How To Deal With Loneliness When You're Single, According To Women Who Feel Your Pain

Loneliness is not dependent on whether or not you are in a relationship, but for some reason, people seem to be more acutely aware of their loneliness when they are single. Do you really want to be in a relationship just so you don't have to be alone with yourself? A relationship should never be an escape from the person you really are, but a chance to share that with someone else. But that truth doesn't change the fact that solitude does happen, and when it does, it's best to turn to single folks to hear how to deal with loneliness. Because even if you feel like you are alone, trust me: Everyone gets to this place at one point or another. It's perfectly acceptable to ask for help.

These ladies on Reddit shared some truly wise insight into how to deal with loneliness when you're single — particularly when it seems like everyone you know is in a relationship. Their words are shared below. Personally, I think that keeping in mind that there are all different kinds of human connection and that you can stand to learn something from everyone you meet helps keep your heart open to the world and all the love it has to offer you. You never have to do this on your own.

1. Remember That Being In A Relationship Doesn't Mean You're Necessarily Happy

Yes! Sometimes I might get sad thinking about how I tend to always be the single one in some friend groups...but then i always hear them complaining about things with their SO, or when they are together they just fight the entire time, makes me pretty happy to be single

CS3883

Honestly, being in a relationship is a complicated dance. Most people end up stepping on their partner's toes now and again. When you aren't in a relationship, you don't have to worry about whether anyone is happy besides yourself. You can be the center of your universe, without any distractions to keep you from going after what you really want.

2. Remember That You Don't Want A Relationship For The Sake Of A Relationship

This is probably just from what I've been through recently but I'll take loneliness over a heartbreak. I had my first relationship last year and the aftermath makes me miss the me before the relationship. The one who legit did not give two shits about being in a relationship and thought she was asexual. I'm probably being a wuss but I'm not risking myself like that again.

— EDAmutation

Just being in a relationship so that you don't have to be alone won't fix your loneliness. It will replace your solitude with arguments, low self-esteem, and you'll end up compromising on a lot of what you want. Stay committed to yourself, and you'll find the person who you really want to be with — you.

3. Recognize That Love Has Many Sources

Sometimes the loneliness is upsetting, but I think to some extent, most, if not all of us, are seeking validation through relationships. We want to feel wanted and we want to show others that we're happy and loved. That's why so many of us crave affection from family, friends and lovers. Most people have family and friends already, but lovers are harder to come by, so people tend to put them on a pedestal. If we can get past the idea of wanting validation from others, we'll learn to enjoy our own company and naturally be okay with singlehood.
That's just my opinion, feel free to disagree!

— ValuableChicken

Don't overlook or undermine the importance of the love you get from your friends and family. This affection is the same as the kind you get in a romantic relationship. Society might place monogamous romantic relationships on a pedestal, but you don't need to.

4. Embrace The Shade

My family has joked about me growing up to be a cat lady for years. I've kinda embraced the title. Cats are awesome!

— rainbow-rolls

Whenever that little voice asks me, "But what if you're alone for the rest of your life?" I respond by saying to myself, "So what if I am?" It wouldn't be the worst thing; me and myself would have a lot of fun together.

5. You're Not A Half; You're A Whole

I'm finding a lot more satisfaction in investing in myself than I ever did in a relationship. Granted, I've had very few, but I know I couldn't possibly be happy with someone that did not meet me on my level. What I expect of myself, I'd expect from my partner. And I have yet to meet a person to compliment my outlook on life, while pushing each other towards growth. I just can't put myself in a position where I feel I'm being held back.
I've never really felt much shame for staying true to myself, so, onward alone I shall go.

GrowingBeet

If you go out looking for a person who can complete you, you're going to wind up feeling disappointed. Nobody can ever be your "missing half." Everyone is their own person, and you can decide to be with them or not. Work to be complete and whole within yourself, and you'll eventually find the person you want to be with.

6. Fall In Love With Your "Loneliness"

I’m so single (and so used to it) that when guys ask me out or start to flirt, I dunno how to respond lol.
But serious answer: be your best company. I like being alone and for me, being alone does not necessarily equate to loneliness. Also, keep a tight circle of friends you can genuinely talk to. Cultivate your hobbies. Play football, go to concerts, write a blog - do whatever you fancy :)
And who cares if all those couples judge you because you’re single? Lol, being in a relationship doesn’t really equate to happiness either.
I learned something recently: Carry your own weather. This means you should focus on stuff within your control and not the external stuff, which usually pressure us into deciding not for us, but for others.

