7 Ways to Cope With Loneliness When You’re Single

We’re in a loneliness epidemic. Research shows that over one-third of adults over age 45 feel lonely, and 25% of adults over age 65 are socially isolated from others.

Loneliness, of course, can be such a painful emotion. And while loneliness isn’t the same as physically being alone, many single people struggle with this chronic feeling.

However, being single doesn’t mean you’re doomed to loneliness or a lack of meaningful relationships. Here are some ways you can look after yourself and feel connected.

Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company

We often assume that all connection comes from external sources. And because we are social creatures, there is some merit to this belief. But the relationship you share with yourself is the most important one you’ll ever have in this life. And your solo relationship certainly counts for something.

Truly spending time with yourself means valuing your own needs and well-being. If you don’t feel comfortable alone with yourself, start small. Think about what you do enjoy when you’re by yourself and start there.

Reconnect Old Friendships

Loneliness can happen when you drift apart from your former sources of social support. And, unfortunately, it’s so easy to lose touch with good friends. A job change, divorce, kids, or even just the march of time can all affect these social connections.

If you have former friends, now may be the time to rekindle those relationships (even if it scares you). Remember that most people want to feel connected to others. An old friend would probably be flattered that you reached out.

Consider Your Loneliness Triggers

Maybe certain types of people or situations make you feel lonelier than usual. For example, many people find that spending too much time on social media makes them feel increasingly anxious or depressed. The holidays can also be a significant source of loneliness.

Having triggers is normal, and there’s nothing wrong with you having them. But being mindful of these triggers and taking steps to manage or reduce them in your daily life can help you feel better.

Consider Non-Human Connection

Whether you decide to start gardening or fostering dogs, remember that genuine connection doesn’t always require people. You can build incredibly meaningful relationships with plants and pets. Taking care of something also provides a sense of purpose, and purpose is essential for cultivating self-esteem.

That said, these types of connections shouldn’t be a replacement for real-world relationships. We do need social interaction for our physical and emotional health. But they can certainly augment your life and add more meaning to your daily routine.

Turn to People Online

If you’re struggling with a particular phase in life, you may find that online social circles provide the support you need to cope with your situation. Countless forums and websites help people with nearly every topic imaginable.

Having an online community can combat loneliness if you feel like nobody in your daily life understands your difficult feelings. You may be able to connect with online support groups to share stories and increase a sense of camaraderie.

Get Active With Hobbies

The more you gently expose yourself to new social situations, the more opportunities you give yourself to connect with others and build relationships. Now may be the time to try that new hobby or sign up for that group you’ve been considering.

The key is to try to connect with people within the hobby. Simply showing up probably won’t yield friendships. You need to consciously interact with others.

That may mean joining relevant Meetup groups, chatting with members before or after a particular class, or joining different types of environments where you can participate in that hobby. Remember that you already have a mutual interest in common! Talking about that can be a great stepping stone for deepening the connection.

Consider Dating (If You Don’t Want to Be Single)

There’s nothing wrong with being single. You have more time for yourself, and single people may actually have deeper connections with other friends and family than their coupled counterparts.

But if you are interested in potentially having a relationship, it may be time to venture into dating.

You should first ask yourself, what do you want dating to look like? How do you want to meet potential partners? Have you identified your preferences and boundaries?

There’s inherently some vulnerability involved with meeting and talking to new people. And you may still feel lonely as you date. But putting yourself out there and committing to the process can help you meet wonderful people.

How Therapy Can Help You If You’re Feeling Lonely

We all get lonely, and sometimes feelings of loneliness ebb and flow on their own. But if your loneliness is affecting your mental health, you may benefit from more support.

Loneliness can also be a symptom of social anxiety and depression. It also tends to pair with grief, particularly if you lost an important loved one.

Regardless of why you feel lonely, therapy can help provide you with support and guidance during this time. Together, we can discuss your feelings and explore how you can best take care of yourself. I am here for you. Contact me today to schedule your consultation.


4601 Spicewood Springs Road Building 3, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759

(512) 988-3363

Got Questions?
Send a Message!

By submitting this form via this web portal, you acknowledge and accept the risks of communicating your health information via this unencrypted email and electronic messaging and wish to continue despite those risks. By clicking "Yes, I want to submit this form" you agree to hold Brighter Vision harmless for unauthorized use, disclosure, or access of your protected health information sent via this electronic means.