This has nothing to do with science fiction, but it's been on my mind for almost a week, and I felt a strong need to share it here. I've been struggling with persistent, heavy feelings of loneliness off and on for years, and a random impulse last Tuesday pushed me to do something that turned me completely around.
The point is this: I don't feel lonely anymore, and if what I learned can be of any help to other people, then it should be shared.
What I Did
I added up the amount of time I've spent in any kind of relationship. I was a late bloomer, and didn't really start dating until I was seventeen. That was seventeen years ago. Since then I've been dating / in a relationship with someone for a grand total of thirty-four months. Just shy of three years total, out of seventeen.
It was a moment of clarity. Romance, this wonderful thing that I was supposed to waste away without, had been absent for more than 80% of my adult life. And I'm fine. I have not become emotionally starved, for not being in a relationship.
This also led me to look on how far I'd come in the last seventeen years, how much I've changed. I'm not the kid I was, and all the hard work I've put into bettering myself was NOT about becoming more attractive, or turning into a more appealing (prospective) mate. The changes I've gone through, the decisions I made; I made them for me. And I did so without the benefit of long-term romantic love.
What I Feel Now
After that epiphany, I almost immediately felt lighter. The tightness in my chest began to disappear. I'm feeling more confident, happier, and more free. The thing that vanished was the unrealistic, unfair measurement of not being in a relationship. I have nothing to prove to anyone, anymore.
Could This Help Anybody Else?
I really, really don't know. I've always been a weirdo. My reactions to things are not other people's reactions, and that's fine. BUT. Loneliness is a persistent son of a bitch for a lot of people, and if I can help even one person squash that unfair, unreasonable sense that something is missing when everything is actually good, then hell yes.
If you're feeling lonely, maybe crunch the numbers. I admit to being in a masochistic vein when I started making my list of relationships and how long (or short) they were, but I was legitimately surprised when I discovered just how little of my life had been spent in that category. It's ridiculous to go on thinking "I need _____ to be happy" when you've proven that you can in fact be perfectly happy on your own.
Again, I don't know if this will be a help for anybody else. I hope it is. I hope I've explained it simply enough.
What do you think?