Author Topic: Ever Get Lonely on a Saturday Night?  (Read 477 times)

Offline zencat999

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Ever Get Lonely on a Saturday Night?
« on: February 04, 2018, 04:54:04 am »
Hi to all.

By all accounts, loneliness is becoming a huge problem in the West. Amongst the young, who despite being more 'connected' via social media, are complaining of the lack of real human friendships. Amongst the old who may be bereaved or infirm or socially isolated. Amongst people in general. Many people try dating sites to find a partner and are very disappointed with them. Just like real life, they tend to work for the very good looking amongst us.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/17/loneliness-report-bigger-killer-obesity-lonely-people

https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/the-health-effects-of-loneliness.html?utm_campaign=nym&utm_source=fb&utm_medium=s1

I am in my early fifties and single for eight years now. Not close to any of my family (I've tried - believe me!). I try hard to get involved in useful things during the week, but no matter what I do this awful feeling comes around like clockwork every saturday night. For at least three to four hours I fell the deep stab of loneliness / social rejection / heartache. It seems unbearable at the time until I wake up on Sunday morning and appreciate the small things in life and begin to plan for the week ahead. My psychologist friend says that emotions are signs that things need attended to or need to change. I get that. But I've tried everything I know to try to be a friend to others and to get involved in stuff. But still on Saturday night most people seem content to sit in front of Strictly Come Dancing and Netflix with their partners and plenty of wine and if you can't cuddle up in your cave with someone and do this then you are pretty much on your own and a burden if you proffer your loneliness. Boo hoo.

How do you live a life without someone to share the small moments with, with no one to fall asleep beside, no one to wake up with? Are these not some of life's greatest pleasures? Are we not social creatures? Is it wrong to want these things? Do we really want to be more comfortable with being on our own or being a respectful member of a Buddhist community?

I put this question to a Buddhist teacher a few months ago and his answer was 'be a friend to all'. I get that. But hey, he is married and is very close to his family. For the young person experiencing cognitive dissonance because of the mismatch of cyber and real life and for the elderly person who spends a week with no contact with another human being, this answer does not really help. You can be a friend to all but still feel heartbroken as you crawl into your lonely bed at the end of the day. Is the answer to volunteer and give yourself over to others and worthy causes 24 /7? I don't feel I'm ready for this.

I've been attending Buddhist teachings and mindfulness meditation practices on and off for eight years. I've read scores of books and stuff online to try and understand this phenomenon and get through it. Maybe I'm too much in my head and this deep, basic need comes back to bite me on the bum? I'm not materialistic or greedy. But I still want or need this basic element of life.

It still seems the hardest thing.  How do we deal with loneliness? Platitudes, pat answers and virtual (((hugs))) are not enough.

What about self-compassion? Can this show the way through grief / pain / loneliness? What about monk's on solitary retreat? Are they trained on how to circumvent the problems of loneliness?

I genuinely feel kind of beaten up and hollowed out every Sunday morning. Has anyone been through this and found avenues of relief? Looking forward to any discussion and sharing.

Thanks for reading.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 05:36:10 am by zencat999 »

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Ever Get Lonely on a Saturday Night?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2018, 08:17:14 am »
Hi, Zen Cat:

Quote
  "I genuinely feel kind of beaten up and hollowed out every Sunday morning. Has anyone been through this and found avenues of relief?"

Yes.  Have been through that.  Can relate to what you are sharing.  My solution was to get active in groups where I could be of meaningful assistance to others, mostly self-help organizations and "common experience" type groups.

Then it occurred to me that I was of the character that I truly needed to form the kind of bond with another human being in a relationship, which can only be found in a marriage.  So, I went online and announced that I was looking for a wife.  Told those who responded that I was looking for a marriage and nothing else.  I spoke / wrote with over 13 different women.  Dated four or five for awhile, and then, within six months narrowed the opportunities down to two.  One of my choices / opportunities liked to drink alcohol to the point of habituation, so, that made my final choice quite clear for me as I had learned that I function much better in life when I don't use alcohol and don't associate with those who do.

I introduced my intended bride to all my family, friends and professional associates. We mutually decided to become engaged,  moved in together for about a year or so, were married over ten years ago, had three wedding receptions so as to cover all of our social and professional bases as we lived in different parts of the country, and will this year be celebrating our eleventh wedding anniversary.

