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Loneliness and Vulnerability Questions

Old 11-21-2013, 02:32 PM
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Loneliness and Vulnerability Questions

Since I have been separated from my husband I struggle with feelings of loneliness. I am not really sure how to fill this void without having someone to help fill it. I mean loneliness is a lack of connection with another. I reach out to the social networking sites I belong to to help locate people I can relate with. I have searched and continue to search the Al-Anon meetings in hope of finding a group of friends. I am not having much luck. First off I am shy. Second, the Al-Anon meetings I attend either have people that are much older than me, or they have people I donít find that I could connect with friendship wise. I am continuing to search.

I told my therapist that I am lonely and want to connect with people. She advised me to find local meet up groups, search in Al-Anon, or just find organizations of my interests. That is all good advice, but the time I feel loneliest is at night. I also do not have time to attend many of these meet-ups. Not to mention I work on Saturdays, which happen to be when everything gets scheduled for. I would very much like a connection to someone of the opposite sex to talk to. My seeking of the opposite sex is not to find and jump into a new relationship; I am in no way wanting that. I think I am looking for that companionship that you can only find with someone that you share an emotional connection with. My therapist advices against that, but what the heck is wrong with it? She states that I am too vulnerable, and is worried that Iíd fall into a cycle again. Okay I get that, but what if I want a friend (maybe with benefits) that I can share some emotional intimacy with? Do I just not know how to be alone? My HP knows I havenít had an emotional connection with anyone including my AH in a long time. Is it too risky?

I had a connection with someone from my past for about a week. It just ended a few days ago. Iím not going to lie; I am sad for the loss. Him and I met again on Facebook. He was a boyfriend from childhood; from seventh grade actually. He joined Facebook after a recent break-up with a five year relationship. We began chatting. I know we were both emotional and vulnerable, but it was the most fun Iíve had in a long time. We chatted through Facebook everyday all day. We sent silly duck-face photos, and discussed our pasts. We told each other the pain we were going through. We also shared many of the same likes and dislikes. That part was crazy. He was previously married to an Alcoholic. Apparently we lived five minutes away without knowing it for years. He moved into an apartment complex after he left located in a nearby city that I have visited and wanted to move into once I had the funds. We are both incredible geeks. I mean we had a thirty minute debate on which one was better- vampires or werewolves. Who does that? One day he cooked me dinner and we watched Superman. It was a great time. However, one day he stopped chatting. Yesterday he deleted his Facebook account again. I can only imagine that he either rekindled with his girlfriend, or was feeling emotionally overwhelmed of some sorts. Itís kind of crazy I never heard back. He just disappeared. I would have understood. This makes me the most sad. Whatever the reasoning he had to just disappear, I am thankful to have shared those times with him.

I really want that kind of connection again. Do you think itís too risky, or too soon?
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:57 PM
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I do think it is risky, and I do think it is soon. But I don't think there's anything unusual or wrong with wanting that connection.

I was alone for three years after my first marriage fell apart. At first it was not by choice. I was looking for someone to fill the voids, too. But it didn't happen, and that was very painful, at the time. Now I see it as a blessing. Because no one swept in to make me feel good about myself...I had to do it myself.

And I did. Because I was forced to spend so my time alone, I got to know and appreciate myself more than I had ever been able to through relationship-hopping. It's made all the difference in the relationships I formed when that time alone came to an end. It was the most empowering thing that could have happened, and I am intensely grateful for it.

Since then I have watched several friends' marriages fall apart, and seen a lot of those halves desperate to connect with someone -- anyone -- new. They said they only wanted some companionship, but in reality they were looking for someone to fill the empty spaces inside them. I really believe the filling of those spaces is an inside job. Two half people don't make a whole; two whole people, however, make something far more than the sum of their parts. I needed to take the time to become whole.

I am sorry you're feeling lonely; I remember it vividly. Sending you hugs, strength, and patience.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:12 PM
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It's entirely up to you. Personally I love being single, which was completely alien to me until a few years ago.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:10 PM
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I hear you, MT. I get lonely, too. I am 4 years out from separation and any physical or emotional intimacy beyond the friend level. I am Christian and I believe that God created us for relationship, which is how I tell myself that I am normal and my desires are natural. Of course one doesn't need to be Christian to enjoy opposite-sex attention, friendship and intimacy, I'm just sayin' that it makes sense to me that way.

I know for a fact that I am more stable emotionally as a result of having male friendships, a few dates and a lot of girlfriends instead of relationships in the last few years. I know now that I had to unlearn some bad habits and some knee-jerk reactions and that I was NOT OKAY, NORMAL, or READY to connect with another person even though I wanted that so badly.

