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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2009
    Posts
    66

    Default Feeling lonely...how do you deal?

    Using my alter because I'm a bit embarrassed

    Long story short I left my boyfriend of 3 years in June. Things had been bad for a long time, and I don't regret leaving. We lived together almost 2 years. I moved out and got a small 1BR apartment. Just me and my dog.

    I find myself at times feeling lonely and sad. Not so much that I miss my relationship but more that I miss the companionship. I hate cooking for one, sleeping alone, and spending evenings by myself. I have a good group of friends but nearly all of them have husbands or significant others they spend a lot of time with and being third wheel all the time gets old fast.

    Advice? Will I eventually get used to it? I stay fairly busy but try to get in some down time too.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    38,476

    Default

    Don't go by what I say too much, because I do better alone.
    I like people, but to pay attention to others around me drains me too much, so alone is bliss.

    If you are the kind that needs people around and feel lonely without them, try volunteering somewhere for a while.
    That will teach you much about others, yourself and the world we live in.
    I did that for years and it was a wonderful way to be around people.
    All what is needed out there tends to put life in perspective, you will forget yourself quickly.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,354

    Default

    It's a transition period...you're going from one lifestyle to another and it's perfectly normal to feel lonely...or different...or whatever.

    Having constant companionship and a someone sleepig next to you for years and then having it gone can take some time getting used to it. That's normal. Even if you don't miss THAT person, you may miss having a person for a bit.

    And it can be difficult when you and your friends did couple stuff and suddenly you're the person who's no longer part of a couple.

    Try not to dwell on the downsides of being single again. There are upsides:
    *You can make whatever the hell you want for dinner, you don't have to please anyone but you!
    *When you clean the house, it stays that way!
    *Laundry for one is easier!
    *Total control of the remote control!
    *Nobody is there to blame all farts on the dog.

    Maybe find something else to do...a new hobby or new group or something. There's got to be something you've always wanted to try, do or join that your SO wasn't interested in. Now you can do it and it might give you enough of something new and enjoyable to change your mind about being solo for now.

    Plus, look at being alone this way: Now you won't be "taken" when Mr Right comes along.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Rochester,NY,USA
    Posts
    7,188

    Default

    I'll pretty much ditto what Bluey said, esp. about volunteering, be it church, politics, animal shelters, heck you name it.

    I prefer being by myself. I rather enjoy my own company but do enjoy getting together with some friends about once/wk. Any more often and I can get cranky.

    Do I get lonely at times? Sure but I have the farm which keeps me busy and then there's always COTH! It passes quickly.
    Sue
    Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2009
    Location
    The Left Coast
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Two things helped me with this.

    First, I got a second dog.

    Secondly, I read The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm.

    People always told me to join the Sierra CLub singles, or to "go out" more. "You should go out!" Argh!

    There is a thread in the OT forum on internet dating. I can't believe how many people do it and meet their partners. My niece met her husband that way, and he has an old money trust fund.
    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

    A helmet saved my life.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Posts
    1,301

    Default

    I felt the same way when i first left home. My fiancé was on the other coast and I had moved to take my first "real" job.

    I made it a point to get out. I took drives to learn the new area. I talked to everyone; the bag boy at the grocery store, the old lady crossing the street, anyone. I was so lonely I bought parakeets and I HATE birds. Walk your dog every day, start a journal, reflect.

    I firmly believe that you have to love yourself before you can find true love.

    In retrospect, the time I spent living alone was probably the most influential on who I am today.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
    Posts
    8,659

    Default

    You also might want to take up a sport or something else you have always wanted to learn but just never got around to it. Try Team in Training and learn something new and get fit. Maybe start dancing classes, or community art classes? Get active, get fit and get out there.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2004
    Location
    Yonder, USA
    Posts
    2,554

    Default

    You sound pretty normal, to me.

    Before I met my now-husband (at age 36), I had periods of cohabiting relationships and periods of living alone. And, yeah, you can keep yourself busy, make plans to go out or eat out with friends a couple times a week, etc., etc. But there are nights you're happy to be alone, but there are others you're not.

