In my first book, NOT Another Singles Book, I discuss in great detail the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. If you struggle with understanding this difference, you aren’t the only one. We’ve never been taught the fine line of being alone and being ok with it. Being alone is a matter of circumstance – it simply means that you are in your own company. Being lonely – is feeling like you missed out on something because of it. I personally know what it’s like to be lonely while in a marriage, and if it’s any consolation to your Single heart, you’d much rather your cup than mine. I struggled so long in understanding how to be alone with myself and comfortable, that if I can spare you of that – this will be worth it.
So how do I be alone without being lonely? First step is to truly get to know yourself. When you are comfortable in your skin and your identity, being alone can serve to refuel and recharge you. Being alone with yourself gives allowances to self-assessment – what’s working for me? What’s no longer serving me? Where can I improve? What accomplishments can I be proud of in this day, week, month, year? All of these are self-reflective questions and great starting points in getting comfortable being alone.
The world, society, and social media all give us the indication that being alone is either something that we shouldn’t be ok with, or something different than what it actually is. For example – if you search the hashtag #alone on any social media site, you will most likely see posts with people being anything but. We all know that social media can be a great thing, but it can also be the thief of contentment, by trapping us in a whirlwind of comparison. Being alone doesn’t have to be some perfectly poised and staged photo worthy moment, it can simply be enjoying your own company.
Once you take the time to truly get to know yourself in this time, then being alone is a welcomed break and reset from a busyness that has become the norm of our society. We are always coming from one thing, heading to another event, just got out of a meeting or off a call. When do we actually just sit and be still with ourselves? Check in on our emotions and feelings – cause we know those jokers can get carried away when we don’t monitor them. Truly choosing to spend time alone gives you room in your life and day to evaluate things, instead of just going with the flow.
Here’s an activity – and it will feel weird the first time you do it, possibly the first few times but the more you do it, the better you will feel. I will even make you a promise – do this for a week, starting today and if you don’t begin to enjoy it, then I will refund the money you spent on this blog post 😉. Stop, get quiet – turn off Tiktok and IG (another promise, the withdrawal symptoms will pass) and ask yourself – “How are you today?” Then do something that we never do when we ask that coworker or person that we pass on the street, listen. Really listen. How are you feeling:
- Physically – is anything hurting or out of alignment? Any health concerns that you need to take care of sooner rather than later?
- Emotionally – have you healed from that last disappointment? Are you giving someone free headspace that hasn’t earned it? Are you in control of your feelings or do they control you?
- Mentally – where’s your focus? What’s keeping you up at night or what’s driving you to get up early in the morning?
- Spiritually – are you connected to your God, Source Energy, Chakras – whatever your higher power? Are you in tune, in balance, in purpose, in identity and alignment with the principles and lifestyle you claim to believe?
Do this a couple of times a week, and as it becomes more familiar, a couple of times a day. You don’t have to go through the entire list each time, but enough that you can do a quick ‘me scan’ and check in with yourself. This habit will change the way you see your free time and allow you to look forward to free time so you can work out some of those self-checks that have come up since you are now more self-aware.
Since it’s Christmas time, how does this relate to the holidays and being Single, yet again? Because Auntie Ann and Uncle Junior that got married at 19 fresh out of high school and started procreating your nine 1st cousins right away, never had to learn to be alone, so they more than likely won’t understand that you can be happy Single. They equate singleness to loneliness and can’t imagine that you would actually choose to be in your own company. This is where sensitivity and confidence come in. It’s easy to defend something that you are secure about. If you aren’t happy being alone, then be honest with yourself first and foremost, then fight to do what it takes to get there. If you need help, go to http://www.lavoniartryon.com to download your free abridged copy of the NOT Another Singles workbook (available early December 2020) which has tools and resources on how to learn to be comfortable alone.
Now that you are comfortable and content being alone or at the least more confident in how to get there, it’ll much easier to field the questions and comments about whether you are lonely, because you can actually answer honestly. Whether you choose to do so out loud or not, that’s up to you. When the questions come about why you haven’t settled down, you can clearly and confidently state the advantages of your being alone and the things that you are accomplishing by yourself, for yourself. Unless you have a more than normally dysfunctional family; their goal and concern is typically for you to be happy. They know how awesome you are and believe that someone of the opposite sex should get the pleasure of your company. This should be perceived as a compliment to your character and how much of a good catch they know you to be. Take it as such.
When the infamous ‘You’re still single? Aren’t you lonely in that big ole house? When you gonna stop all that schooling and start having me some grandbabies?’, questions come – simply smile and reassure them that your being alone is a choice at this time and when you meet a person that makes you want to change that, they will be the first ones to know.
*We will be launching our Single, NOT Alone group focus calls in January – with an exclusive sneak peek coming soon! These are weekly calls that focus on 4 aspects of life as a Single – contentment, purpose and identity, dating and relationships, & change – which is call being different and unique, because you will be there. For more information – hit that subscribe button and enter your email or shoot an I’m interested in the SNA (Single NOT Alone) calls to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the email list!*