Do you want to know the secret to never feeling lonely again? It’s radical self-acceptance. I’m not talking about throwing all of your plans for self-improvement in the trash. You know which areas of your life, personality, and personal development could use a little tweaking. What I am talking about is the concept of being so comfortable in your relationship with yourself that the desperate sensation of loneliness that often creeps up when we feel like we’ve been single for too long evaporates. I recently finished reading “Already Enough” by Lisa Olivera. This is such an eye-opening read because it offers a raw look at the personal journey from feeling like we’re “not enough” to self-compassion and self-acceptance. We often feel lonely both in and out of relationships because we’re missing the one authentic relationship that can actually cure us of loneliness. That relationship is with the self.
How on Earth Does Being Alone Cure Romantic Loneliness?
I know the last thing you want to hear when you’re already feeling lonely is that the fix is to spend more time with yourself. I’m not prescribing isolation. I am recommending a commitment to existing comfortably in your own skin in a way that’s separate from what’s happening in your DMs, your Bumble profile, your dating patterns, or that hot-and-cold relationship you’ve been in for a while now. The truth is that the fear of loneliness and rejection that comes from being afraid to be alone is one of the biggest roadblocks to actually finding authentic connection. When we’re worried about being accepted, we often do the following:
- Suppress our true thoughts and emotions out of fear of being rejected.
- Go into every interaction with an expectation of flirting, adoration, and romantic connection instead of merely enjoying the experience of socializing.
- Overlook interesting people we aren’t romantically interested in. Do you tend to rush through interactions throughout the day that aren’t directly linked to some kind of romantic interaction? You may be missing some great conversations that would really feed your soul in a special way.
- Scramble to fill our evenings with dates out of a fear of having nothing going on once we get home from work. For many people, that means swiping on people they aren’t even excited by!
- Not engaging in hobbies because they don’t seem worthwhile when you’re doing them alone.
- Putting off trips, adventures, or dinner at nice restaurants until you can go with “someone special.”
Even research confirms that people who lack self-worth are generally unhappy. Seeking love while “unhappy” can set up expectations that love at first sight is some kind of cure. That means we’re constantly looking outwardly instead of inwardly.
Being Alone Looks Good on You
Many people are terrified of being lonely because they haven’t learned the importance of cultivating a rich relationship with the self. I don’t want to make any promises. However, many of my clients tell me that the right person “magically” came along once they were able to reach a place of complete self-acceptance that enabled them to joyfully embark on life’s journeys with only me, myself, and I as companions. Is it magic? I don’t think so. I think the answer has more to do with the fact that there’s something incredibly attractive about a person who is confident enough to enjoy living life “alone” to the fullest!