    As you said, it's the companionship. A habit of having an instant 'buddy' around. Because sometimes it's a lot more comfortable to hang out with someone you don't particularly like than to cowboy up and go solo.

    An active social life helps, especially if you can get involved in groups that either have a lot of single people or that do group outings (fox hunting, hashing, skiing, sailing, other outdoor/sports groups, arts groups, lots of volunteer opportunities, etc). Either helps prevent the "third wheel" issue. Also, if you get involved in large enough groups, it's a lot easier to find an acquaintance(s) willing to go see a movie, etc. Cooking for one can be really lonely, so organized group cooking sessions or bulk cooking and freezing single meals helps.

    But, really, at the end of the day, 'lonely' is a temporary situation. The opposite sex tends to find people who're social, happy, and healthy to be pretty attractive.
    ---------------------------



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,057



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,354

    Default

    I do have to admit that...even though I'm happily married...I'm a little bit jealous too.

    OP...enjoy your alone time a bit. Even with a very happy and close marriage/relationship everyone needs some alone time.

    I keep trying to convince Mr Blue to take up golf, join the Italian Club, go out drinking with friends....something! I seem to be his only source of entertainment, LOL!
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,041

    Default

    I have worked for myself for the past 25 years and one of the issues of self-employment has always been the amount of time that I'm alone. I've always been a "joiner" and found ways to meet new people who have a common interest.

    I remember moving to a new place where I knew no one. I found an art studio and learned to sketch and paint. I'd always wanted to but had felt self conscious.

    I never got to be very good but I met a great bunch of people, had a place to go hang out when I wanted to be around people and I learned how to do something I'd always wanted to try.

    I also met some great people by joining a masters swim team. I had never been a competitive swimmer but loved to swim. I've been swimming now for 10 years.

    Also, I belong to a book group. We meet once a month for dinner and to discuss a book. My bookgroup has been meeting now for about 20 years.

    You will find your own rhythm. It's just a big change from how you were living before.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2011
    Location
    Fly Over Country
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Difficult adjustment. Are you sleeping okay? Not having depression symptoms? It's always easier to be the one who ends things than the one who is pushed out, but that doesn't make it easy. And until you've had several months to mourn the ending of the relationship, it's a bad plan to try to date.

    So I'm guessing you just want people to spend some time around. While you could entertain groups of your friends for dinner, I see your point about not fitting in as well as a single, though you might be surprised.

    Perhaps you have some friends at a distance. Reconnecting by phone or e-mail with folks you knew elsewhere isn't quite the same as having them nearby, but that's social. Or you could use Microsoft Messenger or Skype and have videocalls, which are even more interactve.

    Are there barn people you could get to know? Or horse related groups or activities for which you could volunteer. I know somebody whose spouse was always so busy at work they might just as well have been single and that's something they did.

    Some towns have meet-up groups where people discuss books or films, etc. You can find those on the internet. Public libraries may sometimes have study groups who do the same thing.

    Consider taking some kind of cooking lessons. They're fun, they take care of making a meal that night, they're social and you might meet new friends.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Rochester,NY,USA
    Posts
    7,188

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I do have to admit that...even though I'm happily married...I'm a little bit jealous too.

    OP...enjoy your alone time a bit. Even with a very happy and close marriage/relationship everyone needs some alone time.

    I keep trying to convince Mr Blue to take up golf, join the Italian Club, go out drinking with friends....something! I seem to be his only source of entertainment, LOL!

    Misty, your posts are a constant source of entertainment for those of us on COTH, and that's GOOD THING!
    Sue
    Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2009
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Thanks all for the great ideas so far. I should have mentioned in my first post that I've taken up running and love it, completed a few 5Ks and dropped 25 lbs this year. I am thrilled with how my life is going, have a great job, healthy, fit, have a lot to be grateful for. Just sometimes wish I had someone to share it with. It doesn't help that I'm somewhat shy and don't make new friends super easily! But things like cooking class sound like a good option...



