It is a common feeling amongst people after a break up or a change in their lives that takes them away from their usual social group (graduating from high school or college for example) to have feelings of loneliness. Having feelings of loneliness isn’t necessarily always a bad thing, sometimes, it can spark reflection in our lives and make us want to take action to create positive energy. Loneliness becomes a problem when it is chronic and ongoing in our lives. Every experience in our day to day world simply gets worse and our focus on the now goes out the window because we are fixated on what our mind feels like were better days. I’m sure times in the past have been wonderful or that you see other people who look like they are having a great time and you wish that you could feel the same. However, this mindset is a trap that can make you sink further and further away from the present moment and moving forward and instead sulk in a miserable limbo. In this post, I want to delve into what I think loneliness is and how I ultimately deal with and overcome it.
The first thing we need to cover in our exploration into loneliness is to simply address what loneliness exactly is. Is loneliness being alone? No. Loneliness is often conflated with being alone when the two are truly separate concepts. Now, the usual portrayal of a lonely person is someone who is by themselves and has really poor body language and a terrible emotional state. Ok, it is true that if you are alone you may also be lonely but it is not a prerequisite. Being alone is just that, a state of being. I am currently sitting in my room typing this article. I am alone but I am not lonely. There is another person right now, at the same time as me, surrounded by other people (friends, family) who feels the pangs of utter loneliness. This is a really simple idea but I truly want you to understand that you being alone is NOT the cause of your loneliness, it may be symptomatic but it is not the root cause.
Another thing that I have thought about loneliness is the fact that it is not an emotion in itself. To me, loneliness is sort of a combination of other emotions like sadness, that come together and form this Voltron like state we call loneliness. This was an important idea for me to realize because once I recognized that loneliness was based on emotional states, I knew that I could overcome it. Emotions are very malleable things, you can change your emotions almost instantly. Have you ever felt kind of down and then listened to some inspirational speech and then felt a flood of positive emotions? It’s an awesome experience and a simple example of the quick turnarounds that can be made in our emotions. If loneliness is indeed rooted within our emotions then we should have a clear path towards dealing with and ultimately overcoming it.
For purposes of this post, I am going to use the example of dealing with loneliness after you break up with your girlfriend (see: Getting Over Your Ex Fast). Your own personal loneliness may have different triggers and other root problems to deal with but this is going to be a general break down of these ideas. Whether you were the person who ended the relationship or you were the one who got dumped and didn’t see it coming, break ups tend to cause emotions such as sadness and anger as well as feelings of longing, idealization, helplessness, and desperation. It is perfectly natural to feel this way and despite your ability to shift emotional states almost instantaneously, it is going to be a longer process to make the shift from a majority of your day involving negative emotional states versus you feeling good throughout the day.
Love and relationships can create a sort of dependency or addiction that gets focused on a person or feeling instead of a narcotic drug or other obsession. This dependency and the ensuing loneliness seems to be the result of feedback that has been habitual in your life. For instance, if you are used to your girlfriend sending you text messages throughout the day, when she stops after the break up, it feels like there is something missing. What is missing is the usual feedback you are used to receiving. Nothing positive or anything at all has replaced that feedback and so you experience negative emotions or you replace it with negative habits such as trying to text her when the relationship is clearly over (see: Follow the No Contact Rule). You are essentially expecting something to happen each day that has ended and as soon as you can begin to alter your expectations the sooner you can get past the loneliness.
If you just had a eureka moment and said to yourself, “Ok, great. All I have to do is find a new girlfriend or group of people and the lack of feedback will be fulfilled. My loneliness will be over.” Sorry, but that is the wrong path. In that instance, all you are doing is creating a new cycle of dependency on other people and as soon as that person or group of people no longer provides that positive feedback you will be right back where you are now. I’m not saying that it is a bad idea to meet new girls and other new people, that’s great, but I am saying that your positive state of mind cannot be dependent on other people’s presence or actions. If that is the case, you will always be a slave to your emotions because you have opted out of controlling them yourself.
***I’m against getting back with your ex in most cases but if you still want her back, here is a program to help you with that.***
Getting rid of loneliness comes as a result of exploration of the self (See: Lucid Dreaming). You have to get your internal state handled and then all of the external things that enhance your life experience (girlfriends, friends, new experiences) can fall into line. If you are completely alone, you must know that this is not in itself a negative state, you are not in state where you are being deprived of good feelings. It is this narrative that we tend to create in our heads that can be so destructive and cause us to wallow in loneliness for long stretches of time. We love stories and we tend to replay the same patterns or memories in our heads over and over again. Of course, you are going to feel lonely if you are telling yourself how awesome your life was when she was around and how nothing good will happen afterwards because you are so helpless and alone. If you are saying the same damn thing to yourself every single day and every single day you feel lonely then you are going to start believing the fact that you really are lonely and just accept it as a new way of life.
