Being single can make me feel lonely, especially during holidays weekends. On July 4 and Memorial Day, I smell tantalizing barbecue grilling in neighbors' backyards. But I feel embarrassed to invite myself over to a friend’s family event.
All of my women friends are married. I have great female hiking partners (all married). We hike together one or two days per week. On weekends they are busy with their husbands.
The gym used to be a social place. But now everyone except me wears headphones. Headphones are a giant “Buzz Off- Leave Me Alone” sign. No more fun conversations with other athletes.
Meet Up disbanded in Wenatchee due to lack of participation. I didn’t go because their activities were too sedentary: playing Bingo and Bunco, pizza with wine/beer, and watching local (boring) baseball and hockey games. The Wenatchee Hiking Meetup doesn’t allow anyone above the age of 35. I could hike circles around those young whippersnappers!
As a Democrat, it helps to join marches and demonstrations. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by like-minded people. But that’s just one day. Volunteering as a college mentor helps me connect with people. The students I mentor win scholarships and go to college. That’s the point.
It’s lonely being a Democrat and atheist in a rural, Republican-dominated, largely married, church-going town. I grew up in Michigan in a family of highly intelligent musicians and artists. At age 21, I moved to Washington State to climb mountains, and stayed.
With a 146 IQ, I have felt different from other people, like I don’t fit in. Sometime I think I don’t belong on this planet.
"My intensity is too much for some people," my daughter Claire, 28, said. Ditto. But we both enjoy our intensity, heightened senses, high energy, intelligence, searching minds, sensuality and humor. This makes us who we are, and immeasurably enriches our lives.
As an extrovert, I love conversation and connecting with people. But I need alone time for reading, meditation, running and weightlifting. Although I enjoy being alone, I miss having a loving relationship.
I miss physical intimacy with a man. I don't mean just sex. I miss cuddling, foreplay, tender touch, romance, laughter and conversations. Without that, casual sex makes me feel sad.
According to psychologists, there are six types of loneliness:
Interpersonal loneliness: This is the result of lacking or losing a significant, or intimate, relationship.
Social loneliness: This is where a person is on the fringes of a group, excluded from a group, or is actively rejected.
Cultural loneliness: This is where a person belongs to a different culture and feels that they don’t fit, or belong, in the new culture.
Intellectual loneliness: This is where a person feels intellectually, or educationally, out of synch with their peers, their family or their social group.
Psychological loneliness: This is where a person has experienced a trauma that separates them out from others around them. That is, it’s something other people can’t fully understand.
Existential or cosmic loneliness: This is an isolating loneliness experienced by a person who is facing death.
For me, 1, 2 and 4 would apply, especially #4.