When one thinks of loneliness it’s easy to visualize a person who does not have any friends, family, or acquaintances; being socially alone, without those connections.  One might also think of emotional loneliness, which stems from feeling like one has no meaningful relationships or connections in their life, like a partner, spouse, or with their family members.  These are two very common forms of loneliness, but they are not the only forms of loneliness that we experience, and it’s easy to get them all mixed up.

Existential loneliness can be described as a type of spiritual loneliness.  It is the sense of longing that cannot be achieved through any type of social interaction.  That, despite our solid personal relationships, we still feel empty somehow.

Here are five differences between interpersonal loneliness and existential loneliness.

Characteristics Interpersonal Loneliness

  1. Lack of relationships, separation, isolation
  2. Stems from being alone; social causes
  3. Dependent on the rise and fall of relationships
  4. Limited to the interpersonal aspect of life
  5. Can be solved through communication, closeness, love

And in contrast to these:

Characteristics of Existential Loneliness

  1. Lack of wholeness or feeling incomplete in your being
  2. An incompleteness of the self, or inward source
  3. A permanent lack of completeness, even in love
  4. Overshadows every aspect of life; cannot be isolated
  5. Cannot be resolved through love; unfulfillment & incompleteness continue

Resolving existential loneliness allows one to ask for signs and receive them, to wonder over the meaning of our experiences and open up new perspectives on life, all of which will ultimately bring moments of healing, grace, peace, and joy.

[Image Credit: Pixabay]

This blog post has been reproduced with the permission of Expanded Consciousness. The original blog post can be found here. The views expressed by the author are not necessarily endorsed by this organization and are simply provided as food for thought from Intellectual Takeout.