Aloneliness: Identifying and Avoiding “Relationship” Desperation

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Laying there at night, taking inventory of your life between self-induced orgasms, it is inevitable that you will think on a past relationship and ask yourself, “did I fumble?” Hindsight is always 20/20; coulda-woulda-shoulda’s abound when you look back at experiences that seemed muddled at the time. Now, everything appears exceedingly clear: you should have gone left instead of right, zigged instead of zagged, on and on to infinity. I am convinced that the easiest way to give yourself a meltdown is to second-guess your moves in life. In love, like chess, you can’t take a move back.

At times like these, you are experiencing a normal reaction to being alone. As social creatures, we all crave intimate connection to an individual, family and community. So a streak of loneliness while single is natural, and to be expected. But it can also be dangerous, leading you to engage in behavior to satisfy short-term needs, while having long-lasting effects. And so we must learn how to identify the signs, work through lonely periods, and conduct ourselves properly when interacting with others from a place of neediness/loneliness.

There is a difference between being alone, and being lonely. Alone is a status –someone who is single with little or no action in their draws is technically inactive and alone. They don’t have a special someone to share their burden, they must keep their own counsel, and their rise or demise is entirely their own. When alone, you can take all the credit for the wins, but you assume all responsibility for the losses. It is as frightening as it is liberating, and you will discover exactly what you are capable of – to the most positive and negative extremes. With a determined mind you can make phenomenal strides in self-improvement, or descend into a pit of depravity because you have no one to catch your fall, or propel you forward.

This self-sufficiency makes single life so important because tests that determine our passage to the next level are often solo endeavors. You may even notice that certain doors only admit one at a time, and spiritual discoveries only happen between you, your spirit and The Everlasting. And with a constant focus on companionship, you can slow or even block personal progress. If you don’t acknowledge the value of solitude, embrace and develop your oneness, you squander valuable opportunities to become even more of a catch for your next mate.

Which brings us to loneliness, which is not a status, but a feeling – and in extreme cases, a mindset. We all experience short periods of loneliness, even when in a relationship. The benefit of companionship carries with it physical and emotional perks that simply cannot be had elsewhere. So yeah, you’re gonna miss “The D” (or The P) from time to time. In the midst of trials and tribulations, with no one to lick your wounds or your kitty, it is natural to feel a heightened desire for your other half. Family and friends can offer support to a point, but they’ll never match the closeness that accompanies romantic connection.

It is important to note that loneliness is a temporary feeling, so be careful not to open a door that cannot be closed. You risk ruining the emotional well-being of an innocent lover by opening something that, for you may be temporary, and for them may be permanent. Karma frowns on that type of behavior, so beware of awakening someone’s desire only to placate your temporary needs. That is perhaps one of the greatest missteps you can make as a single man or woman. The problem is, we often don’t know which desires are temporary and fleeting until after we take the plunge.

One indicator that you shouldn’t dwell in your loneliness is that you only desire companionship during a low point in your own progress. Whether this is due to unfulfilled expectations, or you seeing people winning in love, the fact remains that these thoughts emanate from a place of longing, not a genuine desire to kindle a new flame. When you’re riding high, you couldn’t give two shats about what’s going on with so-and-so, because you’re focused on building your empire. But in those drought periods where your money is acting funny, your situation isn’t ideal and your confidence is bruised, we are weak enough to accept damn near anyone.

The pressure is enough to break your composure like a matchstick. And when you begin to have lingering doubts, frustrations, and a willingness to sacrifice your standards just for physical or emotional attention, you have accepted the mindset of loneliness. This ongoing state of neediness is reached when we have so many holes in our lives that we rely on another to distract us from doing the work of filling them. Unfortunately, that does more harm than good. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that lonely individuals are not with you for you, they are with you because they cannot stand to be alone.

To cut to the heart of the matter, suffice to say that many people are not comfortable in their own skin, their own space, in their own lives. They long for the physical or emotional company of others, and it really doesn’t matter who provides it. They seek distraction between the arms or legs of another, simply because isolation forces one to confront his or her flaws, insecurities, and shortcomings rather than ignore their realities. You become almost like a drug to help numb them from whatever pain they are avoiding. Viewed that way, do you really want to answer that 2am “Hey Stranger” text?

