Latest posts by Lana Otoya (see all)
- Lust Vs. Love – 5 Ways To Know If The Passion Will Last - March 6, 2020
- Needs vs Wants In Relationships – What Is Really Important for Long-Term Love? - February 27, 2020
- What “I Need Space” Really Means, And How To Deal With It - February 10, 2020
Why Do I Feel So Lonely? I asked myself this while sitting with my best friends at a crowded restaurant in Vegas.
The people I loved most in the world were sitting right beside me.
Yet there I was, really lonely and depressed.
I had just broken up with my boyfriend a few months ago.
We had gotten out of a 4 year relationship. Lived together. Had a cat.
And now, despite all my friends being around me in a hip and happening tourist attraction, all I wanted was to be back with the person who made me feel miserable.
Loneliness is a little weird, isn’t it?
Why Do I Feel So Lonely? The Answer Is Surprising
As you can tell from my story above, loneliness isn’t really about having people around you.
You can be in a relationship and feel lonely.
You can be in a crowded room and feel lonely.
So then, what is really causing that feeling of emptiness? That feeling you really want to fill with something?
The real answer…
It’s your mental health.
Why Bad Mental Health Is The Root Of Loneliness
As many of you know, I am a dating coach professionally so I hear a lot of reasons why people want to find love.
Although some people are confident and ready to settle down…
Others are looking to fill a void.
If you’re looking to other people to help you fill a void – whether it’s wanting more friends or a romantic relationship, you’re never going to find it in others.
You cause the void and you fill it.
If You’re Lonely, This Is The Wrong Path To Follow:
- Feel lonely because you have no close friends or significant other.
- Try to look for a friend or partner and inevitably get rejected. This is because finding someone to add to your life is difficult and takes time and effort.
- The rejection really hurts because you don’t have a good mental health foundation.
- This leads to feelings of insecurity, low self esteem and eventually depression.
- You become afraid to reach out to new people because you fear rejection.
See how starting to fill the void without fixing your mental health is a downward spiral?
When you take this path, you put yourself at risk of looking for others’ approval to find happiness.
Loneliness and depression are very closely tied together. When you try to make friends or find a partner and get rejected, you might think it’s because you’re not good enough or you don’t fit in.
If your “go-to” explanation for why someone rejected you is to beat yourself up then eventually you’ll just grow tired of trying to make connections with others.
You’ll easily want to give up and may never find close human connection.
You Make Yourself An Easy Target
The other thing that happens when your mental health is not strong is that you open yourself up to unhealthy connections.
Humans need others to feel fulfilled.
When your mental health is suffering, you can easily fall into an unhealthy relationship where you’re being taken advantage of.
Have you ever found yourself in a relationship with a man not because he was a good fit for your life but simply because he was a living breathing human?
I know so many people who have toxic relationships just because they want to have someone. Anyone will do.
When you have a solid and healthy mental well-being, you are less likely to fall into the hands of a man that will take advantage of your goodwill and kindness.
Not focusing on yourself first gets you stuck in those dead end relationships where the man is flaky, ghosts you, or cancels plans.
Then when he apologizes, you go running back to him because you want to fill an emptiness you are not filling on your own.
Or you lie to yourself saying that “all relationships have ups and downs” or “we’re just working things out”.
Stop putting up with emotionally abusive behavior. You deserve respect.
Instead, Here Is A Much Better Path To Follow:
- Feel lonely because you have no close friends or significant other.
- Try to fill this feeling of emptiness with healthy mental health habits. Seek help to overcome your insecurities, overthinking, anxiety and self doubt. Develop your personal passions and set positive life goals.
- Once step two is done, look for a friend or partner. When you inevitably get rejected, fall back on your healthy mindset. You are confident and truly happy from within. You don’t seek validation or approval of others to make you happy.
- Try again until you make some friends or find a partner.
It Takes Strength To Show Weakness
Well renowned researcher Brene Brown has talked about the importance of vulnerability in human connection.
She says that when you reveal a little bit of yourself to someone and it gets accepted by them, this forms a connection.
So if you tell someone that you like Anime and they say “wow that’s awesome! I love that too!” then you have formed a tiny bond.
But if you tell someone that you like Anime and they say “ew, really? That stuff is so lame” then you feel rejected.
Your Shield is A Healthy Mind
If you don’t have strong mental health, the rejection to you liking Anime will hurt like hell.
And every time this happens you’ll want to stop trying to connect with new people.
Your shield from this rejection is a healthy mind. Confidence.
When you love yourself and take care of your mental health, a comment like that won’t hurt you and you can move onto the next person.
There Are Thousands of “Ones” Out There
When you’re single, you can’t help but think about finding “the one”.
You’re looking for that one person that is going to be with you and support you for the rest of your life.
The truth is, the “one” for you can be fulfilled by thousands of men.
There are literally thousands of men that you will get along with enough to settle down with and build a life together.
So you’re not really looking for “the one”, you’re just looking for the “first one”.
The first one that comes along and checks off all your boxes.
This mindset shift is really important.
It means that there are many many options for you out there and the only way you won’t find him is if you stop looking.
You’re Thinking About The Future Too Much
Thinking about the future makes you lonely.
If you’re picturing “what it would be like” to find that guy or “how you’re life would be different” if you had a boyfriend, you’re sabotaging your mental health.
Good mental health comes from being happy in the current moment. It is not about some future state.
“Oh I’ll be happy when I finish school.”
“Oh I’ll be happy when I move into my new place.”
“I’ll be happy when I finally meet someone”.
Chasing happiness never works.
If you chase it, it runs away. If you call for it, it comes.
Feeling Lonely Means You’re Human
I know that feeling lonely and empty can really suck.
We can feel this way when someone we know has passed away.
When someone moves away.
Or even just when we look at Instagram or Facebook and see everyone else enjoying themselves.
Feeling lonely is a perfectly normal human emotion. There’s no need to feel guilty about it.
An excerpt from Psychology Today talks about how Loneliness carries a stigma.
There seems to be a strong stigma about loneliness. Many people will admit to being depressed before they’ll talk about being lonely. They fear being judged as unlikeable, a loser, or weird so they don’t discuss their sense of aloneness, alienation, or exclusion.
Feeling lonely doesn’t mean you’re a loser, it means you’re human.
Dating coach Evan Marc Katz also reminds us that many women are in the same boat as you.
Every woman feels like she’s in her own lonely dating purgatory, yet if millions of women are feeling the same thing, it should theoretically be a little easier.
Let yourself feel lonely. Embrace it rather than pushing it away. Then once you accept this feeling, it’s easier to accept yourself.
Self love is the first step to filling the void.
If you need help with negative thoughts you can check out this post here.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Settle
If you feel lonely and want to remember what it’s like to be in love again, remember that settling for something that isn’t healthy will backfire on you.
It will leave you heartbroken and depressed.
This is why you can’t settle just to find someone.
Even if you’re biological clock is ticking…that’s no reason to get yourself into something you’ll regret.
To help you determine if you’re head on the right path, try signing up for a FREE Dating Coaching session by clicking here.