The 1 Thing You Can Do to Never Feel Alone Again
I was on the phone with a friend of mine the other day when she told me she felt so alone. Of course, I listened to her attentively and with compassion, but what I really wanted to tell her was: enjoy it while it last, buddy! A few years from now when she’s all coupled up and popping out kids, I bet she’ll be singing another tune. Ah, alone time, sigh.
Okay, all joking aside, I understood what she meant. She’s single, her father lives in another city, and her only sibling has a very busy life. Right now, she just doesn’t feel like she has that go-to person that will always be there for her.
From the outside, I look at her life and I don’t think she’s alone at all. First off, I would, personally, do anything for this person. Plus, one of her greatest talents is her ability to make friends — she has tons of them!
But I get it: she feels like she’s missing that partner who will live in sync with her. I know, because I was her just a few years ago. One of the reasons I was actively searching for a romantic relationship so badly was because I wanted to feel safe. And a romantic partner sounded like the best guarantee for safety out there. In other words, I didn’t want to feel alone anymore.
“The more I tried to make the wrong relationships work, the more alone I felt.”
Funny enough, the more I tried to make the wrong relationships work, the more alone I felt. I knew I was going about this all wrong. So I decided to take a moment and look around at the relationships I did have, rather than focus on the lack of this one “special” romantic relationship.
Guess what? I had a lot of relationships, but I wasn’t reciprocating in all of them. And many of them were with some pretty damn special people. I’m talking real special. I was totally missing out.
Sure, I couldn’t make out with these people or sleep with them. That would just be weird. But I could most def enjoy life with them. As soon as I started putting my share of work in the relationship (because they do take work and effort), I never felt alone. I knew I had a handful of people who would help me out when I needed them. And that really is the secret: if you want to feel taken care of; if you want people to look out for you; if you want people to support you… you have to do the same for them.
“And that really is the secret: if you want to feel taken care of; if you want people to look out for you; if you want people to support you… you have to do the same for them.”
Sometimes we think that by doing this with the dude we just met — you know, cook him dinner, take his grandma to the doctor, clean up his dog’s poop — we’ll automatically form the bond we’re looking for. But not so. It’s a give and take. And the give has to be genuine with no strings attached. Which is why I think, for people who feel a bit vulnerable at the moment, this practice is best done with those who have already shown their love, i.e., great friends, parents, siblings.
Yes, a romantic partner was still something I wanted, but I no longer saw it as a lack in my life. Instead, I saw this soon-to-be teammate as a complement to my pretty complete life.