Why Are You Sad? The Obvious Answer Isn’t Always Right

If you are both alone and sad, one may have little to do with the other.

10/20/2020 12:19:00 AM

Many people believe that living alone makes you sad. Here's why that's wrong more often than not, writes belladepaulo

If you are both alone and sad, one may have little to do with the other.

becauseyou are single and living alone? Do you think that if you would just find a romantic partner and get married, or at least move in with a romantic partner—or any other human, for that matter—then your sadness and yourlonelinesswould dissipate?There are many reasons why you may be inclined to think that way. In fact, that sort of reasoning is so pervasive, it takes a special effort to challenge it. But we should challenge it. Partnering and changing your living arrangements are major life decisions. For some, they really will result in a happier life. Expecting that to be the general rule, though, is likely to be a mistake. There are just too many ways to be misled about why we feel the way we do.

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Social Media Is Messing with Your MindIf you are living alone and feeling cut off from friends and family during the pandemic, especially as couples and families appear to be feeling freer to go out and about, social media is messing with your mind. All those pictures of happy couples, festive families, and their awesome outings and vacations can make you feel worse than you already do. But

suggests something you probably already know: Facebook doesn’t tell the whole story. And sometimes the story it does tell is untrue.InAmerica the Anxious, Ruth Whippman recounts running into a friend who was just back from what was supposed to be a romantic weekend with her husband. The friend ranted about what a horrible time she and her husband had, how rude her husband was, how they barely spoke the whole time, and how the entire experience was a complete disaster. Then, Whippman went home and checked her Facebook feed, only to find that her friend had posted something entirely different: “Without the remotest hint of strife are ten or so whimsically captioned pictures of an adorable couple in complementary sun hats, frolicking.”

The Pandemic Is Screwing with Your EmotionsSome people who are single and living alone are, even thriving, despite the pandemic, but others are not. If you are someone who is struggling, you may think that’sbecauseyou are single and living alone. And for some, it may well be.

But the pandemic has let loose a cascade of complications to our lives. Many people have suffered devastating losses of jobs, health, and people they loved. Others are scared that those things could happen. Just about everyone has had routines disrupted, plans delayed or forsaken, and in-person gatherings transformed into masked, socially-distanced events, if they are taking place at all. Any of those factors could be among the real reasons for your distress. Being single or living alone could have little to do with it.

Read more: Psychology Today »

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