Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Need to be Understood

In the past I've written about our need as singles to be loved and seen.  However, it wasn't until recently that I realized how important it was to me to be understood.

I think loneliness comes to us in many forms.  It's not the mere companionship of a mate that heals are lonesomeness in life. I think our needs go much deeper than a warm body next to us in bed at night.  If anyone of you have ever been in a relationship and still felt lonely, you know what I mean.  Sharing a room with another human being doesn't always cure the emptiness that we feel inside.

As I've said before, we all have needs as humans.  The fact that the number one post on this blog is entitled, "Why Can't I Find Love?" tells me that search term is placed into Google and other search engines often.

In July of 2010, I wrote about the need to be seen.  I was going through a period in my life of not feeling noticed, I guess.  It's that feeling you get when you want to wave your arms back and forth and say, "Look at me!"  I exist.  Doesn't any one care?

Even if someone looks over and thinks you're a real dork for acting that way but decides to walk over and talk to you, it doesn't mean another important need will be filled.  Deep down inside, I've come to realize that I really want to be understood as well.  In that understanding, I want acceptance and an ounce of empathy, I guess, for some of the crap I've gone through in my life.  Frankly, I don't feel anyone really understands me. You know, it's that thing that makes you tick inside -- the life experiences that have molded you into the person you are today.  They contain your deepest secrets, longings, and hopes.  Does anyone really give a damn?

I suppose I could ask myself that question when I think of the people that I interact with every day.  Let's face it, I'm just as guilty.  Maybe because they are married, successful, and financially secure, I don't think they need to be understood, because they have others in their life. 

One thing that used to grate on my in my earlier days, was the attitude prevalent in the churches that I attended that every singles group had to be run by a married couple.  Frankly, I felt like they were babysitting us, acting as parents, and not really understanding what we as singles were struggling and facing in life.  That was especially true of divorced singles being guide by a happy married couple.  How can they understand the pain, the loneliness, the feelings of failure?  I never felt that one married couple in that leadership position really cared to . . . understand.  It just made me feel like we needed to be morally watched, and a single in leadership couldn't do that job because of temptation. 

Well, I've said all this to say that this past week I met another person who understood what I had experienced as a child and how it formed who I am today.  Just having the chance to exchange a few emails spilling my guts, sort of perked me up a bit.  I felt . . . understood.  Until then, I really hadn't realized as a single that not having understanding from another human contributed to my loneliness. 

As I've said in the past, I don't have the answers.  If I did, I wouldn't be writing this after 14 years of being alone.  I guess if I want to say anything to you today, it is that I understand what you're going through.  I don't know if that makes you feel any better, but I know it did for me.



Anonymous said...

To be understood?! That would be great. My experience seems to be to get people to listen. Being a good listener seem to come with this disadvantage. I agree with you on the married couples heading a church singles group...never quite understood that and it was one reason I stopped attended one years ago. Being heard and understood would be a great addition to life! Somthing to look forward to... :).

Anonymous said...

I've been a lone per say for many years. I connect deeply with people I feel but, it wasn't until recently I read an article that made sense. Up to that point, I really thought I was the common denominator. Never married, really enjoyed dating cause frankly I don't have anything to lose. But reading is an important factor with connection. Especially in the case of reading fiction with characters that are well written. Ever read a book cover to cover and feel filled? Deep reading. When I examined my past based on this singularity I found my ex's really didn't read fiction, they were intelligent read history etc but no fiction. Reading in today's world has become laxed. I no longer wish to be understood..I think most people find themselves at a certain growth period then move on to the next mystery in life if they remain curious. Which to me is a way to stay young. Good luck in your adventures.

Anonymous said...

I am happy to know that another person is satisfied in life, I am happy to see and do something good for others but I guess um too useless to be loved unconditionally, basically I am understood and than cheated upon or perhaps used for people's selfishness, but I guess this is life and I have trained my mind and work as a robot so that my heart dun feel loneliness....
but I am really happy for you :-)