Men, What She Means When She Says She’s Lonely

Decoding the definitions of loneliness might seem like a puzzle. Fellas, here’s what she’s trying to say.

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Photo credit: Flickr/Wyatt Fisher

By Hilary Lauren Jastram

I know I’m not the only woman out there to feel this way. This affliction, striking mothers, wives, SOs of all ages, I read about a wife suffering loneliness this week and instantly related. Loneliness in the midst of mind-numbing, life disarray. Maybe a few men out there have heard this out of the mouths of their own lovely mates. What do you mean you feel alone when I am right here? It’s not a secret. Women say it all the time, and I would venture, they state it in such a way where men can’t grasp the meaning. Well, women do have a history of talking in a strange language to their partner, as do men. The trouble comes in the translation. Read on to learn the various definition of what she means when she utters, “I’m lonely.”

I want to be held. This is the chance to turn back the clock to when you were dating when you couldn’t wait to spend every moment alone with her. She excited you. Her skin, hair, her transcendent eyes pulling you into another dimension. She wants to feel like that again. You can’t wait to kiss her and hold her hand. She can’t wait for you to make the time to embrace her, even if it means reaching for her after the kids are in bed and you know you’re safe from an audience. As sure as you do that, you will also reach inside her heart.

I want reassurance that busy-mom me still turns you on. Here I am, standing in front of you, dried salsa on my shirt, sorting through everyone’s dirty underwear, or scrubbing the crud out of the track of the shower door. My hair is up, and I’m a sweaty mule. Do you ever look at me in this state and see who I am underneath, the person I am seldom not anymore? Hold me by the shoulders and kiss me gently, before I go on my way to vacuum all the nooks and crannies intent on holding dog hair.

Take me out. Just you and me. Does it surprise you to know I don’t care where we go? Let’s finish a conversation uninterrupted. Let’s pack our whispered coos full of double entendres and promises we will make the time to claim each other. Get me all hopped-up on renewed love. When we go home, follow through on your sexy threats.

Please connect with me. As we go about our lives, handling work, kid duties, getting dinner on, each of us adrift in our machinated worlds. I am here alongside you. We are both slaving away at the bigger picture, making sure our dream stays a reality. It takes effort. We know this and we usually divvy it all up, never thinking about what’s on each other’s list, deep in the faith it will get handled. Let’s work on getting back together, setting aside our box-checking and reconnect. We can talk about the great job we’re doing as partners. We can sit and laugh about the events that tried to derail us this week. But we need to talk about us and revel in how great we are. How we are getting somewhere together even when it feels like we are standing still in chaos.

Maybe, men, you have felt it, too. The invisible rays pushing you away from each other, creating gulfs in your love large enough to swallow up your hopes. It’s easy to give a running rain check to each other. The hardest years are the building years when your attention must be diverted to other things in order to craft your life to come. Your kids are a no-brainer, they need lots of attention and you are pegged to give it. Both of you must understand this need and encourage each other to do your best with the minions, but you also know, if, given the chance, kids will eat you alive a nibble at a time.

How do you make time for each other when everything must be done all at once when life’s little pieces turn into a smeary mess? Pick a day, and realize, guys, if you take this initiative you will send a watershed of reassurance onto your love by simply selecting a recurring day of the week. Next, set that day aside. On that day, tackle the must-dos: feeding children, getting them off to the neighbor’s or your mother’s, a soccer game in the morning. Then, and this is so vital…you leave the rest of those “I have to do it”s alone. The toilet will get a good scrubbing tomorrow. The dishes can wait until the evening when the family is reunited and refreshed. Part of the reason scheduling time works is because it shows your SO that you are choosing them, and in that way, this one-on-one day is a gift. Defend your team’s right to it. Rescheduling is not allowed. The idea is to demonstrate you will choose each other again and again, that no task is more important than nurturing your love.

You can imagine when this day is canceled, or waylaid, how the other person must feel. Unimportant, disposable, too far down on your list to rank in your heart. When you decide as partners to honor a day just for the two of you, you are unleashing the power, which can strengthen your bond, or weaken it. Be careful. Too many instances of broken trust and promises communicate pretty clearly who and what means anything to you.

If your spouse states they feel lonely, see it as a great, educational announcement. This is the chance to get your relationship back on track, the chance to grow even closer as a couple.

This story was previously published on The Good Men Project.

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