The Lonely Hearts Club Band… of One

Generally, I try to stay upbeat. I’m employed. I like my home. I have a loving family. I have hilarious friends.

But sometimes, I get a case of the Lonely Hearts Club blues. It just so happens that at this moment most of the people who I know are in love. They may be in messy love, or sad love, or it-will-never-work-out love, but they are in love nonetheless. Many of them are in happy love, thank heavens. I am genuinely glad that so many people who I adore have found someone who they adore. As I described my life earlier, I feel like one of those Book of Questions situations: “If you had to be alone forever and know that everyone you know would be loved, would you?” Apparently, I chose yes.

But, it’s those darkest days of winter. The ones where it seems like real spring will never come. The ones where I’m invited to events and weekends and dinners and happy hours, only to find myself as the third wheel, or the fifth, or the seventh. A perpetual spare tire.

And then, when I’m alone, it gets me. The perpetual fear. The one that, if I was willing to really admit the ugly core of me, keeps me up some nights. The painful, and eternal seeming truth. I am not lovable. Not really. There is nothing about me that anyone will ever love. And at my age, it is time to accept that this is it. That’s the speech that runs in my head that I never confess to anyone. “No one will ever love you and you will be alone forever.”

It’s not like I date. I am the sort of girl that everyone comes to about their dating dilemmas. A cancelled wedding gives one a certain street cred in these matters, I suppose. But, no one assumes that I would be date-able. Or ever asks. And when I try to wrap my head around it, I tell myself the same. The important thing, I tell myself, is to accept it now and be glad for everything else you have. And I try. I try to swallow it, over and over again. I will be alone for the next fifty or so years I have left on this planet. And that is ok. Love isn’t that great, right?

And the thing is, sometimes it works. Some days, I convince myself that it’s ok that I will spend the rest of my life with just me for company. I really do. I revel in it. No one else’s things crowding my tiny bathroom. No one else’s taste in movies to decide what to see. No one else to hog the blankets in the bed or drink all the coffee.

But sometimes, like tonight, it makes me sad. Not depressed. Not maudlin. Just sad, the way I would feel if I was my friend. “Poor thing,” I’d think. “It’s sad that she’ll always be alone.” And sometimes the next fifty years seem like an eternity to go through, having to always be my shoulder to lean on, having only myself to tell when things are great. Sometimes I don’t know how I will do it. I look at women who’ve done it before, and know that it can be done. But, when it’s February, and everyone you know is in love, even when it’s breaking their hearts, there’s no one to ask how to keep doing it by yourself, forever.

And then, like tonight, I put myself to bed. One day. Then the next. Whether I do them all alone or not, it’s too much to manage in fifty year increments. Today, I’m ok. Tomorrow will have to worry about itself.



Filed under Relationships, Soul Searching

9 responses to “The Lonely Hearts Club Band… of One

  1. andrea

    I rarely comment, but had to come out of the shadows on this one…
    1. Of course you are lovable! Your friends love you, your family loves you. Being alone does not mean that you’re not lovable!
    2. “At your age”? Come on. You’re not THAT old. I could see if this was the 1950’s, then yes, you would be considered a spinster. But now there are people getting married for the first time at the age of 40, and that’s a GOOD thing.
    3. Don’t assume that because your friends don’t talk to you about dating that they assume you’re un-date-able. Maybe they don’t bring it up because they think your sensitive about it, or maybe because you were so badly burned. Maybe they assume that you don’t want to date because of the cancelled wedding fiasco.
    4. You won’t be alone forever, you have way to much to offer to someone. He’s out there, you might just not be quite ready to find him 🙂

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  4. I love this post, and for lack of better words, let me say simply that I feel ya. But I don’t think trying to be happy alone means you’ll always be alone. My motto these days is that alone is the same as lonely. And for what it’s worth, I think it’s easier to be lonely and alone than lonely in a relationship. That was harder and much soul-suckier.

    Keep your chin up – it’s almost spring!

    PS. Can I please kick the marriage coach guy in the shins? Virtually, of course. SHUT UP.

  5. Being alone ISN’T the same as being lonely. You knew what I meant.

  6. Ellen

    I really relate to this post – I have been consciously single for a couple of years now (though I am making some forays into the dating world recently, they have been minimal) — and I am for the most part happy alone but sometimes I get swept up into the feeling of ‘it will always be this way’ — and I think that’s a normal human thing to feel, like things will always stay the same. Truth is though, the only constant in our lives IS change. So many times I get stuck that the best and the worst of this very moment is forever – but it never, never is.

    I choose to believe love will come, if I am open to it, and I believe the same is true for you. I can tell from your blog that you are intelligent, witty, caring, and loving and those things can only be universally returned. So take it one day at a time, take care of yourself and know that a down day is just a day – peace.

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