I feel your whisper across the universe, oceans and nearby, here I am, where are you?
Some people come into our lives for a reason, sometimes only a season and sometimes for a lifetime and when they do, we are made to feel special because of it. Do you have family and friends who take it upon themselves to introduce you to others in the hope it’ll be the one? Do they assume that having a partner will make you happy? Do you get lonely being on your own?
Loneliness is complicated. It’s an emotional response to being socially isolated. A vicious circle, it perpetuates a sense of hopelessness and helplessness that leads to isolation, isolation then leads to hopelessness and helplessness.
When one feels this way, it lowers one’s energy and when others are around you, it can feel like a tidal wave descending on them full force. Would you want to be in the way of that outcome? Often they don’t either.
There are degrees of loneliness, with depression and suicide being at one end of the spectrum to feeling out of sorts being at the lower end. The older one gets, especially from the 80’s onwards, the more vulnerable one is and the greater the loneliness especially as you see your friends passing on. I can remember my mum saying that life really changes when you turn 80. She was a social butterfly who enjoyed life to the fullest until she became wheelchair bound at 89. This was when loneliness really set in and changed her so much.
Single people can often feel lonely as it’s not just the social engagement but mental stimulation they are lacking when they are not within a relationship. Some people even suffer cardiovascular, hormonal or immune system imbalances due to their isolation. If you are living a lifestyle which sees you out and mixing with others the impact of loneliness is reduced.
Though you may be in a committed relationship or even married, you can still feel lonely as the other person may be unavailable. There are many FIFO workers who work away for 2 weeks then are home for a short time before leaving again, people who undertake night shift work such as medical personnel, those in the hospitality industry such as waiters, chefs and bartenders, police, firefighters and security guards. These professions can be disruptive to a relationship and like ships in the night, one coming one going and rarely having quality time together.
When you don’t have that special someone in your life you need to make an effort to go out and be with people, join groups, undertake activities to be socially active for your mind and body connection.
The Online dating revolution is one I personally get tired of. There is even a Meetup group called ‘I Hate Online Dating’ that has started up for people who don’t enjoy this form of interaction. I know that it’s the new way of meeting people but if you are in a high pressured job or self employed, the number of texts you are dealing with when having an online conversation, is formidable. I can’t cope with it and wonder how many others can as you need to dedicate so much time to this activity if it’s to work for you.
Meeting socially is a whole industry today. You can Google ‘meeting socially and the (location) ‘ and you will come up with names like Meetups, the Diner Club, Events4singles, Partners and Friends, A Small World, Internations, Beautiful travel mates and many more. Other places where people can meet face to face include dance workshops/lessons and dance events, sports and outdoor activities, the arts- drama, painting, photography clubs and travel groups.
As a single I found that to prevent isolation I needed to join a number of things to occupy me. I went back to study, joined Argentinian Tango and undertook other dance forms as well as joining business networking groups, as I am self employed. Latin dancing is gaining popularity with men from all ages especially 20-40’s and some from 50+ are game to get involved. Ballroom, jive and west coast swing has seen a re-emergence within the ages of 40-60+. I went to some different Meetups and one that I recall vividly was a dinner event that I attended with a girlfriend where the number of women outnumbered the men 10 to one, frightening really. Women visibly seem to be out there in greater numbers.
Women in general are more socially active than men and have an edge in emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is broken into 4 components, self-awareness, management of our emotions, empathy and social skill. Research shows that women are better in some areas compared to men however we all have some quality of emotional intelligence. When it comes to empathy, women are known to stay the course more than men who tend to tune out. It’s the main brain difference between the genders.
Your family and friends maybe introduce you to other singles but often if in a certain age group, they have married friends and no one they know is single. Family and friends often think they know your tastes in partners so may invite friends from work, or old school friends if unmarried but often they haven’t even hit the mark with the personality profile and it’s not what you are looking for. Though they generally always have your best interest at heart, when it gets to them writing your profile on dating sites, you have abrogated your responsibility. If any type of person then contacts you, and is someone who you are less than interested in, who’s fault is that? You are giving your nearest and dearest the opportunity to have all the fun while you deal with all those online replies.
If you are feeling lonely do you think someone else can make you happy? You actually know the answer to this, it’s No, because only you can make yourself happy and that means getting out there, having fun, meeting people socially and maybe along the way you might meet the right one.
Continue to live in gratitude for every blessing you have, whether good or bad as each is a lesson we learn in life leading you to where you need to be. Being here and present when you meet someone is only a matter of time.
© Kia Haere Counselling & Life Coaching