A friend sent me this article about loneliness. This summed it up for me:
“One thing to remember is that loneliness is subjective. Loneliness does not mean being alone; loneliness does not mean not having friends,” said Jeste, who is also director of UC San Diego’s Center for Healthy Aging. “Loneliness is defined as ‘subjective distress.’ ” It is the discrepancy between the social relationships you want and the social relationships you have, he said.
In other words, desire. Whenever I want something I don’t have I try to think about why I want it, and whether I really need it. More often than not, I don’t.
Some of the loneliest times of my life have been when I’ve wanted social relationships that I didn’t have. After many years I realized that I was never going to have those relationships because I wasn’t the kind of person that had them. I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. Once I stopped doing that and accepted myself for who I was, the relationships I really wanted appeared to me.
If we’re true to ourselves we’ll never be lonely.