The Life of Riley: Alone or lonely?

These are similar terms but the meaning may be as different as day and night. Mostly I think this is a state of mind. Alone may refer to Solitude, a state of seclusion or isolation, i.e., lack of contact with people. Don’t confuse alone with lonely or loneliness, this may be a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship. Loneliness typically includes anxious feelings about a lack of connectedness or communality with other beings, both in the present and extending into the future. The causes of loneliness are varied and include social, mental or emotional factors.

Some people hate being alone. They may get a feeling or loneliness, which may or may not be real. As I’ve already plagiarized from Wikipedia, loneliness may be an emotional response to being alone. Only you will be able to figure out if it is justified. Some people can be alone in a crowd. Smart phones are giving people an excuse not to have to deal with people on a personal level – another reason for me not to have one.

Come to think of it, I did not plagiarize, since I gave credit.

Other people are very happy to be alone. They relish in their solitude. Easier to work on projects, or forces them to do housework.- and, what a revotin’ development this is!

Some married men always tell me I need a wife. I’m not sure if they are confusing my being alone to being lonely, or since they married, think everyone should be. Not that you need to get married, but I need a wife. I just smile and say, well, you have a wife. I smile and let it go.


Jerry Riley comments for the News Bulletin. He is a retired telecommunications supervisor.