Loneliness strikes all of us at different times in our lives. It’s almost become a cliché at this point to talk about feeling alone even when with people, but that’s just because it’s totally true. You’re the only person that you can’t escape from in this life, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re single or coupled up, you can still feel incredibly lonely at times . However, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Here are 9 reasons why being lonely can actually be a gift, if only you learn to accept it:
- You have time to think clearly. Let’s face it — life is pretty tough, and while being super social can be fun, it doesn’t allow for a lot of introspection. When you feel lonely, that automatically means you’re spending some time on your own, and that’s a good thing. Think about what you want. Is your ultimate goal commitment, even if it doesn’t mean marriage? Do you want to travel or move to a new city? Once you make your major life decisions and can start implementing them, you’ll be so glad you were alone.
- You make an effort to get out there in the world. Or even just your little corner of it. Without loneliness, you would be content to stay within the confines of your daily routine. But if you start a new job and are suddenly are without the comforting coworkers you used to be surrounded by, or your friends are all busy this month, it forces you to meet new people. You can join a documentary club or learn to run or enroll in an art history course. Suddenly your life is full and rich and everything is new and interesting again. Aren’t you glad you felt like crying?
- You realize this guy isn’t right for you. It’s a sad fact of life that you can be in a super committed relationship and yet feel lonelier than if you were completely single. When you’re lonely and part of a couple, it’s definitely a gift because it makes you see that this isn’t the right road for you to travel. You know you have to say goodbye and build a new life on your own.
- You go on more dates. OK, so this can get pretty depressing pretty quickly. We all know how bad first dates can be. If you feel lonely because you’re single and want to be in a relationship, the only way to get rid of that loneliness is to date and hopefully meet someone. There’s just no other solution. Sure, you can go out with your friends and have fun but that won’t bring you love.
- You can totally change your life. There’s usually a solution to any problem and a reason why you’re lonely. Are your friends abandoning you for their new boyfriends? It’s crappy, but it happens. Do you hate your job? Same thing. Are you ignoring your deepest wishes and hopes and dreams? If you have the guts to make a change, you’ll appreciate your loneliness because it will have lit a fire under your butt and forced you to take action.
- It’s a humbling experience. You’re lonely? So is everyone else, at one point or another. Being lonely is a super human thing and reminds you that we all crave connection and social ties. You can’t live without it, despite how independent you think you are. Learn to let people in, tell them how you feel, and don’t keep to yourself so much.
- You won’t expect Prince Charming to solve all your problems. It’s easy to think as soon as you fall for your dream guy, you’ll never be lonely ever again. How awesome would that be? Of course, it doesn’t happen that way. Being lonely teaches you that it’s silly to rely on someone else for your own happiness. You’ll figure out your own solutions and your next relationship will be all the better for it.
- You’ll get out of your own way. You can give yourself a million reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t do something. Maybe you’ll be right. But most of the time, you’re dead wrong and simply making lazy excuses. Your loneliness will get you off the couch and ready to go after what you want. You’ll shrug off any thoughts that are trying to stop you because even if you fail at first, anything would be better than feeling this crappy.
- Your life will be filled with silver linings. You’ll actually be happy that you felt so terribly once you come out on the other side and feel true happiness again. Okay, so the clouds might not part and there might not be a rainbow, but it’ll be your equivalent of it. It would be awesome if life was only good all the time but of course we all know that’s not possible. So try to find the little things that make you happy – the silver linings of your daily life. A steaming cup of coffee on a Sunday morning, a comforting Christmas movie, that spring in your step when you’ve got a promising first date. Your loneliness will soon just be a bad memory, I promise.