How to Pick a Lover

A great many mistakes are made in the name of loneliness.
—John Patrick, Love Is a Many Splendor Thing

There are many pleasures in solitude and many activities and pursuits that one can and does enjoy doing alone. However, we are fundamentally social creatures brought up in a social world where companionship and communication are held to be of prime importance. Paradoxically, however, to derive full value from joy, we must have someone to divide it with.

Love Steals Us from Loneliness

Love Steals Us from Loneliness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is pleasant to watch a sunset, but it is more pleasant to watch it with a friend. The same may apply to watching movies or television or the waves at the beach. It is always satisfying to partake of a well-prepared meal, but it is more satisfying to break bread with someone. This is not to say that we necessarily want constant companionship, but only that most of us who are not hermits want some. Companionship may be available from friends, but since the intensity of our involvement with them is less than that of our involvement with lovers, the presence of a lover may be more important—which is why we often feel forsaken when a close friend embarks on a new love relationship.

Sometimes, a woman takes a lover to relieve her loneliness and finds the solace of companionship to be more important than the physical aspects of making love. If you are really in love, you can say, with the Pulitzer Prizewinning author and poet Conrad Aiken: “Music I heard with you was more than music, and the bread I broke with you was more than bread.”


Comments on: "The Loneliness Factor: The Value of Sharing" (9)

  1. NormalDeviations said:

    That’s really thought provoking insight. The question that comes to my mind is the nature of relationships and loneliness. I agree that people often enter relationships for companionship and to relieve loneliness.

    But, then it kind of… morphs, right? At a very base level, we become selfish and want exclusivity (many folks do, not all) with this new relationship. It seems kind of counter-intuitive to fulfilling that need. If we were open, individually, to more concurrent relationships, wouldn’t that tend to alleviate loneliness for more people, and for more of our individual time? See what I’m getting at?

    • I agree. Many individuals define their relationship in terms of ownership rather than voluntary partnership. When a relationship is viewed in terms of ownership the individual very likely views exclusivity as a sign of love and that they are. I do see you point. If we could get beyond the idea that we only have the capacity to love one person at a time, there would be less loneliness in the world.

      • NormalDeviations said:

        Heh – here’s a twist on that.

        I think people are more willing to accept the non-exclusive capacity of love… in themselves. Their partner? No way! If we (as a society) could accept that love itself isn’t binary – for everyone, not just subjectively, with different expectations for others – I think that’s the best (maybe too idealistic) result.

  2. […] might be experiencing a similar increase: PostModernSingle, Rose (But I’m Beautiful), Wesley (Women in Contemporary Relationships), Savanah, Lacey are the ones that come to mind […]

  3. ( said:

    One of the problems I see is that many people have a tendency to make their partner their world. We can’t do that! We want and need someone special in our lives, but we still need to have our own lives. You make me your life and I will move in a different direction.

    • I agree with you totally. Making your partner the entire focus of your world will place so much pressure on them that they will eventually crumble under the weight – no matter how much the love you. No individual can meet a 100% of the needs of an other. My rule of thumb is that if you have a husband/boyfriend/lover who meets 80% of your needs then jump for joy, as you are among the fortunate. There are many others out there in the world that can meet the other 20%, and your life will be the more richer for it, as will your relationship. Even 70% isn’t bad!

      • NormalDeviations said:

        I’d actually take it down to 50% being my max – more than that and I’m not comfortable. Maybe I take it to the other extreme because of a fear of dependence (mine) on someone else. 🙂

  4. ( said:

    I agree with NormalDeviations. I was just about to say 50%. Also to Normal, nice tid bit of self-disclosure. Thanks!

    • I can go with 50%. I think that the two of you may be at the lower end of the curve, but I may be wrong. Would be interesting to see what the norm is if others are willing to weigh in with a percentage.

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