I think women are more open about feeling lonely. I also think they’re more vocal about seeking a man to share their lives with. Whereas men seem to google search “How to find your perfect partner” and then just take the bad news on the chin. Never trying to do anything to proactive to help with the loneliness. I’ve never had any of my male friends come to me and tell me that they are feeling really lonely. Not in the past, anyway. I think if I did have any lonely friends they’d tell me, though. I’d hope.
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I was once lonely, so I know the feeling. And not lonely on one or two days out of the year. I spent 27 years of my life, alone, with no-one to share it with. Not on an intimate level, anyway. Youth was fine, because most people accumulate a certain amount of friends along the way. I had no absence of friends that I could call upon to go out on a boozy night out with, and at times, sometimes that lonliness did fade into the background after being diluted with several gallons of beer and a heavy dose of,
“I really love you mate,”
“No, I love you more. You’re my bestest friend”
Drunk dude talk with my besties. Yeah, we do that too, believe it or not. Especially when you get a happy and emotional drunk like I was back in the day. But, you know, there comes a time when a single man (or woman) for that matter starts to drift away from their friends. Me, for example, all of my friends were rapidly becoming partnered up and well on their way to having kids and Marriage, and there was me, being left behind, wanting to do single guy stuff, but couldn’t because they were happily coupled up and busy. How to find your perfect partner was an absolute mystery to me
Friends gradually disappear into the night
So I became lonely. My friend circle gradually became full of younger and younger people. All of my older friends were busy, and I was still of the mindset that I was single and I needed to go out there, have some fun and meet someone important to my life. And yet even that excitement faded away, because my younger set of friends, we liked different things. They were still asking each other questions I had learned years ago. Perhaps I liked the respect. Auto respect being an older dude.
Anyway, this all led to me being in my house, alone, for at least two years. Desperately wanting to share my life with someone but having no idea how to. I mean there was work, and people I knew from work and friends that came to meet with me at my house, which was awesome, but never anyone to share my life with. Sometimes I’d just sit there and cry, and wallow in my lonely sadness, because no-one really gave a shit. Not really. They were too busy wrapped up in their own lives to care what I was doing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hold that against them. I’m not saying they were responsible for my loneliness.
I did blame them at the time though.
I was a good, nice guy, right? Why the hell was I sitting in my house, alone, with no-one around me to give two shits, to care, to tell me that I mattered! I SHOULD matter. I’m a good person. Or at least I always felt a good person. Maybe not deep deep deep inside, but all things considered I felt fairly decent. My mates, they were always trying to give me ideas on how to find your perfect partner, but it was narrowminded, pidgeonholed through their own experiences.
Self-discovery. SO important.
That was around the time I started to discover myself too. I had been focussed too long on things that didn’t really matter much. Like alcohol, cigarettes, going to the pub, and paper-thin friendships. I was going through a beautiful transformation. It was the start of the world swallowing up the old me and churning out a brand new me. A me that started to care for the things that he got involved in. Wow, did I have such an interest and new-found passion in world history. Did you know that the Ancient Greeks were the first to live in ‘Societies’? And the first ever town was called a Politic. See the relevance?
Anyway, I had started to really discover myself. I know that I write about discovering myself a lot, but thinking back, as I write this, there was a passion that I have now, that was missing back then. A passion for life. A passion for the undiscovered, a curiousity about culture, and relationships, gender, people, humanity, that I hadn’t known existed. There was a rawness to me, a fire inside me that I hadn’t known was there. It had been kept away under lock and key, under layers of drugs and alcohol. But once I had stopped that, there was no chaining it down, no subduing the passion like before. Life was too boring otherwise.
And the faster I began to discover me, the real me; what I liked and what I absolutely did not like. I went on a deep journey of self-discovery. I entertained myself in hobbies and activities that I always wanted to try but had been telling myself I couldn’t, that I’d be rubbish at them. That was my Dad’s voice again, and my aversion to risk. But I stopped doubting myself in the end and took those giant leaps into the unknown. What did I have to lose, right?
Passion for the unknown!
And it was through my interest in the unknown, the excitement of discovery of the world and oneself that I met my wife. She came into my life one day at work, with a grace I had not encountered before. She had the warmest smile, and she was always welcoming. She was the first woman I had ever felt safe around, and, it was instant attraction, from both sides. And the rest is history.
A lot of people say,
“When you’re not looking, someone will pop up when you least expect it” – it was the go to response when I asked people how to find your perfect partner
And there’s truth to that. I had always been on the lookout. But I had stopped trawling pubs, and bars, and had accepted life for what it was. What will be, will be. I had been so wrapped up in my own self journey and development that it came quite a shock when Natalie asked me if I wanted to come to the Speedboat racing with her. It sort of took me off gaurd. As I say, I had accepted the way life was, and there was her, asking me out. I did go out with her, and the rest, was history.
So my advice there is, not to wallow in your loneliness. Loneliness is tough, it’s shit, it’s depressing. It has you Googling “How to find your perfect partner” late at night. But there are things that you can do in the mean time whilst you wait on that special someone to come along.