Question for Meg:
“I’m 55 years old, and I’ve been single my whole life. How do I deal with the loneliness and the sinking feeling that I’ll never find someone?”
I’ve had many clients ask me some version of this question over the years, Carla. Feeling lonely is a big problem in modern life and a very common one. But being alone, or single, isn’t actually the cause. The real cause is your self-defeating perceptions and expectations.
Loneliness and “the sinking feeling you’ll never find someone” are not, in fact, synonymous.
Loneliness is an emotional reaction. It may be a fact you’re alone right now, but loneliness is the feeling experience of your reactive mind, and not a fact. This reaction comes with the fearful distortion that you’ll never find “the one.” So now, if feeling lonely wasn’t bad enough, you also have a reason for despair. But the truth is this is all happening in your mind, not in reality.
I can tell by the way you phrased your question Carla that your bogeyman is the fear you’ll be alone for the rest of your life because you’re still single at 55. This belief is what’s feeding the loneliness you’re feeling.
So let’s take a look at how you can shift your mindset and correct your thinking with the facts. The real problem is not that you’re alone; it’s that your mind’s destructive speculation is triggering the crap out of you.
So here’s a tool you can use whenever you catch yourself thinking this or any destructive thought. It will literally take you about 2 seconds to do it, and you can do it under just about any circumstance.
Ok, so every time the fear of a life alone pops into your mind, I want you to immediately tear all of your attention away from that fear and focus on your breathing instead.
Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, I want you to imagine a huge stop sign, a stop sign as big as a house, a stop sign to stop your destructive thought!
The goal here is to break this destructive pattern of despair. Now, it might take you a 100 times a day at first, but if you keep at it, I guarantee you’ll eventually break the old pattern and find your way back to a little more peace about the simple truth that you’re single for now.
This one little tool can be a real game changer. And who knows? Maybe it will be your key to finding that special someone!
After all, in what state would you be more likely to find a viable, satisfying relationship? When you’re lonely and despairing? Or when you’re at peace with being alone, just for now?
I’ve put together a question worksheet that you can download for free. At the end of the worksheet, I walk you through a simple awareness exercise that you can come back to again and again as you’re working to overcome your loneliness.
Read my Blog Post:
Take good care : )
Hi Meg! I am loving your site. Thank you for all of the helpful information and tools! What you say truly resonates with me. I have one curious question about whether you left your husband or not. I would love to hear about that journey either way. Peace and love!
Yes, Leah. I did finally leave my husband. It was really painful, but I’m so glad I mustered the wherewithal to do it. If you want to learn more about the process, here is a post I just wrote for TinyBuddha: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/feeling-burnt-out-how-to-slow-down-and-reclaim-your-peace/ – I hope find it helpful!