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I Am Afraid Of Spending The Rest Of My Life Alone

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Written by Evi Idoghor


If you know me, you'll know that I enjoy watching documentaries. While many people spend their evenings binge-watching their favorite Netflix shows, I am frequently searching YouTube for the next best documentary to lose myself in. I came across one recently titled "I'm afraid of spending the rest of my life alone." With a title like that, how could I say no?

Despite the fact that loneliness is a common problem, most people do not discuss it. There is a sense of shame and pain associated with it, and it takes a level of trust and vulnerability to share how you truly feel with others without fear of being judged for it.
I am scared of spending the rest of my life alone

The documentary followed the lives of people from various demographics who all had one thing in common: they were lonely. Their uniqueness was not diminished by the fact that they came to this commonality through their diverse life experiences. This was something I could relate to when people my age discussed the pain they were experiencing as a result of the problem at hand.


As a single woman in her mid-thirties, I experience bouts of loneliness when I least expect them. Thoughts like, "I thought I was over this," run through my mind. However, those feelings appear to remind me that I am still a human being (or maybe I just watched a bunch of romantic movies the day before).

Every year, I tell myself, "This will be the year." In my head, I plan my engagement, wedding, and future, and then it's the next year! Causing me to land at this conclusion that there is more to life than marriage and babies. With that, I console myself until the next bout of loneliness strikes.


Even though loneliness is a common problem, most people do not discuss it. There is a sense of shame and pain associated with it, and it takes a level of trust and vulnerability to share how you truly feel with others without fear of being judged for it. Humans were created by God to be in relationship with one another. This is evident in family dynamics, church communities, committed relationships, work, and so on. As such, it is completely natural for people to feel lonely if one or more of these factors are lacking.

Despite the fact that loneliness is a common problem, most people do not discuss it. There is a sense of shame and pain associated with it, and it takes a level of trust and vulnerability to share how you truly feel with others without fear of being judged for it.
I am scared of spending the rest of my life alone

Loneliness in Relationships

Loneliness while in a romantic relationship (I believe) is the worst form of loneliness. I once went through this in a relationship where the man didn't make time for me and barely spoke to me when we weren't together. While my friends were out and about with their spouses, I was cooped up in my apartment crying over someone who didn't care about me. “I feel alone!” I muttered to myself one day. It would have been preferable for me to be single than “having” someone who was emotionally unavailable.


Some people will find themselves in this situation as a result of attempting to alleviate their loneliness. Such individuals latch on to anything that pays them little attention, they settle for crumbs while failing to realize that being in such a situation is far worse than being unattached. It only adds to the agony they were already experiencing.


How can one manage loneliness?


1. Be honest: The first step to problem solving is admitting that there is a problem to begin with. Be honest with yourself, with others, and most importantly, with God. People will only come to your aid if they are aware of a problem. Some people develop chronic depression as a result of overwhelming feelings of loneliness, while others have considered suicide. We walk past people every day, oblivious to the burdens they bear. If we are open and honest about how we feel and have conversations around it, not only would we find relief for ourselves, others who are dealing with the same issue will be comforted knowing they are not alone.


2. Ask God for help: Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” God isn’t rolling his eyes at the fact that you feel lonely, neither does he consider you as weak because of it. Psalm 68:6 says, "God sets the lonely in families…” He knows — he was the one who said it wasn’t good for man to be alone. So, pour out your heart to him, he will lift the burden, and open opportunities for you to build healthy relationships with others.


3. Become a part of a church community: What better group of people to spend your life with than others who share your values? God knows we can't handle life on our own, so he assembled us in the body of Christ; first to serve him, and then to serve others. Make it a habit to attend church physically and regularly, that way you can form sustainable relationships with others.


4. Do more of what you enjoy: God has endowed everyone with unique talents, abilities, and skills. When I am lost in my writing, I am able to escape the real world. Writing is therapeutic, exciting, and adventurous for me. Others may enjoy cooking, baking, visiting the poor, or volunteering at a local charitable organization. When you use your gift to help others, you gain a sense of fulfillment that pushes loneliness to the back burner.


Loneliness after a Lifetime of Happiness

Despite the fact that loneliness is a common problem, most people do not discuss it. There is a sense of shame and pain associated with it, and it takes a level of trust and vulnerability to share how you truly feel with others without fear of being judged for it.
I am scared of spending the rest of my life alone

The documentary revealed that the older people's loneliness was caused by the death of their spouses. Some couples had been married for 40 years, while others had been together for 70. While they must have spent the majority of their lives with their spouses, this did not make up for the void left by their loved ones' deaths. This only made me think of my father. I began to wonder how he truly felt after my mother died.


After one parent dies, I believe children develop a kind of selfishness toward the remaining parent. They often become upset when the parent begins dating or contemplating “moving on” with their life. We expect them to be alone, to deal with it, to chest it, and just get on with it. Not considering how they might feel in the absence of a life partner.


I've discovered that the concept of "moving on" is even more difficult for those who have lost their partners in a country like Nigeria. Society frowns at widows/widowers who move on “quickly.” They question if they harbored this relationship while their deceased spouse was alive, or the extremists wonder if they had a hand in their partner's death, as if the vows didn‘t read — till death do us part.


What if it was simply a case of loneliness? Attempting to fill a void? Or avoiding sexual sin? When someone makes certain decisions after their spouse dies, rather than arching your brows or smiling upside down, have a conversation with them. Listen to their anguish and heartbreak and be understanding. Realize that you can only guess what you would do if you were in their shoes.


What do you think? Leave your comments below and also remember to like, share, and hit the subscribe button at the top, never to miss an update on the website.


For Further Reading




Don't stop here, click this link to explore more on the Relationships segment of the website.

Images used in this article are courtesy of Unsplash

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Dec 11, 2023

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ovie agboge
ovie agboge
Oct 25, 2021

Interesting thoughts. I appreciate you dealing with the section of the widow/widowers, I never gave it much thought before now. I believe you are right, it is easier to judge and point fingers than trying to understand the person.

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