Matt Sweetwood

5 years ago · 4 min. reading time · ~100 ·

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10 Tips To Help You Learn To Love Being Alone

10 Tips To Help You Learn To Love Being Alone

You just broke up from a long term romantic relationship.
You are going through a divorce.
You are being bullied or shunned at school.
You have gone away to school or relocated for a new job and you have few if any friends.
Your parent(s) passes away or you move away.
Your best friend gets married, moves away or betrays you.

What do these life events have in common?

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In these life events, you will have to face being alone a lot more. For many people that is an almost unbearable thought and as a result, they make extremely poor decisions in their lives.

I was exactly this type of a person. Since I was pushed ahead in elementary school, I was socially awkward, bullied, and had few friends. As a 15-year-old high school senior – freckled faced, pudgy, and with only a bicycle as transportation, I couldn’t date 18-year-old women who drove cars. I was unbearably lonely.

That unbearable loneliness eventually led to my marrying the very first woman who showed an interest in me – a woman who, it turned out, was very bad for me. After our divorce, I ended up bankrupt and having to raise our five young children on my own. She never returned or even spoke to her kids again.  

And then again, out of my extreme fear of being alone, I did it again. I married another woman who was very bad for me. But this time, as we were going through our divorce, I had an epiphany. Our family circumstances required for me to be alone. I decided to make the best of it and learn to love being alone.

What I quickly discovered is that if I put effort into it, I could actually enjoy my alone time. I also became much smarter in who I chose to have a relationship with. When you hate being alone, it’s easy to choose to enter a bad relationship because you feel any relationship is better than something you hate and scares you. But if you love being alone, that potential new relationship has to be better than something you love – or you’ll just pass on it.

Here are the 10 things that I did that helped me love being alone and became a key to my happiness and relationship success:

  • Get In Shape: Good health is a fundamental key to happiness. Now that you have more free time and will spend less time caring for another, start eating right, exercising and improving your physical condition. When you feel good about your health and body, your self-esteem improves and you’ll surely be happier.
  • Do Something You Always Wanted to Do and Haven’t: When you are alone, you can pretty much do what you want when you want it. Go skydiving, go watch a rocket launch, take up dance, learn a new language, etc. This is your chance to fulfill some missed dreams.
  • Travel: I thought I would hate traveling alone, but it’s fantastic. I go where I want, how I want, and stay where I want. I eat when and where I want and take as many pictures as I want without anyone getting annoyed. And when you travel alone, your focus is on seeing the sites, feeling the experiences and you do get to meet a lot of new and interesting people.
  • Express Yourself: Write, paint, do photography, build something, decorate your apartment, etc. There is nothing more cathartic than opening up and finding your voice in creative expression. In my case, I took up writing and became a writer for several well-known publications and I have a book coming out in a few months. It was a huge relief for me to be able to tell my story and share my experiences.
  • It’s Your House Now: Whether you have a house, apartment, live in a mobile home or on a boat, make this area your castle. The wonderful aspect of living alone is that I can decorate, furnish, and run my home (cool temperatures!) exactly as I like. It really makes my home feel like home – sweet home.
  • Eat Out For Happiness: Eat out in a way that will make you happy. Sitting alone at a fancy restaurant is only fun for food critics. I grab meals to go (or cook for myself) and find fantastic places to sit and eat and watch something interesting. In warmer weather, there’s nothing better than enjoying a healthy meal and watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset.
  • Network: A favorite saying of mine is if you are not networking you are not working. Go to events of all kinds, especially networking events. It’s the best place to meet new people, find business and job opportunities and learn about what is going on. I almost never walk away from such an event without something positive.
  • Be Social: When out and about engage other people. Put down your cell phone and at least once per day turn to someone nearby and ask them how their day is going or ask them if they have heard anything new they’d like to share. You will find the act of engaging another human uplifting for them and for you.
  • Charity: Helping others is the absolute best way to cure loneliness and increase happiness. Get out of your house and volunteer. Donate your time (and money) to helping others. I did very little of that while I was married. As a single person, I got involved and now I am on the board of directors for two non-profits and it always makes feel like I am doing something worthwhile for humanity.
  • Gratitude: Gratitude is the number one key to finding happiness. You may be alone, but I promise you that you have much to be happy about. Write down a list of things you are grateful for, starting with, “I am alive.” My list has over 50 items on it and I try to add to it regularly – and I look at it regularly anytime I am feeling down or lonely.

I am not suggesting that being alone is the only or best way to be. In fact, good relationships should provide significant benefits, meaningful experiences and happiness. But life is going to force us to be alone at times – sometimes more than we’d like.

When you learn to love being alone, you’ll find peace, happiness, greater productivity and you will make better relationship decisions – and you’ll get to live a BIG LIFE – a life that you will love.


