What is Loneliness?


Many of the clients who reach out to us for either individual therapy or couples counseling here at our San Jose psychotherapy office do so because they feel lonely in their lives and their relationships, despite being surrounded by loved ones.

In our Get Acquainted Calls women seeking therapy share with us they have an intimate romantic partnership, yet for whatever reason, they feel lonely and disconnected. They describe a sense of feeling like their lives are on auto-pilot and the love and connection they once used to experience in their marriage or partnership feels like it is missing. These women crave the feeling of connection and intimacy they once shared with their partners.

This scenario is true whether these women are seeking individual counseling services for themselves, or for couples counseling for their marriage or partnership.

The feeling is the same: loneliness and isolation despite being surrounded by loved ones.

So, today I thought I would define for your what loneliness really means and how can you start to overcome it.

The Definition of Loneliness

Through years of providing relationship therapy, I have come to believe the definition of loneliness is a simple one:

Loneliness is the feeling you get when you are disconnected from yourself.

You see, the relationship you have with yourself is one of the most important relationships you will have throughout your entire adult life. The reason being, you are the one you are always with. As the adage goes: Where ever you go, there you are.

There is no escaping yourself.

To believe you can escape yourself, either through food, or work, or sex, or relationships, is a fallacy. Yet, that’s what most people do. When feeling lonely, most people turn to ice cream and potato chips, throw themselves into work, decide to have random sex with people they don’t even care about in an attempt to connect, and some will even turn to relationship addiction—getting into one bad relationship after another, simply to feel loved.

The reality is, neither food, nor work, nor sex, nor relationships can fill up the empty hole you feel inside of yourself when you start to feel lonely.

The Way Out

The only thing that can help you decrease your feeling of loneliness and isolation is to reconnect with the relationship you have with yourself.

If you feel lonely, ask yourself these questions:
When was the last time you took a pause and slowed down?
When was the last time you journaled?
When was the last time you prayed?
When was the last time you meditated?
When was the last time you nurtured yourself with a really yummy, healthy and wholesome home cooked meal?
When was the last time you got enough sleep?
And when was the last time you reached out to connect with a friend or loved one who is actually a connectable person?

If you are feeling a sense of loneliness, my hunch is you might be searching into the inner reaches of your brain to try and recall how long it’s been.

Here’s My Invitation to You

Take time to consciously do the seven things I asked you about above, daily for at least one week in a row, and then notice what happens to your feelings of loneliness and isolation. I suspect that as you take time to nurture and connect with yourself, your feelings of loneliness will start to dissipate.

Need additional support?

At the Center for Soulful Relationships we help people learn to restore love and connection in their lives and their relationships. If you are ready to welcome additional support to help you move through your feelings of isolation and loneliness in your relationships so that you can feel connected with love again, then click here to schedule your Get Acquainted Call today.