The Greatest Loneliness of All

I wouldn’t know what to do with a mate if one sucked on my lower lip. Even my late grandmother stopped asking for a wedding and great grand-kids after realizing that this granddaughter of hers is useless in the grand art of mating.

A friend of mine called me a frying pan once. Because all pots have lids…but not the average frying pan. I thought it funny…

It’s not that I’ve never loved. I was one of the lucky ones before I became fundamentally unlucky. I was loved by someone who was insane enough to like me too. Let’s call him ‘Rhett’…and pretend that I have a romantic bone in my body…

If you look at me now you’ll see an average person. Average looks, average personality, kinda moody, a periodical temper-loser and a strange, rather dark sense of humor. But if you looked at me through Rhett’s eyes you would have seen something completely different. He saw me as something so much more than I am, and then made me want to become it.

I only bring him up because I secretly compare others’ relationships with that brief time I knew him. I know, I know, there are many kinds of love. But when it comes to romantic love, not all loves have been created equal.

Sometimes I look at couples and pity floods my heart. I can think of nothing more lonely than being tied to someone for eternity who don’t really see or hear you. Or who think you’re something you’re not. Or hope you’re something you’re not. Or yearn for another. Or treat you in a manner that causes you to trap your own heart in a cage.

That is the ultimate loneliness.

But it’s not feared nearly as much as the second worst kind of loneliness: growing old alone…

Oh, this is truly feared. And it’s in the cards for me but here introverts have a little advantage. But only a little. Solitude seems a magnificent idea to us. But after a while even we realize that humans were designed for some sort of connection.

As a university lecturer I see young people make bad relationship decisions all the time. And sure, much of it is in-the-moment emotion. But I can’t help but wonder how much of it is driven by the fear of growing old alone…the fear that no-one but this person will ever love you.

Many of my friends, both male and female, have divorced in the last few years. I just always assumed that if you survive a terrible divorce you’d welcome the peace and comfort of lonesomeness. But while this may be true for a precious few, I find that people who have tasted connection once wants more.

I have not yet figured out what I fear most: being with someone who does not truly occupy my heart, or true alone-ness. Somehow the possibility of finding another Rhett seems remote. No-one is really that lucky, are they? And this is the ultimate dream, I guess. Advertising for and then finding that miracle in 7 billion that will make you un-alone…sometimes finding it twice.

Anyway, as soon as I figure it out, I’ll let you know…

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