Hua Ching Ni said loneliness is an unhealthy reason to get involved in a relationship. I know he’s right. The best strategy is to satisfy your needs yourself and only look to relationships to gratify wants. (that’s until you outgrow them completely which is very very advanced)
A need is an impulse away from pain and a want is an impulse towards pleasure. Loneliness is something to avoid, so it points to a need. The need is connection with others. This is also a want. Wants and needs are like two sides of a coin. Needs are more powerful than wants, that is, given one of each, we will satisfy the need first and then seek to gratify the want. Needs are like: food, clothing and shelter, whereas wants are like: vocation, home, health. They are very similar, but think of it this way. If you have basic food, clothing and shelter, you have your survival “needs” met, but we still may yearn for (“want”) a “home,” and for a “vocation” (or meaningful work), and for a certain level of fitness or health that allows us to engage life the way we “want” and enjoy it. See the post above this one called “happiness and thriving” for a list of the human wants/needs and a discussion about them and another post on “gain and loss, or winning and losing,” for further discussion.
Anyway, don’t seek a romantic relationship to satisfy your need to avoid loneliness. this usually ends up pairing you with someone who you’re not compatible with, often creates a relationship with a power imbalance (where you have less than the other person), and generally leads to unhealthy relationships.
Loneliness is ok. Its an indication that you need friends, or people who understand and appreciate you that you enjoy spending time with. When you are not lonely and you begin a romantic relationship, it invariably is healthier than if you were lonely. We all need to work through loneliness because we need to learn to be spiritually connected to TFB (God) also, just like pain in your elbow means you should take a break from tennis, loneliness means you need a connection to God. Having a tangible connection to god eliminates a lot of loneliness, although not all, until very advanced levels. Only when you are alone will you face yourself truly; see the truth of yourself and deal with it. People are healthy to have in your life, but they can also distract you from doing some important work. Spiritual work; facing things and learning and growing. Sometimes social situations are just another way to escape. If you can sit alone on a friday or sunday night without the tv on and occupy yourself in an enjoyable way without drugs, then you are making progress.
I’m not advocating you do this every weekend, just that you should be able to. It shouldn’t be difficult or a big deal. But if you are feeling lonely, do not try and combat it or avoid feeling it too much. If there are no healthy outlets or opportunities, do not seek unhealthy ones. Don’t drink or drug, don’t hang out with people you really don’t like or identify with at all. Don’t veg in front of the tv too long. It may sound counter-intuitive, but the best thing to do is sit through it. Face it. Write about it. Cry. Read a spiritual book or blog. Remember, its there for a reason, to teach you to reach out to the right people with whom you have a true inner affinity or to develop a connection to God. If you try to avoid it too much, you make it worse. Whatever we fight with or run from we have a relationship with. We give it energy and power. We invite it to stay in our lives. When we sit and watch it in a detached way, we work through it and lessen its effect.
These are some thoughts on loneliness.