Is there a difference between being alone and being single? Unfortunately, many people also confuse “singleness” with being alone.
Loneliness or being alone: Isn’t it weird that more people feel isolated and alone nowadays?
Yet, there are 8 billion people on the planet with the internet and social media that keep all of us connected. Some people are afraid of being alone. They believe they need people around them to feel happy and content. Why is it difficult for someone to be alone? Is there something wrong with you if you always feel alone?
Loneliness is not quantified by the amount of time we spend alone but rather by how we feel about the time we spend alone. What does this mean?
In his book – Lost Connections, Johann Hari explains that “to end loneliness, you need other people plus something else. You also need to feel you are sharing something with the other person or group that is meaningful to both of you.”
Loneliness isn’t the physical absence of other people; it is the sense that you’re not sharing anything that matters with anyone else. Johann Hari
It is easy to believe
- that when we feel lonely, all we need is someone else to make the hurt/loneliness go away;
- that we aren’t enough to make ourselves complete. We think we will be happy once we are in a relationship with someone. It is as if we wait for someone else to come and make us complete.
Dr Myles Munroe stated, “There is a profound difference between ”being single” and ”being alone”.
In Genesis 2:18, God said, It is not good that man should be alone. He did not say that it wasn’t good for him to be single.” According to Dr Munroe, not being alone requires only having other humans as close friends and companions. He also says marriage was NOT instituted to save humans from loneliness – humans were created for that.
This revelation from Dr Myles is a significant one for us to grasp. If you do, it means you won’t dislike being “single or unmarried” and won’t get into a relationship for the wrong reasons.
What are the wrong reasons?
- If you don’t like being alone
- if you need only physical gratification
- if you feel empty without someone at your side are some wrong reasons.
What are you bringing to the table in a relationship?
Some say,” I cannot live without you” or “If you leave, my world will fall to pieces“.
Statements like that are not romantic; they are scary because they show weakness or dependency, much like an addiction. You can become addicted to a person, much like a substance or behavioural addiction.
Most of the time, a person will spend all of their time focusing on what they can do to be more desirable, to make the potential partner like them more, and make them choose you. But, unfortunately, if you are doing this – you are missing something big – YOU.
The most important thing is knowing who you are and your worth.
Knowing what you bring to the table is one thing you owe to a new relationship.
So it isn’t about the other person. You’re not supposed to convince them how wonderful you are. If you know who you are and what your worth is, it makes you a confident person.
- A confident person does not just accept anyone into their life.
- They are not dependent on the opinions of others to sustain their self-worth.
- They don’t compromise their values.
- They don’t try to change themselves to be more likeable.
- They don’t bend and twist to keep a partner happy.
- They know they are a great catch.
So many of us don’t even understand our actual value or worth. We don’t realize all of the beautiful things about ourselves, and we sell ourselves short. It is one of the underlying factors in GBV relationships. We accept lousy treatment as if we deserve it. And we don’t. “What you allow will continue.” This is why looking at yourself and knowing your worth is so important.
What can I do to discover my self-worth?
Make a list of everything you know about yourself that you have to offer a partner –
- What characteristics do you have?
- What skills do you have?
- What traits (habits) do you have?
Positive attribute examples
- It will help to remind you what a great catch you are.
- Help you know if you will be compatible with him and remind you of your values to see if he shares these same ones.
- It will help ensure he brings a lot to the table – at least more than good looks and a charming personality.
- It will help ground you, in reality, to evaluate him as well – for example, if you are a kind person, is the one too? If you are a giving, loving person, is the one too?
What is the meaning of this for us?
Dr Munroe explains it means when you are still single, you must become a unique, content individual who knows you don’t need anyone to complete you. If you can do that, you can be successful in any relationship because you bring into that relationship what you are. In contrast, a person who is not as happy and content as a single person, who does not know who they are in Christ, or who does not have a strong identity of their own, will always reach for someone else to hold them up.
You will always be disappointed if you expect others to make you happy. The truth is that no one can make you happy, nor can you make anyone else happy. “Happiness is being responsible for your own experience,” says Thomas Oppong. Happiness is an inside job. So don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.
“Everyone has a place in the world; yours shouldn’t be inside someone else.”
