Loneliness Is A Perfectly Valid Reason To Start Dating Someone

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dating cures loneliness

Don't be ashamed of it.

You're a work in progress. You are changing in ways that are imperceptible to even you. Steps forward. Steps back. Steps laterally. 

There are perpetual changes made to your personality, body, mind and spirit which only the most esoteric understanding of physics and philosophy could find. And that's just while binge-watching the first season of This Is Us. Because of these changes, you're never going to arrive at some fixed "best you" destination. And you need to stop letting that be an excuse for being unhappily single.

There is a sentiment in the armchair self-help community that you shouldn't date anyone until you're "good with yourself" or can "stand to be alone." And that's Bolshoi ballet all the way.

Maybe that's true in the case of finite, acute issues. It's maybe a bad idea to go on a bunch of dates if you have a really phlegm-y cold that makes you sound like Kathleen Turner and have a drip like a Nicki Minaj video. But maybe not. Maybe you'll meet someone who loves the low energy, Walking Dead-esque version of you.

And when you do start dating this new person, even if you're set up by your Yenta coworker or matched using some kickass Helen Fisher-designed dating algorithm, the thing you really have in common is that you're single and don't want to be. The minuscule Venn Diagram overlap of being lonely is a perfectly acceptable reason to hang out with the same person on a handful of potentially romantic occasions because dating cures loneliness.

There is a decent chance that you didn't feel like that chubby little f*cker Cupid shot you in the heart when you saw this other chronically unspoken-for person for the first time, but he or she is probably interesting or kind or smart or several of the plethora of things we all look for in someone to have meals with, sleep next to and, when the spirit moves you both, bone. Then, and only then, if you give it your level best shot and it's not working you can part with the words, "Hey, you're really great but this isn't working."

Loneliness is a perfectly valid reason to start dating, particularly casually. If you're a serial monogamist, maybe take it slower. If you're a person who has either a phobia of commitment or who actively looks for imperfections as a reason to jump ship, maybe take it a little faster.

However, if you've given it your level best effort (yes, you've been to the Jack and Jill wedding showers and to the level one improv shows) and it's not working, please don't stick around out of fear of loneliness.

Being in a wildly unfulfilling relationship is like eating nothing but mediocre movie theater popcorn. Sure there is some flavor and you've gotten over the problem of an empty stomach, but there's minimal value to it and you're gonna crap like there's a hot sauce-encrusted badger in your guts who just woke up from a nap and is cranky.

The real kick in the teeth is that if you're in a very disappointing relationship, you're already lonely. It's just hard to rationalize that loneliness when you're around someone you're ostensibly in a loving relationship with several hours a day. You likely feel selfish or guilty that you're in a pairing and you feel so alone.

If that thing isn't working and you legitimately tried, you're better off alone and you should escape the sunken place, like, yesterday. At least when you're alone-alone rather than paired-alone, you can keep your own hours, eat the weird food that only you like and actively find something or someone to fill the void (that is not a sexual euphemism).

For most of us, the best cure for loneliness is people with whom we share a reciprocated fierce love. For most of us, Eckhart Tolle books and sweaty yoga aren't a true substitute for the touch and proximity of a warm body with our best interests at heart.

There are dozens of human feelings that you should probably keep to yourself in polite society, but loneliness is not one of them. Please don't be ashamed of it. Another lonely person out there is likely looking for someone very, very similar to you.