At a glance, you may wonder what the relevance of this topic is in a relationship simply because it is the expectation of any individual that once you are in a relationship you shouldn’t or cannot be lonely. Unfortunately, this is not the true picture.
It is astonishing to know that loneliness in relationship is no respecter of gender, marital status, location or race. That is why you can be single and lonely or married but lonely! Singles sometimes make the mistake of getting married to solve the problem of loneliness, but alas, marriage doesn’t solve the problem of loneliness. It is in marriage that the realization dawn on some people that it is better to be alone unhappy than being with someone and be lonely.
What is loneliness in relationship?
Loneliness is different from being alone. Loneliness is a feeling! A kind of feeling that makes someone lonely even when he is in the midst of a crowd or supposedly in a close relationship. This is often expressed by a feeling of disconnection. It could take the form of feeling empty, inadequate, uncared for or unloved. It is really a feeling of being emotionally alienated from the person or people who you expect can or should be meeting your need (and possibly in a specific way) at a particular point in time. The fact that you can’t feel their physical or emotional presence (sometimes even moral support) builds a sense of disappointment and possibly dejection. There are times that we expect people to understand or feel what we are feeling and when they don’t, we feel isolated, lonely and some people may recoil and feel depressed. So that we know what we are dealing with, loneliness is actually a ugly state, it is referred to as the mother of depression and other self-inflicted diseases of the mind.
I will also like us to mention the common feelings of loneliness which is DISCONNECTION. If we probe further we are bound to find out that at some point or the other, before the feelings of loneliness sets in, there is a sense of disconnection either with YOURSELF or other people. It is the expectation of any individual that once you are in a relationship you shouldn’t or cannot be lonely. For instance, how could you be living with extended family and be lonely? How possible could it be to marry your heartthrob and ever be lonely? Unfortunately, this is not the reality. In other words, as long as we feel connected with someone, there is nothing like loneliness. For instance, when a married couple feels that their needs for companionship, intimacy and other needs are met, the persons involved have this feeling of satisfaction.
Many of us hoped and wished for a world free of issues. As long as this desire or dream becomes a reality we feel we are content and fulfiled but life comes with its interruptions and we have to see life as it truly is.
Taking cognizance of the season we are in (recession) as it has been rightly diagnosed, the number of people that are unhappy are on the increase simply because many of these people feel lonely. The implication of this is that when the cycle of loneliness is not interjected or broken it eventually degenerate to depression and often times death.
Loneliness is like a war, you may know the beginning but have no idea where it could end. When you allow the circuit of loneliness to complete its full phase, it bring nothing but death. When it is not physical death, it could be the death of a relationship as treasurable as marriage.
There are some patients suffering from terminal diseases today which the root of the cause is traceable to loneliness. Every human being is created for relationship! When such creation as humans begins to feel lonely in the ‘negative’ sense, then it calls for immediate action.
Loneliness is not necessarily a negative feeling. Infact, there is a God factor in life and the situations we find ourselves. In other words, there is a God factor in the feeling of loneliness. God has created every being with a special tank that expresses itself in form of feelings. Sometimes when we feel the tank is full, then we experience wholeness, contentment, satisfaction and love; at other times when we feel the tank is empty, then it express itself in the feeling of emptiness, loneliness etc. But this kind of feeling of loneliness is actually structured in your soul by God to make you want Him, long for Him, desire a relationship with Him, ask for His help. It is that feeling that when you have connection with everyone around you, there is still an emptiness that you can’t explain until you recognize that it is a void that cannot be filled by your sense of connection with mortal man or things. This feeling of loneliness can never be cured by ANY BEING. Only God is the cure for this kind of loneliness. So, you may feel this kind of loneliness in which I think is a POSITIVE one✅💯.
This kind of feelings make us human and make us search for and depend on God.
Aside from this kind of loneliness, I also realize that there is another kind of loneliness that is as a result of disconnection with SELF!👤
Often times, when we feel lonely, we point an accusing finger to every other persons👈 but ourselves👍. When in reality, the other four fingers are pointing right at us, indicating that we check ourselves. But most often than not, we don’t.
When there is a disconnection with YOU (YOURSELF), you are bound to feel lonely. Haven’t you heard that “ if you are lonely when you are alone, you are in a bad company?” I learnt through experience that nobody can make you happy, but you can choose to make yourself happy. This doesn’t exclude the part that other relationships have in your life, however the starting point is you.
