Alone but NOT Lonely!

Every Woman and even Men should be okay with being alone.

Our culture seems to feel that if a women is alone, there must be something wrong with her and to be honest, if a man has never been married they get the same stigma!  I can remember my mother sharing that one of her sisters (more likely my mother asking) wanting to know what was wrong with me because at 23, I was not in a relationship.  I had just gotten out a 4 year abusive relationship and my response was “what’s the rush?”   Dating in my 50’s and 60’s, some men would say “ you’re so beautiful but why has no one snatched you up?”  What they’re really asking is “what’s wrong with you?”

One of my clients shared this about her view of being alone: ” Women are afraid to be alone because we’ve been told since our birth that we need to couple up. That fear of being alone has made me remain in toxic and sick relationships because somehow being with HIM was better than being alone. That fear of being alone kept me a prisoner of my own making.  A prisoner that was cemented by stories I told myself: I can’t do it alone, I will be lonely, I will be sad, I won’t be able to afford it, it’s too hard to face the world as a single person and on and on and on. These stories served to diminish my self-esteem. It kept me rooted in a place where my worth was based on my relationship status and not about who I am as a person. The biggest fear of all was facing myself. Who am I? What do I want with my life? Why as I an adult can’t I put these simple things into words and say out loud what I wanted? Because I didn’t know. My entire focus had always been on the next ‘perfect’ partner.”

In today’s world many women are learning it’s okay to be single and alone. Many of us have been married and raised a family and at some point in life our circumstances have changed our status. We became widows, divorcees, single parents, and some women have always stayed single.  Regardless of the situation or circumstance, it all comes down to what we want out of our lives and how we live a full life that makes the difference between alone and lonely!

I’ve been in a few serious relationships in my 63 years, the longest was my 20 year marriage and I can tell you that in each one of my experiences, I was always lonely.  In each relationship I lost myself; I was lost in raising a child, lost in huge financial struggles, lost in taking care of everyone and putting my needs last, lost in making it about HIM!

“How do we get beyond the stigma that being alone is not okay and thinking that there’s something wrong with us if we’re not in a relationship.”

We need to do the work to learn how to love ourselves and put ourselves first. We have to look deep, look at the things we fear, only then can we discover who we really are.  Doing the work involves exploring the things we don’t do for ourselves that give us peace and calm in our lives; creating new values and setting boundaries where none existed to build confidence, self respect, self love and strength. In this journey of life setting boundaries is an ongoing process.

Living alone does not mean we will be lonely.  If you’re living in peace and love yourself,  you don’t need to rely on others to validate you. “You do You! “ You choose how your life will be and who will be in it.  You’re the designer of your journey.

When we chose our future partners, it won’t be because we’re lonely or because we need someone to complete us, it will be someone who shares our values, respects our boundaries and loves the WHOLE ME, just as we are!











Shirley Gaudon