It’s okay to feel lonely.

A lot of times, being lonely has negative connotation. Loneliness is defined as “a feeling of unhappiness about being socially isolated”. Being alone is often looked at as being sad and people usually have pity for you and make you feel worse than you should.

The introvert in me thrives off loneliness sometimes. Sitting at home, alone, in my sweatpants, eating take-out, drinking beer and watching trash TV. I’ve literally cancelled plans to stay home alone. Alone does not necessarily mean lonely to me.

I’ve been single for a few years, and have been living independently, alone, for most of that time. I’ve gone to work and left an empty house, and came home from work and no one was there. (Okay, my cat was, but…) I’ve dated, but haven’t had a constant person, or a serious relationship, in a long time. And that was all by choice. I wanted to know myself. I wanted to create my independence. I wanted to be sure that I could take care of and like myself before inviting someone into my life.

But recently, I felt a feeling I haven’t felt in a long time.

I feel lonely.

Not necessarily that I need a boyfriend. Because I definitely have shown myself that I don’t need a man to succeed. Not that I’m going to settle for the next guy to smile at me. But, I’m at an age where a lot of my friends are in serious relationships and getting married, and it has me realizing that I actually do want that. (Honestly, a terrifying realization.) I see my siblings in their marriages, having their lives, and realizing that as close as we are, they don’t have the time for me that they used to.

There is a piece of me that having a partner will fill. I’m not looking for “my better half”, or anything like that. I’m looking for someone to share my life. To cook dinner, to grab brunch and catch an Eagles game. Someone to be there for the good days, and the not so good days.

Loneliness isn’t making me sad. It’s actually a good feeling. It’s one I haven’t felt in a long time. Loneliness means growth. Acceptance. It means I’m recognizing what is good for me, and what I deserve. It means that I am at a place in my life I haven’t been in a very long time. A place where I am able to fully allow someone in.

Again, this doesn’t mean I’m going to settle for the next guy who talks to me. I’m not desperate. In fact, I’m far from it. I’m trying to enjoy all seasons of my life, and this one of them. (As much as I joke that I hate it, and give up, and am going to just get a few more cats and call it a day.)

I’m going to be so picky. I’m going to date. I’m going to have my heart hurt. But, I’m going to find the right person for me. Not the perfect person, because perfect doesn’t exist. I’m going to be lonely until I find what is best for me.

Being lonely is forcing me back to old habits that I got away from. I’m back to dating myself. I’m trying not to focus on finding someone. I’m going to let someone find me. I’m going by myself to get dinner or a beer. I’m going to go out Sunday for coffee alone, and then to the bar for a beer and to watch the Phillies play. I’m not going to stay at home because no one is around to go with me. I’m not going to wish I had more friends. I have enough friends. They are just busy.

Yes, being lonely does suck. There is no denying that. As much as I am enjoying this time, I’m only human. I see my friends in their relationships. My friends who aren’t hanging out with me because they are with their boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancés or spouses. There’s times I throw myself a little pity party about it. Times I pull up the online dating apps hoping for a match. But, after a brief moment of weakness, I remind myself that I’m a badass woman who doesn’t need a man. I don’t want to meet someone at a time of weakness. I want to meet someone when I am feeling my best and most confident about where I’m at in my life.

Feel lonely, because it mean’s you’re feeling, and that’s what is most important.

-J

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