Raise your hand high if you’re single right now.

If you raised your hand…that sucks. Christmas is right around the corner and you have nobody. You’re going to be opening gifts with your family wishing you had someone to hug and kiss.

Hey, at least you have mom’s affection.

Most of my friends who are single complain about it how lonely it is. Even up until recently I hated being single myself. But I have a small group of friends including me who have learned how to be alone, and how amazing it can actually be.

I’m not declaring being single is better than being in a relationship, but what if you could find happiness in both?

So when you’re in a relationship, you are happy and when you are single, you’re also happy.

The challenge

About 6 months ago I went through a break up. It was the worst – they always are – but as I wrestled with sadness over the relationship ending, another perplexing challenge surfaced: how to be alone.

I’ve been through a handful of break ups and I’ve spent plenty of time being single in between. I thought I would have learned how to be single a long time ago but much to my surprise, it was just as difficult every time.

I was amazed by how difficult being alone was for me. I had friends – they were amazing – but I felt a suffocating solitude at any moment I didn’t have a distraction.

When I was in a relationship it didn’t feel this way at all. Even in an unhealthy relationship just the knowledge that I had someone to call “my own” was comforting.

Looking for answers

After my last break up I really wanted to solve this impossible mystery of destroying loneliness.

I did some research and discovered that most people talk about how to not be alone. There is plenty of good pointers on that like for instance having a good distraction.

You can always be doing something whether it’s hang out with friends, work, go out, etc. as long as you have company.

Distractions are great, especially right after a break up. But here’s what I realized…

Distractions only teach us how not to be alone, rather than how to embrace being alone.

If we could only learn how to enjoy being alone, we would actually look forward to it.

People are so scared of being alone that they have more courage about going to the dentist than eating at a restaurant by themselves.

Isn’t that crazy?

I believe that people feel lonely because they have not developed their inner life.

The cure

There are a few very important ways to conquer solitude.

  1. Get creative – Do something you love doing or you have always wanted to do and get really good at it. For example, I’ve never blogged in my life and I’ve always wanted to so I started this blog. Writing blog posts has now become something I look forward to.
  2. Push yourself – Push past your comfort zone to do something you’ve never done. At first I was nervous about sharing my personal stories on the blog. Usually when I want to do something that makes me nervous, I force myself to do now and it always makes me smile inside. I even went as far as to talk about my twisted fantasies, but I did it because the thought of it scared me. Try taking yourself out to dinner or sending a text message you think is funny but you’re afraid of what the other person will think.
  3. Admit your loneliness – Talk to other people about your loneliness and you’ll find that they’re probably lonely too. Putting it on the table will help get you comfortable with those spaces in between plans. The more aware you are of being alone, the more you’ll begin to appreciate it.
  4. Doing what makes you happy – Helping others is what I love doing the most. Whether it’s helping guys become more attractive in the eyes of a woman or helping a friend get a job or make a better income. The only reason I am where I am today is because my friends invested in me and helped me out. If it weren’t for Neil Patel I would still be working in a stress filled environment called the car business. Neil was being a good friend but it’s a mutual benefit. Everyone feels good about helping other people.

Conclusion

As for learning to love yourself and your time spent alone don’t wait for circumstances to change in order to have that life.

If you want to decorate your place don’t think ‘As soon as I get into a relationship I’ll fix up my home’ or ‘Once the new year hits I’m going to do X.’

Start today and get used to going solo. A large part of what holds people back is the social expectation. There are some activities that are socially acceptable doing by yourself like going to a coffee shop, but going to a nice restaurant or the movie theatre feels strange.

It’s weird that being alone requires any instruction. As Judy Ford painfully put it…

We’re born alone, we die alone and deep within our souls we live alone

Embrace loneliness and eventually you will love yourself more than anyone can ever love you.