Feeling lonely is something that we are susceptible to at different times, and it always leaves room for the opportunity not to make the best decisions. And while I don’t think it’s possible always to avoid making wrong decisions while feeling lonely, we can at least determine what some of the feeling lonely dont’s are, that way we can better navigate around them.
Don’t Fill The Hole With Meaningless Company
An easy fix for feeling lonely is to surround yourself with people, or so it may seem, but I believe there is a certain company you need for certain moments.
There have been times where I thought I wasn’t enjoying feeling lonely, so I tried to fix the situation by inviting friends over, or just reaching out to an acquaintance who I thought would be free. And more often than not, if there was no plan set in place, the hangout would end up being more unfulfilling than my loneliness. I feel like this is because it was already hard enough to figure out what to do with myself, and then having the responsibility of another person is too much stress.
For example, I’m feeling lonely at home, so I have a friend come over, and right away, we decide we don’t know what we want to do. Then having that friend sitting there seemingly bored will cause me to become more anxious than I was when sitting alone. And there have been times where another lonely friend and I have got together just to play video games and waste away the day, and it was great, but it’s the times when you can’t find fulfillment in mind-numbing activities where the meaningless company doesn’t help.
There is also the scenario of feeling lonely and then reaching out to a friend who is about to run an errand, so you decide to go with them. Most of the time, if your feeling lonely is brought on by some sort of bad mood, thrusting yourself out into the world will not help, but if you’re lonely because nothing is going on, then this might do the trick.
The other meaningless company comes in the form of the other sex specifically. All of us have been through a breakup or a tough time, and it feels like engaging with someone sexually or romantically for the moment is maybe the best solution to those problems. From having lived through it personally, I can say these encounters generally do not help anything.
After breaking up with a girlfriend, I started to feel like it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, so I lurked onto dating apps to find someone to talk to. A few days went by, and the first person I made plans to hang out with seemed like a good enough solution for filling my time. So you meet up with the person and go out on a date, and some laughs can be had, but upon returning home, I’m always struck with this sense of emptiness. And whether this is the shock of having company and then going back to feeling lonely, or realizing that a rebound isn’t going to solve any of your mental problems, I don’t think that seeking companionship is a proven way to combat feeling lonely.
Don’t Reach Out To Your Ex
This point can build off of what I just stated about companionship being able to solve any of your issues. If you’re newly single, you probably need to sort through some sort of baggage before getting back in the game.
In my last relationship, I felt unfulfilled in many areas, it felt toxic at times, and I wasn’t being treated how I wanted, and I’m sure I displayed behaviors that made these feelings feel reciprocated. After not being in a said relationship for a few months and focusing on myself, it’s easy to start feeling the gap that the relationship has left in your life, and you might feel like it’s a good time to jump back into it. But this isn’t a decision you can make just based on feeling lonely, because what happens if your ex is feeling lonely as well, and you meet up again and jump right back into things. It seems like more often than not, the same issues are going to appear again.
If you’re looking to restart a relationship, you have to feel so deeply that that’s what you want, it cannot be something you do because you realize you’re feeling lonely again. Maybe feeling lonely can be the thing that plants the seed of rekindling a relationship, but it needs to be thought and talked out far beyond that feeling.
Do’s For Feeling Lonely
There aren’t only negative things you can do that fill your time when feeling lonely; in fact, I think being lonely provides some of the best opportunities for being productive.
DO Not Let Feeling Lonely Cripple You
Being alone isn’t an excuse to sit around and scroll through every app on your phone for hours. There are ways to take the time of being lonely and use it to your advantage. I would even argue that watching movies, documentaries, or scripted television is a fine way to spend the occasional lonely day, and there is plenty that can be learned from it. And If visual isn’t your style, then reading a book is the perfect alternative and something we could all probably do a bit more of.
I mentioned video games earlier, and that’s a fine way to spend some of your time when feeling lonely, but don’t get too carried away with it obviously.
I think that when I’m feeling lonely is when I can get some of my best work done writing-wise. If my loneliness is brought on through a bad mood or something I’m dealing with, I can channel that into my writing and possibly come up with good material, and at the very least, have a seemingly unlimited amount of time to focus on my work. If you can learn to take advantage of your loneliness, then it will help you to be less uncomfortable with it in the future, and it will possibly be something you seek out when you realize yourself missing out on some of that free time you need.