14 People Open up About How They’ve Learned to Accept Loneliness

©Unsplash,Fabrizio Verrecchia

The fact is that not everyone out there is going to find someone to spend their life with.

Some people take another route, whether voluntarily or not, and they end up being single and alone for their whole lives or at least most of their lives.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But it sure can get lonely when you spend most of your time by yourself.

AskReddit users went on the record and talked about how they’ve learned to accept and make peace with loneliness.

1. Hobbies are good.

“Honestly? Get yourself a hobby.

Throw yourself into school. Play video games. I spent most of my life having no friends, and for a while it really bothered me and I was desperate and needy for attention. Then I realized that I didn’t actually like most people, and decided to do my own thing to try and find myself.

Turns out you can do a lot in your spare time that doesn’t involve people!”

2. “I want solitude…”

“At 64 I’ve come to realize all my problems are from other people. I don’t bring my problems to them, but I seem to end up with theirs.

So I started distancing myself from them. Will retire sion, move to a quiet area, and hopefully get to go thru my old age reading, listening to music, DIY house stuff, paint, learn to cook, all peacefully and by myself. I used to be very social, but people seemed to take advantage of me… apparently I am an enabler and once I stopped enabling.. they disappeared.

I want solitude. And a dog… always wanted a dog.

3. Peaceful.

“It might be weird to hear/say, but accepting you are alone, and nobody is coming to rescue you from that provides a great deal of peace for me.

Stop hoping it will get better on its own, it will not. I might get better if you put in effort, coupled with a bit of luck.

Otherwise, it is just you, and you are capable of more on your own than you give yourself credit for.”

4. Part of being human.

“I think loneliness is part of the human condition. Even people with lots of “friends” don’t have anyone they can call if they were crying at 3 am.

My advice: get a pet. They really do help ease loneliness. Also, get a job or volunteer job that has you interact with people. Socialization can be fulfilling even if it isn’t intimate.”

5. Used to be bad at it…

“I used to be very bad at handling loneliness.

I was very very clingy to my previous partners. Even if during times where we fight a lot or times where I didn’t actually like them that much, I couldn’t seem to truly function without them by my side

I was very dependent on other people.

I was always trying to keep myself busy by meeting up with people, arranging plans, being in calls and texting lots of people none stop.

But now I’ve seemed to have made peace with it. I’m not sure Exactly what caused it. I think it’s from a collection of things that happened on my life. I suddenly just hit a realisation moment.

I found that first you have to learn to love yourself. This isn’t by being selfish or wallowing in self pity or victimising yourself (I did a lot of this too in the past)

But by being able to admit the negative aspects in your life and accept and take full responsibility for it and coming to terms with yourself. To be able to move on from past mistakes or past behaviours and working towards becoming a better person.

I think being comfortable with yourself is absolute key to being able to cope with loneliness (at least in my case). The loneliness used to kill me because I would overthink a lot.

Loneliness also caused me to be lethargic and lazy.

Tomorrow will always be a day away.

You are the only one in charge of your happiness.

I try to remind myself of this whenever I feel lazy or unproductive to try get myself on track

Building a routine helps too.

And exercise. Exercise is natural serotonin for your body. And helps with anxiety or stress feelings.”

6. Left a bad mark.

“Having been in an awful relationship I’ve now realised that being alone isn’t that bad.

Not worrying that something you say might make them blow up at you and ruin your entire week is so chill. I’m so bad at telling the bad ones from the good ones that being alone is the safest and best option, even if the pain of loneliness hurts every now and then.”

7. All this stuff.

“Meditation, music, pot, videogames, not watching Netflix while lonely, figuring out how to further improve my self image and mitigating my flaws so that if I get pushed away I won’t be the one to feel guilty.

These are how I deal with it anyway, no idea how to accept it.”

8. Total freedom.

“Find the contrast between your life and the life of those around you and learn to appreciate the differences.

34, single, and literally every single one of my friends is married with kids. I figured out a while back that they always need to check in, they always have something to do for their kids or their wife or husband, and I’ve learned to appreciate how much complete and total freedom I have.

If I decided to pick up and move across the country it would be a challenge to get a new job and housing in wherever I decided to land but…there’s no family that I’m abandoning.

