HELP! I’M LONELY: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE STRUGGLING BY YOURSELF

When you’re lonely, you feel disconnected from other people, even those who are supposed to be close to you. Loneliness is a direct result of isolation, but it can also occur or be exacerbated by your own thoughts and actions. When you’re lonely, you need to seek out human connection, even if you think yourself undeserving. You could feel lonely for all sorts of reasons, but we will focus on feeling lonely because you aren’t in a relationship.

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YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP

It might not be the right time for you to be in a relationship, even if you’re lonely. You may have just been in a relationship that ended from a breakup (find out how to move on after a relationship ends) or death, and you are still grieving the loss. During this time, you will be lonely. But you also might not be ready or interested in getting into another relationship at this time. If you are still thinking about your last relationship, you’re not in a place where you can form a real and genuine relationship with someone else, and that isn’t fair to you or to the other person.

GETTING IN A RELATIONSHIP FOR THE WRONG REASONS

If alleviating your loneliness is the only reason to get into a relationship, you might make some poor decisions. It’s only natural not to want to endure another long weekend alone, and you might almost prefer a bad relationship to not having one at all. But that is faulty thinking. If you’re in a bad relationship, it’s bound to end, and probably not well. You’ll be hurt and would have wasted precious time, time that could have been spent with the right person.

Look out for these 6 signs of an unhealthy relationship.

You first need to work on being happy with yourself before you get into a relationship. That way you have something positive to offer. If you’re feeling lonely, you are not in a great place, and you probably won’t attract the right sort of man (read more). If you’re feeling unhappy and dissatisfied, it will be difficult to get in a healthy relationship when you aren’t in a healthy place yourself.

SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH THE WRONG PEOPLE

You can feel lonely if you surround yourself with the wrong people and participate in the wrong activities. This is kind of the feeling you get when you feel alone in a crowd. Although you can’t rely on others to make you happy, you should seek to be around people who make you feel good about yourself. Don’t be with negative people who put you down or bring you down. Find people that make you feel good when you’re around them.

IF YOU FEEL LONELY IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP

People who are in a relationship can also experience feelings of loneliness. Just because you’re physically there with each other doesn’t mean that you’re emotionally available for each other (emotional intimacy is a requirement for a successful marriage – learn more). People in relationships often find themselves thinking, “I’m lonely.” You may be emotionally disconnected, which can lead to loneliness.

The longer a couple goes on in this manner, the more difficult it is to become close. That doesn’t mean becoming close again can’t happen. But it takes work.

If this is the case with you, you need to talk to your man. You can start by just hanging out with him. If he’s watching TV, watch what he’s watching and talk about the show after. You can then start suggesting that you do things together, even just taking a walk after dinner. Gradually, you can start being the couple you once were, and you’ll no longer feel lonely and isolated in the relationship.

Listen to our podcast on communication for more ideas on how to get those words flowing or check out these 51 questions to bring you closer in your relationship.

DON’T WAIT FOR PEOPLE TO REACH OUT TO YOU

There’s an old saying, “To have a friend you have to be a friend.” This means you should act to others the way you would like to be treated. If you want someone to have dinner with, for example, ask someone to dinner. The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities you’ll get to socialize. And then, once you are out with people, you need to treat them kindly and with respect, as a friend would. If you complain that you don’t like this person or that person, resulting in you always being alone, you need to ask yourself if you are acting like a friend yourself.

KEEP YOURSELF BUSY

You may still feel lonely, but if you keep busy with activities, you won’t have time to feel depressed about it. Now is the time to catch up on hobbies and events you enjoy. When you are busy, you don’t have time to say to yourself, “I’m lonely,” or feel sorry for yourself.

REMEMBER WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT BEING BY YOURSELF

You can be alone and not be lonely. Be selfish and do whatever you want to do. You don’t need anyone’s approval if you want to go hiking in the rain, for instance. It’s good to get to know who you are, and sometimes it takes being alone to do this. And the funny thing is that once you start feeling good about yourself and are being productive with your alone time, you probably won’t be alone much longer because you will be attractive to others.

