One is the loneliest number

One is the loneliest number


Monday, November 30, 2020

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WE all get lonely sometimes, some of us more than others. With the Christmas season drawing nearer and no end to the pandemic and its restrictions in sight, even those of us who preferred to be alone are starting to feel a little bit deserted. But while we all are missing some of our friends and relatives, those with loving partners don't have it too bad, because you have a hand to hold through the storm.

The single folks, and those with emotionally absent partners, are not so lucky. Loneliness has driven them to great lengths, some that you might consider to be next to insanity. Some are still quite embarrassed when they reflect on some silly things they have done to feel better in their loneliness, while others are quite proud.

Here's how far some of our readers have gone to feel even a little bit less alone:

Sharry, accountant, 38:

I sometimes buy flowers and romantic edibles and have them delivered to my office on special occasions like birthdays and Valentine's Day.

Troy, 41, medical personnel:

I paid someone — an associate — to join me at a family function. I wasn't in a relationship and this girl fit my type so nobody questioned it. She also knew me well enough that things flowed.

Kiera, 23, digital marketing strategist:

I got so lonely at one point after a long relationship that I used to act like my pillow was a man. I used to talk to it about my day, out loud and all. Kissed it up and everything. I bought the cologne that my ex wore and sprayed it on the pillow, so that I could feel like he was still next to me.

Kish, 31, admin assistant:

Some years ago I started a new job right after a break-up. In my first week on the new job, I slipped and shared a fond memory of my ex in conversation as 'my boyfriend' and I didn't correct it so my colleagues just ran with the story. Before I knew it, six months had passed and the lie had grown. I pretended to get calls from bae in the evenings, sent myself flowers and chocolate for Valentine's Day, and showed them old pictures of us as if they were recent. When I couldn't take it anymore, I went in one day and cried at my desk as if we had just broken up.

Charlotte, 25, law student:

At my loneliest, I found myself helping to plan an outing with my 'friends' then sitting at the table while they all conversed in their own little groups and hardly engaged with me, even when I tried really hard to get and keep a conversation going.

G, 27, unemployed:

I have two cellphones, and I can remember being so lonely at one point that I conversed with myself back and forth on WhatsApp for quite some time. All my girlfriends were in relationships and I was the only one single, and I just felt left out. I sent myself good morning messages. For a few days I even saved one number as 'Bae' and sent myself lovey-dovey messages and posted screenshots to my status for my friends to see, just so they could feel like I had something going on too.

Shane, 35, businessman:

When I feel lonely I hit the gym. If I am going to be miserable I might as well do something that I hate. I went to the movies by myself one time but all the young couples there just made me feel worse than before.

Talia, 36, writer:

For a good while I had a really big teddy bear called Tim that I kept in my bed to keep my company at night. I got so attached to Tim that even when I got in a relationship I still wanted him on the bed, but it annoyed my partner, so Tim is now in the closet for when he goes out of town.

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