It’s not uncommon to feel lonely on occasion when single. But that feeling shouldn’t prevent you from connecting to others. If you’re struggling with severe loneliness, or feel as though you are simply unable to be connected and loved by others, it’s important to address that loneliness before it progresses to other emotions, like anxiety and depression.
How to Address Loneliness
In my individual relationship counseling practice in Long Island, one of the issues we will work through is feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is unique, in that it is often self-sustaining and makes it harder to feel like others are there for you even when they try to be.
Perhaps even more importantly, it can make it harder to find a mate that is right for you, as loneliness has a tendency to alter behaviors, reduce confidence, and in some cases cause desperation that affects your ability to maintain relationships.
If you find that you are struggling with loneliness while you’re single, consider the following:
- Build Alternative Relationships – A romantic relationship is not the only type of relationship that can help you to feel connected. The connection you have with friends and family can vastly improve upon your feelings of loneliness This is also a great time to join new social groups to build on your own interests. Studies have shown that those that feel the social support of those around them have more confidence and are better able to maintain relationships.
- Grow Your History – You’ll also want to get used to loving yourself, rather than focusing too much on receiving love from others. One way to do this is to give your life more depth – use your time as a single person to travel, do activities you have always wanted to do (especially if they are more difficult while in a relationship), and grow yourself emotionally. Taking advantage of singlehood can help reduce any feelings of loneliness that you may have, and can also make you a more attractive mate when you are ready to be in a relationship.
- Learn Mindfulness – Sometimes we show behaviors that hurt our ability to overcome loneliness. When we’re lonely, we may listen to sad music about relationships or watch happy couples longingly or whine about being lonely. But these behaviors can actually hurt your mental health. Pay attention to how you’re feeling, learn to understand yourself more, because the more you’re in tune with your own emotions the more you can control them.
It is important to remember that you can take steps to work through persistent feelings of loneliness, and if you have tried most of these steps and nothing has changed, it may be time to visit a Long Island relationship counselor. Not only is consistent loneliness a sign that you could be struggling with depression, a trained therapist can help you to pinpoint triggers and provide coping strategies when you are struggling.