In Your Own Company: How To Be Alone And Love Every Second Of It

by Alexia LaFata

Being alone is a skill.

It's a skill that comes with age and life experience, one you must learn in order to survive those inevitable single moments, those Friday nights where you don't feel like going out and those times when nobody else except you wants to see that movie.

When living in a fast-moving culture like ours, it's virtually impossible to turn off your computer or smartphone, stop caring about what everybody else is doing and just breathe. It's only going to get worse as the drive to be even more connected becomes stronger than it already is.

But this is about more than just not checking Facebook or updating your Instagram; this is about being completely and utterly 100 percent by yourself -- and being okay with it.

There will be days where you feel like you'll resent breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend because now you don't have anybody to talk to about the minute details of your day, and there will be days where even your existing boyfriend or girlfriend is too busy to talk to about those details.

There will be days where it'll feel like every single person around you is out doing something without you, where nobody is answering your text messages and when you're hungry, but nobody can join you in the dining hall.

Why don't you have plans tonight? What's everyone up to right now? Why aren't your friends answering your texts? Isn't anybody else as hungry as you are right now? Who can you call to talk to about your day or that moment of eye contact you made with that cute guy on the subway?

These thoughts -- this reliance on other people to entertain you and validate you -- will do nothing but harm you in the long run.

This is not to discount the beauty of having amazing friends, a great relationship and an active, fulfilling social life. This is merely to say that sometimes the only person who's available to be with is yourself, and you have to be okay with it.

The key to being alone without being lonely is wholeheartedly accepting yourself. With alone time, you're forced to reflect on yourself and on your thoughts, and you won't feel the need to run away from either of those things if you are secure in and love and accept who you are.

Don't focus on what everyone else is doing. Focus on what you are doing, what you are thinking and what you are feeling. That is what is the most important. You won't be able to be alone without being lonely until you realize that, hey, you might not be so bad to hang out with after all.

Is everyone going out to the bar tonight but you're not feeling up to it and you'd only want to go to "show face"? Don't go. Is your mind subconsciously (but not so subconsciously) telling you that a night in with Netflix is more appealing? Do that, instead.

Is there a new movie out that you've been dying to see but your friends think it's lame? Go by yourself. Indulge in popcorn, too.

What you want to do is the right thing to do, and you don't need confirmation from anybody else to do so. All you have to do is accept that it is right, and this only comes from accepting yourself.

Photo via Tumblr