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How to Not Be Lonely When You're Single: 5 Tips for Flying Solo in Style

Jorge's relationship advice is based on experience and observation. Let his trial and error be your success (hopefully).

You can learn how to not be lonely when you're single. It may take some inner work, though.

You can learn how to not be lonely when you're single. It may take some inner work, though.

How to Not Be Lonely and Enjoy Your Single Life

Whether you've been single all your life or you've just recently been through a breakup, being without a partner can be a lonely experience. It's perfectly natural to want to share your life experience with someone, and it can feel like something is missing when you don't have that.

It doesn't have to feel that way, though. It is possible to experience a fulfilling life without necessarily having a partner all the time. In fact, one of the best ways to attract the best partner for you is to already have fun on your own!

Here are a few tips on how to not be lonely when you're single.

1. Don't Fight Your Loneliness

As humans, our first reaction when we notice a problem—any problem—is often to start resisting it and fighting it.

Maybe when you realized how frustrated you were with being alone, you doubled your efforts to find someone and signed up for a bunch of dating apps. On the other hand, maybe you judged yourself for being lonely and told yourself that you "shouldn't" feel that way about being single.

Well, the point of this article is not to judge you, even if you judge yourself. There is nothing wrong with being bothered that you're single. Even if the truth of the situation is that you are a perfectly fine human being without a partner, that isn't going to magically change your feelings.

So let yourself feel them. If you have to grieve a breakup, grieve it. Emotions are temporary and run their course. Don't try to force yourself to "get over it" before you are ready; this can actually just delay things further by burying your feelings. (And those feelings may come up later and negatively affect future relationships.)

Spend some time on your own contemplating how you feel and why you feel this way. Why is it that you want a partner? Be honest with yourself: Do you feel less "whole" without one? Leaving your self-judgment aside, why is it that you feel incomplete? What does having a partner provide for you? Which parts of those desires do you think are healthy and which parts would you like to change?

Only once you stop fighting who you are right now can you move on to become a person who is OK being single.

2. Maintain Emotional Intimacy in Your Relationships

The next step is to not neglect emotional intimacy in your platonic relationships.

Often in our culture, we're brainwashed into thinking that our romantic partner should be the center of our lives. We're even told that we can't have emotional intimacy with others, which is ridiculous. This is exactly why people get so lonely when they're single!

Lean on your platonic emotional support system—or build one if you don't have it. It's common that people let their friendships drift when they're focused on a romantic relationship for many years, but this doesn't mean that you can't give those good friends a call and tell them you want to spend time together. A true friend won't hold it against you.

It's important not to fight your own feelings of loneliness. Let yourself feel them. All emotions pass through us eventually.

It's important not to fight your own feelings of loneliness. Let yourself feel them. All emotions pass through us eventually.

Your Feelings of Loneliness

3. Enjoy Connections For What They Are

One of the common frustrations with being single is having to wade through all the casual relationships. It can be exhausting to spend energy meeting and connecting with a new date only to never see them again.

That's the dating game, though. If you don't really enjoy it for what it is and you see it only as a means to an end (such as finding a long-term relationship), then you're bound to get frustrated. You'll start to make up ideas in your head about how there are "no good men/women/non-binary people anymore" because your desire to have a stable relationship seems so out of reach.

Take a break from dating if this has been your situation. Getting too attached to the result of starting a relationship could cause you to settle for a bad match—or even attract desperate people into your life.

If it's no longer fun, then just drop it for awhile. You may not be ready to find someone. And until you can enjoy connections for what they are, without an agenda, you'll probably be turning a lot of people off anyway.

4. Lower the Walls

If you've been hurt in a previous relationship, it's common to put up emotional walls and close yourself off from new connections. The fear is understandable, but this can make you extremely lonely.

There will come a time when you need to give people a chance. If you don't, then you'll just continue to be lonely. You may even be closing yourself off in ways that you don't realize.

For instance, you may have constructed a whole list of impossible requirements in your mind that your future partner must fulfill because you think this will make it less likely that you'll be disappointed in the future. In truth, it may simply be a way to keep people at arm's length.

Being single doesn't mean having to give up emotional intimacy--it just won't come in the form of a romantic relationship.

Being single doesn't mean having to give up emotional intimacy--it just won't come in the form of a romantic relationship.

5. Spend Quality Time With Yourself

This suggestion may sound silly, but it's important. There's a difference between just spending time with yourself in solitude and spending quality time with yourself alone.

When we don't like that we're alone, it's easy to try to fill up the time with distractions. We're not really present with ourselves. We're instead trying to forget our loneliness by watching TV for hours, or getting absorbed in games, or overeating to soothe our boredom.

There is nothing wrong with these activities in and of themselves, of course, but ask yourself if you're using something external like this to cover up your feelings of being lonely.

It can be painful, but you will eventually have to face the loneliness. Fighting it, or distracting yourself from it, or even scrambling to find a solution to it is a losing game.

I've played this losing game myself before. When I was younger, I even blamed the world for my loneliness and complained about "the way people are." I told myself that other people were too crazy or stupid and that this was why I felt so alone. It was easy to tell myself that this meant my standards were high, but judging others was simply a way for me to make myself feel better about my social failures.

At the time, I didn't have the wisdom to see that I had to become the type of person that I wanted to attract. Truly having high standards means holding yourself to high standards as well. However, at the time I was ignorant about what was actually going on deep in my mind, and so I faced several cycles of badly-matched partners.

This is why it is so important to look within, to understand yourself and your own motivations. Without getting to know yourself like this, you will repeat the same situations and find yourself lonely again and again.

Spend time with yourself regularly in quiet contemplation. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, even if they are unpleasant at the moment. What patterns do you notice coming up over and over? Processing this will help you feel better in the long run--and you'll be in a much better position to attract a new partner.

When you don't process this stuff, you'll often find that you experience the same relationship problems and attract the same kinds of incompatible relationships in an endless cycle.

You Complete Yourself

It can be hard to figure out how to not be lonely when you're single, especially in a society that feeds us so many contradictions. We're told not to "burden" others with our emotions, and yet we're also made to believe that having an emotionally intimate, romantic relationship is the key to happiness.

If you are unhappy, finding a partner will not solve your unhappiness forever, not at a root level. You probably already know this. You've probably been in a relationship before where you felt perfectly miserable, even with a partner. You might have blamed your misery on the fact that the relationship went downhill or that your partner turned out to not be the "right" one.

Maybe then you moved onto another relationship and the same thing happened again.

Those early feelings of excitement in a relationship sure can be fleeting. For a lot of people, all those hormones temporarily cover up a sense of emptiness inside--kind of like a distraction--and so they feel elated for a little while. But ultimately, the relationship does not fulfill them.

The key to not being lonely when you're single is to recognize that no one else can complete your life. They can certainly add a lot of happy memories, but they won't fill any void you feel inside.

Instead, spend time getting to know yourself. Learn what it is that gives you internal fulfillment, regardless of your external relationships. Learn what the real you looks like under all of your social programming. Find your true roots as a human being.

Most importantly, learn to make yourself feel good. And when you find a partner that makes you feel as good as you make yourself feel, then you know you've found a winner.

Addressing Your Feelings

© 2021 Jorge Vamos