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8 Signs You’re Not Lonely Even Being Alone

8 Signs You’re Not Lonely Even Being Alone

Loneliness is often thought of as negative. It’s defined as depressive feelings of being alone with lack of companionship and support. While it can be isolating for many, there is a difference between being alone and loneliness. When people talk of being by themselves as primarily a negative situation to be in, do you find yourself thinking, “But I quite like being alone?”

“Extrovert” and “introvert” are two words that get thrown around when describing how much people enjoy social interactions, but it’s a lot more complex than that. There are people who love going out and socializing but equally enjoy sitting alone in a room and being by themselves. The human species needs social interaction to survive, which is why the negative concept of loneliness even exists in the first place. However, there’s great benefit to spending quality time on your own.

If you relish in your me time, you’ll identify with these 8 signs that you can be alone but not lonely.

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1. You Have No Fear Of Your True Self

Just like spending time with a person allows you to get to know them on several levels, spending a lot of time on your own lets you do the same with yourself. You aren’t afraid to come face to face with the person you are and you feel comfortable knowing your true self.

2. You Know How To Love Yourself

You understand what makes you a great person, as well as the concept that what you do in your alone time reflects back on you. Being by yourself gives you a sense of independence from others that shows you that you don’t need anything or anyone outside of yourself to make you feel loved. Ultimately, you learn that it’s paramount that you create a loving relationship with yourself.

3. You Realize Being Alone Is An Important Life Lesson

There are many ups and downs in life. There are some where we seek support from people and others where we find ourselves being alone. It’s these isolating times that truly show ourselves to ourselves. In other words, the time you spend alone prepares you immensely for the moments in life that call on you to deal with these (sometimes) lonely situations and allows you to cope with them much better.

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4. You Have Your Real Passions

Many people feel the need to fill in the gaps in their day with others. While social interaction is good for the soul, you would much rather use the time to do something you love. Having some me time allows you to indulge in your passions, like reading, watching a movie you love, or going for a run. You understand the opportunity that’s presented to you when no one is around. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in what you’re doing.

5. You Are A Courageous Adventurer

There are many people who wouldn’t even consider going off and doing things by themselves, like eating in a restaurant, going travelling, or taking a day trip somewhere. Relying on other people’s company limits the possibilities of trying new things, whether it’s the music concert you want to go to or movie that no one else wants to see.

You have no problem doing the things you love without the reliance of others being available. Your perspectives show a sense of confidence. Furthermore, you know going off by yourself takes away the insulation that comes from constantly being with a companion or group of people. This actually excites you because you can do what you want, when you want, and you’re safe in the knowledge that you’ll never miss out on experiences that make you happy.

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6. You Value Your Freedom And Independence

Freedom is a wonderful thing. Being able to do what you want without someone else’s approval (or dependency) brings you a deep sense of joy and appreciation. You understand that having the space to move freely allows you to stand on your own two feet without relying on others.

7. You Have A Strong Desire For Self-Improvement

As a result of spending time with yourself and finding out who you are (warts and all), you are more willing to search for ways to improve yourself. You are more likely to have identified which fears, anxieties, emotions, and perspectives that you feel could be dealt with and improved upon. Constantly spending time with people detracts from dealing and identifying with any areas of yourself that could do with a bit of work, whereas the time you’ve spent alone creates a space for you to go ahead and improve yourself for the better.

8. You Don’t Lie To Yourself

All of these points come together to create a mindset where you are realistic about the complexity of relationships. Many people tell themselves that spending most of their time with the perfect person is somehow beneficial, when really this causes problems such as clinginess and an inability to be without them. Being someone that knows the benefits of spending time alone, you already realize this. You are able to see your relationships with others in a realistic and mature way without lying to yourself that you constantly need to be with a particular person or group of people.

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Conclusion

Never feel put out by the quality time you spend with yourself. It really can be the best and most productive moments that help develop you into a wonderful, well-rounded, and confident person!

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2020

3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

In helping many people solve their relationship woes, I am often asked for the signs of a good relationship.

Well, what’s fascinating about relationships is the dynamics of two individuals coming together and staying together amid an array of perceptions and misperceptions.

Our relationships are not only influenced by our current actions but also by our past relationships and the life experiences that we bring forward into the current relationship. How we deal with misperceptions and misunderstandings determines the strength and health of our relationship and the level of happiness we are able to experience.

