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Singleness Redefined: Being Alone But Not Lonely

Melissa Abello, M.Ed., LPC

loneliness
Being Single & Alone, Loneliness, Depression, The world we live in today can make single people feel as thoug
h they need to be married directly after college. Therefore, many who are still single after the age of twenty-five feel their biological clock is ticking, and that they better find someone to marry quickly.

The cultural and societal pressures single people face from the world can leave them feeling a very deep internal turmoil and depression. Singleness is often associated with feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, Depression, and insecurity.

Here are common thoughts triggering these feelings for many of the 100 million singles in America:

  • “There is something wrong with me”: This is common since many friends may already be married or having children. Also, it may be something one thinks because they haven’t been pursued or haven’t been able to keep a stable relationship. Many singles feel the pressure from their families to get married. At every family party or dinner with the parents they hear, “So, have you found anyone yet?” Leaving them to feel as though they should have by now and that there is something wrong with them since they have not yet.
  • “I am never going to find love”: Many single men or women stop believing that they could ever find someone else who would actually want to spend the rest of their lives with them or vice versa. This leaves them feeling hopeless and discouraged that love is just not possible or in the cards for them.
  • “I have no value since I am not married”: Since society places so much value on marriage and on being in a relationship, people who are not in a relationship will often feel like they have no value. This is because no one has chosen them. This makes them feel as though it is a negative reflection on them.
  • “When I get married then my life will begin”: Many people believe that their life doesn’t begin until they can buy a house, have a white picket fence, and some children with their husband. This leaves people feeling hopeless and purposeless during their single years.
  • “The older I get the less likely I am to find someone”: A deep panic sets in after a certain age for some people. There is a feeling of hopelessness and fear that one will never find anyone because they are getting to older and often feel less desirable.

These thoughts and fears are just a few of the many those who are single in America may feel. It is important to learn how to combat these intrusive and negative thoughts, so that one can be alone, but not feel lonely.

Feelings of loneliness can be linked to and lead to depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, lack of sleep, self destructive behavior, delinquent behavior, and suicide. If you are struggling with some of the above it is important for you to seek out a mental health professional, so that you can learn to cope with your loneliness in a healthy way.

Here are some helpful ways to redefine the way you think about singleness, so that you can be alone, but not feel alone.

1.) God has a plan

In God’s eyes you are single currently because that’s exactly where He wants you to be. “God has plans to prosper us and not to harm us to give us a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. God’s word reminds us that He has a plan for us. There are so many men and women today who are beautiful, successful, godly, and intelligent and are still single.

You are not single because you are not good looking enough or because you don’t have a good personality. You are single right now because it is God’s will. He is bigger than our looks, our personalities, our social circles, and life situations. If He wanted you to be married you would be! You are not defective.

2.) You are of great value

The grand myth today is that I have no value if I am not with someone or if someone is not interested in me. This is a lie from the devil himself. The thing is, you cannot do anything or be anyone to make yourself an object of value. You, yourself, are valuable because you were created by the King of Kings. Ephesians 2:10 says, “You are God’s masterpiece…” How could you be of no value if the creator of the universe feels as though you are his masterpiece?

Single or married you are more than valuable to the one whose opinion matters most, so valuable He would send His son to ransom you.

3.) Putting hope in God

It does not matter how old you may or may not be. God is not bound by time or by age. Therefore, as long as you are still living and breathing God can do anything. The trick is not being consumed with finding love and not giving up on it all together either. Our hope can be in God’s heart for us and not in getting married. We can desire to get married and trust that if we don’t we will be okay since we have our Father.

4.) You are not alone

God forsook Jesus on the cross, so that he would not ever have to forsake us. Jesus died literally so we would not ever have to be alone. Even when we may feel lonely, we are never truly alone. We have a loving creator and Father who desires to have a relationship with us. We are and always have been pursued by Him. It is common to feel alone and lonely.

Learning how to deeply connect with God can help these feelings of loneliness to subside. Also, you are not alone in the world. Talk to people you trust about how you are feeling. Try and make connections with other singles in the same stage of life as you at church. If you are experiencing the following symptoms of depression, I would recommend you see a professional for help:

  • Depressed mood (such as feelings of sadness or emptiness)
  • Reduced interest in activities that used to be enjoyed
  • Sleep disturbances (either not being able to sleep well or sleeping too much)
  • Loss of energy or a significant reduction in energy level
  • Difficulty concentrating, holding a conversation, paying attention, or making decisions that used to be made fairly easily
  • Suicidal thoughts or intentions

 

Reference

Major Depressive Disorder in Mood Disorders at ALLPSYCH Online. (n.d.).Major Depressive Disorder in Mood Disorders at ALLPSYCH Online. Retrieved August 31, 2014.

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