The Paradox of Loneliness

“I used to feel that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. IT’S NOT. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.” Robin Williams

 

We say “I do.”

We settle in as married couple.

We may even plan for children.

We carry the assumption that feeling alone is now a thing of the past. After all, we have someone by our side now “until death do us part.”

So what happens when that relationship feels empty?

What happens when you’re not technically alone, but you’ve never felt lonelier?

What happens when you have a warm body by your side, but no meaningful connection?

I’ve been single before, without anyone special in my life. And yes, there were moments of feeling lonely. I think that’s natural, because we’re not meant to move through lives alone.

But that loneliness doesn’t compare to the feeling of being in a relationship that’s supposed to feel secure, committed and fulfilling – but you still feel all alone. That kind of loneliness never feels natural and is much more painful to endure.

What happens?

We try to outrun the loneliness by distracting ourselves and keeping ourselves so busy that we don’t have the time or energy to think about it.

We go to bed early and maybe even take a sleeping aid so that we don’t have to face the distance that exists between you, only inches away but miles apart.

We numb the negative emotion of loneliness by having a little too much wine, spending a little too much money online or hours on Facebook.

It doesn’t magically get better on its own. The distance becomes wider and the loneliness becomes increasingly undeniable, particularly as the kids gets older and are more independent.

And even the fear of, “What if I’m alone forever?” starts to seem like a viable option compared to THIS……

This kind of loneliness

This kind of isolation.

This kind of emptiness.

If you know this kind of loneliness in your own relationship, you know what I’m talking about. There is a way through the loneliness that doesn’t have to involve blowing up your life and hurting everyone around you.

But you have to be ready for that level of personal growth and responsibility for your own heart and your life. And not everyone is.

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