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Matt Sweetwood

4 years ago #24

#36
I prefer not to live alone either. But if I have to, I am very ok with that.
Matt \ud83d\udc1d Sweetwood may not speak for everyone, but for those of us who really do love living alone . . . he sure does! What are YOUR thoughts?
Yes to everything there, Matt \ud83d\udc1d Sweetwood! I have experienced some of that -- two marriages -- and I've been on my own now for about 15 years. I much prefer the lifestyle. I agree that getting out there and enjoying the freedoms of doing what you want is key. And so is being social; I live in a very small village on a bay off Cape Cod, Mass., and I get a lot of my social needs met just by walking my dogs around three or four times most days. (Small, cute, friendly dogs are a magnet for most folks.) I network like mad; another way to get to know folks. Thanks for a great article that speaks to so many of us, even if we're not able to admit it.

Matt Sweetwood

5 years ago #21

#22
This is a fantastic point . Much of what I speak about in this article I learned while I was still married - and going through a very rough patch! These ideas absolutely apply for people in relationships too.

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

5 years ago #20

Love this Matt \ud83d\udc1d Sweetwood Great advice and I agree with finding happiness in spending time alone and appreciating ourselves. Only if we love ourselves can we love others is the universal truth!

Liesbeth Leysen, MSc.

5 years ago #19

you forget one point: point 11: read Matt's article thank you Matt \ud83d\udc1d Sweetwood it is said: first love yourself, then let others love you more

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #18

Hi Matt \ud83d\udc1d Sweetwood, Aren't you glad the teen years are in the past? They can be so hard on many. I believe that those of us that were bullied for what ever reasons or felt alone learn skills to teach our children with the hope they can get through those years- I bet you taught your kids a lot through your experiences. I love your tips for being alone. I think those tips can apply to married couples too. It's SO healthy for a marriage to continue your separate identities and respect that in each other. I believe that leaves room for more respect and a healthier 'you.' I am the type of person that needs my space. I didn't realize this until I hit my 40's. I go out to dinner alone, enjoy my photography (can sure get immersed in that), and we both have our own space in the house we respect. I love to travel alone on occasion too. Quick story, when we were in Colorado my son and his wife pretty much made up the agenda for the entire week we were there. We had a lot of fun but there were things I wanted to do as an adult that the kids couldn't do. When we visited Estes Park, we ate a late lunch. We got back around 7pm that night and no one was hungry for dinner except me. I drove into Westminister and found a place to eat alone, enjoyed the scenery, people watching and my food. I would have preferred that night to go to a brew pub with the adults but not possible with little ones lol. So, your message is an excellent one for single people and even people who are married. I know being alone is different than marriage- I see what my step dad is going through since my mom passed. It's a good thing he has a few wonderful hobbies that keep him busy. My heart breaks for him though. Thanks for sharing! Great tips.

David B. Grinberg

5 years ago #17

Matt, once again you offer very valuable and practical advice. And while your points are most applicable to those who are single and/or alone, I think some of your points can likewise apply to those who are in relationships too. What struck me most was this observation: "Gratitude is the number one key to finding happiness." It's important for all of us to be gracious and grateful to those with whom we interact, for in giving we receive. Thanks for another buzzing blog post!

Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

5 years ago #16

One is never alone when among other bees :-)
El amor de la soledad y sus remedios ....check it out!
Bengt Hahlin chck this article!
Hi David Navarro L\u00f3pez share this one around you if you like the wisedom our our USA CEO !
Hola companeros ! mira este articulo sobre la soledad y sus remedios...share the buzz in latin hives ! @Julio Angel \ud83d\udc1dLopez Lopez
Federico \ud83d\udc1d \u00c1lvarez San Mart\u00edn we have to spread the word out, this piece from Matt is really good!
Deborah Levine. Buzz on!
cc Tausif Mundrawala hi guys can you share this goodnarticle to Indian audience and social medias.
Hi Matt \ud83d\udc1d Sweetwood, shared on FB to fans and friends. That was a good piece.
wierd how it is very into laws of attraction, Nature hates emptyness and loves beBee !

Renée 🐝 Cormier

5 years ago #6

#6
Buzzing all the way!
Never walk alone ! beBee is always with you ! 🐝🐝🐝🐝😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Matt Sweetwood

5 years ago #4

Mamen \ud83d\udc1d Delgado

Matt Sweetwood

5 years ago #3

John White, MBA

Renée 🐝 Cormier

5 years ago #2

I love being around people, but I also love the peace and freedom that comes with being alone. I agree with you on all these points. I think it was Wayne Dyer who said something like when you love yourself you will love your own company. It makes sense that self fulfillment and self love are connected.

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

5 years ago #1

Great tips to balance heart and enliven oneself!

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