Rock Bottom Moments of Solitude Felt By Singles (and How They Took Control & Changed Their Stories)
Lara was driving on the highway on her way home from yoga class one Sunday evening when her car suddenly started making loud banging noises. She checked her mirrors, but couldn’t see anything. Her heart panging with adrenaline, she pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway. She got out and walked around the car, but couldn’t see anything obviously wrong and decided to just drive home and call a mechanic. Her heart still racing, she got back into the car but as she attempted to start the car again, her entire body filled with a sense of dread. Nothing. The car wouldn’t even start.
She put her head down on the wheel and began to cry as the most obvious question popped into her head, “Who can I call?” No one. That was the answer and she knew it.
She pulled out her phone and scrolled through her contacts but immediately regretted reinforcing the fact that she truly had no one to call. None of her relatives lived in Switzerland. Her most frequent phone calls were with her assistant and her boss, both of whom it would be inappropriate to call. She had friends, of course, but most of them would be at home with their husbands and children on a Sunday evening and truthfully, over the past few years they had barely seen each other anyway.
She would call for her car to be towed, but they would ask if she had someone to pick her up and again she would be reminded that, no, she had no one.
Shortly after this incident, she contacted me and told me that she had been thinking about working with me for a while and that moment sitting in her broken-down car alone on a Sunday evening motivated her to finally take action to change her situation.
I hear stories like this, key moments when single women feel the full weight of what it means to be alone, all the time.
And that loneliness has only heightened during the pandemic, as more women and men than ever before were faced with the overwhelming reality of what it means to go through life alone.
Before the pandemic started it was much easier to have regular social interactions... In the office and even with the errands of your daily life you would naturally interact with people on a regular basis, but in the past year the sense of loneliness for those living alone has been amplified exponentially.
Those in relationships or starting relationships during the pandemic had a built-in support system and companionship that changed how they experienced the pandemic altogether, yet those alone were met with relentless silence day after day.
Being alone definitely has its own rewards and it can be gratifying to build a life for yourself and see the fruits of all your labor…
But even in the best of times, it can be disappointing to celebrate wins without someone to share them with and in the most challenging times it can feel all but impossible to make it through alone.
Many times it is precisely these challenging moments that become the tipping point for singles to decide to make finding a partner a priority in their lives. Of course, wanting to have a partner has long been a goal for most, but it’s easy to put doing the work to find and start a relationship on the back burner as something that you’ll, “get around to eventually.”
When taking care of a sick loved one, going through a difficult loss, dealing with personal illness or any of the countless other hardships that life presents us with, the support that we have can truly mark our ability to survive or thrive.
This reminds me of a story a friend once told me about a student who was asked by their teacher, which was heavier, a bucket of water or a cup of water? The student assumed the answer was the bucket of water, but the teacher explained that the answer actually depends on time.
Not understanding, the student asked how that could be and the teacher answered that if you only need to hold a bucket full of water for ten seconds you wouldn’t struggle at all but to hold the same, full cup of water over the course of months or even years without putting it down once would take a much bigger toll, even if it seemed completely manageable at first.
And want to know the best way to ease any weight? No matter how big or small or how long you need to hold it?
Have someone to share the burden with.
Having someone there with you for those monumental moments in life may be what causes you to make looking for a partner a priority but when talking to those who have found partners many times it is the little things that really stand out to them.
After Lara worked with me and began dating and eventually met her future partner, Matthew, she gushed to me about the little things that had changed in her life. As they began going to each other's apartments more often he commented about the lighting in her kitchen and how it could have been better around her countertop and then offered to take care of it. That weekend he came over again and set up a new light feature.
“How nice is that!?” she excitedly told me over the phone.
Instead of arriving home to an empty house, she now had someone waiting for her to ask her about her day. It drastically changed the quality of her life.
As their relationship grew she was able to appreciate how having someone you love being the first person you see in the morning and the last person you see before going to sleep gave each day new meaning. Even just having someone to accompany her to run errands or go to doctor’s appointments gave her a sense of security she hadn’t realized she’d been longing for. Having a sounding board for decisions both big and small helped her confidence both personally and professionally.
Once she realized that having a true life partner meant having a teammate, she felt unstoppable.
The pandemic has made many people realize they do not want to spend life alone. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, suddenly aware of your own isolation, then you’re not alone. The good news is that this has served as a time of reflection to look at yourself in the mirror and ask some important questions like:
- Have you been avoiding looking for a partner by throwing yourself into work and keeping yourself busy with countless plans?
- Have you come to the realization that there’s not actually anyone for whom you’re the #1 priority in life?
- Are you beginning to get frustrated as you make plans for vacations or holidays with a dwindling list of possible companions who have already made plans with their own significant others?
Humans aren’t meant to be alone.
As we face eye-opening experiences in life that make us realize we don’t want to continue alone, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be and it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. In fact, often it’s getting started and committing to finding someone that is the hardest part.
Even during the pandemic when it has been more challenging for many singles to date, all of my clients have been dating and many have started relationships.
Now is the time to find someone to help you lighten whatever load life throws at you and of course to share in the beautiful moments as well.