JOIN A CLUB OR SPORT

If you find yourself saying, “I’m lonely,” join a club or sport. Bowling, book clubs, and cooking classes are all great ways to meet people. Pick something you enjoy doing. You might meet a man doing this (discover the 12 places to meet the man of your dreams), but if you don’t, you are still enjoying yourself with others. Even if the book club you join is all women, you can let people know that you’re single and looking for someone, and you may be introduced to the love of your life.

OTHERS ARE LONELY OR NEEDY

Volunteer at a school, homeless shelter, hospital, animal shelter, or retirement home. That should help when you say to yourself, “I’m lonely.” Not only will you be doing something good for others in need, but you’ll also feel good about yourself in the process. You might not meet your next love this way, but by getting out there and doing good deeds for others, you are in a better mindset. And when you feel useful, you don’t give off the lonely and depressed vibe that makes people shy away. When you’re vibrant and giving of yourself, your personality will attract people to you.

CONNECT WITH PEOPLE ONLINE

You don’t necessarily have to sign up for online dating, although many people meet their future spouse this way. If you don’t want to go all in, you can still meet people online through social media, local meetup sites, or even gaming sites. Being online gives you another way to connect.

ACKNOWLEDGE HOW YOU FEEL

Denying your loneliness could make it harder to deal with it thanks to something called the ironic process theory. That’s why it’s so hard to stop thinking about anything in particular whether that’s sex  (more on that here) or someone you have a crush on.

And some people even suggest that loneliness can be dangerous to your health  [1] (but the jury is still out on whether this is true or how damaging loneliness might be [2]). So recognizing and admitting that you’re lonely is the first step to change.

LONELINESS COULD BE A SYMPTOM OF DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY

If you’re feeling depressed or anxious from loneliness, you’ll see the world in a distorted way. Everything and everybody will appear more negative to you. And you’ll judge the relationships you have to be less satisfying than they really are. Consider talking to a professional if you’re feeling lonely and can’t get over it. It might be difficult for you to get help because you may feel like giving up, but that is just part of being depressed. A professional can help you to get your life in order so that you can be happy.

GIVE LOTS OF HUGS

If you find yourself thinking, “I’m lonely,” maybe you aren’t getting enough hugs. You need to have physical touch in your life. This helps make you feel better and not so lonely thanks to a hormone called oxytocin [3]. That’s right, the same hormone released during cuddling, sex and nursing a child.

RelatedHow To Cuddle For Maximum Intimacy

A lack of touching someone can make you feel anxious and depressed. So get into the habit of being more like the people of Italy, France, Greece, and Spain. They tend to hug and kiss when they greet people and again when they leave. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that with everyone, at least offer your hand.

PETS HELP

Although your furry friend is not a substitute for a relationship with a person, attachment to a pet can reduce loneliness. Dogs help the most because you need to walk them. This provides you with exercise, which boosts your mood, and you are likely to run into other people when you’re out with your dog. But keep a healthy balance. If you start to pick being with your dog over being with people, you are likely to stay lonely.

DON’T SENSATIONALIZE

You might be lonely, but you are not a loser. It’s easy to feel like the cartoon character, Charlie Brown, who thinks that nobody likes him. It’s painful but also common to feel this way sometimes. The problem is when you let yourself stay in that place.

If you keep telling yourself that you’re a loser and that no one likes you, in a matter of time, it will come true. But loneliness doesn’t have to last forever. You, however, need to be an active participant in getting over being lonely. Get out of your comfort zone, and force yourself to make friends. This can lead to a new and exciting romance with someone. It might be hard at first, but if you’re persistent, it should pay off.

ReadHow to Be More Interesting, Make New Friends and Meet Guys

Feeling lonely isn’t good and can even be unhealthy. But it’s something everyone experiences during their lives. Remind yourself of this fact when you’re lonely as you strive to improve your mood.


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