Being single is not the same as being lonely.
But if you are already lonely and single, then – I’m really sorry for what happened to you. I have been the same way forever – and I understand you. I had been an introvert all my life – I have always liking spending a bit more me-time than others. But if I only knew how that introversion or perhaps my shyness will curse me, I would have tried to change it. Fake a personality, perhaps. For me, being single was a choice – at least, at first. But I cannot remember when I drowned in this pit of loneliness and I don’t know if I can ever recover again.
Here are some of the things that loneliness does to you or how it feels like to be lonely:
1. You are not the important one
One of the worst things of being alone is being aware that you exist as a second choice or rather a no-choice at all. No, you can’t go and talk about everything that happened in your day because you have no one to listen to you. Your friends have their partners or some have got married and have had their kids. You are not a significant part of their lives and even if they would like to hear about your day, you will feel like you are taking their valuable time away. Rather, you would select details and say it to a friend or maybe to another, just to feel like you existed during that day. You existed and you just want someone to hear your story. For once!
2. No Touching
Couples share some small intimate touches all the time. But when you are lonely, sometimes, even a small touch seems hard to get. It almost feels like people have already isolated you in some way and they are not willing to even touch you accidentally. Yes, I’m not talking about those touches of a lover – I’m talking about the little touches of one human being to another. Being lonely, you slowly forget how a human touch felt like – and nothing could be worse than that.
3. You are jealous
Jealousy is wrong, but it’s a human thing, right? I know jealousy is terrible but sometimes, I just have to be jealous. It almost comes to me naturally. If you just place yourself in my shoes, you will probably understand. Imagine knowing that all your friends, all the people you see on Facebook, have someone back in their home who’s waiting for them – waiting to hear about them. And then imagine returning home to a dark bedroom where nothing changes for years and years. Nothing! Despite knowing how terrible jealousy is – I just couldn’t let it go. Life offers no occasion for that.
4. The pain is no longer inside
Maybe it might sound like I’m making it all up but it does hurt – it hurts when you are lonely. You have a feeling like something is dragging you inside, some weight that never leaves you. Your heart pains. Maybe it is the weight of expectation, maybe it’s the weight of your dying hope slowly being taken over by despair. I don’t know – but there’s a battle going on inside me and no one’s winning.
5. Being the third person
Yes, you are the dreaded third wheel everywhere you go. Your friends are trying to help you, but quite unknowingly, they just make this weight inside you grow heavier. It’s just that sometimes, I wish I were the person who got the spotlight. And is that really too much to ask? I mean – isn’t it ok to be not alone anymore? Just knowing that I’m being taken to date because I was lonely and that I’m interfering a good couple night, just makes it all so much worse.
6. No, Friendship doesn’t cut it
Some of you might tell how I have friends and that’s great. I love my friends and my family – but that doesn’t cut it. Romance is a completely different thing. Just replacing something with friendship and family is nothing but a consolation – it’s just trying to cover up the fact that I am alone – I am single and have been all my life. Nothing could take away that fact.
7. Becoming the only single in the circle
The worst part of being older and remaining single is seeing how your friends are slowly getting together with someone. Yes, everyone has become a couple. But it’s not limited to your friends – you go outside and you find lovebirds all around you. Falling in love and getting that love returned is nothing for them. And then you have the discos and events giving away discounts to couples. Love is in the air and the entire culture is geared to make space for couples. It feels like I’m the only one getting in their way.
8. It isn’t great
Some of you must be thinking that the grass is always greener on the other side. You will say how becoming committed has its shortcomings – and how being single is equivalent to freedom. No, it doesn’t work that way. Loneliness is never ok. It’s not the same as having a time-out during relationships. It’s not having a momentary peace after a fight with your partner. It’s something deeper and painful – you don’t have the option to go back to someone, because you never really had anyone.
9. It’s not a choice
Being lonely is never a choice. Being single can be a choice but loneliness is just circumstantial. I did not wish to be lonely. I don’t know how it happened and how it turned out to be like this but if I could, I would take a time machine and change every step of my life to prevent this fate. I wish I could be consumed and dropped in some other place where I actually did have a choice between being single and committed. I just wish there was something I could do to fix this, but there is nothing – I’m helpless and it hurts so bad.
10. It’s personal
If you are reading this and trying to empathize, I love you for your effort. Thank you for trying to feel how I feel. But trust me, and I’m saying this without trying to cause any offence – you cannot empathize. It’s the one thing about being lonely – unless you have experienced it in the same way that I do, you cannot feel it. Isolates me even further, doesn’t it? Maybe an extremely lonely person would be the one who could understand me, but I don’t want them to exist like me – no, I don’t want anyone like me to exist. It’s too painful and I don’t want any person to go through the same pain that I’m going through. I hope they get all the happiness in the world.