If you’re waiting for the perfect person to show up and accompany you on something as big as the trip of a lifetime or as small as to see your favourite band, stop waiting. Just go.
We all have things we would do if we could find someone to do them with us, but hoping that person shows up at the right time and place means missing our chance at a lot of experiences. That’s what Reddit user u/AVaultOfWho wrote on r/LifeProTips:
Don’t wait for others to do something you want to do because you don’t want to do it alone. By waiting, you’re likely robbing yourself of an experience.
This was something I learned on my own long ago. I was talking with someone the other day who said they hadn’t gone to see a movie yet because they were waiting to do so with another fan and so this tip came to mind.
Even though I deal with loneliness, I force myself out to do things like go to the movies or even to the local theme park because otherwise I would just spend that time doing nothing at home.
This is advice I strongly agree with, as someone in her thirties who is pretty much going it alone. This summer I travelled alone across the U.S. and visited 12 cities. It was lonely at times, but I ended up having overall an amazing experience. I have lots of new memories that make me look at the world and myself differently.
If I’d waited for someone to come with me, it might never have happened.
Forcing yourself to do things even though you’re alone is an effective way to dispel the feeling and prevent loneliness from becoming a chronic condition. But even more importantly, what are you missing by waiting?
Following Your Interests
When you go places with a friend, family member, or lover, you have company. Company comes with compromises. Going places alone means never having to do stuff you don’t want. As u/friendlywoodape wrote, they discovered they enjoyed being out alone on a long work trip:
Soon I found how liberating it is to see a new city for the first time by yourself. Anything that catches my attention, I can just go see. I don’t have to worry about if someone else is having a good time, or if I have to go make dinner – I’m not at home, no one’s around to really ask/need my time. I can do whatever for me.
Being free to follow your own inclinations can feel amazing, and you discover new stuff to be interested in.
There are some things that people always say they want to do, but won’t commit to. Maybe it’s the expense, maybe they’re busy — whatever the reason, organising a huge group of people to do something is pretty challenging. So u/kazarnowicz decided to just go for it:
I wanted to take a skydiving licence when I was 18, and kept putting it off because I had friends who wanted to, but not enough to make a commitment. I put it off for years, and finally ended up booking a course. I told the friends that had shown interest that I’m taking this course on these dates, if they want to come they’re welcome to join.
In the end, nobody committed and I ended up doing it by myself. It turned out to be not only awesome (and the scariest thing I’ve done so far in my life), but also one of the most important experiences of my life. Having that comparison, that I faced and conquered that fear, helped me in many situations when I was afraid of something.
Don’t put off something you really want to do in the hope that someday a group will coalesce around the idea.
Maybe none of the people you currently know want to do something, or they’re unavailable. You will likely meet people interested in skydiving or surfing or long distance running while you’re actually doing it, not from amongst the folks you already know. As u/whiskerz1337 observed, even starting with a friend is no guarantee of having a consistent partner:
I was waiting for a good few months to start training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and was trying to get my friend to join me. In the end he did, however he didn’t last more than a few weeks. Now I’m still training 6 months later, making new friends at my gym, completely loving it. One of the best things I’ve ever done.
Sometimes being alone is nice. Sometimes it’s not, and feels lonely. That’s a sign that some growth needs to happen, and that means leaving your home and embracing new possibilities all by yourself.