“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert – Eat, Pray, Love
Dating in 2019 is an adventurous hot mess, and at times it can be exhausting and not always worth it. Ghosting, a shortage of integrity and lowered expectations are reoccurring themes when discussing dating. A plethora of people are having eerily similar experiences YET nobody is really saying the obvious: we would rather run away/avoid being honest with ourselves than work through the pain of processing the reasons why being alone is necessary for some period of time. We all want to love, be loved and spend time with someone who sees US as a whole, flaws and all, and still desire us in every wonderful way. We want to be wanted by the one who wants us, however, the access to that is being honest about what we want out of life for ourselves.
How many of us have stayed in relationships because the sex was outstanding? How many of us stay with people we have stopped enjoying being around? The thought of being alone is sadder than staying with someone who doesn’t satisfy our souls? Really? Or we would rather use other human beings as our personal scratching post until we find one we like the most? The vapid way we have come to treat each other is a flagrant and alarmingly clear sign of a need for connection but we keep missing the mark because of the avoidance of connecting with ourselves. We find ourselves swiping left, and right based on how a person looks, we text for a little, if we are lucky we go on a date or two, but something happens and we lose interest or maybe we are interested but either way we decide it’s probably best to just say nothing at all. We ghost. We disappear. We sink back into our abyss of loneliness and we start the swiping cycle all over again. This is the definition of outright insanity.
Today is as good as any to outline what you desire for yourself. However, learning to be comfortable while alone is a sure way to work through loneliness. I know you may think being with someone is the cure for loneliness but how can it be, if you still feel alone in your heart? Chances are the issues you’re facing stem from your relationship or lack thereof with your parents, guardians or whoever were the key players in raising you and instilling value into you. Although our parents aren’t responsible for our feelings currently, there may still be obstacles from your childhood preventing you from moving forward. A huge part of loneliness is an inability to forgive, let go and move forward. It’s a replaying of all the things that have gone wrong, and the role we play in the loss. Everyone has encountered loss, breakdowns, and sorrow however our reaction to those things is what will entrap us or rise to heights to free our minds.
You cannot give nor receive love if you are unable to sit with the lowest, nastiest, and most undesirable parts of yourself. Facing our insecurities head-on will make it impossible to hide. The only access to healing, and curing the hatefulness of being lonely, is to work through it by yourself. Cry, breakdown, fall down and see the discomfort all the way through. Become intimate with those demons that have come out in inconvenient times, and harmed people who were casualties in your war with yourself. You must be vigilant about staying on course even when you find someone you believe is enticing. You will damage every good thing in your life, no matter how promising if you do not manage your internal war zone. Find healthy coping mechanisms, be sober, present and aware of your triggers and deal breakers. Respect yourself enough to bow out of situations with grace, and date in a way that allows for growth, and an elevation of your spirit and of your partners.
Dating doesn’t have to be a horrible experience nor a testament to how much we have declined as human beings. When we are intimately aware of our needs, desires and personal missions, being alone is a welcomed respite. The intimacy we find within ourselves is an excellent practice for when we are ready to date in a focused way. Being alone helps us sort through our obstacles without outside influence. This paves the way for healthy dating practices and brings us closer to find the people who teach us the lessons we were meant to learn. Two people who spend time learning themselves, instead of harming themselves and others by dating aimlessly is an exhilarating experience. You’ll find that incredible, breathtaking, all-encompassing love when you learn to be in love with every single part of your humanity. You are at the source of your most incredible love story.