My friends would be saddened and confused by my sudden decision but ultimately they’d respect it because that’s how friendship works – it’s not that close “We’re building a life together” sort of relationship one has with a significant other.

Now, that’s not to say that their lives don’t have benefits mine don’t, nor even that they don’t outweigh the benefits of my life but…you gotta find the bright spots and cherish the unique things that your life brings you.

If you’re lonely…when’s the last time anybody told you what to do? You have total freedom.”

9. Part of your identity.

“You get used to it. In my teens and early twenties it really bothered me that I didn’t have a SO or a bigger circle of friends. Now in my late 20’s I still don’t have a gf and I don’t see my friends anymore as they all moved away and started their own families.

It’s just become a norm for me to always be single and it’s hard to imagine my life being any other way no matter how badly I might want it at times. It’s hard to imagine that a girl would want to share her life with me.

The idea of it seems so unrealistic and out of reach for me that I don’t think people who aren’t in a similar situation could really understand me 100%

But yeah you get used to it, it becomes part of your identity.”

10. A whole person.

“I came to terms with the fact that I am a whole person.

That I’m going to be in this body and mind for my whole life so I may as well learn how be content with that. I started cultivating positive mental self talk, through looking at myself in the mirror everyday and saying positive affirmations.

Combining this with meditation I really started to enjoy who I am as a person. I developed this content inner peace so that being alone wasn’t synonymous with loneliness anymore.

Once I was truly peaceful with being alone I met someone who shared the same virtues as myself.”

11. Not much in common with others.

“For me it was realizing that I don’t have too much in common with most people my age (22).

While most of them are out getting drunk and partying often, I’m comfortable just being home and not doing much. I like watching old childhood cartoons and movies and I’ve started getting into cooking and baking more thanks to being laid off due to the pandemic.

Pets help too. Recently bought a house and it was super lonely not having one since I grew up with them. Although my cat is an ass sometimes, I’m glad I have him with me.

Finding a hobby you like will help pass the time on long days. I started crocheting and even though I only have the attention span to do quick projects it’s nice being able to make some thing I’ll need around the house or for personal care.

Plants are great too, it’s so rewarding when you grow your own food or when you’re able to revive a dying “clearance” plant.

For the most part, being lonely isn’t so bad. I don’t have to put up with anyone’s bullshit (excluding work, but that’s different) and it’s so relieving not having to worry about anyone else.”

12. Total bliss.

“Better alone than badly accompanied.

Toxic friends make you feel even lonelier, but if you learn to be at peace with yourself you can find bliss in solitude.”

13. Feeling content now.

“For me; Number one was getting a dog. Or two 🙂

Then when I turned 40 I realised that everything I did was FOR others. It was like an epiphany that I didn’t need to do that and actually,, I didn’t want to either.
I think perhaps I had just exhausted myself in trying to impress others to gain a relationship of some kind with them, friendship or otherwise. I think that actually made me feel lonelier because I was never able to achieve a connection with someone beyond acquaintance level despite the apparent effort I thought I put in.

I gave up trying to impress others in liking me/wanting to spend time with me and started focusing on doing things that made me happy, improving my situation financially, professionally, creatively, etc. It wasn’t really a conscious decision either, I just started doing those things.

I’m still in the same situation I was 10 years ago – no close friends, single – but I feel relatively content now because I feel like my life is gaining some semblance of order.

I’m not saying that you need to reach a ripe age like me, I wish I had understood this at a younger age and obviously everyone is different.

I do still daydream occasionally of one day meeting a wonderful man and living happily ever after or making a great friend, but I’m okay with that not happening now. The thought of it never happening doesn’t plunge me into a deep dark depression for weeks like it used to.

I don’t know whether I cracked some mysterious code or it’s just an understanding and acceptance that comes with getting older…”

14. It’s natural.

“There’s a certain fundamental loneliness which pervades the entirety of life, and cannot ever be filled in by even the most fulfilling of relationships with other humans.

When alone or unable to form connections with others which feel meaningful, it can be hard to estimate how much of the lonely feeling is due to solvable vs. fundamental loneliness.

So, one way that I make peace with loneliness is to accept it on some level as simply part of the human condition.”

Now we’d like to hear from you.

In the comments, please share how you’ve learned to make peace with your loneliness.

We look forward to hearing from you.