Hermit crab

Alone vs lonely

I spend a lot of time alone these days and I have noticed something weird happening.

Hermit crab
The hermit crab: nature’s agoraphobe

The more time I spend alone, the more I want to be alone.

It’s not that I don’t love being around people; I do. I’m an extroverted extrovert. It’s just that being around people can be stressful. Things go wrong. There are mixed messages, hurt feelings and miscommunications.

When you’re alone, you don’t have to deal with any of that stuff. It’s just you, a mountain of books and a cupboard full of tea.

But it’s so lonely.

I long for someone to cuddle at night, to eat dinner with and to talk to. Someone who will actually listen to me, as opposed to waiting for me to stop talking until they can start talking. Someone I feel at ease around, as opposed to worrying that I am going to say or do something wrong.

I have wonderful friends but I am pretty sure none of them want to spoon me.

What’s to be done? Maybe it’s just a stage? Maybe I need to get out more?

Do you guys ever feel like this?




7 comments on “Alone vs lonely

  1. Beautifully said.
    I have been in this state for 35 years. It is a long time to be alone. Be careful you don’t get to my stage where you basically feel a tad frightened to move out there and attempt to find someone. Fear is a major factor in my particular circumstances. I don’t see it in yours.
    On the other hand, I do like coming home to a silent house. Being able to read without bring interrupted right at the good bit and being able to watch what I want on the TV. Selfish… Possibly, but enjoyable, yes!
    I think for some people that they need a space if time where they learn to be alone. You find out a lot about yourself. And you realise that you can survive if you are not hanging on someone’s arm or making sure that all of their needs are met. You also can work out what you want and / or need.
    All you need to remember, Em, is that you are a strong, confident woman.

    Who IS fabulous.

  2. As the exact opposite of you, I feed on being alone. I was actually thinking about loneliness the other day, and realised I can’t remember being lonely. I’m sure I have been, but I can’t remember it, even when I lived alone. I really miss being alone. {WEIRDO ALERT}

    But I understand that other people aren’t like me, and wish I could help you. I’ll give you some of my aloneness for some of your socialness? I can also offer you my basement to live in from April 5!

  3. What striking words Em. I think it is the most beautiful thing to find a companion who you can be still with. Sharing no words. I love and need time alone, but I remember without this, I felt lonely too. Big love ( and heck, some remote spooning!),Ed.
    Ps. The lonely days are limited so make the most of them by revelling in them creatively- might write a best seller! Xxxx

  4. I spoon you if you want 🙂

    Sometimes it s better to be alone than being in a relationship where you feel lonely.

  5. Nice post, Em. I love solo time too, and I’d call myself an introvert – because I recharge by being alone, not because I don’t like being with people – I do, just not all the time. And you’re right, people are confusing sometimes 🙂 But still, I get lonely when I have too much time alone (because I work at home and live alone, gotta make the effort to be with people regularly).

    Am currently being enlightened on all this by a brilliant and fascinating new book: “Quiet – the power of introverts in a world that won’t stop talking” by Susan Cain. Apparently a third to a half of all people are introverts but pretend not to be, so powerful is the Extrovert Ideal in our western societies… Enjoy 🙂

  6. Like Mel, I thrive on being alone. I’ve always been a loner and a tad socially awkward. I often find being around people (even on public transport or in office environments) really energy sapping and I need some solo time to recharge and re-group. I’m useless at networking events and parties because I’m hopeless at making the first move! My partner’s quite the loner too, so it makes for plenty of instances of lack of communication… :-/ I don’t see my friends as often as I’d like, what with life getting in the way etc, but I don’t feel lonely. I’ve always been able to amuse myself – and talk to myself! – and keep myself company. Skin hunger, though? That’s a whole other issue!

    It probably is just a stage, Ms Em. Enjoy it though. Relish this time to be completely self-indulgent!

  7. I like your title ‘Alone vs Lonely’. My Dad said to me once (and I’ve never forgotten it) that you can be ‘Lonely but not alone, or alone but not lonely.’ It’s a state of mind, or perception. They don’t necessarily go together. You can have lonely times even with a partner. We can be lonely in a room full of people. Or conversely we can be totally content spending time alone by ourselves.

    But yeah I’m hearing you re the companionship thing and having a special someone to talk to. It just makes life so much brighter. *Hugs*

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