Both of us are senior citizens.  We both love animals.  We have three pets.  We both love to travel.  We take at least ten trips a year comprised of local tips, and more regional trips.  We both love museums and science centers.  We are both students of serial killers and crime scene investigation techniques.  We both come from the "helping" fields, her in psychology, myself in environmental health and public safety.  We love feeding the birds and squirrels, taking walks in the park with our dog.  She is great at breaking things and wearing them out.  As an engineer I love to fix what she breaks, and redesign them so that they don't wear out as fast the next time.

We go to Geezer Yoga together two times a week.  We go out to breakfast three times per week.  She loves to read, I love to watch science based documentaries.  I love to garden and maintain the grounds during Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  She loves to admire my garden results.

She likes to work as a consultant one day per week.  I work as a consultant whenever my neighbors break something and don't know how to fix it.

We take turns cooking and doing the dishes.  I vacuum and clean the floors in our downstairs.  She takes care of the kitty-litter and vacuums the upstairs.

So, that's how we make certain our Sunday mornings and every other morning are not eventful.

My personal recommendation is to find a life partner with mutual interests and live as life partners.  Choose someone with whom you have a great deal in common.  To do this at first cast a wide net:  State your interest and intentions, the internet is a good place to begin. ;  Meet and greet many ;  Find someone compatible;  Then take it from there.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 08:19:19 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline zencat999

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Re: Ever Get Lonely on a Saturday Night?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2018, 10:09:24 am »
Great answer. Thanks.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Ever Get Lonely on a Saturday Night?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 01:49:41 pm »
Hi to all.

By all accounts, loneliness is becoming a huge problem in the West. Amongst the young, who despite being more 'connected' via social media, are complaining of the lack of real human friendships. Amongst the old who may be bereaved or infirm or socially isolated. Amongst people in general. Many people try dating sites to find a partner and are very disappointed with them. Just like real life, they tend to work for the very good looking amongst us.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/17/loneliness-report-bigger-killer-obesity-lonely-people

https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/the-health-effects-of-loneliness.html?utm_campaign=nym&utm_source=fb&utm_medium=s1

I am in my early fifties and single for eight years now. Not close to any of my family (I've tried - believe me!). I try hard to get involved in useful things during the week, but no matter what I do this awful feeling comes around like clockwork every saturday night. For at least three to four hours I fell the deep stab of loneliness / social rejection / heartache. It seems unbearable at the time until I wake up on Sunday morning and appreciate the small things in life and begin to plan for the week ahead. My psychologist friend says that emotions are signs that things need attended to or need to change. I get that. But I've tried everything I know to try to be a friend to others and to get involved in stuff. But still on Saturday night most people seem content to sit in front of Strictly Come Dancing and Netflix with their partners and plenty of wine and if you can't cuddle up in your cave with someone and do this then you are pretty much on your own and a burden if you proffer your loneliness. Boo hoo.

How do you live a life without someone to share the small moments with, with no one to fall asleep beside, no one to wake up with? Are these not some of life's greatest pleasures? Are we not social creatures? Is it wrong to want these things? Do we really want to be more comfortable with being on our own or being a respectful member of a Buddhist community?

I put this question to a Buddhist teacher a few months ago and his answer was 'be a friend to all'. I get that. But hey, he is married and is very close to his family. For the young person experiencing cognitive dissonance because of the mismatch of cyber and real life and for the elderly person who spends a week with no contact with another human being, this answer does not really help. You can be a friend to all but still feel heartbroken as you crawl into your lonely bed at the end of the day. Is the answer to volunteer and give yourself over to others and worthy causes 24 /7? I don't feel I'm ready for this.

I've been attending Buddhist teachings and mindfulness meditation practices on and off for eight years. I've read scores of books and stuff online to try and understand this phenomenon and get through it. Maybe I'm too much in my head and this deep, basic need comes back to bite me on the bum? I'm not materialistic or greedy. But I still want or need this basic element of life.

It still seems the hardest thing.  How do we deal with loneliness? Platitudes, pat answers and virtual (((hugs))) are not enough.

What about self-compassion? Can this show the way through grief / pain / loneliness? What about monk's on solitary retreat? Are they trained on how to circumvent the problems of loneliness?

I genuinely feel kind of beaten up and hollowed out every Sunday morning. Has anyone been through this and found avenues of relief? Looking forward to any discussion and sharing.

Thanks for reading.

I went through something similar. 

I wasn't close to my family and I didn't have a big circle of friends.

Weekends and holidays like Christmas really sucked.

I found making friends with myself was what saved me.    I learned to like myself and my own company.   I went to movies, for dinner, sightseeing and so on all by myself and learned to enjoy myself.

