Friday, February 24, 2012

Being alone doesn't have to mean being lonely

Being single isn't the same thing as being alone... But sometimes, it sure does feel that way.

From eighth grade through the first month of my freshman year of college, I dated the same guy.  For those counting, that's five years... which is a long time.  At least it felt that way, anyway.  He was the first guy who actually talked to me for me.  Most of the guys I'd talked to before that were just friends.  I never saw them as boyfriend material.  After my ex and I broke up, I had somewhat of a crush on a guy, but he turned out to be a jerk.

I was always (and probably always will be) the geeky, semi-introverted girl who has a few close friends.  Of my 195-ish friends on Facebook, apart from family, I completely trust maybe 15 of them or so (and, of course, my family on there, but that's a lot more than 15).

In my sophomore year of college, I fell for a different guy.  It took me a while to finally come out and tell him.  We decided to be just friends, and for that, I'm grateful.  I didn't want to ruin the friendship we already had, and I'm glad we were/are able to maintain that.

The summer after my sophomore year, I went on a date... My first since senior prom.  Like the aforementioned gentleman, this too ended in the "let's just be friends" chat. (Go figure that this year, I had to have the same conversation with someone.  Oh, life.)

While there are some days and nights that I wish I had that special someone to talk to, to ask for advice, to hold me when I need it most... Being in that sort of situation is scary. It's not that I have complete trust issues, I just often wonder, is this what I want? Right now, I know I need to focus on school. But it's times like those when I don't do so well on an exam or what have you that I just want to have that person who will tell me it's going to be okay.

As seen on PostSecret.
I was talking to a guy friend a few hours ago and we decided to hang out this weekend. Just us. It's been a few years since I've gotten to hang out with a guy friend, just one on one. I'm really excited for it, I'm not going to lie. Even though we're just going to walk and talk, sometimes that's all you really need. We chatted online for three or four hours a few nights ago, and I brought up some things I don't talk about with most people.

It takes a lot for me to mention some things. Granted, we didn't talk about the deepest, darkest inner workings of our psyches, but who knows. Maybe this will go further, maybe it won't. I'd love for it to. But to quote something I read once, "Take every risk. Drop every fear." Sometimes, you just have to jump in feet first and hope you don't sink. Everybody has their inhibitions, fears, and doubts. It's just human nature.

However, I've said it once before in a previous entry and I'll say it again...

Life's a journey, and I just want someone to live and love it with. Love and life are two funny things...  You can have a life without a significant other, but to have life without having loved something, I think, is terrible. You don't have to love someone, but loving something so much that it gets you out of bed in the morning and excited... Now that's what makes life worth living.


  1. I've often found that the grass is perpetually greener on the other side. When I'm single, I miss having that special someone to hold me when times are tough (no matter how much I boast otherwise on my blog). When I'm taken, there are some moments where I prefer to handle my problems alone...and any attempts for that special someone to help result in bitterness. It can be a bit of a catch-22. Relationships carry with them a particular set of challenges that take a lot of emotional energy to overcome. If you were in a relationship, you would worry how it would affect your routine (as well as how to maintain that bond during graduate school). Now that you're single, you wonder what that journey will be like without a sidekick. It's not an ideal situation either way. Believe me, I know the feeling.

    When it comes to relationships, there is one thing that I have never been more sure of. Love finds you. Without warning, and without much of a chance to resist. Bar the door, lock the windows, turn out the lights. It doesn't matter. The barriers get torn down. You've followed my site, so you know which experiences I'm talking about. You might feel as though it's taking too long to arrive...and then overnight, everything will change. Us Losties have several words for that, ya know. Constants. Fate.

    I admire the courage you displayed in this entry. It isn't easy to talk about past relationships and loves. But I like to think everything has worked out well for you so far, and see no reason why it never will.


  2. Shane,

    All of your comments are always so eloquently written, I don't know how to reply half the time. I agree whole-heartedly that it always seems greener on the other side. I've seen friends jump out of one relationship and into another with no regard for anything, and then there are relationships that have stood the test of time. My parents will have been married for 27 years this year. I can only hope one day that I'll have that kind of devotion to and with someone.

    Maybe this is the barriers being torn down for me. Maybe it isn't. Is it fate? Destiny? In the words of Mr. Eko, "Do not mistake coincidence for fate." Though not everything in life works out in life how we'd like it to, those are the experiences that make us who we are.


  3. Being in a relationship doesn't necessarily keep you from being lonely. I'm married but I have no close friends outside of internet friends, which means that when Christian is at work or when I want to vent about our relationship, I don't have anyone to talk to. Appreciate the friends and family that are there for you and no doubt one day, hopefully soon for you, you'll meet the right guy.

  4. Nice post, Cary (and nice Lost references, everyone!). Your post reminded me of a few things...When you talk about needing to focus on school instead of worrying about relationships - I totally get that. At the time that I was applying to graduate schools, I thought that it would be near impossible to maintain a serious relationship...But then I started school, and met several people who are writing a dissertation and doing a damn good job of being a significant other, too. I guess that people just find a way to make things work when it comes down to it. Your post also reminded me of a conversation that I had with a friend earlier today...She told me that this past Valentine's Day, she went out with other single friends and realized for the first time in 5 years that she could be perfectly happy, healthy, and whole without someone carrying a "boyfriend" label. Relationships are great, but it's always good to hear from friends that they are comfortable with themselves before worrying about getting comfortable with a significant other. Anyway, good luck with wherever your path takes you!

  5. Cary,

    For the last 3 weeks I've been spending much time with one girl walking and talking and sharing a lot of things I don't often share. Me and her talk for hours and it never seems to end. I know how nice that feels, but some days I wonder if I'm not diving to deep to quickly. I understand the lonely feeling that you've been struggling with. My last couple relationships were empty and didn't really make me feel less alone. So with this idea, some times I think its much better to just have really a close friendship with someone rather than a relationship based on feeling lonely and trying to fulfill that loneliness. I know this is a hard this to listen to when its been so long since your last real relationship. I mean to be honest its been about 4 years for me since the last real "love" in my life. However I do hope, that the right man comes along for you soon, and I pray that when he comes along you'll know for sure that he's the one you can fall in love with.

    With peace, hope, and love


  6. Kathy, you know we're all here for you. Although I've not most of the people who read my blog, I consider them all my friends.

    Thanks, Jan. I agree that you need to know thyself, so to speak, before entering into a relationship. And even once you're in said relationship, it can lead to a lot of self-discovery as well.

    Jon, I know that feeling. It's a rush knowing there's someone who genuinely cares about you and your well-being. I always appreciate your input. More often than not, the best relationships come out of friendships.