There are some loneliness that are caused not by the longing for God or people, but our disconnection with ourselves! The same way you have connection with your spouse, friend, siblings, parents, colleagues etc., your SELF which is YOU also crave for CONNECTION.
Back to the most common type of loneliness which majority of us believe is as a result of others. The feeling of loneliness has destroyed many relationships and lives. That is why, It is very important that we deal with this issue with utmost importance. This desire to be connected with someone but the person is not available often times make one feel lonely. This is best described when you see people going through ‘stuffs’ but find nobody to share it with even when he/she is surrounded with 5 roommates or more. It is necessary to mention here that it is not the seriousness or level of importance of the matter that makes it impossible to want to share such matter with the person (s) that are around you. It is the fact that you sense that they are in a different world from yours even when you share the same bed and sheets.
There have been times when I felt all alone in the world despite the noise and constant disturbances or interruptions of our children coupled with the fact that my husband is just a glance away from me. We all can be caught in this web, but we must not allow ourselves to dwell long enough in it. (I will share my secret to breaking the cycle of loneliness soonest.
The other type of loneliness may be caused by other factors such as:
- When you are being judged or criticized.
- You may feel a sense of loneliness if you were been spoken badly spoken to, talked at or shut down, which may make you withdraw into your shell. That is why it is very rampart in abusive relationships for the recipient partner to be lonely.
- When there is breakdown in communication. In any relationship where there is no free expression of speech, where you cannot be open or sincere with each other, the suffering partner is bound to become lonely.
- The realization of being betrayed can bring about the feeling of disconnection with the person that betrayed your trust or other people because of fear of being betrayed which invariable could bring about loneliness.
- There are bounds to be expectations, but sometimes when expectations far out-weigh the reality, it could lead to disappointment and eventually loneliness.
- When you have someone, especially your partner who believes in your dreams, it brings a positive feeling, but if it is the other way round, the person may experience loneliness.
- Either partner may become lonely in a relationship when there is prolong disagreement, malice or misunderstanding. Especially when both or either partner refuses to follow the path of making truce!
At other times, the causes of loneliness may be particular to an individual. This brings me to an unfortunate occurrence few months ago of a medical doctor who committed suicide in broad day light, right in the presence of his driver and other drivers. Unfortunately, his plans was unknown to any of these people until the deed was done.
We must realize that we are in a very hard time. Gone are the days when the persons on the next street acts like families, today the so called families act like distant neighbors. People are going through so much yet ‘make-up’ or cover up as if nothing is wrong. The person you see in the morning goes into a closed door and commits suicide afterwards. These stories are frequent on the first pages of newspapers and it is making headlines more than before.
Do you know that a lot of suicide ordeals could have been prevented if the problems or issues were not carried or borne alone by one person? Loneliness is a potent killer than many known killer diseases. Loneliness is destructive. It destroy the physical, emotional and mental health of a person. Loneliness is said to be the central agent in the development of depression, paranoia, schizophrenia, rape, suicide and massive murder.
It should be known that one of the devil’s strategy for our times is to trivialize human existence and to isolate us from one another while creating the delusion that the reasons are time pressures, work demands or economic related issues. The worst of these lies is the emergence of mobile phones and social media. You were told that the world is a global village because of these emergence but our reality is that these technologies only drift us more apart from our families and friends.
People who spent more time on technology are prone to some of these issues mentioned. Technologies are closer to us than real people. We have become so intimate with our mobile devises than our partners that we vowed wholesome connections to.
Like a terminal virus, loneliness is invading our lives, relationships even marriages silently, slowly and painlessly at first. By the time one becomes aware of its insidious effects, it can be too late. Loneliness is the presence of boredom, apathy, neglect and terrible emotional malnutrition which may cause the death of a person and a promising relationship like marriage.
We could not have done justice to this piece of work without discussing ways to help ourselves out of this ‘silent killer’ amongst us. Mentioned below are probable solution to avoid being caught up in the web of loneliness or breaking the cycle of loneliness?
- TALKING: Talking is a great deal. It is therapeutic! There is no substitute to speaking, talk about your feelings, the mood swing, especially the thoughts of hopelessness. Just let someone hear you say the things on your mind,