Loneliness vs. Being Alone

Posted: 06/27/2010 in Happiness, Social, Spiritual


The other day I was having a conversation with a friend, and the subject of me no longer being in a relationship came up. I told her that I was happy being alone and unattached to anyone at this present time. She could not believe it and actually laughed. I told her I’m honestly happy right now because I have more time to focus on myself and some growing I need to do as a person, and left it at that. That conversation got me thinking about the difference between loneliness and being alone.

When feeling lonely, we crave interaction with other human beings, and we all know what craving leads to: suffering. Are people so uncomfortable in their own skin that they must have interaction with other people constantly? I guess some people are that way, not able to face their own demons or skeletons in the closet if they are alone with their own minds for too long. They desire the distraction of other people and the drama that comes with it. There is an emptiness inside that some strive to fill with human contact, delaying or outright denying any emotional or mental growth. Of course interpersonal relationships are very much needed for personal growth, however, I believe that there needs to be a good balance of social and self, and some cannot handle the self part.

At this present time, I prefer to be alone, which I feel is much different that feeling lonely. Yes, there are times that I desire to have companionship again, someone to share my deepest thoughts, goals, dreams, etc. I’m sure in the future that will come in due time. But for now, I am living in the present moment, and this moment calls for being alone, focusing on me and the changes I need to make in myself. I view this as a positive thing, not a negative because there is no constant feeling of emptiness. At times it’s no picnic; being alone can be a scary thing, but it takes a strong will to work through that in a healthy way, and learn from the experience. But in general, I am happy being alone on this new journey of  meditation practice and am up to the challenge of the experience.

In meditation, we have no choice but to open the closet and drag the skeletons out, to face the demons. It takes strength mentally and emotionally to be able to do that. I feel compassion for those that crave interaction so much that they don’t have the ability to embrace “being alone.”

May all those who feel that craving overcome it, to embrace that “aloneness” and not feel “loneliness.”

Photo credit

  1. daniel240 says:

    Hey I really enjoyed the tone of your writing. You have a great ability to view things for what they really are. I would love to hear what you have to say about some of my writing if you get a chance. I’ll keep checking up on yours. 🙂



  2. Great post man, very valid points.

    You are definitely right about the being alone vs being lonely. Next month, my wife and kids will be gone for a few days. I know I will feel lonely without them, but at the same time, it will be some welcome alone time to really reflect without all the hubbub life in a family brings.

  3. metalbuddha says:

    Daniel – thank you! I bookmarked your site and will check it out tomorrow. Bedtime right now though. lol

    Nate – much appreciated. Talk to you in a week bro! \m/

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by stream_enterer and Brandon Glasgow, Brandon Glasgow. Brandon Glasgow said: New post: Loneliness vs. Being Alone https://metalbuddha.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/loneliness-vs-being-alone/ […]

  5. metalbuddha says:

    Oh wow, I hadn’t even thought of that factor. That opens a whole new can of psychological worms. Yikes! Good call Adam.

  6. […] holidays always remind me of the shitty feeling of being alone. I don’t have a love interest in my life anymore, and the holidays make that a lot more […]

  7. wilson says:

    loneliness is a negative state of mind while aloneness is a positive one..loneliness is a state of mind where you constantly miss the other whereas in aloneness you are delighted in yourself.loneliness is ugly beggarly dependent whereas aloneness is grace independence.when u move into a relationship when lonely u are expecting something from the other ie exploitation.and nobody likes to be used and the relationship before beginning is on the rocks.therefore first be alone enjoy it and then like a king move into a relation. here one king meets another and they rock.they dont use each other rather they become one and enjoy.

    please note i have read the above from osho . i hope it is liked

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