Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The female fear of being and ending up alone

Tuesday evening, I heard those familiar words again when she said: “Our lives are so different. I cannot be alone for more than 2 days. I become restless. I must see people and do something.” A 2018 Psychology Today article reveals that this is common for women: “I see this fear of aloneness in my female patients far more than my male patients and I believe this mirrors a reality in the larger culture”. Note LO: emphasis in quote by me.

Psychology Today-2018: “For so many of my female patients, the fear of being alone has two primary facets. First, there is discomfort associated with being alone on a day-to-day basis. When alone they feel antsy, uncomfortable, lonely, or bored and employ a variety of methods to avoid feeling that way. The second facet involves a fear of being alone into their older years — the fear of being the dreaded “spinster.” Note LO: emphasis in quote by me.

A former girlfriend once acknowledged to me that her greatest fear was ending up alone without someone to take (financial) care of her. Being alone and poor is indeed the reality for quite some senior citizens, male and female.

Men and women have very different approaches about (not) being alone. Besides team sports, men often have solo activities and/or hobbies: cycling, fishing, running, sailing. Female activities appear to be joint activities for socializing: fun shopping, visiting a city center terrace for a drink, group walking. Reading might be the favourite female solo activity.

2013 Penn State brain study states: “For instance, on average, men are more likely better at learning and performing a single task at hand, like cycling or navigating directions, whereas women have superior memory and social cognition skills, making them more equipped for multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group.” Note LO: emphasis in quote by me.

In his show “Laugh your way to a better marriage”, pastor and stand-up comedian Mark Gungor has an item called “the tale of two brains” (short video, long video). He refers to the striking differences between the male and female brain: the male “nothing box”  (> 3:25), male “brain dead” fishing (> 4:05). He refers to Penn State University research (eg, 2013 brain study).

Before my 2013 burnout, I liked socializing with friends and acquaintances, although largely for escaping a failing marriage. During my burnout, I learned to appreciate minimising external stimuli, like artificial lights, smells, and sounds. The sound of silence and solitude became my friends. Whenever I’m alone, I’m my own best friend.

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company“, a quote by Jean-Paul Sartre (1905, 1980), “a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic”.

Lonely Boy (1977) by Andrew Gold (1951-2011)

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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