Lonely is the life without love
29 November 2017
Actually, not only is a life without love lonely, but also a life without other people can be very disheartening, dispiriting and downright… well, lonely…
I’ve written before how, for most people, that period of euphoric, overwhelming, ecstatic love sometimes lasts only for a limited period—and then the trials and tribulations of everyday life come to the fore and the realisation sets in that love has to take second place to the realities of life.
Having said this, yes, love evolves and I do truly believe that people can still be completely in love after being together for 10, 20 or even 40 years. True love does exist. Though for some people, of course, ‘settling down’ in a long term relationship isn’t something they want to do. Or they may have done this, and now enjoy the freedom of being single. Everyone is different, of course, and want different things! Everyone likes to live differently, and that’s great!
But that’s not really what I want to talk about this time… I want to talk some more about loneliness…
First of all, let’s note that there is a big difference between being alone, and being lonely. Some people (and surely, every person at least some of the time!) enjoy being alone, and spending time by themselves. This is a normal and natural thing, and it’s good to be able to feel comfortable with yourself, and by yourself!
Though loneliness is very different to being alone. It’s that aching, that longing, that need to be with someone. Whether it’s someone to talk to; someone to touch, either intimately or non-intimately; or someone you can spend time with, chill, and just be yourself!
I recently read an article about loneliness and how this is more of a problem than many people seem to realise. Being lonely can lead to isolation, depression and, in extreme cases, suicide. Naturally, as you’d expect, some people can survive without friendship, companionship or social interaction with others—but most of us simply cannot. Just to regularly speak to others or occasionally get together for some social event or the other can be amazingly therapeutic for people who have no-one special in their lives and/or spend most of their time on their own.
It gets even better if someone who is lonely can enjoy hugs, embraces or at least some form of physical interaction with others—and such physical contact does not have to be sexual. Being touched and touching others offers a high level of comfort, of reassurance, and a sense of being worthy, of being wanted.
From my own experiences with clients, especially those not long out of a long term relationship (perhaps they’ve left such relationships through mutual consent or bereavement of their partner; or managed to escape from a toxic relationship), their need to be held, cuddled, caressed and held tightly is paramount and I can usually feel their cares and worries and, more specifically their built-up tension, ebb away as I take them in my arms and soothe their loneliness, anxiety and despair.
Of course, as you’d expect, sometimes such embracing and caressing can lead to other things—and that’s fine—but more often than not it’s a trigger mechanism for humans to start to remember what’s it like to be with someone who genuinely cares for them as a person.
As Barbra Streisand sings in her song, People: “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world…”
I’d just add: and if they can’t find someone to give them a hug or two, give me a call…