Whether you are alone because you are not in a relationship, or you are in a relationship but you feel alone, or because you are divorced or widowed, being alone can be treacherous. Our world is about connection with other people. As Brene Brown says "we are hardwired for connection" and without it, it can be a little crazy making.
I've lived alone now for 4 years. I went from living in my childhood home to living away at college, to living with a roommate, to living with my boyfriend who became my husband, to living as a family, to living as a single mom with three kids, to now living alone. I am a people person and an extrovert, so this being alone, I'm not so sure about it. There are times when it is great because I can lay in bed and binge watch a Real Housewives of Anywhere marathon without judgment or justification. But there are also times when it really sucks. When I have a big decision to make and I don't have anyone to talk it through with or when I've had a shitty day at work and I need to vent. Or when I am really sad about something and I just want to cry and be held and not be alone. There are times when being alone feels a bit schizophrenic. I have entire conversations in my head trying to work out a solution to a problem. These are not great conversations, because, of course I agree with myself so I just end up screwing myself into the ground on the subject.
This isn't a pity party. I am writing about this because it's something that people don't talk about, but is a thing that I believe a lot of people struggle with. Having a connection with someone that you can trust enough to talk to about really big, difficult things and also small, inconsequential things is very intimate and sometimes talking to my coupled up friends about these kinds of things, feels like I am burdening them. I know they will tell me I am not, but it still feels that way. In reality, perhaps it is the disequilibrium of sharing with someone when they don't need to share in the same way with me. The answer, at least for me, is that I must be uncomfortably vulnerable with someone who is equally alone. Perhaps, this is a blessing. In acknowledging each other's aloneness and being alone together, we are no longer truly alone.