Why Are We Lonely?

Dealing with loneliness is a common topic we hear about when it comes to growing up and becoming an adult. A lot of people say they find different ways to deal or cope with it, though many of these mechanisms result in self-harm.

Where does loneliness stem from? The feeling of loneliness can arise from many factors. For one, the lack of friends or a serious relationship can make you feel as if you are alone. Even when you do have a lot of people around you, being unable to properly communicate or feel intimacy can make you feel alone. And furthermore, being fulfilled by people but finding no meaning in life can lead you to believe that you are lonely.

There is no one meaning or purpose to life. That leads us to my question: how do we find purpose in nothing? Everything matters, yet nothing matters. We carry the weight of our past pains and traumas with us, and we let them define who we are. What about right now? What about what’s right in front of us?

I don’t really believe in any sort of fate. I do believe in acts of good luck or kindness, but I don’t think that there is a predisposition to how I will live my life. I desire to move to a bigger city where the lights are on at night and people actually do things.

So yes, I am no different when it comes to the adulthood theme of eternal loneliness. I don’t think that you ever get to really know someone, and I don’t believe in forever or promises. The person you love now, before they met you, they learned all of their life lessons from someone else. And they continue to do that now. There’s only so much you will ever get to know about another person, and much less understand of emphasize.

I am often conflicted with my desire not feel like I am lonely and my desire to be a very independent person. It doesn’t matter if I am surrounded by amazing people or in a long-term relationship: I want to roam the world on my own, and I want to have my own experiences.

That’s when I started to think that maybe we feel lonely because we perceive things to be more than they actually are. We add meaning to little actions and try to dig deeper. Maybe that’s how we cope with the existential crisis that is being alone. We project ourselves onto fictional characters and find song lyrics to cry to. We look for hidden messages behind what is actually someone’s genuine message or action. We want more from life than what it has to offer sometimes. We create our own rise and downfall in our heads.

I am alone. But I am not lonely. Genuine connections aren’t about merging your souls together, but rather walking down the road together as two independent beings, and choosing to be okay with that. Think about the smaller connections. Sharing a drink with someone new at the bars. Giving advice to a stranger waiting in the same line as you. Isn’t it amazing that we have such vastly different and unique experiences, yet we can connect for that short moment with another person?

My actions and experiences in the past may influence me, but they do not define me. They are simply my own. Everything is so temporary, and yet we create our own problems in our minds. I stopped “searching” for something or someone to fulfill me or take that pain away. I don’t search for a purpose or meaning. I just am.

It doesn’t mean I’m going to live my life with no goals or purpose. It means that I will deal with things as they happen, and I will search for adventure along the way. No, I didn’t give up on love, and I’m not trying to convey that we can’t ever find true love. It wasn’t until I stopped longing that I started receiving. You have to appreciate the smaller things and choose to be content.

Well, last night I ate dinner with an amazing man who wants to see me again. And for today, that is enough.

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