Feeling alone and how to move past it

As hard as it may seem sometimes being alone or single, you always have to keep yourself open to what's next.

There you are, standing and watching off to the side. A single voice trying to seem unaffected by the pitying looks every time you buy that lone movie ticket or arrive alone to the party. At least you think it's a pitying look, because that's the sort of look you think you deserve. Exhausted by trying to sell yourself on dating apps amongst the throngs of people you just know are more attractive, or smarter, or just have that special thing you missed out on everyone else seems to have. This is a moment I know well, and many around the world do too, but it's just a moment and as clichéd as it sounds, there's another moment on its way that could be anything you want it to.

The reason I bring it up is because now more than ever it feels to be surrounding me. Whether from friends, roommates, or those always charming social media PDA-aficionados relationships can begin to feel like an epidemic that you're the only one immune to. Research data suggest loneliness has increased to nearly half of all citizens. Just the other evening I felt that type of moment getting drinks with some colleagues at a work event. My envisioned friendly hangout was upended, as my two closest friends were each joined by their significant others. And like that the moment arrived, where I was transformed in my mind from an equal to that awkward extraneous limb that no longer belonged around their happy coupliness. And in that moment I wanted to walk away and bathe in my self-pity, but for some reason I stayed and rather than adopt the construct of the third wheel, I gave my friends the space to be a couple and attempted to make myself get to know my other coworkers better, a risk that led to an utterly delightful night.

There's no healthy way to "fix" loneliness. The more drastic my attempts to rectify the situation, the more I've seemed to feel isolated from the rest of the world. That's why the answer is just reach acceptance but understand that whether you're single or not you'll still face the same issues unless you support yourself. If you define yourself by what you don't have, happiness will always elude you. It's another cliché, but the only answer is to act as if. Walk through the loneliness and you'll find others trying to do the same thing, facing their own distinct variation on the same sorts of struggles. Everything is momentary, and that next moment is coming so you better get yourself ready for it.

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