How I Overcame Feeling Lonely While Being Single

Feelings of loneliness are a common human condition. I experienced it. 

All I ever wanted was for someone to cherish me, to adore me. Some of the people in my life let me down. I came to the conclusion that I was not lovable, that something was wrong with me. It was not a healthy emotional state by any means

I also believed the lie that a romantic relationship would solve the problem. After all, isn’t that what our culture and social media teach us, that a romantic partner will fix the loneliness we feel inside?

Can a person with this mindset make a U-turn and learn how to overcome the loneliness of being single?

I did. Let me tell you how.

My story of loneliness could also be your story

I want to share my story after losing two husbands and subsequent feelings of

  • isolation
  • negative emotions for various reasons
  • lack of personal identity

I know that there are plenty of single people struggling the same way.

External pressures, married people, peer workers, and family members often reinforce the negative thoughts that single women experience about their relationship status. 

I want to offer a helping hand. You can overcome the loneliness of being single.  

A mystery – single life without lonely feelings

Years ago in about 1975, I heard iconic missionary, Elizabeth Elliot speak. At that point in her life, she was a widow for the second time.(1)

Her first husband was murdered in 1956, and her second husband died in 1973. I remember her saying something that made absolutely no sense to me.

It wouldn’t be until 2012 that I would begin a journey that helped me to understand her statement, “The Lord is my husband.”

Clearly, Elizabeth Elliot was feeling joyful when single. I wondered how that could possibly be. But I was married at the time so dismissed her statement. 

photo of the author, S.K. Brown, and missionary/speaker Elizabeth Elliot. Elizabeth had learned how to overcome loneliness of being single.
S.K. Brown left
Elizabeth Elliot right

Negative feelings about being a single person 

2012 thrust me into being single again. The year before that my mother had died so I was still settling her estate, closing my parent’s ministry, and selling the property.

I kept very busy and had a lot of people around me. I didn’t have much time to think about being single or feelings of loneliness.

Solitude and loneliness

Once we purchased our small farm in 2015 I had many days of solitude with time to think. It suddenly hit me that I was a single woman and alone. 

The rest of the family adults were busy at their jobs. I spent long hours on the tractor doing field maintenance, working on the growing to-do-list of farm needs, and caring for animals.

There was no one during the day with which to share my struggles or victories. I hadn’t learned yet how to manage my lonely feelings.

Because we had moved, I also didn’t have any good friends established locally. My social interactions were limited. It was a hard time for me. 

We bought the farm in July. Thanksgiving and Christmas went well as all of the relatives wanted to see the property and celebrate with us. 

However, the approaching of Valentine’s Day was a different story. 

I had always loved to receive fresh flowers and knew there would be none.

I still believed the lie that part of the causes of loneliness was my single status. Valentine’s Day can be difficult for many single people. Maybe you are one of them.

Gifts from the lover of my soul

In the late fall, I had planted some pansies just outside my cottage door. They grew slowly in the cooler months of December and January. When February 1st came there still were no flowers.

Then as I came out of my door on February 14th the pansies were in bloom. God had given me flowers for Valentine’s Day. I cried and felt joy, all at the same time. I was learning about feeling joyful when I was single.

And there were more gifts to come. 

On two other occasions, God gave me unique gifts that no one else could have.

In February 2017, we had baby goats born just before Valentine’s Day. Look at the photo of this little one with a surprise on her back of a dark furry heart shape.

Photo of our baby goat with a heart shaped section of hair on its back, that was born just before Valentines day. This was a gift from God that helped me feel joyful even when I was single.

God our creator was speaking my “Love Language” again when I needed confirmation that I was special to someone.

Finally, several months later, one of our hens presented me with an egg that had a darker pigmented heart on the shell, another gift from God.

The real knight in shining armor

By the time this egg came along, I felt very cared for by God. Along with scripture, these gifts helped me realize that the knight in shining armor, the one I had always longed for, was already mine.

His gifts were things that could not be mistaken as from anyone else.

He was the faithful, caring, tender, yet strong and loving one I needed.

I finally understood what Elizabeth Elliot meant when she said, “The Lord is my husband.”

How to overcome loneliness of being single?

The first step to overcoming loneliness is to have a personal relationship with Jesus. 

If you don’t know Jesus, you probably have questions. The people at Chat About Jesus have answers. You can text, call, or chat with them online any time of the day or night.

But there is more. 

Stop believing lies 

Most single women believe that a romantic relationship will erase their feelings of loneliness. I wish it were as simple as that. 

Ironically, many married people also feel lonely. So having a romantic partner or getting married is not the answer. 

Have a good support group

Social isolation is not healthy for anyone. We were created for human connection and the absence of it can eventually cause physical symptoms worse than our emotional symptoms. 

If you are spending a lot of time alone, you must make a personal choice to move out of your comfort zone and do things that involve human interaction. 

Find like-minded people to spend time with

One of the best ways to stop feeling lonely is to start thinking about others and how you can help and serve them. Social connections can happen in several ways. 

  • Be part of a church care group
  • Volunteer at a service organization, hospital, animal shelter, or similar social activities
  • Take up a hobby that involves other people

But let me give you a word of caution. People can not meet all our emotional needs. That in itself is one of the lies we believe. 

Interact with Jesus on a daily basis

Since Jesus is our real “knight in shining armor”, we must get to know Him. I really like this anonymous quote:

“You can’t trust someone you don’t know. And you can’t know someone you don’t spend time with. And you can’t spend time with someone if you don’t plan for it.” 

We were ultimately created for connection and interaction with God. This is where positive changes take place in our lives. This will make a big difference in our thoughts and state of mind.

Social situations are great, but without daily connection to our creator, we will still have feelings of loneliness.  

Even spending time with Jesus through Bible reading, prayer, admiring nature, and similar activities will not totally erase that nagging feeling inside. You see when we are totally comfortable, human beings have a tendency to wander away from God.

Instead of trying to completely eliminate loneliness, use it as a reminder that the more time we spend with Jesus the less lonely we will feel. Let these feelings point you back to Him. 

Death and abandonment will never end your relationship with Jesus. He cares for you more than anyone else. 

“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

“For God so loved that world that He gave”- His most precious gift, Jesus Christ. (John 3 16).

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:13-14)

If you have tried the above suggestions and are still struggling, it may be time for professional help. There is no shame in asking for it. 

A Gift for you

Photo of a coloring page with the Bible verses from Jeremiah 31:3, free to download and remind the reader how to overcome loneliness of being single.

I would like to give you the coloring page shown here to remind you that Jesus is the real knight in shining armor, the lover of your soul.

Simply click on the image to download. No email is required.

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