Mother Teresa said “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread” and rarely have truer words been spoken.
Unless you have been crushingly lonely you don’t understand just what a strong and self destructive emotion it can be.
I am not talking about the level of loneliness you can feel when you fancy a night out but your friends are all busy.
I mean the level where you feel consumed by your loneliness, even when you are in a room full of people you are chatting to.
The trouble with this depth of loneliness is you can become convinced that only a romantic relationship can relieve your lonely feelings.
Dating can actually add to the feeling of loneliness, as your emotions become virtually tangible and your dates will pick up on this desperation, frightening them away.
The chance of meeting “the one” in the first person you date is less likely than winning the lottery, this means rejection is a certainty and rejection is not going to lift your spirits or build your confidence.
Another negative when dating in this emotional state is the possibility of entering a relationship with someone totally unsuitable in order to simply deal with your lonely emotions.
The only healthy solution to this depth of loneliness is to recognise that dating is not the immediate answer, that is not to say you should avoid dating but see it as a lower priority.
Your first priority should be to recognise that feeling lonely and being alone are two very different things. Being single is not why you feel this way, plenty of married people suffer from loneliness. This is so easy to say but not as easy to do, if necessary get professional help to separate these issues in your mind.
Once you have recognised the difference you can begin to work on changing your emotional state. If lack of company causes your loneliness you can learn to be happy in your own company, to enjoy time without being in a relationship.
When you are busy it is more difficult to feel lonely, your mind is on other things. If you are bored with nothing to physically do then finding a love interest can become of paramount importance, adding to your lonely feelings because love rarely appears in an instant.
The web now provides an outlet to lonely people, with forums on almost any topic and online dating sites where people can not only meet people to date but can also make new friends to stave off lonely feelings.
If you are lonely and considering joining an online dating site then first look to see if they have an active forum, if they don’t then do not join. The ‘meat market’ side of online dating will simply add to your feelings of emotional isolation.
Join a site with an active community and try to focus on making new online friends, if “the one” turns up it will be a plus but once you find new friends you will soon realise that finding a partner is not the only solution to your current emotional state.