Essentially, I think that’s all we ever are: single. Maybe not in the exact way that the word connotes. I don’t want to repeat cliches like, “we are born alone and we die alone”, but that doesn’t make any of them less true. We are all fundamentally alone. We touch lives and we share lives, but that doesn’t make us not alone. It just makes us not lonely.
There’s an indispensable difference between loneliness, and being alone. While loneliness describes being destitute of companions, being alone just means being apart from others which we all are. Mentally, emotionally, physically. Everything and anything which we don’t say out loud, whether it be with words, with writing, or with the emotions that do surface, is our own and it is isolated from everyone and anyone we share the world with.
Relationships allow you to experience this world with someone you care for. But this feeling of companionship is slightly more illusory. Other people can only vicariously comprehend your life through their own eyes. You are never not alone.
So, being single should come like second nature to us, right? Being single should be nothing but mastering the art of being alone, which we all fundamentally are. Doing things for yourself, and striving to be a better version of yourself everyday, that’s what being single should be about. Until you get lonely.
Most often being alone morphs into loneliness. When you start getting tired of discovering and re-discovering both the world, and yourself, and begin feeling unsatisfied with your inability to share your progress with somebody, things get gloomy. You want someone to take interest in your passions, someone to flourish with. Someone you can grow to love, because it gets lonely at the top. Cliche, I know, but maybe cliches are worth more than immediate dismissal. They exemplify common thoughts. And in this particular case, perhaps they offer a reason for us to feel less lonely in our conviction to master being single in adulthood.
Perhaps then, the underlying difficulty in getting over a break up, or forgetting about someone, is to do with all the sharing rather than all the loving. Maybe what we struggle with is not the absence of the hand of a loved one, but the absence of a hand that we grew used to holding, and the absence of a soul to listen and adore the things you adore. It’s not evident at first. You fail to see it through all the brooding. But when all the heartbreak is over, we start longing for that overwhelming warmth in our hearts. We seek a new partner to experience new things with, to share with. How did that old saying go again? Sharing is caring?
Told you cliches are worth more than immediate dismissal.
The next time you find yourself struggling to move on after a break up, or you feel overcome with the desire for a significant other, remind yourself that we are all alone, and if you start to feel empty, it’s not because you’re alone, it’s because you’re lonely. And hey, guess what? There are so many lonely people. Ergo there are so many people who can’t wait to share their lives with others, to interact, to communicate, and possibly do all of this with you… All you really have to do is listen.