Lonely men commonly make (or have already made) a classic mistake whereby they hope that a partner will provide for them a meaning, a social life, fun and all the things that make a "life". This is an unfair expectation on any partner and often sets things up for a problematic, and all-too-often brief, relationship. Lonely guys need to develop a friendship group with other men before embarking on any romantic relationship.
Being lonely for a partner (more common in lonely women) is not the same as being lonely in life (most common in lonely men).
As loneliness becomes chronic, the person will engage in compensatory (often solitary) behaviours - such as keeping reptiles, visiting prostitutes, becoming the drunk bar-fly, spending evenings in chat rooms on the internet, watching endless amounts of television etc. For some, work may become the main focus of their life.
Paradoxically, lonely people can feel intimidated by social invitations and may shun them. This fulfils a feedback loop whereby, as time passes, the social invites stop coming in.
A lonely person may have a pet that becomes the focus of their emotional life. For example, one colleague whose husband had left her 2 years previously had suddenly found herself alone. For example, all her friends were actually friends of her husband and all her social activities also revolved around the husband. When he left her, so did all her social outlets. Her loneliness was profound and she came across to everyone as clingy, insecure and desperate, which of course meant that people stayed away from her. She bought a pet, which then became what appeared to be the sole focus of her life and soon her colleagues were being driven mad by the daily updates in the dramas of this pet's life
ok.. so chronically lonely people:
- Keep reptiles
- Visit prostitutes
- Become drunk at the bar
- Go into the interwebz for chatz
- Watch hours of tv
- Work a lot
- Shun social invites
- Have a pet
...but with all that aside, all I'm thinking about is how people would react to: "I'm lonely. Will you be my friend?" and "I'm so alone right now, please don't ever leave me."
I'm tempted to take public transic just to say this to strangers.