This type of thinking can steer you way off course from where you truly want to go in life. You start doing anything just to mask the feelings of loneliness by trying to sleep with as many women as possible or doing drugs or whatever else. If you have a narrative about your life, especially a negative one, it is like writing a script. Once you create a story world there are a limited number of options as to where the story can lead because you’ve established certain rules within that story that the characters must follow. Don’t back yourself into a corner where you feel your only options are masking the problem or just wallowing within your own pity, take action to face it and eventually solve it. Not dealing with it in the right way will push you to seek the more external solutions and maybe you keep replacing girlfriends thinking that one will eventually make you a completely person when in reality all that you are doing is ignoring your own internal development and never satisfying that lack you feel inside.
There needs to be a sense of responsibility for the way you feel. If you are currently lonely, it is not someone else’s fault for making it so. I know, I know, you ‘hate’ your ex for making you feel this way but you need to own up to the fact that it is you who let these feelings persist. In fact, maybe you should appreciate them for allowing these negative emotions you’ve been hiding to surface so that you can now focus on loosening their grip on your life. It is our fault for not taking control of our own lives and allowing the space in our lives where we used to have positive feedback and allowing them to be filled with these negative emotions instead of moving forward towards what we truly want for ourselves. The more you disengage from the notion that your good feelings are dependent on things or people external of you, the more you can exercise your independence and cultivate positive moods from within.
In my own life, when I have had these feelings of loneliness I tried to resolve them with the external at first. However, as I grew up I learned that I needed to stop idealizing my past life and the great people I had met and spent time with and instead shifted towards making myself happy first. After a break up, you usually have at least one positive from that situation and that is more free time to focus on other things. I will say to myself, “Hey! I have lots of time now and we can either wallow or we can focus on dealing with these emotions and then introducing new positives into my life in order to grow and move past this negativity.” It’s really almost just changing my interpretation of the situation from ‘oh no my girlfriend left me, I’m going to be alone forever’ into seeing it as a new opportunity to explore. I like to start by filling the extra time with a block, maybe an hour or so, where I just think about things and try understand what I am feeling. Other days, I may take that hour and go for a walk or workout (see: Cutting Workout) while listening to motivational speeches or podcasts to help boost me out of my shallow thinking and mood.
Flip the loneliness from a negative into a call for action. You feel terrible and so you need to make changes in your life to feel better than you ever had. Remember, you are missing feedback so you must address that as well. Positive feedback can come from new hobbies and things like meeting new people. I like to keep flooding myself with positive experiences because it helps me to heal faster and get back on the correct path. I handle my internal issues but I also try to make my external life as enjoyable as I can thus creating new cycles of positive feedback but not allowing myself to be exclusively dependent on them for my happiness. Positivity breeds positivity, so pursuing new activities and meeting new people can serve as a sort of relief from the loneliness but it is not a cure, just a tool to help you cope until you sort through what is causing your bad emotions.
For help with Socializing and Finding New Girls, see:
If You Really Still Want Her Back…
Some guys find that even after they’ve prepared themselves emotionally to move on and had other women in their lives, they still believe that she was the right fit for them.
If it’s the case that you’re in a good spot emotionally and you still feel like she is the one, perhaps you consider a program to help rekindle things between the two of you. The Magic of Making Up is a full ebook program designed to assist in mending broken relationships. Over 50,000 people have given it a try, visit here to read successful user testimonials and further information about making up with your ex. Here is a brief video presentation from the book’s author:
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Loneliness is a terrible trap to fall in to. You start to believe all of the negative things that your mind is telling yourself and so it just becomes a situation that spirals out of control. In order to pull yourself out of it you must face and deal with your emotions head on. Explore who you are, what you want, and what your true values are independent of anyone else. You have conditioned yourself to feel loneliness because you have either established a dependency on another person or situation or have just failed to cultivate who you really are. Get in touch with your true self and forge a new path that is built on inner strength and confidence. Don’t shut yourself out from the world but rather seek to establish new bonds and new activities to fill the empty space that your old feedback cycles have left behind. Things external to yourself are out of your hands but your internal well-being and happiness is based on you and you alone. Relationships are great to have but their foundations are made of sand if both people are not happy with themselves.