Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Is it better being alone than being with the wrong one?

I heard the phrase above (“it’s better being alone than being with with wrong one”) in Cold Feet, a series rated 8.2 in IMDb. This phrase has quite some hits on the internet. Nevertheless, a recent scientific study disagrees: “Even an unhappy marriage is better for you than being alone” (Times-2023).

This remarkable difference may well relate to the difference between loneliness and solitude.

Once you focus on the word wrong then it’s likely you will agree. Once you focus on the word alone then it gets complicated. A lonely person would (probably) answer the question in my blog title with a no, while a solitary person would (probably) answer the same question with a yes.

Hence, loneliness is considered worse than being with the wrong one. Perhaps, that thought explains why it took me ten years to want a divorce. One of her favourite sayings was that “I would never find a woman who would be crazy enough to take care of me”. I suppose I may have believed her – once.

To me, the answer to the question in my blog title is a clear yes because I like / love my solitude. The feeling of loneliness is unfamiliar to me. I assume that such a feeling is as devastating as my 2013 burnout, including its subsequent depression. Hence, you avoid loneliness (or a burnout) – at all cost.

A 2022 Psychology Today article mentions the 5 Reasons People Stay in Unhappy Marriages:
1. Money (eg, average cost of a divorce, child support or custody, etc.);
2. Fear (eg, the “fear of not knowing what life will be like without a spouse”);
3. Children (eg, “staying together for benefit of the children”);
4. Shame (eg, “You feel like a failure. Divorce is not admitting defeat. Divorce is deciding that you deserve a different future.”);
5. We want to believe that things will get better (eg, we hold on to hope that this time the relationship will get better”).

My divorce has learned me that it is possible to lose that fear of loneliness, and to learn to embrace the joy of solitude. I suppose that any fear can be unlearned (eg, Pub Med-1990, APA-2003, Nature-2014, University Leiden).

“Don’t settle. It’s better to face a little loneliness now than a lifetime of loneliness with the wrong person.”

A quote by Mandy Hale

Solitary Man (1966) by Neil Diamond
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

Don’t know that I will
But until I can find me
The girl who’ll stay
And won’t play games behind me
I’ll be what I am
A solitary man, solitary man

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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