Have you ever been so hungry that you have trouble deciding what to eat? Eventually you just settle for the closest or quickest option to solve your problem. Being motivated by desperation isn’t the worst thing in the world when it comes to things like food choices, but it’s a terrible way to make decisions about your love life. There may come a point in your dating life where you’re motivated less by your desire to be with the right person for you, and more by your loneliness. And I think that’s a bad idea.
There are few universal truths about dating that I believe in, but one of them is this: Loneliness isn’t enough.
Loneliness should not be the reason you settle down.
I’d forgive you for settling down because you’re madly in love, but have some compatibility issues. I’d forgive you for quickly pairing up with someone because it just feels right, despite not really knowing each other all that well. Hell, I’d even forgive you for building a relationship on a foundation of sexual chemistry alone. All those things can be built upon to make a stronger relationship if you try. I don’t think the same could be said for building a relationship on loneliness.
How much you should compromise, what you focus on when looking for a partner, what motivates you to settle down, those are all things where the answer is subjective. Whether you should settle down with someone because you’re lonely is not one of these sorts of things. There is no shade of grey to be found here.
If you choose someone because you’re lonely, you’re doing them a disservice. What person wants to be someone’s last and most desperate choice? What person deserves to be given the consolation prize of your affection merely because you’re feeling lonely? If you choose someone out of loneliness, you’re holding them back from connecting with someone who wants to be with them for a positive reason. People deserve someone who wants to be with them for who they are, not because they feel lonely. And you deserve that too.
Choosing to be with someone because you’re lonely is doing yourself a disservice too. You deserve to be with someone who brings you joy, not someone who fills a void. You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you because they desire you, not because they’re desperate. You deserve happiness, not the absence of sadness. You deserve a chance to build something that works for you, not something that will momentarily solve a problem.
I sympathize with you if you’re lonely, but you have to know that it isn’t enough to build a relationship on. It’s okay to be lonely, but that can’t be the reason you choose someone. It’s okay to date when you’re lonely, just don’t settle because you’re lonely. Don’t compromise because you’re lonely. This will only lead to an eventual end to whatever you try to build, and a resumption of loneliness to follow soon after.
The loneliness you feel right now, you’re surviving it. And you will continue to survive it, if you keep pushing forward. If you’re patient, and don’t settle because you’re lonely, and work hard, you can find someone. Trust me on this, I’ve been in your shoes before. I’ve settled down and tried to build something on loneliness alone and have failed. Waiting to meet someone and choosing them because you truly want to be with them, and not just because you’re lonely, is worth the wait.
You can either let loneliness motivate you to make bad decisions, or you can use your loneliness as a motivator. Hardships can be used an excuse to take the easy way out, or strengthen you. It won’t be easy, but the easy solution will just be a band-aid.
Good Luck Out There.
Also published on Medium.