Yes, you read that right.
To me the loneliest thing in the world is being lonely when you’re in a relationship!
I suppose it’s inevitable at some point, even in a good relationship. Our partner can’t always be there and can’t always have the energy to give us what we need and want. That’s normal.
Then there is the loneliness that starts off small, almost something you can dismiss, until it grows. As it grows, you realize, your relationship isn’t working. Once you realize it isn’t working, you may be able to get things back on track. Get a coach. Go to counseling. Manage growing yourselves to the next level of intimacy. Or, you go the other way, grow apart more and feel lonelier until one of you decides it’s over.
Either way, loneliness inside a relationship is painful.
How to cure a case of the lonely blues?
First and foremost, whatever the cause of the loneliness is, take care of yourself. I know there’s a lot of talk these days about self-care. There are tons of books written about it, but how many of us really do it? Really take care of ourselves. If you stop and think about it, we often want others to take care of us. Maybe not to do the laundry, feed or bathe us, but take care of how we feel.
So often when we feel “bad” in anyway, we look to something outside of ourselves to change that. A person, a shopping trip, a massage or a lovely manicure and pedicure. While there’s nothing wrong with any of those, they aren’t actually a substitute for self-care.
What is self-care, really?
Self-care is when we are so good to ourselves, so loving and nurturing, that we feel content. We feel cared for. It doesn’t mean you never want to hear someone else say something loving or do something that is nurturing, but it does mean that you don’t have to have it from someone else. Because you are constantly giving it to yourself.
The interesting thing for me is that when I take really good care of myself, I have better boundaries with the man I’m with. When I’m taking care of me, the things he does are like icing on the cake and let me tell you… I LOVE icing! I also feel that if he’s not giving me the things I need and want, I need to leave. Not because I’m cake-less, to use the previous analogy, but because I LOVE icing! Why be in a cake store where they don’t have any? I would leave. I leave with all my wholeness, all my cake, intact, because I make the cake.
Don’t get me wrong, we all need relationships and interactions with people. Self-care isn’t about being an on island alone. What it does is help you pick your favorite icing (you can tell I’m loving this analogy).
If I’ve already got an awesome cake, made by me, then whether it’s a friendship, lover, soulmate or evening together, I’ll choose someone who I think has icing that I love. If, after a while, I realize they are serving up a particular icing I don’t like or I realize all they do is talk about icing, but I’ve never really gotten any of it, then I’m much clearer about taking my cake and going somewhere else for icing.
First things first. If you don’t already have your own awesome cake, make one for yourself right away. Here’s the truth, the more you do it, the better you get at cake-making. After a while, it takes no effort at all. Cake-making becomes your thing and you find you’re happy, with or without icing.