Todays post is a brave, personal and candid exploration of the reality of modern life dating, the search for love and the reality of loneliness. Today, Valentine’s Day, is a truly fitting day for this, so let’s jump straight in. Please meet Emma…
Hello, my name is Emma and I am lonely. There I’ve said it. I am lonely.
I should start by saying that my loneliness is not one bourne of a lack of people in my life. I live with three of my best friends, I’m out everyday working and socialising with people I adore. I have a supportive and loving family, who although I don’t see enough of I know would do anything for me.
So why is it I can still feel alone in a room full of people who love me?
One of the terrible things about being lonely is that we don’t feel like we should talk about it because it makes us look sad and desperate especially as a single, never married, childless woman in her mid 30’s. So on this, what will be my 8th consecutive Valentine’s Day as a single woman I’ve decided to finally talk about it. I am not sad or desperate, I am just lonely because I’m a normal human being who wants to be in love. I shouldn’t but I cringe even as I write the words, I have become the stereo type, I really am the modern day Bridget ‘Frikkin’ Jones!!!!
How did this happen and more importantly why do I feel ashamed of it?
I have had plenty of time to build theory’s on the how, fear of rejection, lack of a father figure, issues with loving myself, struggles with anxiety etc etc… and in part Im sure all of them play a part in my marital status but in truth I do think its just really bloody hard to meet that someone in this big old world. Even with all the dating apps and websites and more dating apps, finding one person who you find mutually agreeable is like pixie dust for so many people. With the constant bombardment of ad’s in both digital and print it is increasingly impossible to forget about it too, which brings me to the why.
I know love exists, I was in a strong loving relationship for 7 years that ended with us as good friends. So why for last 8 years has the big L eluded me. I can write of the first 3-4 years, being single can be great fun but as is the way of loneliness it had crept back in with every misguided attempt at meeting someone new. So then self loathing really kicks in, why does no one want me, what’s changed about me, there must be something wrong with me. We all believe that the Mr or Mrs Rights out there ain’t going to be looking for some lonely, inadequate, self hater are they! So it’s hidden, like a dirty little secret to be ashamed of. For me I mask it with partying, overworking and surrounding myself with people so that I can forget about it for long periods until I am alone again.
There is however another thing I am ashamed of. Why am I not enough for myself, why do I feel like a part of me is missing and that having a deeper connection with someone else will validate me as a human being? Unfortunately I can’t answer this question yet but I am as all of us a work in progress.
It’s a complicated and vicious circle that I’m not sure can be escaped until someone loves me enough to remind me that I am worth loving ‘just the way I am’ and I would like to think that hopefully if my Mr Right does trott along on his big white stallion (I blame Disney, Bridget and Carrie) he might want to stop and I might actually let him for long enough to find out he’s been lonely too.
This year Im off out to celebrate Chinese new year as well as valentines with several of my single friends. We are taking an element of each of our perfect dates and combing them into the ultimate date…. and it’s going to be awesome and I am not going to be alone and for that I am very grateful but I probably will get a bit lonely and you know what, Im going to work on that being ok and who knows, maybe tonights the night!
Gong Xi Fa Cai and happy valentines day!