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Rochester,NY,USA
    Posts
    7,188

    Default

    Something else to consider would be signing up and taking a college course or perhaps your local town has some classes, like pottery, music, dancing, etc. You get the idea. It would bring you in contact with people and you might just find a new romance as well. There's always a course in Bartending-great way to meet guys I would think!
    Sue
    Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2006
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by msj View Post
    Something else to consider would be signing up and taking a college course or perhaps your local town has some classes, like pottery, music, dancing, etc. You get the idea. It would bring you in contact with people and you might just find a new romance as well. There's always a course in Bartending-great way to meet guys I would think!
    This is really good advice. Even if you just take classes at the nearest community center, just get out for some social interaction and learn a skill.

    Just don't study French. Only women in that class...!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2007
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,942

    Default

    Volunteer.

    I live alone, and run my own business out of my house most days a week, though early in the year I took a job at a spa downtown so at least 3 days a week I'm out interacting with more people than *just* my clients.

    I volunteer with a youth organization, and that has me busy at least 2 evenings and afternoons a week, and there are a lot of extras as well. I love working with the kids, there are summer job opportunities, and the staff I work with are from varied backgrounds and all of them are amazing individuals that I feel honored to call friends.

    Next year I will be moving 7 hours away to a town where I know no one, but I plan to volunteer with the same organization as much as possible. I'll be looking for a barn to spend some time at too, even if I just volunteer a little there on the weekends grooming some beasties and helping out a little where needed
    Riding the winds of change

    Heeling NRG Aussies
    Like us on facebook!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 31, 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay Area
    Posts
    218

    Default

    OP, you could be me, only I'm about a year out from the break-up and I took three dogs with me! I feel just like you. I kind of like being alone overall, but it is hard to get used to sleeping alone, cooking for one, etc. It gets better though. Almost all my friends are married, but they still include me in a lot. I worry about being the third wheel (fifth wheel?) but I try to tell myself they wouldn't invite me if they felt that way, so I need to get over that feeling.

    Dogs are great conversation pieces - go for walks in new places, take obedience or agility classes, join a charity pet walk, etc. Volunteering is great too. If you've got the right kind of dog, find out about therapy dog certifications and volunteer with your dog. For me, taking the dog places makes me feel less alone, I feel like I'm out with purpose!

    Not sure if you might like any more intense fitness programs, but if you do, check out CrossFit gyms. I joined one; they tend to be smaller, you work out in groups and you learn cool weightlifting skills. I've made a lot of friends through the gym. Plus, getting really fit makes you feel good about yourself and people are drawn to confident people. And it is kind of fun to be that girl who does pull-ups, knows how to deadlift, things like that.

    I have a Wii, and some dancing and singing games. Sounds lame I know, but there is no way to be depressed when you are singing along to Don't Stop Believin' or learning the entire Thriller video dance. Seriously! If you are so inclined, a cocktail pairs nicely with these. Invite friends over and have a dance party.

    Anyway, you're going through normal stuff. You just have to sometimes paste the smile on, get out and do something, keep marching forward. It gets better. And when you are ready, try online dating. Even if you don't meet Mr. Right, it's good practice, can provide great stories for friends, and good posts here on off topic days!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,368

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alterblue View Post
    Thanks all for the great ideas so far. I should have mentioned in my first post that I've taken up running and love it, completed a few 5Ks and dropped 25 lbs this year. I am thrilled with how my life is going, have a great job, healthy, fit, have a lot to be grateful for. Just sometimes wish I had someone to share it with. It doesn't help that I'm somewhat shy and don't make new friends super easily! But things like cooking class sound like a good option...
    I'll bet there are some local running groups/clubs that you can join. If you have a running store near by, stop in and ask them, they always know about the local scene. They may even have group runs that they run out of the store.
    -Debbie / NH

    My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/



  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I do have to admit that...even though I'm happily married...I'm a little bit jealous too.

    OP...enjoy your alone time a bit. Even with a very happy and close marriage/relationship everyone needs some alone time.

    I keep trying to convince Mr Blue to take up golf, join the Italian Club, go out drinking with friends....something! I seem to be his only source of entertainment, LOL!
    Misty said it!! Gosh sometimes I think id love to be alone/single/independent for just a bit.
    I know, op, id end up feeling much like you are now. I understand. But know, there are definitely unique positives to both being in a relationship and on your own. Best of luck, and enjoy the good parts!



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