You must begin to see whether people are reaching out to you because they genuinely desire you, or because of a deep-seated loneliness. In addition, make sure that your interactions with others are not born from the same emptiness that causes people to make decisions in poor judgment. As a general rule of thumb, matters of the heart ought never to be made from a position of desperation – and as obvious as that sounds, we’ve all done it. The solution is to learn to identify the source of your desires in order to pursue the genuine, not the superficial. It may take longer, but it will be well worth it. See you there.

Grace

About the Author: Jontae Grace is a 27 year old, single father of 1 son. His blog, “My $0.02″ can be found at http://jontaegrace.com, and he has a free app in the Google Play Store (search My $0.02). A graduate of the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!), his literary goal is to empower people to take control of their social and romantic relationships.

Website: http://jontaegrace.com

Facebook: facebook.com/my02cents

Twitter: @my_02cents

Google Play Store (free app): My $0.02

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  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    We all have lonely moments, the key is to stay busy and focused on other things that doesn’t necessarily involve another person. Keeping it 100, a man who’s gainfully employed and moderately attractive can have a lions share of women if he desired and never be alone. It takes will and maturity to not take what’s convenient and learn how to be alone.

    • sierra smilez

      So true. This should go for women to. Personally I get use to being alone. Lonely no. Cause I don’t have to deal with broke liars.

  • High_Five_Ghost

    “When alone, you can take all the credit for the wins, but you assume all responsibility for the losses. It is as frightening as it is liberating, and you will discover exactly what you are capable of – to the most positive and negative extremes.”

    ….this is why I love it and why the non-loners don’t get it.

    One of my “personal maturities” occured when I decided to do exactly what this post advises. It’s not easy AT ALL…’cause you miss out on some HQ dates and boot knockin’. But, you save yourself a lot of BS and guilt of leading someone in a direction that you don’t want to join them in.

    • cynicaloptmst81

      Co-sign!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      This strikes a personal chord cause this week actually marks a full year being single for me. If I really didn't want to be single, I could be in a relationship…or at least in an extreme dating situation, lol. But, I chose to be lonely sometimes instead of commiting to or entertaining men that I knew I wouldn't rock with long-term. This has been one of the HARDEST challenges of my life…knowing you actually could be out having fun being boo'd up if you just compromised a tad…but you're sitting in the movie theater watching The Butler by yourself. #TrueStory

  • J. Crawford

    I am a Loner by Instinct, with an upbringing and situations growing up to reinforce it. My highs and lows in relationships are at best .500 because I'm a natural Loner (and Introvert). After being involved with someone for 6 years (my longest relationship) and Proposing, while also Cheating and having a Kid as a result of it, I suppose my Quarter life Crisis moments have been the Feelings of Loneliness.

    I needed a post like this to really get me to Rack my Mind and figure out whare and What I Want next. I'm a College grad, a Father and on track to Advance my Career and while I'm Not a Teenager and No Longer with my Ex-Fiancee, I need to find and accept Who/What I Am

  • Bree

    I understand the authors point. However, the reality is, Nobody desires to go through this journey we called life alone. God did not design us to do so. Adam the first man asked God for companionship. Even God wasn't enough companionship for Adam. Adam wanted another physical being he could see, touch, hear, smell, embrace, talk to etc etc etc.
    So to a degree we all desire a lifemate so that we're not alone, and lonely. Even people who are single in their old age have children and grandchildren or friends or someone for companionship.
    As human beings, we all to a degree desire other people in our lives in some way, shape or form.
    Many women and young girls have children so that they don't have to be alone and so they have someone to love them unconditionally. This is a human desire and there is nothing wrong with it.
    There is, however, something wrong with seeking & choosing a romantic partner out of desperation, and for any other wrong reasons.

    • http://jontaegrace.com Jontae Grace

      I agree. Just want to clarify that message is more about maximizing the time spent alone, than preferring to be alone. Self-improvement will in turn make you a more effective partner, and help you choose more wisely. Of course we are meant to be together, but we are not meant for just anyone. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between the right one and just anyone in moments like these.

