Ever since my late husband passed in 2016, I’ve lived alone. Occasionally, people will ask me if I get lonely, especially since I spend a lot of time at home. In all honesty, I don’t. I know not everyone can understand this concept but being alone doesn’t automatically make everyone lonely.
The loneliest I’ve ever felt was at a crowded convention, surrounded by strangers. Being around people that I don’t know and feel too awkward to talk to makes me feel far lonelier than I ever do when I’m alone in my home, surrounded by familiarity.
What is Loneliness?
Loneliness is a state of mind where a person feels sad or even empty due to a lack of connection with others. It has been classified as something that can be experienced regardless of one’s surroundings. A person doesn’t have to be alone to experience loneliness. I certainly have felt lonely in crowds before, because it makes me feel strangely isolated. As much as I want to feel included in a crowd of strangers, I rarely do.
How Does My Personality Affect Loneliness?
I am an introvert which plays a part in why I react the way I do in crowds compared to when I’m alone. It takes a lot of effort for me to go up to a stranger and speak to them, which I’ve often had to do at business conferences. My strategy for coping with such situations was to retreat to my hotel room for a short period in between conference events, just to have some time alone and recharge.
People who are more on the extroverted side of the spectrum may thrive in crowded situations and experience loneliness only when they are left alone for some time. I’ve read various articles on loneliness and many of them do not take into account the differences in personality traits when it comes to loneliness.
Why Do I Enjoy Being Alone?
This is another question I am often asked, and I suspect the people asking me this are naturally extroverted. They thrive on being around others and they can’t understand how someone like myself can spend so much time alone.
I crave solitude and I dream of one day owning a little cabin up in the mountains where I can retreat to throughout the year. It’s one reason why I’ve gravitated towards a career as a writer which lends itself well to long periods of isolation.
I remember warning my late husband when we first started dating of my need for periods of isolation. It was a struggle in our relationship because he was the opposite. He craved companionship as much as I craved isolation. We eventually found a balance that worked well for both of us, but we had to compromise and make sacrifices in doing so.
Now that he’s passed away, I am thankful for my need to be alone. It’s helped me overcome my grief and loss. I cannot imagine how much more painful my grief would have been if I had needed companionship on the same level he had. These days, I look forward whenever I know I will have a string of days when I won’t have to leave the house and I can focus on writing.
Bottom Line, Please Don’t Worry About Me
I have a couple of family members who worry about me remaining single and not seeking companionship. The truth of the matter is, I was perfectly happy being alone before I met my late husband. I hadn’t intended on falling in love and being in a relationship, but it happened, and I didn’t fight against it.
My husband and I were really good together and I do miss him. However, I have had to face the reality that he’s gone and not coming back. I remember the good times we had together, but I keep forging ahead with my life and my writing career. I know he wouldn’t have wanted me to stop living.
I am not opposed to having another partner someday, but I am not actively seeking one out either. My husband and I met each other when neither of us were looking. I would rather spend my time writing books than dating right now, but if someone comes into my life and we hit it off, I won’t turn down the opportunity.
Regardless, I am currently content with my life and that’s all that matters.