Daily Life

Why I like being alone

Sometimes I read articles about loneliness, and they always seem to refer to people with limited social contacts. But real loneliness is about nog feeling connected to people. Some people can feel lonely in a huge crowd. And that is different than social isolation or lack of social contacts. That is the inability to connect in a way that is satisfying or fulfilling.

A long time ago I wrote an article with the title “Why I like Being a Recluse”, in answer to all those questions I got about how I deal with loneliness when I travel. But the truth about my loneliness is that I can be with someone, and yet I still feel lonely. Because I am not able to connect. And when I do try to connect, it always blows up in my face. And that is why I like being alone. For with or without people, the loneliness is the same.

I never feel alone, or lonely, yet I do experience loneliness from time to time

Meet Jeanette in Playa de Carmen

I do like being alone, I like it a lot

I seldom feel lonely in a way our society defines loneliness. I love being alone. Loneliness for me is something different. It is the inability to really connect with people. Although I am an empath I cannot connect. My ability to disconnect is far stronger developed than my ability to make healthy connections that make me want to be close to people. I guess that is why I love this life of endless travel so much. No social obligations that force me into a life that I cannot handle and that I experience as a strain or in which I get disappointed easily.

It happened way back in my childhood years, I never learned to bond with my mum or family, for there was never security. And over the years and after many years of Therapy I came to the acceptance that for me it is great to be alone.

For in solitude I feel safe and secure. I am happy to be around myself. And I seldom miss social contacts.

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Like any person in the world, I need social interaction

It is a dual feeling. I like to spend time with people and socialize, I really do. But I have trouble bonding. I do not know how to bond. I probably do it in the wrong way, for every time I try, I get disappointed. It blows up in my face so to speak. Due to things that are out of my control.

Due to expectations that are not met. And for me those expectations are not huge, I just need a little attention when I ask for it, or a little time. And I seldom receive it. For somehow it is important enough that I make free time for others, but others never feel that I am that important to make free time for me in return.

I find myself saying “no” to the attention seekers more and more, pure out of self-preservation. 

When I do socialize with people I sometimes feel the hue urge to escape the moment. And most of the time socializing with others does not allow that. People have expectations also, but I sometimes feel the urge to break away, to escape.

And therefore I love being alone. I feel lonely anyway, so why bother

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When you have trouble bonding or feeling attached you kind of are happier being alone anyway

I once was in a training about loneliness and the speaker was trying to teach us how to help people that are lonely. And she kind of gave the definition of loneliness, that moment I knew she knew nothing about the topic at all. It was all based on outside contacts, interaction and participation. It had nothing to do with that chronic empty feeling that comes from the disability to truly connect with other people.

And it certainly had nothing to do with what caused that inability.

The training never addressed how to deal with people that loved being alone, the bottom line was that people without social interaction are lonely and need to be helped and saved from their horrible lives. That point of view is so wrong. Sometimes people are happy the way they are, I know I am.

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The many years of therapy did not heal my inability, they just helped me to accept and cope

For me, I know why I have this inability, I grew up in a place where love was conditional and there was never any safety. Without going into details, I can truly say my parents, although they probably raised me and my brothers to their best abilities never created a save warm and loving environment. My childhood home was not a place for a child to grow up to become a strong self-confident and bonding kind of person. On the contrary.

And although I had many years of therapy, I know it will not heal. Instead, I learned not to fight it anymore, not to wonder and struggle but how to cope, I learned to accept, I learned to love myself. And to be honest, over the years, I kind of added to my scars myself by choosing the wrong guys to date and working with the wrong teams and trusting wrong people.

jc from Holland, Philippines, female, lady rider

And now in the second half of my life, I can honestly say:  I truly like being a recluse

So I like being alone, I do not deprive myself of anything, like so many people think I do, when I walk alone, travel alone, eat alone.
I am truly happy.
Some days I wonder how life would be if I grew up in a different family, but that is not a thought I live with on a daily base. I like my life. I like being alone, it is safe, secure, is gives me feeding ground for developing my personality and grows my creativity.

It makes me feel secure and warm, it saves tons of energy for I don’t have to do anything I am not up to when I do not feel to. No pressure. And when I do feel up to opening up to a person, I hope for the best. But that best has not happened yet.

Usually, it is a reminder of how much I like being my strong self, not relying on anyone and coping on my own. That way there is never the feeling of disappointment, there is a challenge, a chance for self-development, but never disappointment.

Tell me, how do you experience loneliness and being alone? Can you handle it? Can you beat it?

Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites Currently, she lives in Mexico. She is an emigration coach and works online.

2 Comments

  • JC from Holland

    Hi Pepper, as you write, it is so good to know there are more like us out there.
    This world, which is all about being connected, makes us feel different, although many years ago we were not so different from the rest. Yesterday I realized that all this connectivity has not made our world a better place to live, we are far more emotionally driven than we were before, and all that emotion seems to end up in being judgemental towards one another. I for sure do not like it, so maybe my reclusiveness is kind of safe heaven as well.

    We’re both 60, we have known different lifestyles. And we made a choice based on experience and became who we are through self-knowledge. I think that is as authentic as one can get in a world like this. Create your own safe place, your own “cave”. (like the wise hermits) and never cease to look for ways to improve ourselves. Love what you write about the cats. Once I settle down I will have a cat again, I miss that. But first my motorcycle trip through Mexico. Stay safe and healthy! Thanks for sharing with me. I loved reading you in return.

  • Pepper

    You and I could be twins. I am so happy in my solitude that I often feel guilty about it! When I lay down to take a nap or get completely involved watching videos or reading about some topic that has just captured me and stay up all night being deeply engrossed, I will stop and think, most people will never have this in their lives. They are too busy and too “connected” to just be alone with themselves.
    Most of all, thank you for sharing about your family. I too had that childhood experience and for me, stability and safety and control are the themes that I live by. I developed those needs as a child. I couldn’t change my parents or the environment they created and it affected me so deeply. To escape was my constant desire; to just be in a place of peace.
    I have what I want and need. I am at the point, at 60 years old, that I am working on just being OK with who I am and being content and happy with the life that I have made based on the choices I have made. Very few people whould want to live like I do, but for me, I am in heaven.
    My life in a nutshell. I own my own home, have my Social Security that I live on just fine because frugality and minimalism are my natural way of living.
    Take care of cats. Lots of cats! Within the confines of an excellent rescue group that gets me. I “foster” mostly permanent needs cats and hospice cats. They are safe and well cared for here and occasionally I do the hard work of raising and letting go of a litter of kittens, but mostly I just share my time, energy, love and home with the special cats. It is the only thing I bring to the world and I am working on accepting that is just who I am.
    I admire that you travel. I do not have the health for that so I watch lots of scenic videos. Play them on my phone while I lay in bed and image what it woould be like to just be there as if I really was. It is balm to the soul to be in nature, but my health issues prevent me from doing it very often.
    It is good to know other people are out there that live as a happy recluse.
    Take good care.

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