I am alone but not lonely


Short foreword: This article was published 2 years ago in an online magazine, a time when I was Single 😉 Maybe these words will help you, encourage or motivate you. That’s the main thing for us!

A lot of us don’t want to, can’t, can’t go around it. Many enjoy, love or hate it. Being alone, I notice that the word has a slightly negative echo. “I travel alone.” “I’m single.” It’s like I have to keep explaining myself.

“Don’t worry, the right one is coming,” I hear. Or: “I absolutely can’t understand why you’re alone.” Most of the time there are a few more lists of my CV, in tabular form of course, just to make sure that I haven’t forgotten anything. “You’ve studied, and your language skills alone… I’m surprised you’re still alone.”

As always, I ignore it. As well as the constant attempts by my Jewish relatives to pair up. As luck would have it, my alleged “dream man” rings at the door. What a surprise! “He comes from a good family,” assures my aunt, delighted. “His parents are academics, he studies medicine, and he’s single. It’s great.”

Yeah, that’s great. I can hardly keep myself from enthusiasm. That he is an eternal bachelor and still lives with his parents at the age of thirty might also be a small detail worth mentioning. It is as if they diagnosed being alone as a disease in which they are desperately trying to find the miracle cure.

I know I’m the number one topic of conversation. At mid-twenties, no man in sight, no family. And then there’s this flat-sharing community, surrounded only by chaos. It’s hard to grow up in an environment like this.

If you add all words, all prejudices together, every parable, every equation is always the same: alone = lonely. You immediately have an idea of a vulnerable, helpless, lost single woman. Clamped and desperate, she shimmy from man to man and from relationship to relationship in search of true happiness, the search for the one, great love.

Out of frustration and unwillingness she tried the tenth diet in a row, quit the gym, gave up hope and after countless dates is again in deep grief. During the night, her thought carousel turns into Europe’s largest amusement park and she analyzes every clue, which is why her date has not yet been reported, down to the last detail. After all, seven hours have already passed.

Maybe he had an accident because the car didn’t start last time. Maybe he got fired and is homeless because he was talking about problems at work the other day. Compassionate looks when she comes unaccompanied in the evening, comforting words when she leaves the party alone. Valentine’s Day is a disaster for her.

Between love dramas and too much wine in her mouth she is already planning her funeral. She’s depressed and lonely.

But that’s just our picture of her. Maybe she’s not, maybe she’s like me. She’s alone because she wants to be alone. She is by no means a loner, she loves and enjoys society – but also society with itself. She came to the party unaccompanied because she is free and detached. Above all of expectations, demands and doubts towards oneself and others. In the evenings she doesn’t look at sad love tragedies and doesn’t sink into self-pity either, but loves to watch Netflix series in a continuous loop and is so emotional that it would be unreasonable for her environment.

She loves to live into the day. She decides to fly spontaneously to Barcelona, goes out for a chic meal – and even if she is only surrounded by couples, she enjoys the view of the city and toasts with herself. She won’t mind. She looks forward to sitting at the kitchen window in the morning after an excessive weekend and enjoying the silence with a cup of coffee. And that without despair, without sadness and loneliness and all that. She rests within herself. And as melancholic as that may sound, I understand it.

“But why?” then everyone asks me, shocked. Always the same amazed faces. “I could never imagine. All by yourself.” I stopped explaining it to them. Because they never replicated that feeling and will never fully understand me. Probably because they see being alone as an unavoidable condition, a temporary situation, a short, surmountable phase.

They’ve never tried it, never let it happen. For fear of the loss of control, the state of mind or prejudices from outside. Or before the performance, the thought itself. Fear of getting lost in the knitted fabric and not finding the end of the thought carousel. The exit is very easy to find, for example, if you get a map and don’t build an amusement park out of it. It would not be bad to hire a construction company. To tear down the amusement park. (No Berlin construction company maybe…)

We ourselves are the greatest magicians, hypnotizing our consciousness every day and falling so deeply into ecstasy that we can no longer distinguish between truth, clarity and illusion. For example, that our happiness depends on love and that we are weaker alone. But a partner does not mean that the sum of the forces is twice as high. And even less does it mean that we can become immortal and develop superpowers. Because here the calculation doesn’t work out.

A partner can give us a lot, but cannot replace us. He can fulfill us, but he can’t pay for our inner voids. Because when we enter into a partnership, we are still the same character, with our shortcomings and our weaknesses. Instead of constantly compulsively striving for happiness, we should relax, clean out the amusement park and think about a possible retraining.

Our shortcomings, our deepest fears and doubts can only be overcome by ourselves. Transferring responsibility to someone else is unfair to the partner and to oneself. And the feeling of fear, emptiness and above all loneliness can also occur in a false partnership – and nothing is worse than being lonely in togetherness. So before we love someone, we should date ourselves first.

And yes, the suspicion of schizophrenia is clearly excluded. Have fun with it!

Read the article in German


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