Loneliness can't be eliminated,
but you can work to lessen its effects

How are you doing at handling your loneliness?

I don't have to ask you whether you are lonely. Single or married, you know what this hollow feeling is like. It's an inescapable part of being human, but trying to escape it rarely works. It just pushes it under the surface for a while, to pop up again later.

One of the misbeliefs of singles is that this ache can be eliminated. It can't be. But you can lessen its effects. You can deal with it in constructive ways that make it less painful and less frequent, but if you think that a romantic relationship will make it go away completely, you're expecting too much.

Where do I start?

Where do you start in confronting your loneliness instead of running from it? If you're a Christian single, you start with Jesus Christ. If you're not a Christian, you've probably learned by now that whatever tactics you've tried to banish your feelings of alienation haven't worked very well.

Christian singles probably experience a lot of unnecessary guilt over this area because we usually think that a right relationship with God will solve all our problems.  You don't have to be a Christian very long to find out that's not the case!

The difference that God makes in our lives is that we have his help and supportduring our problems. But nowhere in Scripture will you find a promise from God that his followers will have a problem-free life.

The best way to rid yourself from guilt is to remember that Jesus himself knew deep, numbing loneliness. Think about it for a moment.

Nobody truly understood him or his mission on earth. Like us, he was single. He was both God and man, yet his unique state set him apart from both worlds. And, when he died on Calvary, he was separated from his Father and the Holy Spirit for the first time in eternity. Yes, Jesus does understand.

What do I do now?

Okay, if you accept that Jesus understands, how can you get his help to deal with your situation?

First, remember that although you may feel lonely, you're never really alone as a Christian single, since you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who is the presence of Christ here on earth. Can't feel him? Have doubts that he's really there?

Experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit is something you develop over time. He doesn't shout inside your head. He doesn't tell you when to turn when you're driving your car. He doesn't tick off a list of instructions for you every morning when you get out of bed. And yet he's there.

Christianity is a faith that we mature in, not spring into full-blown when we accept Christ as our savior. As you read and meditate on the Bible, pray, talk with other Christians, attend church, and read Christian books, the Holy Spirit and his wisdom will gradually take root in your life.

What if I still feel lonely?

Even with a strong relationship with the Holy Spirit, we singles can still feel lonely. However, the wonderful thing about the Holy Spirit is that he will reveal the truth to you if you ask him.

Sometimes that truth may be painful or hard to take, but you can't fix something until you see that it's broken. The Holy Spirit may help you understand the cause of your shyness. He may help you overcome your fear of rejection. He may sneak a word in edgewise about the noise in your life. Or, he may give you a newfound sense of confidence by convicting you of God's stupendous love for you.

Is this my problem or God's?

As you develop the wisdom and courage to think about your situation objectively, you may still think that God will solve your problem if only you pray enough about it.

There's a danger to proudly proclaiming (if only to yourself), "I'm just waiting on God. I know that God will be faithful, so I'm just going to wait on him!"

The problem with that kind of logic is that you have a part to play in your life and God has a part to play. You shouldn't try to do his work, and you shouldn't expect him to do yours. It's clear throughout the Bible that God works in and through people, and he often changes circumstances.

But if you're not careful, you can turn into a pruny little 90 year-old single woman or man, sitting in your little chair in your little home, proudly claiming God's promises and saying, "I'm just waiting on God. Yessiree Bob, hallelujah, any time now he's gonna come through."

We all need to accept responsibility and do our part, all the while praying for God's help and support.

"I don't think I like this..."

Well, sorry, but this is a problem, and problems are hard. You don't have to like it to deal with it, but you do have to face it. It won't go away on its own. Fear of facing this problem is why most people stay lonely.

...But with God, all things are possible. (Mat 19:26) As you step out in faith, the Holy Spirit living within you will give you the courage to try, and will comfort you if you fail.

The more you use your "trying" muscles, the stronger they'll become. As you reach out to others, sometimes you'll be rebuffed and sometimes you'll be accepted.

But you will never be accepted if you never try.

"This isn't what I wanted to hear"

The beauty of this site is that I tell the truth, whether people want to hear it or not. Take it or leave it. But if you leave it, I can guarantee you that things won't change on their own. Trust me: There's no Prince Charming (or Princess Charming) on their way to rescue you.

Honestly, lessening the effects of this problem is a gradual, lifelong process. But it's a process that's self-sustaining: the more relationships you build, the stronger you feel. The stronger you feel, the more relationships you'll build...and on and on.

We'll always know times of isolation here, because this is not our true home. Only union with God in heaven will totally, finally cure your loneliness.

But until then, reach out to others. As you help other people rise above their loneliness, you'll find that they will help you rise above yours too.

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