It seems through common interactions about relationships, one can confuse singlehood as loneliness. But, there is a clear difference between the two, and here are a few points demonstrating as such:
· Loneliness implies a lack of social engagement regularly, while singlehood can incorporate situations of constant social engagement, because you are interested in forming connections and have the autonomy to do so.
· In loneliness, you are considered 'without', while singlehood means you are not 'with' any one person in particular. Rather, you have this freedom to interact with different people, while not necessarily causing some sort of detriment to yourself.
· See, with loneliness it is almost not a choice, while one can choose to embark on singlehood. One can choose to not tie themselves to another specific individual, but choose a plethora of multiple individuals in a less dyadic way. When one feels lonely, these options do not appear to be available.
· Though the severity of loneliness is up to interpretation and subject to the individual, it is often construed as a negative predicament. Singlehood, however, is not necessarily a negative predicament. Actually, if you take advantage of that period of your life, however long that may be, it can be a very positive and rewarding experience. It is an opportunity to rediscover yourself, and rediscover your values and desires. Sometimes, when we are tethered to just one person, we lose some sense of who we are, so it is important to confront this discovery in this period of singlehood.
· Singlehood does not discredit the other important social relationships in your life such as family and friends, but loneliness tends to do just that. Loneliness is the absence of socialization. Is someone truly lonely, if they have a constant social circle surrounding them?
· People often see the opposite of singlehood as a romantic relationship experience, and if that is to be assumed, then how can loneliness and singlehood be equivocal if those in romantic relationship experiences can possibly experience the weight of loneliness too? In other words, just because you are in a romantic relationship, does not mean you cannot be lonely.
Can someone who is single, be lonely? Yes. But, they can be lonely just how anyone else can be lonely. Loneliness does not discriminate against anyone. In fact, several of us are at risk, and do not even know it.
It is important for us to remember that everyone's experiences are not monolithic, and conflating singlehood and loneliness is a gross mischaracterization that can lead those who are single to feel lonely when they would not otherwise. It can, also, lead those who are in romantic relationship experiences to not leave their significant other even if they want to. The outcomes are endless.
Your experience is your experience. Do not allow others to project their insecurities or personal past experiences upon you.