Thursday, November 4, 2010

I'm genuinely curious as to how someone in a (happy) relationship could ever experience loneliness. I'm not expressing skepticism that this is possible. I believe it when people say it, but I really am curious.

11 comments:

  1. Not enough time together? If you both work a lot or someone is traveling, for example. Loneliness is relative.

    Word verification is "bednest."

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  2. I think I'm with you on this one, but still it is fascinating. Carson McCullers does loneliness like nobody's business. In The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Singer and the mute would offer a fantastic character study about this exact issue.

    I think you just gave me a lot to think about in terms of a project I'm working on.

    Romantic relationship seems the key. So much of yourself is exposed in a happy relationship, where there must be mutual trust and respect and etc. Which is different than a lonely girl and her happy relationship with her, say, best friend or grandmother. That little girl can still be lonely and isolated. But I have trouble seeing that little girl all grown up and in a long-term, committed relationship, and lonely, or unhappy. It's the romantic relationship that's different. But why?

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  3. @elisa: i can definitely see how one could be lonely when you're apart, but that's not really the capital L loneliness that you have when you're single and you know there's no one waiting for you when you get back home, right? it seems to me that though i might feel lonely when in a separate location from a girlfriend, it's more an everyday annoyance, like boredom on the train or irritation while watching tv. and there's always the phone and email. i'm just guessing at how i would feel though, since i've never had a girlfriend. (hence my curiosity.)

    @molly: yeah, that's a good question. familial love is great, but since it's (hopefully) there from the beginning, we take it more for granted. and once you're an adult, it just isn't enough, as great as it is.

    i feel like being in romantic love (and being loved back) is the ultimate thing in life, and so once you've reached that point, how could you feel truly lonely, is what i'm wondering.

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  4. The other person has to really take on a lot, in terms of sharing "enough" similar interests that the pains and struggles you're going through can be shared, and understood, by the other.

    Is Loneliness the feeling that happens when nobody understands. Or when nobody is there to understand?

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  5. that's probably part of it. but i sometimes also feel it even when i'm relatively happy and in a good mood (though it isn't as bad then). the thought of being alone in the future, as you get older--that's also a big part of it for me. the more years go by without someone, the more years you're missing with that person, whoever it turns out to be.

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  6. That's why I said loneliness is relative, like most states ... we still get hungry, even though we're not starving. We still get sad, even when we're not depressed. We don't have great emotional memory.

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  7. but i still think there's the crucial difference of having an answer vs. not having an "answer", i mean, someone who is there or will be there with you. my thinking is, if i had a girlfriend, i might still get sad, but then immediately i could say, but wait, it's okay, you're in love and she loves you. and then i would feel good and be able to sleep well. not being with someone, i don't have that comfort.

    (on a related note, i don't see how religious people can ever be sad about anything, if they think everything just ends up in heaven for all eternity. but religious people cry at funerals. why?)

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  8. So you're not "genuinely curious" then.

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  9. why do you say that? i'm trying to figure things out...

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  10. It just seems like what you're really saying is that you can't accept that people in relationships ever feel lonely. Or that their loneliness is superficial/not profound.

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  11. all i can do is assure you that that's not what i'm saying. just because the question isn't resolved in my mind, that doesn't mean it wasn't a genuine question. i'm sorry if i miscommunicated in a way that led you to interpret it that way. i don't claim to know at all what any other person feels about anything, nor do i doubt their sincerity. no hard feelings, really:)

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