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A friend sent this to me and I thought it would be good to share with my Agnostic friends. I can identify with some of what they talk about, depression, anxiety and feelings of not wanting to be around most people. I would be interested in others thoughts. πŸ˜‰

Redheadedgammy 9 June 25
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I am FAR less lonely than when I was married to somebody who had checked out. No comparison!

Me too. I wasn't allowed to have friends while I was in my marriage or my most recent long term relationship. Jealous partners who couldn't/wouldnt be my best friend, but prevented me from having any friends. I finally have a little bit of a social life, which is all I need, where I had zero while in those relationships. I'm actually happy for the first time in my life, these past few years without a partner.

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Could this "loneliness" come from the expectation of society that we each should have a partner? I believe this is why I was lonely both in and out of marriage/relationship, because I was expected to have a mate, so I expected that having a mate would make me happy, but that was not the case.

Now that I know better, I can be my own best friend and am not lonely. I do admit I need less socialization than most people, and I am lucky to know where I can find people if I want to socialize.

Granted I live in a small town type area, so it's easier to be personal with people, where in a big city, nobody interacts with strangers. So, there is something to the "overcrowding" theory he mentions.

Fascinating about the radicalization of unattached men, but again, is it because they are taught they should have sexual intimacy and they aren't able to find it. Society shouldn't put pressure on men and women to be in intimate relationships. This expectation of casual sex, yet possible contraception bans, etc., doesn't make a good mix.

Interesting conversation. A lot to think about.

I think you're on to something that some of this "loneliness" is due to a cultural expectation placed on us, and negates that our first and most important partnership is with ourselves. I'm similar to you in that a lonely feeling prevailed in my life whether I had a partner or not. Once I came to understand I was my own best friend, that loneliness diminished quite a bit, although it's not completely gone. People ask me all the time "How can you live by yourself?" The truth is, I have more people in my life now than when I was in a relationship, it's just that I'm not living with them, or vice versa. I think there is a misnomer that if we live alone, we are isolated from society. That simply is not true.

The friend who sent this to me was a member here for quite some time. Her screen name was Freedompath. She said one of the reasons that she decided to stop coming here and posting was because she felt she needed more social interaction physically with other people. She enjoyed the conversations, and the thoughts that other people wrote about on different subjects but she said she missed that physical interaction with other humans. I think when we only have our interaction with other people through a screen/ computer or smart phone, it does leave us with somewhat of a lonely feeling.

I have been an introvert all of my life and don’t have a problem being alone, but I did feel lonely at times. I do believe we all need social interaction, especially with like minded people. Thanks for watching the video and giving me your thoughts. πŸ˜‰

@linxminx Do you think it’s important for people to have a physical connection as in just getting together for coffee or a meal with one another? I’m not talking about a relationship where you live with one another, but that you physically see the other person from time to time?

Yes, society perpetuates these ideas, but only because they directly feel those needs themselves. We are a social species. The strength of those instincts vary from person to person, but they don't depend, I'm pretty sure, on what society says.

@skado Takes decades to unlearn some things we are taught we "should" be doing.

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Fascinating. Thanks for posting.

skado Level 9 June 26, 2022

I would be interested in your take/thoughts on the video as I consider you to be an intelligent person, and your comments help me see things from your perspective. I am certainly not as educated as many on the site, and sometimes things go over my head. πŸ˜‰

@Redheadedgammy
I don't know if this is consistent with current science or not, but I tend to think of human contact as another of many natural (evolved) appetites.

Appetites make sure we get what we need to survive well enough and long enough to reproduce and raise offspring to viability.

If an individual doesn't get oxygen they will die within minutes. If they don't get water they will die within days. If they don't get food they will die within weeks. If they don't get sex, the species will die within the lifetime of the youngest individual... and so on.

I have read that if a human infant isn't touched, even if it has adequate nourishment, it will not survive. I think there's plenty of evidence to suggest that, as a social species, we have a certain natural appetite for in-person contact with others. As with many evolved traits, the strength of the appetite varies from individual to individual, but is to be found in all human groups. And as with other appetites, it doesn't have to be satisfied with clockwork precision, but if it isn't met, there are eventually consequences.

I have never married. There were a few promising relationships, but none grew to sustainability. I have always had a fairly high tolerance for living alone, though it was never my first choice. But the pandemic showed me something about myself that I had not previously had the occasion to experience.

I have always enjoyed having a few close friends, and a modest, intermittent social life, but never hugely "social". When covid struck, I took it seriously. From the time it was identified until the vaccines were available, I had no in-person human contact other than my sis and bro-in-law, who were being equally cautious, and then only once a week. I had groceries delivered, and bought anything else I needed online. Even after vaccination, I have been very reluctant to intermingle with people whose vax status I didn't know.

That has taught me something about myself. My tolerance for solitude is not unlimited. I have, for the first time in my life, felt my health has suffered for lack of adequate human contact.

During the pandemic, I started regular weekly video chats with a couple of good friends - which has helped. And, honestly, leaned on the Agnostic site pretty heavily for my social needs, for which I am very grateful. But somehow those virtual meetings did not fully satisfy that appetite for face to face interaction.

I'm now convinced that my health would be better served by having someone in my life on a daily basis, even if that meant sacrificing some of my precious solitude. I can very much relate to what @Julie808 has said about being in a relationship and still being lonely. Any relationship is going to require work, so if I'm going to still be lonely, I'd rather be alone.

That said, I still think it just depends on whether there's a good match. I know couples who are well matched, and get along beautifully. So I think it's possible, and desirable, to be married to a best friend, who is also happy for you both to have other friends, but that isn't always easy to find.

@skado Thank you for your response, and writing about your own personal experiences on this subject. I believe your thoughts about relationships and the need for physical closeness with other people are what so many of us experiencing as well. I did much like you during the early part of the pandemic, and would reach out to friends via Skype and also coming to this site daily to feel connected to others that I knew I could talk to and then not feel so isolated. I appreciate your responding.

@skado I marry couples for a living, some lately, since the pandemic, are marrying for the first time ever in their 50s and 60s, likely realizing just how important it is to have someone they can count on for their health and happiness. I know "good love" exists, so there is always hope.

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I will respond lyrically.

Love your response. 😎

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