There’s nothing wrong with being alone, but, at the end of the day, we all need people sometimes. Some activities just require company.
Here are some of the loneliest moments people have experienced.
Thanks to all the Redditors who responded!
Eldest child’s HS graduation. Had a great gift and was planning to give it to her at her Mom’s (my ex) house after the graduation. I attended the ceremony and sat alone. Saw my ex, her new hubby, her parents (my daughter’s grandparents) and church friends (that used to be “our” friends) enter and sit across the auditorium. I could see them but, because the crowd was so large, they couldn’t see me. When they announced her name I sat silent while my ex and company yelled and clapped and carried on. As soon as the event was over I got into my car and drove to “her” house and waited, eagerly anticipating her reaction to my gift. Large monetary gift. Well, large for me.
I sat in my car waiting for the others to arrive. I knew it would take a while since it was such a packed event. I had gotten up and got out quickly so yeah, I would have to wait a few minutes, maybe as much as fifteen. After 30 minutes I realized they weren’t coming. They must’ve arranged an “after graduation” party to be held somewhere else but I didn’t know where. So I started driving around, looking.
I went back to the graduation venue but it was pretty much empty, as I suspected it would be. I drove by the “friends” houses to see if they were hosting a party, but no, no activity, completely dark.
Finally it hit me, the church, the Family Life Center. I drove over to the church and sure enough there were many cars, all of which I recognized; my daughter’s car, her boyfriend’s car, my ex’s car and my daughter’s grandparent’s car. I saw our friend’s cars and, the most shocking, my brother’s and sister’s family cars. My family was in attendance. I got mad.
They were fully aware of how my ex did me. How she cheated, nearly openly, telling me the other man was the love of her life and going so far as to call the police on me in an attempt to force me out so she could be with him. How she attacked me verbally and even physically at times, leading up to when I finally was able to afford to leave (I never made much of a fuss for the sake of the children. I had come from a home where the parents fought and I knew how bad it made the kids feel).
I got out of my vehicle and went to the door of the Family Life Center and peered in. It was dark outside but well-lit inside so they couldn’t see me. I was going to go in and just suck it up and be a man and not engage my ex and her new hubby in any kind of confrontational way. This was my daughter’s day. But I paused there at the doorway, peering in. I took it in. They were all in there milling about, eating, laughing, music playing. I knew if I entered it would be like the needle on the record scratching noise and everyone would go from enjoying themselves to feeling awkward.
I turned and took the envelope of money to my daughter’s car and placed it in her front seat and left. I cried all the way home. Mostly because I knew, this would be my life from then on and it has.
Earlier this year I took 10 days for myself and went to Shanghai. It was a wonderful experience, and being by myself allowed me to do exactly what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it.
It got lonely when meal time came around. Eating at restaurants really drives home the loneliness because so many people are eating out with someone else, laughing and sharing conversation while I sit there and fumble with chopsticks, self conscious everyone is watching and laughing at me (which I did see once).
My favorite meal there was when a 5 or so year old kid came over to me and drew me a picture of a duck and kinda just stood/climbed on me. His mother was horrified but I just enjoyed the company. Something tells me he could tell I needed a smile after a couple dozen meals alone. Made up for the lonely meals for sure (it also had the best food)
All this year.
I go out to eat by myself because I just moved to a new city for college and don’t know anyone. Usually buffets, to make it worse.
I had to use up some vacation time at work, so I took a three day vacation by myself up north. Rented a motel, saw some of the most beautiful views this country has, but it was very lonely.
On my 21st birthday a few months ago, I sat home alone wondering if anyone would come swing by to take me out. No one did. I went grocery shopping then went to bed early.
I’m the only one that I know that likes hockey, so I go to the bars to watch the games by myself. I bet I look really creepy just sitting at a table by myself with my drink. Maybe they think I got stood up.
I drive a convertible, and it’s very fun to drive on back roads. Almost every time I go somewhere, I talk as if someone else is in the car. I don’t respond to myself or make up responses to what I’m saying. It’s like vlogging without a camera basically. Sometimes I look to my right and try to picture a beautiful girl sitting there next to me, smiling.
I should probably see therapy.
I graduated college when I was 22 and I threw a party and I invited a bunch of people from my work and all my friends. I even bought some champagne for the party and no one showed up. Drank champagne alone and took a shower and cried.
I once bought a cupcake for myself on my birthday and ate it alone.
Go out alone a lot, and do nothing but wander around hoping something interesting happens.
Sometimes when I’m really down I start talking to myself.
I act like there’s someone who’s listening to me and I list all what’s bothering me by saying it.
Generally I start crying after that.
30th birthday, just divorced, pretty unhappy overall. Sitting in a nearly empty apartment playing GTA San Andreas on a failing ps2 in 2011.
When I was little my parents would be at work while I was at school so my uncle would pick me up. I lived really far from school and was about 8 years old so I really couldn’t leave.
Well one day I’m waiting for my uncle to pick me up and it’s getting late, also it’s realy cold and pretty much everyone had left already so there I am sitting on the sidewalk in the cold. Eventually I just started talking to myself to pass the time and to be less afraid.
My dad ended up picking me up, he was really worried when he got home and didn’t see me there. Turns out my uncle got really drunk and just went to sleep.
I go out to eat by myself because I just moved to a new city for college and don’t know anyone. Usually buffets, to make it worse.
Quite often when I’m driving or walking by myself I like to give fake tours and talk to myself like there’s someone with me and I’ll point stuff out and talk about it. I rehearse conversations over and over or pretend I’m being interviewed. I especially do this a lot while walking my dog around the neighborhood or walking around town, and it gets a little awkward when someone can tell you’re just walking and talking to yourself. When I was in high school, years ago, when I was extremely lonely I would sometimes pretend I went to a completely different school, sometimes like Hogwarts, and make up stories in my head about the people and things around me to distract myself from my own loneliness. It’s made me start thinking about starting to film myself and start vlogging just for myself because it’ll let me still get to do that but have an actual purpose and tell stories and have it not be so weird.