Any decision I would have made in terms of getting involved when I was as fresh and vulnerable as you are would have set my healing back significantly.

Your guy-friend is a good example of not-ready for what you have to offer. This should tell you that maybe you aren't really capable of choosing a good companion at this point?

Thoughts?
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:10 PM
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I am a thinkin' I am hearing a Country and Western Song in the making, here.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:12 PM
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So is loneliness a part of the healing? Do I just need to busy myself in other ways besides trying to fill the loneliness? I honestly do not know how to heal myself. All I know is that it is boring, and lonely without someone to share stuff with.

I am very much a night owl, and usually stay up to two, three, sometimes four in the morning. At those late hours I have no support system that I can call, which makes it tough not to call my AH. I know nobody said that this is going to be easy. I'd really like to find a support system if I can during the rough times.

It was really nice sharing things with my disappeared guy friend. I also typically tend to relate better with men, because we tend to share common interests. It's hard to find female friends that are into technology development, nerdy sci-fi, and video games like I am. I do know honestly though, that my feelings for this particular male friend were not platonic even though I was not seeking the next "relationship."

How do I live alone? How do I begin to heal? I guess those are the questions I need to figure out an answer to.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
I am a thinkin' I am hearing a Country and Western Song in the making, here.

Funny that this is another thing this friend and I shared. Local country music artists.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by MTSlideAddict View Post
So is loneliness a part of the healing? Do I just need to busy myself in other ways besides trying to fill the loneliness? I honestly do not know how to heal myself. All I know is that it is boring, and lonely without someone to share stuff with.

I am very much a night owl, and usually stay up to two, three, sometimes four in the morning. At those late hours I have no support system that I can call, which makes it tough not to call my AH. I know nobody said that this is going to be easy. I'd really like to find a support system if I can during the rough times.

It was really nice sharing things with my disappeared guy friend. I also typically tend to relate better with men, because we tend to share common interests. It's hard to find female friends that are into technology development, nerdy sci-fi, and video games like I am. I do know honestly though, that my feelings for this particular male friend were not platonic even though I was not seeking the next "relationship."

How do I live alone? How do I begin to heal? I guess those are the questions I need to figure out an answer to.
All my jackassery aside. . . . . I know one thing.

I am NOT a Love Doctor.

I have heard by those proclaiming to be wiser than me that the best way to get over one, is to get under another.

[But all that conflicts with my Jesusy stuff so . . . Now I prepare my soul for an eternity of fire and poking.]

So at One to Four AM there are the floor sweepings at the drunken Cowboy Bar down the street packaged ready to take home.

But I think my brain is more wired like a typical woman. Sex and Love is bonding thing for me. If for some reason Mrs. Hammer and I were to cease to be an item, I would be looking for my Fantasy Happily Ever After all over again.

So just dunno.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MTSlideAddict View Post

I mean we had a thirty minute debate on which one was better- vampires or werewolves. Who does that?
HA! I do that! I had a recent discussion on slow vs fast zombies.

Loneliness is a real issue. I am trying to learn about it and enjoy my company because god knows I have spent most of my life in relationship. But it's difficult. I am not purposely staying away from romance, and I have had a few flirtations with men since my breakup five months ago. But I am being very aware and conscious of my behavior. So you are aware that mutual loneliness was the main thing that brought you and this guy together and that is something you know and that is good! There is nothing wrong with finding this kind of companionship; even as brief as it was. (in my opinion). I think it only becomes a problem if it keeps you from healing and becoming best friends with yourself. Anyway, that is what I tell myself; I am no expert. One thing I do to enjoy the company of men and people in general, is photography. I love photography and joined Meetup groups. This is where I can hang out with Photo Geeks like me, do a little flirting, share my situation with like minded people. I even met a photographer whose wife died from alcoholism. This is a safe and healthy way to meet all sorts of people, men included. It took awhile, about a year, for me to be firmly part of this very dynamic group. The secret is to consistently show up.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:39 PM
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For me the loneliness was a sign that I was not taking care of myself. It often started with not listening to myself either.

Loneliness happened when I was not physically alone too, especially in my marriage with my AH.

You mentioned that you frame loneliness in terms of connection....for me it was about a lack of connection with myself.

Finally I am coming to learn that I have some behaviors in friendships that are very unhealthy, never mind cross gender, potentially intimate relationships. I am coming to understand I need to get some solid ground on those first before I get myself into another lonely relationship even when the other person is in the same room.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:05 PM
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I recently discussed with my counselor "getting a life". Yep, 35 and no friends to call up on a Saturday night for dinner or a movie or whatever. My friends are all married with kids so I'm a little left out. I also do really enjoy solitary activities - playing piano, puzzles, reading, etc. I'm comfortable spending time alone. However, I need to make some new friends so I have to put myself out there. I took a beginner yoga class - loved it - no new friends, but I'm comfortable enough to start going to a yoga studio regularly & hope to meet some people that way. I also signed up to volunteer at the local humane society, so hopefully that will be a good venue for me. I really don't want to get involved in anything that is focused around drinking. I looked at a bike club & a ski club, considered joining a gym, etc. I figured I'd try these first two then see what else I want to try...I need to figure out who I am again.

