The big difference between ‘being alone’ and ‘being lonely’

It happens more often than you think to people who are not in relationships. They complain of being lonely at times and miss cuddling, conversations and having that connection.

But are they really lonely or is it that they don’t like being alone? Most people do not realise that there is a difference between the two.

The major difference is that being alone is a state of being while loneliness is more of a state of mind. This means that being alone is physical while being lonely is mental or more of an emotion.

Void in your life

Being lonely connotes having a void in your life; a space that needs to be filled or that you are missing someone that previously meant a lot to you, who, for whatever reason, is no longer there.

Loneliness is like a dull ache, a feeling that follows you everywhere. It can get so bad that even with people around you, you can still feel lonely. This is when it has transitioned from just a dull feeling to depression. You have to watch out for the signs as it is easy – in this time of social distancing and not having people over – to fall into depression without recognising it.

Being alone means that you are on your own. You may not mind being by yourself and/or are not in a committed relationship, so you are certified single and doing your own thing. It is nothing to feel ashamed or bad about, as being alone has many perks, including having no one to answer to, being able to make your decisions without consulting any other person, doing what you want when you want it, and most importantly, sleeping on whichever side of the bed you want and doing it while nude and loving it.

Not a curse

You do not have to listen to anyone snore, do not have to wait to use the bathroom and you can decorate to your own taste and watch what you want on Netflix. And whenever you get tired of talking to yourself, you can always call up a friend or family member and have a chat. It can be that simple.

Being alone is not a curse, but can actually be quite empowering if you choose to embrace it. You can learn what you like about your own company and discover a whole other world of activities that involves just one person. You can play your music at the volume you like, and except for neighbours, you have no one to tell you that your taste sucks. Most importantly, being alone gives you the opportunity to re-discover what you like about you.