I have debates with my dog, where I’m speaking for the dog, and I usually lose.
Silently cried in my room because I didn’t want any family members to hear me and make me feel worse about myself.
I shepherded a flock of sheep for a friend while he was in the hospital for 5 days.
It was just the sheep, nature and I – a novice shepherd boy.
I moved to a new town for university, but had 6 weeks to kill before the first semester started. Those 6 weeks were spent in solitude. I only went outside twice to buy food, and when I didn’t sleep I played single player video games or read books.
Basically had no human interaction at all. Was pretty enjoyable, honestly.
One time I was playing with one of those rubber things you turn inside out and then wait for it to pop and fly up in the air, then realized I was in my late twenties and doing this alone in my apartment on a Saturday.
I once invited a group of friends over for a home cooked meal. Was 3 Cornish hens with something different stuffed in each and each seasoned differently. Also made homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, and had an assortment of alcohols.
Sadly everyone had to cancel due to work, home work, or just not feeling up to leaving their apt.
I ended up packaging everything up to take to work and give away since no else wanted it. Ended up just getting hammered alone, watching Netflix and playing games the rest of the night till I passed out on my couch.
I baked my own birthday cake, frosted it, wrote Happy Birthday and stuck candles in it, and then proceeded to eat it by myself over the course of the next few days. I took a picture of the cake so I could show my only close friend (who was away at his girlfriend’s house) a few weeks later, so I could pretend I did it to be funny and enjoyed my birthday.
When I was a little kid I was completely alone. No friends, mum wasn’t really around and when she was she still wasn’t there. No one seemed to care about me and life just got incredibly hard. I was 9/10, anxiety kicked in big time and I remember I used to put a load of pillows next to me in bed. I would then wrap my duvet around me like it was a persons arm so it felt like someone was hugging me.
I had my own little world I would escape into all the time growing up. I would talk to the people in it. They would ask me how my day was, give me advice, laugh with me, comfort me. I would talk to these people all the time. I know it sounds weird, but when you grow up alone, get badly bullied, you find weird ways to cope.
I sit alone in the dark and get more invested in these make believe worlds than is healthy. I sit there and soak it in. I feel what they’re feeling. So this is what it’s like to be wanted. This is what it’s like to have someone by your side. This is what it’s like to be a worthwhile person.
I ride on that borrowed high for as long as the story lasts. But these stories don’t last forever. They will end. And when they do I’m left looking at a black TV or a closed book. I look around and I’m back in reality, sitting alone in my home. Always alone.
My parents threw me a big 5th birthday party inviting everyone in my kindergarten class. Nobody came. I must have repressed the memory but they make sure to tell me about it every year.
Mom: “Remember your fifth birthday when nobody showed up? Hahaha”
Me: “Nope. Still not something I remember.”
Dad: “Oh it was awful nobody came and you just cried and cried hahaha anyways what do you wanna do this year? Throw a party? Have some friends over for a fire?”
Me: “Uhhhh no. If you guys could just leave me alone the whole day that would be great…”
Every Valentine’s day since 2012 I get a giant double cheeseburger, fries, and a cherry coke from Carl’s Jr. and a 5th of Powers whiskey. I then watch the following three movies: High Fidelity, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and 500 Days of Summer.
I once went for a walk at 3 A.M while it was raining; there was a clear and constant sense of remoteness. To see dark and empty streets, feeling the cold of every little drop of water and the wind blowing in my face, reminding me that there were people lying on their beds, warm and comfortable, snuggling with their partners and pets, while I wandered alone and without purpose. That these people, at least for a few hours, were happy and carefree; while I felt sick and numb, knowing that by the time I returned home, I would feel the same; knowing that no one would think of me then.
I started a Facebook group inviting people to go places with me …I stopped posting after 5 months of just seeing everyone had “seen” my posts but nobody commented/contacted me to actually hang out.
I was working in out in the middle of nowhere Georgia on long shifts all last year. I saw the same ten people each and every day and, needless to say, we all got pretty sick of one another. One day, my boss hands me a huge block of wax and tells me to go throw it away.
Taking some inspiration from Castaway, I buckled it into the passenger’s seat of my work truck, carved a face into it with a screwdriver, and named him Staniel.
When anyone ever asked about it, I’d simply say, “Oh him? That’s the boy. Say hello, Staniel.”
Everybody was going kind of nutty at that point so no one found it that weird.
One year, I had just broken up with an ex and moved into an apartment. It was Thanksgiving. I sat and ate alone, while my dad, his wife, and her four daughters ate turkey 10 miles away. I wasn’t invited. I wasn’t a bad person, she just didn’t like me, even before she’d met me. The next day was my birthday. Screw you Dad for not sticking up for me one single time.
My own personal one occurred during a summer many years ago during middle school. No one really talked to me, including my friends without me initiating the conversation. Eventually I just stopped, they all (but one) stopped talking to me, and I resorted to clicking mark as unread on our messages (which would display a little notification) and acting as though they actually wanted to talk to me because I was so lonely.
Back in middle school, I was very lonely so I became best friends with the tree in my back yard. I would run outside right after school and talk to it for a few hours every day as I climbed it. I told it about my day and it would talk back. I always got really sad in the winter when its leaves were gone so I took the dead leaves off the ground and places them in its branches to keep it warm. I cried a lot when we moved a couple years later. Everyone thought I was crying because I missed the house, but I was actually going to miss my tree.
Growing up, none of my family or siblings wanted to play games with me, so I would play Monopoly by myself pretending to be my family members.