The Difference Between Being Lonely And Being Alone

I’m one of those people who, for the most part, has been content both when single and when in a relationship. Although very different, I typically feel like each of these seasons brings with it enjoyable things as far as who I get to spend time with and what activities fill my hours.

Having said that, I’ve gone through periods of wishing I was in a relationship—when it seemed everyone I knew either had a significant other or was engaged, and I was the only person who was alone.

During those times, being by myself made me feel like I was missing out, and I resented being single. What I didn’t realize in those moments was just how much I was missing out by not appreciating the freedom I have when I have a little alone time.

Let me explain: Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, we all need quality time with ourselves every once in a while.

So here are some of the things I do when I have a night off and don’t have any plans—whether I’m single or in a relationship.

  1. See what your friends are up to. After a long day at work, sometimes all I need is to grab a drink or go out to dinner with the people who know me best. And when I’m dating, chances are there is at least one friend which could use a little TLC. Life is busy. It’s important to take time for someone you’re overdue to catch up with.
  1. Enjoy some “me” time at home. A little peace and quiet and time to recharge is necessary for everyone at some point. Even if that means saying no to other plans. Sometimes, a girl’s got to turn off her phone and put her PJ’s on instead. Here are few of my favorite ways to make the most of my time for myself:
  • Lighting a candle. It’s a simple act, but it’s amazing how much more relaxed I feel when my apartment is filled with the aromas of the latest seasonal scent.
  • Making a nice dinner for myself. Who says I can’t wine and dine solo? No asking someone else what they feel like eating, making enough food for two people, or worrying about table manners. It’s great.
  • Catch up on TV or watch my favorite movie. I don’t condone always sitting in front of the TV when you have some down time. But a little mindless television doesn’t hurt every once in a while.
  • Crafting! It’s probably my favorite night off pastime. My go-to’s are scrapbooking and coloring. (Seriously, if you haven’t given the adult coloring book trend a chance, you’re missing out). I’ve found that getting in touch with my creative side is one of the most relaxing things to do when I have some peace and quiet.
  • And lastly, reading. Once it gets late enough, I usually hop into bed and try to catch up on a few chapters of whatever book I’m currently reading. I don’t have too many opportunities to read for fun, so I try to take full advantage of them. Plus, it doesn’t strain my eyes like looking at a screen can.

***

Investing in your relationship with yourself is one of healthiest things you can do. Both for yourself and the people in your life. I’ve found when I look at it that way, I don’t resent nights alone as I have in the past. Rather than yearning for something that I don’t have, I’m appreciating what I do. To me, that’s the big difference between loneliness and being alone.

 

 

Unsplash/Annie Spratt

Morgan

Morgan is an outgoing introvert, and one of the few people content living amongst the Midwest cornfields. Born and raised in Springfield, IL, she then moved to Bloomington-Normal and received her B.A. in Publishing at Illinois State University. Sheis an avid scrapbooker, an enthusiastic coffee connoisseur, and completely obsessed with cats. Morgan is part of I Believe In Love because she is learning to love herself again and wants others to as well.
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