— Adrea Cope
Happy vs Needy person:
Dr Munroe explains that if you are not a happy “whole” person( at peace with yourself and okay on your own),
you might reach out to others to complete you for the wrong reasons (because you feel you need something from them so that you can become happy),
and you might be exploited sexually, financially, or emotionally by another person.
In situations like this, you are frantically trying to fulfill your needs and might never care about others’ needs. But unfortunately, the truth is that no one in a relationship or marriage has the time to fill up a partner’s emptiness. We see this often when someone complains about a partner being too busy to fulfill their needs or give enough attention to them.
It is essential to know that.
- No one will come and complete you – everyone is busy completing themselves.
- They don’t have time to fill up all your empty spaces. If you believe this, you are putting your happiness in someone else’s hands. It always leads to disappointment. So – if you feel lonely, you must remedy it yourself.
- It is a heavy burden to place on a partner to expect them to make you happy or fill up what you lack in yourself. A human being will never be the answer to our problems when our problems lie so profoundly in our fear of being by ourselves.
Start taking responsibility for yourself. Since you cannot sit and wait for someone else to rescue you from loneliness – you have to go out there and start living. Plan your day. Fill the empty parts of your life with things that speak to your soul. Practice developing a collective vision of life. People who shut themselves away in their homes and have individualistic ideas towards life tend to be more lonely and depressed than people with a collective vision towards life who share their lives with the community and people around them. Do things that make you happy. Happiness can be in something you enjoy doing on your own. Taking care of yourself shows you are okay with who you are. Focus more on improving things for people around you or your community – it brings more happiness than focusing on yourself. Have your own goals. Yes – you need to chase your dreams and set your own goals. There is a reason you are here. Find the motivation and live the life that God planned for you.
Start taking responsibility for yourself. Since you cannot sit and wait for someone else to rescue you from loneliness – you have to go out there and start living. Plan your day. Fill the empty parts of your life with things that speak to your soul.
Practice developing a collective vision of life. People who shut themselves away in their homes and have individualistic ideas towards life tend to be more lonely and depressed than people with a collective vision towards life who share their lives with the community and people around them.
Do things that make you happy. Happiness can be in something you enjoy doing on your own. Taking care of yourself shows you are okay with who you are. Focus more on improving things for people around you or your community – it brings more happiness than focusing on yourself.
Have your own goals. Yes – you need to chase your dreams and set your own goals. There is a reason you are here. Find the motivation and live the life that God planned for you.
If you don’t know who you are, why do you think you will find yourself in someone else? Dr. Myles Munroe
The bottom line here is you have to love yourself first. If you don’t, you will expect your partner to make up for the absence of self-love. In truth, no one has the time to deal with a person who does not love themselves, who is needy, demanding, and empty. No one can compensate for what you lack in yourself.
When a relationship fails, giving yourself time to reflect on what happened is a good idea instead of moving quickly into the next one. Ask yourself what your contribution that the relationship failure was. If you don’t, your next relationship might follow the same path.
When are you ready for a partner? The day you realize you are happy and content on your own. A partner is not supposed to complete you but to compliment you.
How do I become a whole person?
A message from God: What is God asking you to do too? What is the thing God created you to be?
“Sometimes, God will back you into a corner and take away all your other alternatives because He wants to show you His miracle-working power. Perhaps you are facing a difficult situation and have come to a place where you can say, “I’ve tried everything else. All I have now is what God has said to me.” Whenever God reduces you to His Word, if that’s all you have to go on, you’ll receive a miracle! As long as you have your schemes to fall back on, you aren’t going to see the miracle. However, when you say, “I can’t do anything else; I don’t know what to do. If God doesn’t come through, I’m going under,” then God says, “I like this situation. I will get involved because I love doing the impossible!” If you believe in God’s Word, God will take what is “impossible” and make it seem like an everyday thing.” Myles Munroe, Understanding The Purpose And Power Of Prayer
“Faith gives us hope, so if faith is lost, hope flees away like mist in the wind. Loss of faith leads to loss of hope, which leads to despair. Life becomes pointless and without value.” Dr. Myles Munroe
You can also test your knowledge of relationships by doing the My Knowledge about Relationships Quiz.