The "A" word - Alone

Haven’t you ever felt awfully alone when you’re actually in a relationship with the wrong guy? A beautiful woman sits on the ground feeling alone in her relationship.

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Sometimes, if we look at the reasons we stay in a relationship that isn't working, we find that it’s all about the A word.  Alone.  If we’re really honest with ourselves, I think we’d find that much of the stuff we allow in our relationships is because we’re afraid of being alone.  Without a guy.

I think a lot of us feel that way even if we don’t want to admit it.  We don’t want to be alone.  Whether it’s our culture that tells us we need to be with someone, part of a couple to be OK, or whether it’s our own internalized belief system, we can go to great lengths to make sure we’re with someone, even if he’s not the one for us.  Because at least he’s someone.  And if he’s someone and we’re with him, than we’re not alone.

But here’s the thing about that.  Haven’t you ever felt awfully alone when you’re actually in a relationship with the wrong guy?  I’m talking about that feeling you get when you’re supposedly dating a guy, and you’re wondering if he’s going to spend Saturday night with you or the guys?  Or if an invitation to a party comes up and you have to wonder whether or not you’ll have a date to go to – even though you’re supposedly with your guy?  Or that feeling you get when you’re not free to date anyone else because you’re in this supposed committed relationship to this guy, but the casual way he treats you and the little time he spends with you leaves you spending more time by yourself than with him?

Why do we do this to ourselves?  This is not what being together is all about – what I’m describing is being alone.  No matter how many ways you try to convince yourself that you’re not.  It’s awful being that kind of alone.  At least when you’re really alone, you’re free to be alone or not.  You’re free to be with someone on a date, or to choose to be alone.  It’s your choice.  But what kind of a choice is it if you’re choosing to be with someone who’s not choosing to be with you?  What kind of a relationship is that in the first place?

It took me a long time to figure that out, too.  That I would be so much better off being truly alone than alone with him.  Too long.  But I finally figured it out, and if you’re just figuring it out now, it’s never too late to just say goodbye and walk away.  To the scary world of alone.  Because it’s really not as scary as it seems.  It can just seem that way.  But the really scary thing is not realizing just how alone we are when we’re not supposed to be alone.  Like when we’re in a relationship.  So if this is what’s going on with you, and you’ve tried everything to turn it around, maybe it’s time to choose to let it go.  And substitute the word “free” for “scary”.  Because there’s nothing as freeing as choosing to be alone.  Or choosing to be with someone.  The point is, this time it’s going to be you doing the choosing.  And what you choose is entirely up to you.

If you’re still feeling that alone with your guy, is better than alone by yourself, it’s ok.  It takes us a while to get into relationships like this and we can’t expect to change what we’re used to overnight.  Just know that one day you will look back on all this and see it so clearly.  And you’ll know with certainty that being alone in a relationship is a place you never want to be.

About Jane


  1. I wish I could express how valuable your website has been for me in my growth journey. I thought I had met the one.. mr right, mr wonderful, mr everything. WRONG! I've learned that waiting 6-9 months to even consider those feelings is a minimum. After 6 months, I was devistated that he had turned out to be crude, mean, decieptful, hurtful and the list goes on. At the time, I was in a vulnerable place (lost my job of 15 years) and stayed in this painful relationship. Once I went back to work and got my self esteem back in order, I realized how lonely I was in the relationship!!! There is a hug difference in being "alone" and being "lonely". I'll choose alone anyday over lonely in a relationship.
    You are an amazing inspiration and I thank God daily for your words!

    • Thank you for your beautiful words, Sheryl; I'm so glad you're finding the inspiration and the support you're looking for here. There is nothing like that kind of loneliness when you're with someone, that sheds so much light on what else wasn't right, and to be able to see that for yourself is no small thing. You're in a new place now, and today is a new day!

  2. Wow! where was I when this article was written back in 2011! It is so nice to be able to read through your articles click on highlighted links from other articles and come across ones like this one that hit home. Although i really did want to be with him, the being alone part definitely scared me and so I stayed/settled. BUT for what? It was horrible, just like you said waiting on a Saturday night, always feeling like I'm "on call" waiting for my boyfriend to want to spend time with me, wondering if he will invite me to that special party, dinners, etc. I would literally leave my agenda open for a "just in case" he makes plans with me. And most of the time I found myself alone at home waiting, and waiting, weekend after weekend. I look at it now and its non sense. Its so true Jane once you see it, it becomes oh so very clear. Relationships should not be be that way! I am so glad that I can relate to this and giving me more of many reasons to let it go!

    • So true, Darlene. I'm glad you found this one - it was one of my first posts and one I personally could so relate to. I'm thrilled that you're seeing this for yourself. And no one can take it away from you once you see it like this; it's yours!

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