I have to say that reading about your friend was actually a bit of a red flag to me. You said the relationship lasted about a week, but it sounds like you spent a LOT of time together in that week. I believe that most people find that independent people are the most attractive - they know who they are, they have their own interests, etc. I think if you focus on who you are, you will find that you are attracting people that you want to become friends with.
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:33 AM
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My thought, Stay alone until you are comfortable in your solace, thats when you are ready for love to find you, or just a fling. lonliness after a relationship is just that, you want to hang on to anything. Dont do it, be with yourself, cause YOU are the one you need atm. Being comfortable in your solace, doesnt mean your a hermit, It means you are just as comfortable being with friends as being alone. but being there, makes your head think clearer, decisions are easier. Everything is clearer.

Keep busy and live and enjoy life. the rest will come to you.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:07 AM
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Disappeared friend contacted me through Facebook and apologized for disappearing. He stated he just freaked out. I understood. We both mutually agreed that we were not ready to spend time with each other and carry on our "friendship" as we had been. We did agree to be an ear for each other as it appears we are mutually going through the same grievance. If it weren't for him disappearing in the first place, however, I don't think I would have come on here to discuss my issues. Then I wouldn't have had so much advice that helped me realize that there is a reason grief is necessary. His disappearance and the advice received here forced me to look at why I was drawn to him so quickly, and to examine my feelings that I had for both him and the ones I was trying to cover up. I feel much better, none the less, to have received this apology.
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Old 11-23-2013, 01:05 PM
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Staying still helps me in so many ways. So many things will change when we don't engage. We can just wait for truths to reveal, for people to show us who they are, what they are, that what they are going through isn't really about us after all.

I'm glad your friend made contact.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:30 PM
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Oh do I hear myself in your post!

When I was first divorced from my first husband, (my choice) I was scared, bored, and very very lonely. I'd never lived alone, and been in a relationship my entire adult life. I soon became aware that I needed to learn to be just me, me all by myself. I made myself do things I'd never done before, like go to an event alone, not even meeting anyone I knew there, just me. I met wonderful people and developed a confidence I'd never known before. It wasn't long before being single wasn't lonely or boring anymore. I could do what I wanted when I wanted, and I owed no one an accounting for my time. It was exhilarating!

I think everyone should have this experience, and learn how to just enjoy their own company.

IMO, I think what you're feeling now is transitional, you're craving what you once had and feeling a loss, learning how to fill the void with YOU. Until you're completely comfortable being by yourself, maybe it is too soon to invite someone else into your world.
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:54 AM
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Have to agree with LifeRecovery here.

This is one of those inside job times.

Sorry you are feeling lonely and out of sorts.

Hope you make/take the time for yourself.

Are you sure you are not seeking something more out of the need for a male companion?

Without a doubt, all the extra baggage you are currently carrying around is not something you want to take with you in a new relationship/friendship.

I see this as MTslideaddict's time to reconnect with herself.

It will get easier, sometimes we just have to give time, some time, ((( hugs)))
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:22 PM
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ITA that there is a big difference between being alone & being lonely. I've been lonely in a room full of people but not at all lonely by myself, in my own home, enjoying my own life.

At first being alone drove me batty - then I started to wonder, did I dislike my own company so much? Did I not find value & comfort in my own thoughts? If *I* wasn't comfortable with myself, how could anyone else be?

A good friend of mine went through a separation around the same time I did but jumped immediately into meeting new people, dating & chatting a lot online with new men. It scared me that she never gave herself time in between relationships to love & know herself. (she'd been married nearly 20 yrs) She bounced around from relationship to relationship never really knowing what she was looking for & failing to find happiness even when she thought she did know.

After a few years of running herself in circles (they had ended up divorced) she finally gave herself a break & pulled back from seeking relationships, spent some honest, quality time with herself & realized how she had short-changed herself by not doing so from the beginning. Once she had greater clarity on who she was, who she wanted to be & what she was looking for in a companion it was much easier for her to meet the right kind of people.
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:41 PM
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I think it is too soon in that when it happens it happens, it should not be something that is forced. I think along the same lines as some other folks here, you have to learn to like yourself. You have to learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Once you have worked on you it will be time to open up that relationship with another.

Good Luck and God Bless!
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