMYM. It really gets harder to make friends and have a gang of buddies to socialise with as we get older. Sigh!

  16. Feeling similar in a lot of ways. My biggest hurdle now is compromises! It’s a skill set I just do not have… It’s like searching for that “ken” when I have to remember ken is only a doll.

  17. I’m heading to 40 but not quite there yet. With two teenagers and a good professional job I’m fighting to define loneliness over alone time. I’ve come to the conclusion that the first is something inflicted and the second is a choice. Most of my friends are recently married and thus having children now. Whilst I’m looking for companionship for days / evenings / holidays out. The boys are no longer appreciating being dragged along to my sort of thing. A few very bad decisions with guys makes me seek not a bloke in my life but some new energy. Tbh I feel a little panicked by the loneliness. Chin up and all that is great – but when you’ve been driving so hard at work and family togetherness and then you’re friends start to settle.. what then? Its a toughy for sure.

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