Saturday, 29 May 2010

Does being alone mean you are lonely?

About a week ago I saw this article in the Evening Standard. The article highlighted a statistic from the 2001 census stating that 33% of people in the UK are single and went on to say, "That's a lot of potentially lonely people out there — and the problem is only going to get worse." It then went on to talk about loneliness and the break down of social cohesion in our modern society.

I decided to google "Are single people happier than married people?" and found studies that say yes and studies that say no. There seems to be a lot of disagreement on the subject. So of course I am now going to tell you what I think.

I agree that despite the 2 million ways we now have to communicate people are more isolated from each other than ever before, but I think it's rubbish to imply that simply because you are single you are lonely.

 I have been single for quite some time now and I don't consider myself a lonely person. My family even lives thousands of miles away from me and yet I still don't feel alone. I have friends and now a housemate in addition to a variety of engaging activities that keep me busy. When I am actually home alone, as I am now, I don't feel any less happy than when I am with someone.

That being said, I would like to be in a long and lasting relationship, but I'm not at all unhappy nor feel lonely since I am not. In addition I know people who are in relationships and feel quite alone and are unhappy. Fear of actually being alone keeps them where they are despite the constant loneliness they experience in their unhappy relationships. Sometimes they even have affairs, taking on even more partners, to escape the loneliness they feel. Fact is that these are the truly lonely people and they aren't single, but if they were single they would be lonely. At the end of the day, a person's marital status isn't an indicator of how lonely they may be.
 Plus, lonely single people aren't the sole reason for the lack of community cohesion nor are they a result of that. There are a variety of factors that contribute to people feeling isolated but I'm not going to being to spout all of what I think they are here. Time is ticking and I need to get ready to join my community of peers and enjoy the cheesiness that is the Eurovision Song Contest.

See, I'm not lonely at all.


Marianne Cantwell said...

AND you have kick-ass neighbourettes! Great post.

Naive London Girl said...

And it's possibly to be lonely when you're in a relationship as well. I don't think being single necessarily means you're lonely, but if one were to be habitually single that could lead to a feeling of loneliness.