I felt it hit at munch this week. Here I was surrounded by my best people. Or at least a few hands full of them. I love munches. I get to laugh, talk about sex, be completely unfiltered and no one even bats an eye. I schedule other events around munches, that is how important they are to me. I sat down next to one of my best friends late in the evening. I had to touch him. I started rubbing his back, touching his hand, anything to feel close to him. I leaned onto his shoulder. He knew what I meant when I said to him, “I am touch needy tonight.” He loved on me the best he could. He let me love on him. He let me be needy.
I went home. I eventually crawled into bed with a couple of tears. I knew I would be better with some sleep. Sleep solves everything. But I woke up feeling the same. It was an emptiness. The emptiness felt worse again as the evening set in. I posted on a social media site, “My bucket needs filling. And it isn’t sex. I need intimacy, closeness, touch. I just need connection. I hate feeling needy. I’m not generally needy. Until I am empty.” A girlfriend offered to come over. And it might have been nice. But I don’t know if it would have filled my bucket. I told her I’d be fine until the weekend and then we could spend some quality time together, after my kids were gone. Again it was late and I thought sleep would help.
A long distance friend popped up on my messenger and I said I was in a funk, that my bucket was empty. He offered to call, so we talked while he drove home from his evening out. I described my feelings to him and he said, “You are lonely. Welcome to being single.” I had said the word lonely earlier in the day. But I didn’t want to admit I was lonely. I would actually rather use the word needy. Why do I feel shame about feeling lonely?
I’ve been the person surrounded by people yet not connected and felt lonely. This isn’t it. I am around great people, very regularly, and I connect with them. I’m not a “generally lonely” person. I am a “specifically lonely” person. I am missing a piece of connection that is very specific. It is intimacy and affection. It is touch. It is someone to share my fear and be vulnerable with.
My phone-a-friend last night followed his declaration of me being lonely with, “Now don’t run out and get a relationship!” I immediately responded, “No way!” I don’t feel this way often. I never want to hunt for a relationship. I certainly don’t want to get into a relationship to solve loneliness!
I just need those kind of friends that will come over and crawl in bed with me. Maybe make out. Maybe even have great sex. (In editing this journal entry/blog post, this is the point in my process where it all starts to make sense as I let the words roll out of my head/heart and through my fingers. This is where I start to understand the source of my uncomfortable feelings.) I used to have a friend, and we are still friends, that all we did was grab drinks or dinner and then make out. Occasionally I would even get a sleep over. The best part was that it was consistent. He was regular. I could be dating a new guy every week and he was just that regular thing that I could count on. We haven’t done that in a few months. I think it has caught up to me. I think that is what my bucket is missing. That is the emptiness.
I feel better pin pointing it. I do. But I don’t have that kind of relationship with him anymore and that makes me maybe more upset than the occasional feeling of loneliness. Expectations messed it up, my expectations. I don’t know if that relationship will be renegotiated but I know that that kind of relationship is missing in my life. I can now work to move forward and know what I need. This is why I feel lonely. This is why I journal and blog. This is how I sort it out.
Edited to add:
That feeling of “a regular thing” I realize is really about feeling like I was someone’s first choice. I miss feeling like a first choice. The ritual of being asked to dinner, that is missing.