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Friday, December 25, 2009

Lonely vs. Alone

Someone asked me the other day if I was lonely. I said: "I'm alone, but I'm not lonely. There's a difference." I smiled a convincing smile and turned my attention back to the Christmas tunes the jazz musicians were playing at Club Deluxe in San Francisco.

It didn't take more than a minute before I realized that I had lied. I'm alone and I'm lonely. But I gave the company line because I said what I wanted to be true. I want to believe that just because I'm single doesn't mean I'm lonely. And honestly, it's hard to believe that I have time to feel anything but busy. I'm in graduate school. I've got two young boys. I'm writing a book. I've been packing and organizing and purging clutter in preparation for my upcoming move. On January 1, I'm moving out of my San Francisco apartment AND out of the house I share with my ex and into my very own house. It will be the first time I've ever had my own place without roommates. Ever. Yes, the boys will live there half the week with me, but it will be my very own place with all my very own stuff.

But even with all that busyness, my brain still finds time to feel a bit of loneliness as well. Especially this time of year. Especially this time of year this year. Even though I'm often with people--my kids, friends, schoolmates, visiting family from out of town, with a date--they can't replace the comfort of having a significant other. I love and adore my kids, my friends, my family. But they can't provide that special feeling that makes my stomach flip, that makes me smile to myself, that equals comfort and the security of not wondering if I'll be solo on a Saturday night.

It's not that I'm not happy. I am happy. Really, honestly, and truly! I swear! I have so many things to be happy about. And I have so many wonderful people in my life to be grateful for. But like so many singles out there, I'd like a companion. A special friend. There is something to be said for waking up in proximity of someone you care about, who cares about you. There is something to be said for sitting next to someone while you hold hands under the table. There is something to be said for giggling on the sofa while your boyfriend tells you a story that you never heard before.

Sure, I can wake up alone in my bed and feel good. Yes, I can go to out by myself on Saturday nights. Yes, I can sit on my sofa and giggle while Therapist Friend tells me about her crazy adventures with her former colleagues.

I can do those things. I'm capable. But I'd prefer the first version. I guess I don't want to be lonely or alone.


  1. Anonymous11:51 PM

    I can relate to your story . I have two children, one gone and one age 11. No dad around ither.Which is so much okay with me. I didn't find that the relationship choices were all that improving on my own homefront; as far as growing together it just wasn't in the cards, and so know Its just me and her. And even though we just moved in a year ago. I have at times felt the same way.I didn't get involved so much to say that I had a relationship,but after a 1/2 year passed I soon realized its not that bad.True the pillow talk, comfort of having someone over the age of 10 to talk to is nice.But, for the most part. With the guys I have met. I think being alone is a whole lot better. the garbage I seem to find never really proves worthwhile .It seems soon as a guy figures that you are by yourself,its okay for them to walk over you somehow. No, I rather find a friend than someone who is only in this scene briefly and for themselves only.No the loosers are a bit to much. They usually have to much baggage for my liking.

  2. It's such an adjustment - divorcing, moving. It's o.k. to be alone and it's o.k. to be lonely - even though it's not a top choice. You're a fabulous, wonderful, beautiful person, and this place in your life is temporary. You will be o.k. - I promise. :-)