Everyone finds them self alone at some point in their life. Whether it’s after a divorce or a relationship ends. Maybe you’re alone after the death of a spouse or a relationship that you’ve had since child hood ends. Sometimes it’s easier to shut down for a while, take a break and reflect a bit. In fact, it’s often needed. I get that and have been there myself.
At some point, the break must end, right?
When I think about the different times in my life when I felt alone its really interesting to me. It wasn’t exactly the same feeling every time. There were times that I wanted to be alone and shut out the world. Then there were times that I didn’t want to be alone, but continued to find myself there. Either way, it wasn’t fun and I didn’t enjoy it. There has only been one time in my life that I was alone but I was happy. More on that later…
I think there are three ways that humans feel alone.
The first way is…alone but too afraid to let someone in.
The second way is…alone and afraid so willing to let anyone in.
The third way is…alone but will let the right person in.
Which one are you? I’ve personally been in all three at some point in my life. I think we can all agree that the third way sounds much better. Nobody likes to feel alone and afraid, right?
The players, the loners, and those fresh from a break up tend to fit into the first category. I was alone and wouldn’t let anyone in right after my divorce. I was done. I mentally shut down for a while. Then after being alone for a while, I started to get really lonely. I longed for a companion. I was so lonely that I let anyone in who was willing.
That is when I was at my lowest. I was afraid to be alone so I would let anyone in. I would date anyone that was willing to date me, just so I wasn’t alone. I realized the only people who were willing to date me when I was in this state, were very co-dependent themselves. They relied on me too heavily for their happiness and it just wasn’t a good balance. It didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel like love. It felt like settling.
I realize now that it was a direct reflection of my low self-esteem at that time. I was divorced with a new born and a four-year old. I was carrying around extra baby weight. I was in my thirties and living with my parents. I was secretive about living with my parents at first, because I was ashamed. I was hiding parts of my life because I thought those parts of my life made me less desirable. If I finally told someone that I lived with my parents, and they accepted that, then I thought I’d better hold on to this person! Nobody else is going to want me.
I was not in a good place at all.
As a result, I dated people who brought a lot of drama into my life. They too had secrets and were ashamed of those secrets. They were unhappy and looking to me to validate them somehow. They were so dependent upon me to fulfill their every need, that it was exhausting. I found myself mentally and physically drained by these people. I couldn’t even make myself happy, how the hell was I supposed to make another person happy?
Then I thought, am I sucking the life out of people? Is that why I can’t seem to get another date with someone who I think is a good catch? Crap. I was relying on them for my happiness and it’s no wonder I wasn’t able to find someone who was mentally stable.
After many failed dates and too many short unfulfilling relationships, I learned that I had better figure out how to make myself happy. I needed to work on my self-esteem and learn how to be alone. If I couldn’t figure that out on my own, then I was going to continue to end up in dead-end relationships.
When I finally did this, and got my head into a better place mentally, I became picky about who I let into my life. I was finally at peace with myself, and I wasn’t going to let anyone drag me down. I did a ton of work on myself and I was finally done with the co-dependent types. I finally found happiness from within. I didn’t rely on outside sources to fuel my happiness anymore.
(You can read more about how I did this here).
It happened about 2 years after my divorce. I learned how to be alone and be happy. Truly happy. In fact, it got to the point that I actually preferred to be alone, rather than spend my time and energy on the wrong person. The drama and energy I expended to be with someone just for the sake of not being alone, just wasn’t worth it anymore. It wasn’t fulfilling to me. It wasn’t enough. In fact, I started to feel even more alone!
It’s when I learned how to truly be alone and content in my own space, that I finally was able to find some peace in my life. Once I found peace and happiness, I no longer tried to make someone fit into my life. I was pickier about who I spent my time with. I wasn’t a jerk about it. I was just done letting people into my life who weren’t good for me. I could do this, because I spent enough time alone that I finally learned what I needed to be happy. Then I provided those things to myself. I didn’t rely on another person to do it for me.
When I finally did this, people that I enjoyed spending time with, started to show up. I didn’t meet my soul mate right away, but I was getting closer. I was meeting people who were no longer bringing drama and disappointment into my life. I had more energy because I wasn’t exhausting myself trying to make a relationship fit. I was no longer co-dependent on people. Of course then, I was no longer willing to let other co-dependent types suck the life out of me anymore! It was all starting to come together.
Then shortly after, I met a man who is amazing. He is not made-up to fit some image in my head. He is real. He doesn’t make me a happy person. I was already happy when I met him, but he definitely adds to my overall happiness. He provides peace in my life. That’s for sure! I truly believe that when you meet the right person, you find peace. You have to already be at peace within yourself, but the right person only validates it more. They will help to ground you instead of being a constant disruption in your life.
Are you afraid to be alone?
You might be afraid to be alone if…
- You frequently jump into an immediate relationship after just one or two dates.
- You immediately jump into a new relationship right after another one ends.
- You have said he or she is “the one” more than a few times in your life.
- You rationalize and excuse poor behavior when you’re first getting to know someone.
- You push a brand-new relationship to work even when there are clear red-flags
If you do these things, you may be afraid to be alone.
How do I know this? I did all of these things at some point in my life, when I was afraid to be alone. The good news is that you can move forward.
Your past does not define you. Your past is how you learn to be better. If you choose to learn from it, of course. 🙂
Fear based decisions are never good decisions. They are never good decisions because they are based on avoiding a negative outcome as opposed to creating something positive. You must create change, with action. You can’t expect change to happen through avoidance… which is ultimately lack of action.
If you want to find your soul mate you have to find yourself first. You cannot find one without the other. You cannot connect with a person on a deeper level until you connect with yourself first. That is just the way it works! There are no short cuts. You know this!
It took me a while but I finally learned that I was afraid to be alone because I was unable to provide happiness for myself. I couldn’t fill the void in my life myself so I would seek it elsewhere. I didn’t know how to make myself happy anymore after my divorce, so I relied on other people to do it for me.
It didn’t work!
I hope you know that you are worth it. You deserve to have someone good in your life. Someone that brings you peace. Don’t punish yourself for past mistakes by being with someone who doesn’t bring you happiness. Face the music and address your secrets. Don’t keep them a secret anymore. Own up to them and make changes to make it right. Don’t beat yourself up in the process. Don’t be such a jerk to yourself! You owe it to yourself.
You can do it.
Just be real. Be honest, be humble. Get some therapy if you need to. I’ve said this many times, but I’ve gotten therapy in my life a few times. There is no shame in admitting that you need some help. Everyone needs help at some point in life.
So, stop waiting for someone else to bring happiness into your life.
Make it happen yourself! You are the only one who can make you happy.
Now, go get happy!
You’ve got this. 🙂
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