Much of the subconscious programming that takes place throughout our life causes us to sabotage our happiness by preventing us from engaging effectively, especially when we become emotionally triggered.

These mostly unconscious “scripts,” which we tend to run on autopilot, include our thoughts, words, and actions that result from these. Some may even refer to them as “baggage.” While we can rewrite these scripts and stop them from contaminating our relationships, we only become aware of them when we are in an emotionally empowered state.

So, what are the signs of a good relationship?

It boils down to these four essential requirements:

  • Emotional empowerment
  • Aligned attraction
  • Sexual functioning
  • You and your partner

While we can take it upon ourselves to develop as an individual, a strong and healthy relationship results from both personal growth and teamwork with our partner in order to resolve any problems.

Let’s take a look at how we can do this.

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1. Emotional Empowerment

A clear sign of a good relationship is that both partners stay focused on what they want to create and how they want to feel. It can be too easy to blame our partner when we’re not feeling good about ourselves or somewhat overwhelmed with the curveballs that life seems to throw at us continually.

You may have heard of the saying, “Making mountains out of molehills.” When we’re not in charge of our emotional state, that’s precisely what we do!

Someone also said, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Our words and the emotional power behind them are either being constructive or destructive in our relationships.

By trying to override your emotions and dredging up past situations, you may blow a current situation entirely out of context, keep retriggering yourself and your partner, and prevent essential issues from being resolved. Aside from that, it makes you feel disconnected.

As a reminder, allowing yourself to indulge in petty annoyances and sarcastic comments will likely drive a wedge between you and your partner. So, is that worth your attention?

When we focus on what we don’t want, we continually default to the old subconscious programming cultivated from our life experiences. These “scripts” can become self-destructive when expressed through negative rumination and self-talk or critical observations of our partner, rather than being the fun, uplifting, and naturally motivating partner that they fell in love with.

Many couples start competing against each other when they are emotionally triggered instead of supporting each other to create the best outcome. While we can quickly become obsessed with being right (or not being wrong), it’s essential to stay present, focus on how we want to feel, and align our words and actions toward that outcome.

Couples who enjoy a strong and healthy relationship consciously monitor their emotional states and can therefore influence the impact of their verbal and non-verbal communication in a positive manner. This offers a long-term benefit of enhancing their overall desire to be together and connect on more intimate levels.[1]

2. Attraction in Alignment

Known as the love and bonding hormone, oxytocin doesn’t just play an important role in intimacy. In truth, it’s also vital for increasing trust and attraction between two people. Synthesized in the human brain when you trust someone, the oxytocin molecule also motivates reciprocation.

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We’re living in an age where an individual’s independence is ruling the day, and the social codes of chivalry have become sadly redundant. However, it’s never a good time to become complacent in how we interact with each other and in respecting the environment we share.

According to Paul Zak, a neuroscientist and researcher at Claremont Graduate University, oxytocin is generated in the brain only after some concrete event or action, such as someone making way for you in the street.[2]

“When someone does something nice for you such as holding a door, your brain releases oxytocin, and it down-regulates the appropriate fear you have of interacting with strangers.” — Paul Zak

Suddenly, you feel like the person in front of you is not a threat. Then, according to Zak, this feeling disappears quickly for a good reason,

“If you just had high levels of oxytocin, you would be giving away resources to every stranger on the street. So, this is a quick on/off system.”

This has important implications for those in a relationship. Zak says:

“If you treat me well, in most cases my brain will synthesize oxytocin and this will motivate me to treat you well in return.”

In a relationship, our actions and behaviors are either attracting or repelling our partner. This is especially true when we have conflicting values. Common conflicting values include personal hygiene, health and fitness, and general tidiness.

It’s important to know and respect what’s important to our partner. After all, one of the real signs of a good relationship is having the desire to continually step up and live your “A” game.[3] When our partner takes the time to communicate something important to them, we need to acknowledge that it’s essential to keep a relationship long-term.

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While we like to think that our partner will be attracted to us no matter what, this is not realistic at all. “A” is for attraction, and we need to keep attracting our partner instead of being lazy and pretending we can get away with unappealing or inappropriate behaviors.

