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Love Being Alone But Hate Being Lonely?

Finding peace when we are alone but dreading the feeling of loneliness that comes along with it.

Image by Duangphorn Wiriya from Unsplash

Who else loves to be alone? Personally, when I’m alone I can finally drop the façade I carry with me outside and be myself. When I’m alone, I am far removed from the judgmental eyes of others. I can eat whatever I want, I can say whatever I want and I can do whatever I want.

On a Friday night, you would never catch me at a party or a social gathering. You’d most likely find me glued to the television with a PlayStation controller in one hand and a can of soda in the other.

Alone time is valuable for everybody, it doesn’t matter who you are. During this time, we can recharge. We can relax, prepare and plan. All at our own pace and our own will. The tranquility of being alone, compared to the constant commotion of life, can sometimes be intoxicating and, in some cases, addicting.

Image by Kelly Sikkema from Unsplash

At least it was for me. I loved it so much that I valued being alone over being around others. I would turn down opportunities to hang out with friends or to go to new places, all so that I can find comfort in my own company. I’d go to school or work, then rush straight home and lock myself away until I was forced to come out again.

I didn’t go to my prom. I purposely missed out on certain trips and experiences. I didn’t even say goodbye to my friends when I left secondary school (high school). I had pushed people away so that I could be by myself.

By the time I went to university, it had all caught up with me. The contentment I felt while alone was replaced with feelings of despair and loneliness.

I had nobody besides my immediate family to speak to, and I would often spend weeks at a time cooped up in a small dorm room by myself. While I attempted to form new relationships with those around me, I often found myself resorting back to my old ways and hiding in my room whenever it didn’t go my way.

Image by Annie Spratt from Unsplash

Every day felt identical, like I was in Groundhog Day, repeating the same day over and over until I was driven insane. During this time, you find that your thoughts become the only source of discourse and dialogue. And as a result, they become amplified.

On one hand, there were days I believed that I was such a loser and could never have any friends. That everyone else is having fun without me and that they wouldn’t even want me there.

Then, on the other hand, I found myself believing that maybe I was too good for the people around me. That I was more important and therefore, I shouldn’t even bother associating myself with them. When I look back, it was a desperate attempt to cope with my loneliness.

It was probably one of the lowest points in my life and I only had myself to blame. I could have solved all this by being slightly braver and attempting to form better relationships. Part of me believed that pursuing friends gave off the impression that I was being needy. That I was annoying and people wouldn’t like me if they got to know me.

Perhaps you have felt or feel the same way. But reverse the roles for a minute. If someone came to you and made advances to be a friend, would you turn them away? No? So why would someone do that to you? Once I started to tell myself that there are many people out there who are also searching for good connections, taking the first step became slightly easier.

Where I went wrong was believing that someone was meant to come to me. You have to be willing to put yourself out there to increase your chances of finding a good companion.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be alone, I still love my alone time. However, moderation is key. Even if you have no one to call or speak to, try and go outside and walk around for a little. Maybe go to the store and just be around others going about their life. Just by changing your environment, you can begin to see drastic changes in your mood and your routine.

Originally published at on April 9, 2022

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