The other day I was walking across the Manhattan Bridge and made the mistake of looking down at the water below. I suddenly felt helpless and lightheaded. I recovered, looked straight forward, and trudged quickly to the end of the bridge...without looking down again. "Looking down" when you're single is that moment you stop and think about the fact that you're very alone.
To avoid "looking down," I keep busy, hang out with friends and family, enjoy life. By not looking down, I don't think about the lack of prospective girlfriends, or the long period of time since my last relationship. But, lately I've found myself imagining certain girls with me during family gatherings and weddings. This is a dangerous place to be.
Loneliness is so dangerous because it can drive you to look for love even though you should not fall for someone because you're lonely. I would never want to learn that my girlfriend got into our relationship primarily because she was feeling lonely when we started dating.
Also, loneliness makes you susceptible to people who want to take advantage of you while you're feeling weak. You might have your heart broken, or someone might use you. I learned this from the many Lifetime movies I watch.
Here are a few things that make me "look down" and feel my loneliness:
Last Thanksgiving, my sisters celebrated with their significant others' families, so it was just me and my parents. It was the first time at least one of my sisters wasn't there so it was a quiet holiday, and it magnified my singleness.
The Nov/Dec holidays make me want to date — it's the opposite of the summer, when I long to be single and my head is on a swivel checking out every girl. And, of course, I'm sure fewer people in my family would think I was gay if I brought someone home.
Waking Up in the Middle of the Night
I often wake up between 2 AM and 5 AM, and go through the same checklist in my head:
1. Where am I going with my life?
2. Interesting writing idea/song idea (later turns out to be stupid because I'm no longer in semi-dream state upon review).
3. Is there someone in my apartment or looking in my window — accompanied by stream-of-consciousness freaky thoughts/trying to identify shady sounds in apartment.
4. Ahh...still a couple of hours of sleep before I have to get up for work.
Those early morning hours are awfully lonely when you're all alone in a queen-size bed, left to think to yourself...especially when you're used to a full-size bed. I recently graduated to a queen size so the island feels very big around me.
My Table and Chairs on the Porch
I have a porch with my new apartment, a luxury in NYC. I bought a new table and a couple of chairs for the porch, but when I look out the window, the two chairs look empty and unused. The set is waiting for me to have a girl out there and a bottle of wine or some dinner, but it hasn't happened yet.
Things I Want to Share
When something interesting happens or I learn something new, or discover new music, I want to break the news to a girlfriend. Not having that person you're intimate with to share things or confide in is an empty feeling.
I admit weddings are romantic, and it would be nice to have a date once in a while instead of hitting on the catering staff because all the guests are taken. And, the first slow dance is super-awkward because I have nobody. Luckily some of my guy friends are still single, so it takes away the sting. And no, I don't do the slow dance with my single guy friends...most of the time.
Beautiful Places/Cool Date Venues
Whenever I go to somewhere fun, a cool town or restaurant, I'm inspired to experience it with a special girl.
I love storms, but it does get old doing the coziness thing and watching movies alone. It would be fun to have someone to spend a rainy day with, sheltered from the storm, cooking, drinking wine, or passing out on the couch to the sound of thunder...or someone to take outside in the rain for a kiss.
What makes you feel lonely? Do you agree that loneliness can be a dangerous feeling/emotion? Have you ever gone out looking for someone or settled for someone mostly because you're lonely? If so, how did it turn out? Do you agree that loneliness should not be a motivating emotion for love?
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens