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

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