The song tells us that one is the loneliest number.
The song lies.
Because two has the potential to be lonelier than one could ever be.
When you’re one – alone and single – you know your position. You harbor no false hopes of connection. You carry no expectations of companionship. You know where you stand.
But when you’re two – half of pair – you begin to expect understanding. You look for and anticipate gestures of love. You want and assume that you will be listened to and recognized.
When those expectations are not met, when you are standing together yet you feel apart, that is loneliest feeling you can ever have. Those moments when your partner does not seem to see you, those feelings that go unrecognized, can cause you to feel more isolated and invisible than any table for one.
Loneliness is a strange beast – we fear it and yet we invite it in to curl up by the hearth. Loneliness is a choice. You cannot control how others respond to you but you can change how you respond in turn. Be honest with yourself – are you inviting loneliness in? Is your ego preventing you from accepting help? Are you sending signals that you want to be left alone? Are you failing to recognize the signs that someone is reaching out to you? Are your expectations blinding you?
Are you failing to make decisions because you are afraid of being lonely? Do you isolate yourself rather than take the risk of companionship? Do you assume your partner isn’t listening and you turn away in anticipation? Do you build up walls and then lament that no one tries to demolish them?
The truth is, regardless of outward appearances, we are all lonely at times. It doesn’t matter how many Facebook friends you have or how many roses your partner buys you. We all feel separate at times, misunderstood. It’s normal. Unless we perfect telepathy (Sookie Stackhouse, I’m looking at you!), we are the only ones who inhabit ourselves.
Alone doesn’t have to mean lonely.
Loneliness is a choice. We only become invisible when allow ourselves to be. Loneliness comes from within; it is a perception and an insecurity with oneself. It is a self-feeding emotion. The more you welcome it in, the more it takes up residence. Recognize it. Acknowledge it. And then try acting as though it isn’t there. It’s funny- when you no longer focus on how lonely you are, you often forget that feel alone.
One isn’t the loneliest number.
And really, neither is two.
You have a choice to make any number lonely or not. It’s up to you.