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The most common lament I hear from today’s singles over the age of 40 is the difficulty they have meeting potential partners. When I hear that, it reconfirms for me how broken our approach to being single really is.
In my experience, the singles complaining about not meeting the right people are – among many things – too isolated in their everyday lives, and need to focus on building their community before finding a partner. In fact, it is this isolation – and the fear of being alone – that propels people into relationships that are just not right for them.
Through my Become Successfully Single programs, my clients focus on building their support networks because it’s not only a lost part of our lives, but also offers more benefits than one blog post can actually describe. Support networks and friendships are vital to our well-being on all levels. The problem is that most singles don’t even give this topic a second thought and as a result wind up leading very socially isolated lives.
Are you one of them? Take this assessment, developed by UCLA, consisting of 20 questions. After you read each statement, indicate how often the statement is descriptive of you, using the following scoring system:
1 to indicate you never feel this way
2 to indicate you rarely feel this way
3 to indicate you sometimes feel this way
4 to indicate you often feel this way
1. I am unhappy doing so many things alone
2. I have nobody to talk to
3. I cannot tolerate being so alone
4. I lack companionship
5. I feel as if nobody really understands me
6. I find myself waiting for people to call or write
7. There is no one I can turn to
8. I am no longer close to anyone
9. My interests and ideas are not shared by those around me
10. I feel left out
11. I feel completely alone
12. I am unable to reach out and communicate with those around me
13. My social relationships are superficial
14. I feel starved for company
15. No one really knows me well
16. I feel isolated from others
17. I am unhappy being so withdrawn
18. It is difficult for me to make friends
19. I feel shut out and excluded by others
20. People are around me but not with me
To determine your level of loneliness, compute your score by adding the ten numbers together.
30-40: People attaining this score-range are operating comfortably and experience an average level of loneliness.
41-60: People within this range struggle a little with social interactions, experiencing frequent loneliness.
61-80: Scores falling within this range would indicate a person experiencing severe loneliness.
Fear not if you got a high score the first time doing this assessment. I want to reinforce that this quiz merely registers FEELINGS of loneliness … feelings are really predicated on PERCEPTIONS – what you perceive to be true. Your feelings are not FACTS – meaning, you might feel lonely but that doesn’t mean you ARE lonely. You may need to simply shift your perspective OR take some solid steps to form closer connections, which is what we’ll talk about next. You may also need to figure out if you’re being too needy, which can account for your feelings of loneliness.
In addition, you might want to take this test monthly to see whether your score remains static, or whether it dips or rises in response to life events. This won’t solve your loneliness, but it will provide more information about a state that can seem so hard to pin down.
Stay Tuned For More!
(And consider enrolling in my Become Successfully Single home study program!)