A comparison of deliberate solitude with loneliness and how it all affects ones ability to mate:
Short-term solitude is often valued as a time when one may work, think or rest without being disturbed. It may be desired for the sake of privacy. A distinction can be made between physical and mental seclusion. People seek physical seclusion to remove distractions and make it easier to concentrate, reflect, study or meditate. However, this is not necessarily an end in and of itself. Once a certain capacity to resist distractions is achieved, people become less sensitive to distractions and more capable of maintaining mindfulness and staying inwardly absorbed and concentrated. Such people, unless on a mission of helping others, don’t seek any interaction with the external physical world. Their mindfulness is their world. A clear distinction must be made between solitude and loneliness.
Loneliness is an unpleasant feeling in which a person feels a strong sense of emptiness and involuntary solitude resulting from inadequate levels of social relationships. However, it is a subjective experience. Loneliness has also been described as social pain – a psychological mechanism meant to alert an individual of isolation and motivate her/him to seek social connections. People can experience loneliness for many reasons and many life events are associated with it, like the lack of friendship relations during childhood and adolescence, or the physical absence of meaningful people around a person are a few causes for loneliness. At the same time, loneliness may be a symptom of another social or psychological problem, such as chronic depression. [Sources: Wikipedia Solitude/Loneliness]
When comparing both with each other, we find and inverse relationship between the need for both, in order to remain stable in our fast lived world. We need and despise both feelings at the same time, for example when caught in a bad relationship or failing marriage – and despise it when we find ourselves unable to build new relationships after the experience of rejection and failure. I have come to appreciate a high level of solitude when it comes to doing what I do for a living, which at the current time is being a student and website administrator. A minimum of distractions allows me to take care of things quickly and efficiently. This solitude also allows me to study and focus, write and think.
The more time we have to spend with ourselves, the better we supposedly get to know our-self and what we are capable of. Those of you who fly understand that this “first solo flight” is such an incredible cornerstone in building a solid foundation for future pilots. Being able to handle it all alone is ultimate proof of mastery and absolutely necessary for proper development. Those of you who do not fly, it’s the equivalent of realizing that we do not need others to remain functional in our everyday live. We may be able to run our household on our own, capable of taking care of things without help. Hidden within both experiences is profound emotional and mental peace. Once we figure out that we can do it on our own, we relax – things get a lot easier. Solitude can be a good way to get over heartbreaking events, find a way to move on, to set a new direction and a fresh course. In solitude, I have personally denied, realized, analyzed and finally accepted my own mistakes, vouched to myself to not make them again and pushed the RESET button.
When the need for voluntary or involuntary solitude is satisfied, we start to look around ourselves and sometimes come to realize that we have, in fact become lonesome. Do you ever feel like a floating leaf , lacking direction? Do you ever wonder where you’re headed? Have you ever immersed yourself in work, school and appearances so deeply that you feel like a stranger when re-entering any sort of social life? Do you find it harder to understand the youngsters lingo, their incredible obsession with social media outlets, such as facebook which attempt to patch up the fact that the world has become very egocentric and narcissistic? People broadcast every little detail of their love life, professional life and freely share opinion, when so many times it would be wiser to rearrange the letters of the word LISTEN into SILENT and to practice both more frequently.
I do not believe humans were made to be this way. We are bound to have social relations, but who can really have ongoing and meaningful relationships with 1527 friends? How many of those friends are true friends, how many don’t even know who you are, how many would not really recognize you or talk to you if they ran into you on the street tomorrow? How many have added you to their friends list just to have more friends on the page, trying desperately to portray how popular they are and what an important personality they are, in our crazy world? How many are nosy while remaining silent towards you? If you write them, how many will write back? If you wrapped your car around a tree and died tomorrow, would anyone notice your absence?