Princess_Leia91

Loneliness is an opportunity to dive deep within yourself, dig out buried emotions, and unpack them. We often try to escape from loneliness through travel, endless socializing, drinking, even eating — all behaviors that keep us removed and distracted from ourselves. Embrace your loneliness as a chance to discover who you really are and what you really want, and the universe will unfold.

7. Discover New Ways To Connect With Your Coupled Friends

Yeah, if your friends have kids, I do suggest mixing chores/childcare with socializing. I try to be at least 50% of a nanny or a maid, whenever I'm in a home that has kids. The goal is to hang out with my friends while they're in a good mood. If I have to blow some noses or wash some dishes in order to make sure my friends are in a good mood, that's the price I pay for being a confirmed bachelor.
A lot of people, particularly women, seem to feel like they shouldn't have guests at their house unless they can commit 100% of their attention to hosting their guest. As a single person, it helps to make it clear that you consider that expectation to be silly.

BasementLesbian

Times change, and people change, too. If your friends are getting married and having kids and don't want to hit the bars anymore, don't resent them for their different lifestyle choices. If you want to see them, find a way to hang out with them that accommodates both of your schedules. If you're single, you're free to help out and contribute to their family, and receive the support you're looking for.

8. Remember That Loving Yourself Takes Practice, And It's OK

The judgement of others can be difficult at times, but something that is easier to overcome; it’s the loneliness that can become consuming. Loving, accepting and challenging yourself can help the most. I understand how cliche it is, and most definitely easier said than done, but you’ll reach a point where you can enjoy the sole company of yourself and not need others to feel “complete.” That can’t be done until you become content with yourself. Of course this doesn’t mean complete social isolation, company with friends and family is necessary, but you won’t become afraid of doing something by yourself or feel held back because you don’t have a partner. Just some things that I have found helpful within my own situation of being single my entire life. Best of luck.

koreankerry

It's OK if you don't always love yourself or feel completely whole in yourself. When low self-esteem hits, do something nice and treat yourself the way you would want a partner to do for you.

9. Treat Being Single As An Opportunity

It's not lonely. I have my family and small circle of close friends that make me feel very loved. As far as the judgement, I just dont listen to it. I just turned 30 and most of my friends are married and having kids, so I'm the odd man out. I personally love the independence and time I can dedicate to my career and hobbies. I think as long as you are comfortable in who you are then being single isnt a problem.

sj3988

The time that you have on your hands when you are single is actually a blessing. It means more opportunities to go after the things you want creatively and professionally. A relationship is just one thing that can fulfill you among many. Make sure your cup is full.

10. Remember That Nobody Can Complete You

I have met so many women who are older, cooler and more attractive than I am. I never stop to think about their marital statuses unless they constantly talk about their partners or I am also friends with their partners. The woman is a single unit to me, not part of a whole. I like to think that most of them view me the same way.
The yuppie married couple who thinks there is something wrong with me and our single female -- not male -- friends are basically crippled when apart. They were always LTR people. They can't fathom that being single is comfortable, less pressure and fun. They can judge me all they want. I make jokes about it when it comes up to let them know I don't care. I am independent and I truly don't mind being solo 80% of the time.
I dated a lot when I didn't have a great career job, but once I got that good job, I made it my priority. I always met boyfriends and FWBs through a lot of face-time at school and work, and I haven't really figured out how (or really tried if I'm being honest) to meet guys organically now that I don't have that option. It was lonely at first, but I got used to it. I'm not going to do what some of my friends do and serial tinder date or stalk cute guys they see in friends' photos. They're obsessed with it. It's gross. Endless forced witty banter via text/app with some random dude I've never laid eyes on is my nightmare and I'd WAY rather be alone.

apfelpfannkuchen

Everyone needs to be alone to learn how to stand on their own two feet. Take the lessons and leave the resentment, wallowing, or self-victimization behind. You've totally got this.

Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!