Learning to like myself also had a positive effect on personal relationships too.  Not having to drag all that self dislike into new relationships  was refreshing.

It's like what they say for Tonglen ptactice - you do the practice for yourself first, then for those on your tonglen list. 

Offline Rahul

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Re: Ever Get Lonely on a Saturday Night?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 08:38:08 pm »
Yes I know how it feels when the empty house and nowhere/nobody to go to makes your heart sink. When your breath is heavy and you could feel your own heart thumping. Everyone has their own ways of coping with this. Marriage is a big commitment, and financially demanding, too. But you could try some of these:

Have a pet. Dogs are cute, and really devoted to their masters. Preferably bring a cute puppy home, and watch him grow. Puppies are so lovable, devoted, and every bit like little children. Funny, cute, sometimes making stupid mistakes, and they do express emotions just like us. Imagine them getting excited on hearing your footsteps and the next thing they do is jumping around you, wagging their tail, showing how much they had been waiting to see you come home...

Coffee! Better yet coffee and books, in a nice cafe, on a warm and sunny Sunday morning, or on a wintery evening... anytime anywhere.

Volunteer! Once a week reading stories or teaching something at an orphanage. Reading a book to or practicing tai chi with elders in an old age shelter. Or find other lonely people like you on mobile apps and invite them for a walk, biking, hiking, cooking together... I am sure there are lots of people out there who feel the same pain of loneliness and would love to make a group and celebrate life together.

I don't know much about you. But at times, the loneliness stays with us because we are too shy to reach out or talk to others. I have seen that opening up, saying hello, inviting people to join you for coffee ... it works. Of course not with total strangers, but those whom you might see everyday in the elevator, at the subway, the guards at the office building, the shopkeeper, the seller at the market... People, all of them, need company friendship care and warmth of each other, and everybody wishes somebody reaches out to them. The point is, who takes the initiative...

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Ever Get Lonely on a Saturday Night?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 06:31:05 am »
Quote
  Rahul:  "People, all of them, need company friendship care and warmth of each other, and everybody wishes somebody reaches out to them. The point is, who takes the initiative..."

 :dharma: Great example of "Right Speech" in The Dhamma.  :jinsyx:

I would only suggest one change:  ""People, all of us....."   
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 06:33:59 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline zencat999

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Re: Ever Get Lonely on a Saturday Night?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 02:45:30 pm »
Yes I know how it feels when the empty house and nowhere/nobody to go to makes your heart sink. When your breath is heavy and you could feel your own heart thumping. Everyone has their own ways of coping with this. Marriage is a big commitment, and financially demanding, too. But you could try some of these:

Have a pet. Dogs are cute, and really devoted to their masters. Preferably bring a cute puppy home, and watch him grow. Puppies are so lovable, devoted, and every bit like little children. Funny, cute, sometimes making stupid mistakes, and they do express emotions just like us. Imagine them getting excited on hearing your footsteps and the next thing they do is jumping around you, wagging their tail, showing how much they had been waiting to see you come home...

Coffee! Better yet coffee and books, in a nice cafe, on a warm and sunny Sunday morning, or on a wintery evening... anytime anywhere.

Volunteer! Once a week reading stories or teaching something at an orphanage. Reading a book to or practicing tai chi with elders in an old age shelter. Or find other lonely people like you on mobile apps and invite them for a walk, biking, hiking, cooking together... I am sure there are lots of people out there who feel the same pain of loneliness and would love to make a group and celebrate life together.

I don't know much about you. But at times, the loneliness stays with us because we are too shy to reach out or talk to others. I have seen that opening up, saying hello, inviting people to join you for coffee ... it works. Of course not with total strangers, but those whom you might see everyday in the elevator, at the subway, the guards at the office building, the shopkeeper, the seller at the market... People, all of them, need company friendship care and warmth of each other, and everybody wishes somebody reaches out to them. The point is, who takes the initiative...

Thanks for your reply. I already have a cat - and as I said I manage to keep busy and get involved in things during the week but it's on a Saturday night - that most sociable time - when I get the brutal stab of loneliness. Unbearable.

Offline Pixie

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Re: Ever Get Lonely on a Saturday Night?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2018, 09:38:01 am »
Quote from: zencat999
it's on a Saturday night - that most sociable time - when I get the brutal stab of loneliness. Unbearable.

If you feel that being alone is so unbearable, then as has already been suggested, why not find some voluntary work to do at the weekend? There are often many other living beings who are far worse off than oneself in this world - and to whom "Saturday night" is the same as every other night.

In helping others, maybe you can help yourself in the process.


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May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

 


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