The Assumption of Being Lonely

(This is cross-posted at BlogHer.)

Here’s a secret: some single women are lonely. Please note, I said “some.” Here’s another secret: just because a person is married or in a relationship, that doesn’t mean they’ll never feel lonely. Think about this — have you ever been in a long-distance relationship? After an argument, have you ever stared at your partner’s back while lying in bed because he refuses to turn around? That’s a pretty lonely feeling.

Do you have any idea how many people have told me — after I’ve recounted some dating scenario, or mentioned the names of several men I’ve hung out with in a short period of time — that they’re jealous? People have said this to me on numerous occasions, and they’re usually married, or at least in a long-term relationship. Have any of them ever asked me if I’m lonely? Not once.

I know the loneliness-assumption exists for single women. Maybe if I wasn’t dating, or if I never talked about it to anyone, people would start asking me if I’m lonely. But I can’t really see it. Even though I know it happens, I honestly can’t see someone coming up to me and asking me if I’m lonely…just because I’m not seeing one person in particular. (I bet they know I’d meet their question with incredulity.)

This probably has a lot to do with my personality, too. I went through a long period of time — from my late teens through mid-20s — where I didn’t date hardly at all, so to this day it doesn’t bother me if I have a day without anything to do or anyone in particular to see. I don’t mind entertaining myself. I’ll read, or get on the computer, or go for a walk. I like having quiet time.

How do you feel about loneliness? What do you do about it?

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