Nobody wants to be lonely – it kind of sucks. I’ve been alone for every major holiday since blowing the whistle on the banks. It was hard being single at first, but, once I accepted it, my life changed for the better. Instead of jumping from relationship to relationship, I learned to stop feeling lonely and start feeling myself.

1. Connect to People with Similar Interests

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, there are certain hobbies you have that you enjoy pursuing. You don’t need a partner to enjoy your hobbies – in fact, enjoying your life alone is the best way to meet people with similar interests.

You may not want to attend a movie or hike a mountain on your own, but do it anyway. You’ll bump into people doing the same thing, and you can connect with them.

2. Talk to Senior Citizens

When was the last time you talked to a senior citizen? So many people push the elderly into retirement communities so they don’t have to deal with them. We’re so used to instant gratification that we hate having to slow down and listen.

Spending time with the elderly and listening to their stories fulfills you and validates their experiences. It’s a win-win situation.

3. Embrace the Challenge

Knowing how to get through adversity and actually doing it are two different things. It’s the execution that counts in life, and in order to properly execute, you’ll need to embrace the challenge of being single.

For every lonely night you spend crying, there’s an opportunity or adventure you couldn’t have taken if you were distracted by a relationship. Stop dwelling on what could, should, and has been. Instead focus on the now.

4. Go on a Personal Journey

The best part about being alone is being able to discover your true self. When I was jumping from relationship to relationship, I was so busy introducing myself to someone and getting to know them that I never had a chance to grow and mature myself.

I went on a spiritual journey and reconnected with the things that are important to me, and I learned that I actually felt lonelier in those relationships than I did alone. It was a fantastical revelation.

5. Dream for Your Future

When you’re in a relationship, your future is shared with someone. This makes things easier in that you have support, but it also forces you to compromise.

Stop being lonely solo and realize you have the power to do whatever you want without having to compromise. You can go all-out and focus 100% of your energy on yourself.

6. Contribute to Your Community

If you find yourself lacking in human companionship, volunteer in your community. There’s no shortage of churches, soup kitchens, thrift stores, and shelters looking for able-bodied volunteers.

Instead of sitting around feeling bad for yourself, you can help others who are in need. Committing yourself to the betterment of society is a great way to fill any void in your life.

7. Assist Children

I believe the children are our future. Teach them well, and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.

Whitney Houston had her ups and downs. Her death wasn’t the most glamorous, but she understood that the greatest love of all is the love we have for ourselves.

Listening to Whitney Houston’s music reminds me that the survival of our society lies not in Washington DC, but in our youth. Find ways to make kids’ lives easier. Register as a caregiver, coach a team, or just clean up a park.

Loneliness can be difficult. When you’re used to being in relationships, you may not even know how to be single. There’s no shame in being alone – I’m 33, single, and not even working on changing that. If I can do it, so can you.

So buck up, grumpy puss. Somebody loves you, and it should be you.

Featured photo credit: beautiful girl in the morning on the beach via shutterstock.com

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