5 Things to Do When Loneliness Feels Unavoidable

lonely person

Loneliness. For some singles, it’s almost as if loneliness is their only companion.

It was shortly after I started writing for Catholic Singles that I (rather ironically) started dating someone. I’m nearly 28 now, but before he and I started dating, I had been single since, well, forever.

I’d certainly gone on dates, but commitment evaded me. There were times, especially as I watched my friends fall in love, that the loneliness was downright unbearable. And without the right tools to combat it, it could lead to sadness, apathy or even sin.

So here, I’m presenting 5 ways to combat those moments when you feel like, What if I never find someone, what if I die alone. Some come from personal experience and some will hopefully be inspired by the Holy Spirit as exactly what you need to hear.

Chose Loneliness by Changing your space

bedroom layouting

I am a serial rearranger. I love to drag my furniture around to new nooks, change its direction, add or remove colorful pillows or blankets, hang new things on the walls—you name it, I’ve done it to a room. Often.

First, this will literally give you a fresh perspective. It might sound a little bit nutty that you could feel better with a new room layout, but changing your scenery and your perception can have a big effect on changing your attitude. Secondly, it will remind you of what is yours. Take ownership of the life you lead by creating your space intentionally around you.

I spent so long not wanting to “nest” because I wanted to wait until I was in my “forever” space with my husband before I got comfortable. That was nonsense. Hang things on the walls, buy furniture, choose artwork you love, pick pieces you like to decorate your home. Because it’s yours.

Start a project

DIY projects

DIYs are one of the greatest byproducts of the internet. Sure, the idea of “doing-it-yourself” existed long before the world wide web, but it became truly fad-like with the rise of Pinterest and I am so grateful for that.

I keep a board of ongoing project ideas and whenever I’ve felt lonely, I’ve chosen one at random and done it. Projects do a good job of keeping our minds distracted because we get so focused on something else.

More than that, though, a project reinforces the truth that we are a whole person who has what we need to succeed. God has given us gifts, talents, and the abilities necessary to be who He is asking us to be. We aren’t incomplete people until we meet The One—we are only incomplete in our humanity longing to be returned to eternal communion with our creator.

Allow yourself to be powerful alone! Praise God for your two hands and beating heart and tackle a project just because you can.

(Obviously just don’t pick something that requires two people, like hanging a shelf, because you will surely be disappointed.)

Join something—anything

fitness club

I recently wrote about how to find friends as an adult. Loneliness is a feeling that, somewhat ironically, rarely comes alone. It is usually accompanied by sadness, self pity, and insecurity. And when we feel like we’re not worthy of romantic love, sometimes we can fall into a trap that says we’re not worthy of any other kind of love either.

I know it’s true because I’ve been there. There’s a point where the independence of taking yourself out to dinner or the DIY projects can turn from empowering to enabling of the mindset that, “This is my life now. Alone. Forever.”

Don’t believe that voice! If you’re not in a place to embrace your Self, then seek out others. Join a book club, find a community sports league, or volunteer in your city. You can use an online dating service like Catholic Singles, but look beyond that and surround yourself with people who will remind you that you’re not alone.

Jump on the bed

jumping on the bed

This isn’t a deep metaphor. It’s just a small joy that will make you smile.

Okay, maybe there’s a little more to it than that. There are perks about the single season that I know won’t be around when I’m married. Partially because I have common sense, but partially because I have had a lot of married friends who have made it a point to tell me so.

Married friends who can’t make a run to Target without letting someone know; who have to consult someone else on what and when to eat at dinner; and who, tragically, do not have a giant bed all to themselves. So in their honor, I jump on my own bed all alone and I enjoy every single bounce.

Call someone

talking with bestfriends

If going out or joining isn’t where you shine, lean on the community you already have. Call a friend or family member and just let them know that you’re feeling lonely. Then share your life with them.

The whole conversation doesn’t have to be about what’s got you down; in fact, you might find greater peace just being able to share the day-to-day of your life with someone who’s ready to listen. Sometimes the times we most want to share are the times that life is just happening around us. Nothing particularly noteworthy—those occasions draw a crowd, usually—but someone to tell about your work day or see a movie with.

Reach out to those people.

Loneliness is not emptiness

happy person

No matter how alone you feel, remember that you’re not lacking anything. As a child of God, you will want for nothing in this life. Remind yourself (or maybe tell yourself for the first time ever) that you are a whole person all on your own.

You have what you need to succeed. God has given us gifts, talents, and the abilities necessary to be who He is asking us to be. We aren’t incomplete people until we meet The One—we are only incomplete in our humanity longing to be returned to eternal communion with our creator. And then we’ll never be lonely another day in our lives!