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“The truth is that we are modern, independent women who yearn for traditional dating and romance. It’s actually quite feminist to admit what you want.” Yet the persistent perception is that loneliness is something empowered women shouldn’t deign to suffer—something that can be fixed with yoga or a new dating app.Alternatively, it can appear like it’s our fault: we’re too picky, too selfish. That’s why I initially resisted writing this piece.And I let the pain flow through me, feel it race up and down and through the conductor of my body.Then I climb into bed and try not to think, , John T.The pain leaps suddenly, like the horrible surge of heat when you remember you forgot to do something important.Sometimes it spills out of me in tears that trickle down from behind my sunglasses as I sit on the streetcar on my way home from work, inching home toward another solitary meal, another night alone in bed.I have been alone for the past two years and, prior to my last boyfriend (we were together for seven months), for another three years—just like so many women in North America right now.
I’d hoped to find war stories from a fellow PSB struggling with the garbage part of long-term singlehood: loneliness.
Cacioppo, director of the Center of Cognitive & Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, reveals that feelings of isolation like mine can cause high blood pressure, increase stress hormones, impair immune function and accelerate aging, and, he says ominously, may be “hastening millions of people to an early grave.” I do have scary-high blood pressure, caused in part, I assume, by the stress of a high-intensity job—sans someone at home to provide soothing cuddles and reality-show commentary—and in part by the fact that I sometimes alleviate said stress with late-night junk-food bacchanals.
While waiting for my post-bar Uber a few weeks ago, I overheard a bro refer to my 2 a.m.
I burst into my apartment and cry and cry and cry, standing in the middle of the living room.
It’s an involuntary physical reaction to the lack: of someone beside me on the streetcar, of someone waiting for me on the couch.