Valentine’s Day: A dreaded date for those suffering from loneliness

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    Valentine's Day loneliness

    For some, Valentine’s Day is just a day for loneliness to creep up. (Mark Anderson/Andertoons)

    As Valentine’s Day approaches, many feel the excitement of celebrating their love and emotional fulfillment, while others begin to feel the pangs of loneliness creep up.

    Some grieve a loss, a broken heart, a relationship gone sour or are merely alone with nobody to complete them. We can hold on to the thought that this day is just a gimmick, a sales pitch to get us to spend more money. Yet, this is no comfort for others. Some of us still feel lousy on this, the most romantic day of the year.

    It is an especially hard day to make it through for the lonely hearted who have to survive not only the day itself, but the month leading up to it. How can you not feel left out or alone when every store and commercial is shouting at you: Who’s your valentine? Or when a well-meaning friend or colleague asks you what your plans are? Do you answer: “Nobody loves me, I’m alone on Valentine’s Day”? And it only gets worse. The day itself, from beginning to end, is a constant reminder that: YOU ARE ALONE! From the flowers being delivered at the office to the chocolate displays at the grocery store check-out line, you can’t escape it!

    Some suffer this day silently, maybe curled up on the sofa getting drunk and singing, “All by myself,” a la Bridget Jones. While this may be exaggerated, it’s somehow understandable that a single someone would do this. This date is the most revealing, making us feel most vulnerable. If you don’t have a love recipient on Valentine’s Day of all days, you feel like a pariah and the whole world is suddenly made aware of your singledom.

    Comfort for the lonely hearted: You are not alone.

    People who are not in a relationship are not the only ones who suffer pangs of loneliness. It’s our human condition to feel this way from time to time throughout our lives and not only in affairs of the heart. We can feel lonely in a crowd, in a loving family, even in a relationship. Intermittently, we all feel lost and disconnected.

    We tend to think and hope that someone special will come along and erase the loneliness out of us forever. Someone will complete us. This, in truth, never happens. We have to face the fact that we will sometimes feel alone even in a wonderful relationship. Only in the beginning of relationships do we feel that sense of fulfillment when love is new and passion warms our hearts and souls to bring us closer. After a time, we go back to ourselves and we too experience a sense of detachment and loneliness.

    So, lonely hearted, bear in mind and find comfort in the fact that life is like a wave: We feel fulfilled, loved and connected at one time and then we experience periods of extreme loneliness too. It’s the law of compensation. You won’t feel or be lonely forever, and meanwhile try to change that loneliness into rewarding solitude.

    “Only in solitude do we find ourselves; and in finding ourselves, we find in ourselves all our brothers in solitude.” Miguel de Unamuno

    “In solitude we give passionate attention to our lives, to our memories, to the details around us.” Virginia Woolf

    “Solitude is for me a fount of healing which makes my life worth living.” C. G. Jung

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