I do however believe that humans need friendships and a partner over the long run in order to succeed in the jungle of ups and downs, called life. We need the friendships to bounce ideas off of others, find recognition, get critiqued, have meaningful arguments or drink ourselves comatose with. We need a significant person in our life to be our partner, someone to dream with, someone who tells us that we are important to them, someone who holds our hand when things get rough. Someone who bothers to read our mind when nobody else cares for anything we have to say or feel. Allowing such a person in our life is difficult – because they receive a key to something very close to us: Our EMOTIONS!
Even though Swans are no longer scientifically classified as “mate for life” animals, I nevertheless believe they set out with the intention of sticking to each other. Even though divorce is common, especially after nesting failure, I still believe that the bond is ultimate and intentionally clean. Unfortunately I find, that dating & mating in the Swan world seems to be a hell of a lot easier than it is in Homo sapiens world. If I was a Swan, all I’d have to do was swim up to my princess and try to get close. If I lost feathers, or the bleeding just won’t stop, I will have a general idea of her willingness to get to know me better. I may return for one more try, but the idea is not to lose too many feathers in trying to convince someone of my willingness/ openness towards her.
Especially now, after a long period of being single and removed from the human mating game, I find it incredibly hard to reach out to potentially interesting women. What’s the right way of doing this? I understand, it’s the United States of America! A woman never makes the first step, that’s against our fake rules of combat. But, the better ones seem shy and unapproachable. One never knows if she will smile and melt or faint in shock and terror. Certainly, signs of affection have not been and are not frequently returned. Then again, when in fact the woman makes the first step, supposedly seeking to live, laugh and love – how does one know how many males she needs to collect in order to find all of those things? “You’ll know when you find the right one” doesn’t cut it as an answer, people! One is not always and obviously desperately “seeking” and mating requires two!
Then there are commitment issues with social butterflies which almost never land, ex husbands and boyfriends, rumor mills and sometimes even children, which miraculously always have to be their first priority in life. As if they were on “broken record steroids”, the first thing to come out of a single mom’s mouth is the immediate positioning of their new prospective mate at the bottom of the totem pole by stating: ” My children will always be first!” DOH! Did I ask you to sell them on EBAY and run off to Cuba with me? Is it some sort of protection mechanism that kicks in, to differentiate the schmucks and one night stands from someone real? Do I get extra kisses if I don’t instantly run away? Meeh! I’ll pass – thank you! Then, there are those who have been seriously abused, taken for a ride, emotionally distressed and terrorized beyond reasonable hope for repair.
Given, my next mate cannot be found in a bar, be a drunk or druggy and she needs to be old enough to have developed a fully functioning frontal cortex. She needs to be affectionate, compassionate, passionate and honest. She can certainly be shy and nervous, as long as an opinion can be extracted from her, somehow. If “I don’t know” or “Whatever!” are part of her daily vocabulary, I’ll probably pass again. She needs to be willing to take a risk in that she needs to melt into a natural human being around me, so that I don’t feel as if I am talking to a robot or have to behave like one when I am around her. Most importantly, she cannot be, or constantly strive to be PERFECT. MCRS = Militant Christianity & Religion Syndrome is perceived as a unwelcome mental disease in my world – Pass. Some humor (preferably black humor that may strike others as “weird” at times) would be swell! She needs to have a goal in life that goes beyond the usual “just get through in one piece” attitude and she certainly needs to be steady enough to handle herself.
If this all sounds terribly old school or not like what you would read on facebook, then I have shared what I feel about feeling lonesome with the wrong person and that’s quite alright, too. Put it under “Veterans Day Entertainment” and move along. If you’ve bothered to read this far, then I assume to have reached someone of sufficient emotional character to actually push the reply button and leave me a note, even anonymously. Put “do not publish” in your comment and it won’t appear. I don’t go to bars, don’t do drugs, don’t have a drinking problem, am not emotionally weak, do not physically or emotionally abuse or trick women. Heck, I even have teeth! And no, I won’t sign up for E-Harmony or Match, as I would likely fail the intake test on account of being to sarcastic. Besides, it strikes me as utterly wrong to search for my Princess between 1’s and 0’s anyways…