We all see the Facebook posts of a lonely person.
Whether married or single, you have friends who post and post, and then post some more. It seems every time you check your feed, you know the last meal the ate and how food was!
Then there are posts of loneliness and clear cries for attention and help that break your heart. You want your friends to not feel alone, so you try to get them to engage in activities but to no avail.
For singles this is more common as they often live alone and even those with a roommate spend time alone. Alone time does not equal being lonely. Being lonely is the feeling of abandonment or low self worth that makes a person feel like no one else knows how they feel.
Here is the thing with loneliness: you have to own some of the responsibility yourself. To be a person who is not alone, you have to be the instigator to say yes more often to social engagements and sometimes that means spending money to make things happen. It is not a matter of being an introvert or extrovert.
To avoid feeling alone, you need to be proactive to stay engaged in life.
Below are a few ways you may be responsible for feeling alone.
Not connecting with friends.
Friends are a great base of social interaction and companionship for anyone. Some friendships, like David and Jonathan’s in the Old Testament, can be deep and meaningful. (1 Samuel 18:1-4) You have to own half of the responsibility to establish relationships that can be deep friendships. Connect with others that share a common interest and resist the urge to stay home all the time.
Not doing social things with others.
We hear the uproar to this comment. Yes, we know it can be difficult to afford being social all the time. Singles are on a tight budget and every dollar is important. But, social things are important. Even for the introvert. You need to find social things to do. They do not have to always be a singles event. Sites like www.meetups.com offer a way for you to find a interest and share with others. Go out with co-workers. Say yes to lunch on Sundays, even with that married couple that asks. Being connected is worth every penny.
Not reaching out to others in time of need.
Nothing is more frustrating for a leader or minister than to find out a person in their group was in need and did not let anyone know. It is hard for anyone to admit they need help. But, if you are fighting against being lonely, not reaching out will not fix it. People may offer to help you from time to time. If you say no every time you become more distant from others, which leads to our next point.
Not allowing people to love you.
In his book The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman believes everyone has a “love tank.” We agree! Singles, you have a love language and you need to know how you prefer to be loved so you can allow people to love you. You have to let down some guards and take a risk from time to time. Friends are there to help you and love you. It is hard, but it is worth it! (Click HERE to take a test to find your love language.)
Not establishing a FRAMILY.
Friends who are family, Framily! You need to have a few 1 a.m. friends, framily, or whatever you call them in your life to walk with you. Unfortunately in this fallen world, the older we get, the more family is lost to tragedy. The principle here is to surround yourself with people you love and who love you enough to invest in your life. That way when hardships comes, you have a network of people to call–not just one or two family members.
Lastly, leaders to singles, never stop reaching out to those who are lonely. One day they may let you into their Framily. It may take years to break down their walls and let you into their world, but it is worth it.
Singles ministries that thrive are ones who create a sense of community for one another and those that flourish are based on the Word of God. That is why our missions statement is to Build Community for Single Adults Through Discipleship. Keep loving the ones who fight your love the most. These people are the reason we started this blog. The one on Facebook who is lonely and looking to connect with others.