Any unresolved issue can build up resentment and undermine the quality of a relationship. However, the thought of approaching a challenging topic can increase stress and anxiety to the point where it is nearly impossible to clearly communicate the problem without it sounding like an accusation or blame.

Due to the fear of retriggering our partner by bringing up the same topic repeatedly, we often delay dealing with the issues that are of utmost importance to us. Over time, it can result in frustration, annoyance, and disconnection. We are sentient beings, so this type of emotional resistance can often be felt by the other person.

Furthermore, we usually communicate a part of a request out loud and then complete the reasoning behind it internally. Unfortunately, our partner doesn’t hear this internal monologue, so they have no idea about the extent or importance of our need. Therefore, many problems aren’t fully discussed, and the main issue remains unresolved.

“Prolonged stress and anxiety are like poison to oxytocin,” Paul Zak said. The underlying biological hypothesis is that stress — particularly the type that does not have a clear ending point — inhibits oxytocin release.

In a healthy relationship, both partners can retain the desire to step up and continue to attract each other through verbal and non-verbal communication. Try remembering the following:

  • Every person has their own preference for how things are done, so effective communication requires actively listening as well as clearly communicating your needs.
  • Before talking about an important matter, make sure you have your partner’s full attention. Then, try to keep your words focused in the here and now.
  • Instead of rehashing a similar experience from your past for context and risking triggering each other emotionally, get to the point and explain what you want at once. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, try starting a request with “I like it when…” or “It makes me feel…” You may also ask, “How can we work together to create a win-win situation?”
  • If something is important enough for your partner to mention out loud, then you must respect, consider, and adhere to it whenever possible. For example, if a partner is brave enough to open up about their need for sexual intimacy to feel more connected, it may be an issue that needs to be addressed in your relationship.

According to psychiatrist and Emory University professor Larry Young, increased intimacy can strengthen your connection as a couple, especially when you combine it with other rewarding experiences that get your brain’s reward system going.[4]

Verbally appreciate your partner’s effort in supporting your needs and make sure to retain your individuality and interests outside the relationship to keep your mutual attraction.

3. Sexual Function

Sex is the one thing that differentiates a strong, healthy relationship from a platonic friendship. Sexual intimacy is one of the most important signs of a good relationship and has often been described as the glue that holds a relationship together.

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Sexual intimacy allows two people who seek the ultimate connection with each other to come together. However, intimacy problems can lead to separation, loneliness, and disconnection — feelings that can eventually tear a relationship apart.

Unfulfilling sex leads to an increase in stress hormones which results in a lowered libido as sexual intimacy becomes a souce of discomfort on all levels. A common cause of a low libido is, for example, sexual function issues such as early ejaculation and erectile dysfunction challenges in men; and orgasmic dysfunction for women.[5] An unwanted sexual technique such as hard and fast or constant changes of position can also be off-putting.

While work stress, children rearing, and communication issues can all lower your libido and affect your overall desire for sex, a sexless marriage or relationship is not favorable for the vast majority of couples long-term.

One of the most important things for women in a relationship is to experience a sense of connection or feel loved and close to their partner. But this is where things can become tricky pretty quickly, considering women naturally have much higher levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin than men. For men, higher levels of oxytocin are generated through intimate connections.

What is the takeaway here, you may ask? Our hormones influence our behaviors, and oxytocin is said to be responsible for allowing us to experience love. In reality, studies have also shown that oxytocin can even work as the brain’s “moral molecule.” The more intimate moments we have, the more our bodies release the said hormone.

This is especially important for a male to feel more connected and attentive toward his partner. Research indicates that a man who is often sexually intimate with his beloved can produce increased levels of oxytocin.[6] In turn, it boosts his desire to hold and connect with his partner and stimulate positive social interaction.

A positive sign of a strong and healthy relationship is both partners’ desire to be intimate with each other. If either of the partners has little or no desire for initiating intimacy, then they need to address the issues mentioned in this article to restore intimacy in order to enjoy a truly fulfilling partnership.

Final Thoughts

The most important sign of being in a strong and healthy relationship is that you feel happy within yourself and in your connections.

While it’s not always possible to stay happy and connected with someone, ensuring that you are emotionally aligned with yourself and aware of your partner’s needs will go a long way to guarantee the health and longevity of your relationship.

After all, compelling narratives also cause oxytocin release and can affect your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

More on Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

Reference

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