The older I get the more profound this fear becomes. Growing old and lonely is a terrible thought and one I am determined not to let happen.
I have no problem with being alone. I enjoy solitude and have no issue with spending large amounts of time by myself, but there are times when it would be nice to have a companion to spend some quality time with.
For the majority of my adult life, I have been single. Granted, I have spent a large portion of this time travelling, which is not exactly conducive to a long-term relationship, but the fact remains, throughout the majority of that period I was not in a relationship.
One reason for this is because of self-image issues. I was terribly skinny as a child, although I have put on weight in recent years, I still look a little underweight.
The fact that I was constantly reminded of the fact I was skinny during school, meant that I had a lack of confidence when it came to approaching women.
Various thoughts would run through my head such as, “why would she want to be with a skinny guy such as me?”, “there’s no way she’ll ever go out with me!”
I have improved in this regard and have a lot more confidence with the opposite sex now, but the voices remain lodged in the recesses of my mind. I don’t think they will ever go away.
In some way or another, we are all compensating for grievances and inadequacies we felt while growing up and going to school. I am no different. Some days, I don’t notice the voices, other days they are loud and clear.
Tuning out is a necessity, otherwise, my biggest fear could very well come true.
At the end of the year, I turn 30. If I’m honest, I thought I would have met a long-term partner by now. I guess my lifestyle and my own insecurities have prevented me from doing so up until now.
This is not so much of a worry at this age. I still have a lot of life ahead of me, but if I start to approach 35 and the situation remains the same, then I will feel like I’m in trouble.
Year after year, I have been to my friend's weddings. There is another one this year, and there will probably be one the year after too. I have reached the age in my life, where it appears to be socially acceptable to settle down.
I have never been one to acquiesce to what society thinks I should do. The idea of getting married by a certain age is lunacy to me, but you can’t help but absorb these ideas, no matter how ambivalent towards them you are.
The longer I remain single, the more this fear will grow instead of me. I fear it will consume me, I am terrified of being alone. To spend my life in my company and not love someone, or bring up children would be a terrible waste in my eyes.
I have achieved a lot in life, but I feel loving someone else and being loved in return is something you can’t put a value on. We are only here once, to go through life without companionship and feeling the warmth and love of another human being would be a crime.
I only have myself to blame in many regards. Of the women I have dated, the majority of them were not right for me. In other cases, I have pushed them away because of my own insecurities.
These are all mistakes that I have learned from and am determined not to repeat again.
There is also another aspect to my fear that I have not revealed yet, the fear of my parent’s death. I know it will happen one day, I have reconciled myself to this fact, but, still, I do not want it to happen.
The thought of not being able to turn to my parents for guidance and advice makes me feel sick to my stomach. For then, without a partner, I truly would be alone.
Two Is Better Than One
The more I travel by myself, the more I realise just how lonely I feel sometimes. While I enjoy travelling by myself, it does have its downsides.
The primary one is that you are by yourself for large chunks of time. Yes, you meet people along the way, but the majority of them will drop out of your life as quickly as they entered it.
There are only a few who will remain in your life afterwards long-term, and in my experience, those are friends I made when I was travelling in a country for the long-term.
Another downside is that you are visiting all these incredible places, but you have no one to share those experiences with. You could see the most amazing sunset, or marvel at a beautiful sunset, but you no one to share it with.
I find myself turning to my side sometimes, only to remember there is no one there beside me. No one there to marvel at nature alongside me. It makes me wonder if travelling alone is worth it in the long-run?
Travelling solo has its benefits early on, but the longer it goes on, the more wearisome it becomes. We are humans, we were built to love another, and revel in experiences with them.
It all becomes a little empty when I am by myself. The value of life is increased when you have a partner in your corner who’s got your back and you have theirs.
There is only one person who can change this situation, and that is me. No man is an island so they say, and I am determined not to become one.