      • Bree

        I wholeheartledly concur Jontae- Especially, with this, "Of course we are meant to be together, but we are not meant for just anyone."
        Yes Jontae, knowing how to let the right one in is not an easy thing. We've all made mistakes and fell for wolves in sheeps clothing. Not necessarily out of lonliness or desperation, just falling in love, or falling for "that type." Personally I've found that what helped me know the right ones from the wrong ones at first was my dad. When my dad passed away, it was God.

      • Bree

        Btw this was very well written Jontae. Mad Props :)

        • http://jontaegrace.com Jontae Grace

          Thanks! I appreciate that.
          My recent post Aloneliness

  • Southerngyrl_

    Wonderful post, beautiful. I can completely understand the difference and I agree. So many people make rash decisions based on the temporary loneliness.

    Now I need a follow up to describe how to avoid the pitfalls when you're moving from being alone to being with someone again.

    • Bree

      The book by Iyanla Vanzant "In The Meantime" is a great book to guide you through transitional periods. And as Mr. Grace stated when your life is filled with good people and good things that enrich and fulfill your life, time won't pass so slowly and you will find yourself meeting "the one" without even looking for them or trying to find them.

      • Southerngyrl_

        Oh, I understand that. I meant for the times when someone good comes into your life but you're already used to doing things your way and in your own time. How to avoid becoming set in your ways.

        • Bree

          yeah I feel u on that Southern……I've had that problem myself. It's not easy. When u find a person who you really feel is worth it, the compromising won't be so difficult. Well, it shouldn't be.
          You can't avoid becoming set in your ways though, it happens. Can't undue years of what you become accustomed to as your way of life. Just have to find someone who can deal with at the very least, some of your "ways."

  • Diana
    • Bree

      That was my jam back in the day! ThrowBack! :)

  • http://lhatcher2013.wordpress.com/ lhatcher2013

    In between relationships, one must keep themselves busy in order to correct the mistakes they made in their previous situation. Self-reflection is the hardest but most beneficial thing anyone can do to make the deep adjustments one must make to truly implement changes. Jumping from relationship to relationship or bed to bed just makes things that much harder to change. Being lonely is natural and happens in all stages of life, whether you are single or married. To overcome this you have to look inward and to your support system for guidance.
    My recent post Advantages of Network Marketing

  • Uit

    Great post. Graces post are always deep. Just wish I had the problem being in between relationships.

    • http://jontaegrace.com Jontae Grace

      Thanks Uit, I appreciate that.
      My recent post Aloneliness

  • http://www.opinionatedmale.com cortonio

    Good post brother. I think the one way to conquer aloneliness is simply staying busy and taking that time to get to know yourself, and if you have to avoid situations where couples are involved (parties etc) then do so, unless you can endure them without feeling empty and incomplete.
    My recent post The 10 Date Commandments: Rules For Dating The Opposite Sex

    • http://jontaegrace.com Jontae Grace

      Thanks Bro. That's a good point, and to add to it, I feel like some of us need to fall in love with ourselves again. I personally get over breakups by being still, not busy. That allows me to listen to my spirit more, and reminds me that I like what I hear. I kinda like to simplify life after complicated situations pass. Anyway, thanks for reading, I'm a fan of what you guys are doing over there at OM. Stay UP
      My recent post Aloneliness

  • eliza2927

    wow this article is mind blowing helps me come to some realizations of my own. Many times I've talked to a guy or guys to simple seek companionship at a period of loneliness and the guy isn't someone I wanted to be with for the long term. Thank you for this. You've taught me some things today.

  • Soulflower

    This is a great post. I have chosen to be alone for the past five months after discovering I was an unwitting side piece. I have used the time to work on me, conquering long term personal issues (clutter, organization, etc.) and making significant improvements on my home. It has been lonely, but the gratification of what I have accomplished (and continue to work on) has been liberating and empowering.

    Not surprisingly, homeboy has tried to make a comeback just this week but as a result of my introspection and positive frame of mind I am no longer thirsty and vulnerable.

    Keep up the good work, Grace!