Loneliness was never something I had to deal with that often until the break up. Although to be completely honest, I guess I felt pretty lonely at the end of the relationship as well because my partner as I had known him was no longer there. He was there physically but the sweet, loving, fun guy I had fallen in love with had been replaced with a cranky, grumpy stranger who had no time for me in amongst the stress of house renovations. My ex used to go out of town for work for about four days at a time every couple of weeks, so during those times I would be without him. I struggled a lot with those few days and normally would head over to visit my mum or just be out of the house as much as possible during those times. So then I was single and the gaping hole of loneliness struck.
I was very determined to conquer this though, I wanted to learn to be ok with being by myself, I wanted to enjoy alone time. I had always envied those people who said they enjoy just spending some time to themselves and just doing what they wanted to do. Also, the last thing I wanted was to dive straight in to another relationship, just to fill the void. In the past I had tried, I would go in with a positive mind set- I was going to really enjoy my alone time and I would, for about an hour. After that I would get bored, and not know how to fill my time, I would start to think of stupid things, and then the anxiety would set in and I would end up feeling sad and lonely. Missing my partner partner would start then, even if he had just left an hour or so ago and was coming back in an hour or so. Alone time just wasn’t fun because it really wasn’t something I had to do, being alone was only very temporary so I didn’t make an effort to make the most of it.
When you are single however, being alone is inevitable, your time filler, that person who was always around suddenly isn’t there anymore. The loneliness takes on another level as well. You’ve lost the person who meant the most to you and in my case, your best friend and soul mate. We did absolutely everything together and I liked being around him so much that I would never read or play on my computer when he was around because I just wanted to be with him.
How did I combat this? Its been really tough and I still struggle with it, like tonight, my sister went to her boyfriends and all my other housemates went to bed and I realised I was very alone. It is times like that, when I head to bed by myself, that I really wish I had someone but I am much better with it. One thing I have really enjoyed since being single is reading. I have always been an avid reader but it felt like I was neglecting my partner because I get much too engrossed in books. When Twilight came out, I had to force myself to take breaks from reading because I felt like I hadn’t seen my partner in days. So since being single, I can read and read and not feel guilty at all! I have been able to read some amazing books and the speed I can get through them is fantastic. I was never really a series watching person but I have now signed up for Netflix and get into a good series. I also really enjoy a weekend night every now and then at home on my couch, watching a movie.
Friends and Family are awesome for this type of thing as well. My sister has been my rock and I am so incredibly thankful of how close we have become. We were always great friends but there was a bit of tension with her and my ex towards the end and it was hard to be in the middle. Now we are closer than ever and I spend more time with her than anyone else. I’ve also made some amazing friends and formed even closer bonds with other friends, each of them I can always count on to distract me from the sadness of being lonely.
Loneliness isn’t fun and sometimes it seems to consume you, making you feel completely empty but its how you look at loneliness that is key. Instead of letting it get you down, use it as an opportunity to do something you don’t get to do often. Read the new best seller, call an old friend, watch a show that people would normally tease you for watching. Loneliness isn’t forever, I know one day I will be married and have a family and then I will look back on this time when I did so many things for myself and miss it.