When you are suffering through heartbreak, you feel spurts of loneliness lonely during the most unexpected times. It’s not only when you’re walking through the mall and spot a couple holding hands. It’s not only when you’re watching a movie and see a man performing romantic gestures for his love.
You feel lonely when you wake up in the middle of the night after hearing a noise and have no one around to pull you close and remind you it is going to be okay. When you have to fall asleep in an empty bed when you were used to feeling a body pressed up against you.
You feel lonely when that television show you used to watch with your ex comes on. When you have to sit through the episode by yourself for the first time and have no one to text about what happened.
You feel lonely when you go out to dinner with your friends and they all take turns telling stories about their partners and you realize that you can’t join in anymore. When you have nothing of interest to tell them, because you’ve spent most of your free time doing nothing.
You feel lonely when you come home from a stressful day of work and realize that there isn’t anyone waiting for you, wondering how everything went. When you realize that your work hasn’t actually ended, because you have to cook yourself dinner and clean the apartment and walk the dog without any outside help.
You feel lonely when you are dying to see a certain movie or drive to a certain concert, and all of your friends are too busy to join. When you realize that you don’t have a go-to person that you can drag wherever you please, who will do whatever you want.
You feel lonely when you are sick with the flu or hungover from a crazy night out and have no one around to remind you to drink Gatorade or take an Advil. When you have to be your own doctor because there is no one else around to take care of you.
You feel lonely during summer when couples are scattered across the beach and during winter when you have no one special to buy holiday gifts for. When you have to show up for family parties and explain to every aunt how you’re single again.
You feel lonely whenever you hear a song that reminds you of your ex. Whenever a character on TV shares their name. Whenever their post pops up on your feed.
But you have to remember that your loneliness doesn’t mean you should jump headfirst into a new relationship. It doesn’t mean that you are better off with someone else than by yourself.
And you have to remember that feeling alone doesn’t mean that you are alone. Instead of sitting home on a Friday night, you can call up your parents and invite them over. You can join a class with your best friend that will eat up some of your time. You can adopt a dog that will meet you at the door and fill the silence of the house.
You can’t stop yourself from feeling heartbroken, but you can chase the loneliness away by surrounding yourself with the right people.