Recently, I watched an old episode of Ali McBeal, a popular TV show from the 90s. She contemplated the end of a romantic relationship and said, “When I think back about my loneliest moments, there was someone next to me.” In the next episode, she had a conversation with her ex-boyfriend. He told her she was afraid of being alone. She rejected that idea, saying her fear was of being with the wrong person. Hence, the reason she broke up with him. Yes, it is possible to be with someone and still feel alone. In my younger days, I experienced it. Maybe you have too.

What is the difference between lonely and alone? Although they are both adjectives, they have far different meanings.

Lonely is a feeling of sadness, maybe abandonment. Sometimes it is the cruelest part of mourning the loss of a loved one either through death or a breakup.

Alone is isolation or solitude, deprived of the company of others. To be honest, I enjoy quiet moments of solitude. It gives me the opportunity to write without interruption. Still, I wouldn’t want to be alone all the time. That would definitely lead to loneliness.

Because the pandemic is raging across the world, many are experiencing aloneness and loneliness simultaneously. Thousands have experienced the death of a friend or family member, leaving a void, an empty place at the table. Thousands more avoid any contact with anyone outside their immediate family for fear of contracting the virus. For those who live by themselves, it sadly means no interaction with anyone.

How can we best adjust to aloneness which may lead to loneliness? I try to keep busy and stay engaged with others through phone calls and social media. What do you do? I would love to know your thoughts. Leave a reply.

About Susan MIlls Wilson

Susan Mills Wilson is a native of North Carolina where she writes romantic suspense. She is the leader of the Charlotte Writers Club Mystery Critique Group and a member of Charlotte Writers Club. Subscribe to Susan’s blog at
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