I like quieter evenings.
But I’ll be honest — the quiet is easier to handle since I’ve been married.
When I was single, I really struggled with the sound of silence. I would often fill the quiet with TV or music — anything, really.
Because even though I knew silence was helpful, it too often served as a reminder of my singleness and ALONENESS. And at that point in my life, I really didn’t want more reminders of that.
Today it doesn’t feel as difficult to sit in silence. Most nights my husband will have the radio on in the background, listening to a baseball or football game, so it isn’t completely silent.
But even so, a good portion of our evenings are spent fairly quietly, reading or with the low hum of the radio.
Doing that regularly would have been too hard for me when I lived alone.
I think the difference is having someone there, even if we’re not talking. There’s just something about my husband being within arm’s reach that calms me.
Whereas when I was single, the silence seemed only to introduce a revolving (and often, spiraling) train of thought.
Probably the silence would have been less intimidating if I hadn’t been alone so often.
But at the time, I told myself being alone was what I wanted.
Being alone was easier than reaching out to friends (I don’t want to seem desperate, do I?). Or going to a Meetup group (every introvert’s nightmare!). Or finding a small group at church.
And it was easier. The path of least resistance always is.
But goodness, it was lonely.
Looking back, I wish I’d been braver about admitting I was lonely. Been more “aggressive” in finding opportunities to socialize. Not lived alone for so long.
I hurt myself by not doing that.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if silence is difficult for you, or if you’re single and lonely, don’t do what I did. Don’t pull pack because it’s easier.
Being lonely does not mean you’re desperate or pathetic.
You’re human. And humans need other humans.
Don’t be afraid to invite people into your space, even when it seems inconvenient or harder than being alone. (And if you’re an introvert, that will be 99.9% of the time.)
Chances are the person you invite over might just be as lonely as you are.
And while you both may need silence sometimes, you don’t need it all the time.