Webster defines lonely as “producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation.” I can definitely remember some periods in my life when I felt bleak or exposed and windswept. Like when I looked up and I was 30 and divorced. Or later when I found out my ex had just had a baby and she was born on my birthday! After the tears, the anger, and surprisingly came relief a discovery of a new lonely: The Good Lonely.
What exactly is “the good lonely”? It is when one possesses all the contingencies of loneliness but they are seen as a positive. Break down: when one is without the company of others and they would not have it any other way, but rather that very fact causes them to stand in the mirror and do the happy dance. This is a place of solitude that must be taken during certain periods of life in order to get back to the place of accompaniment.
This time can be a great time of self discovery. A quiet time to figure out the purpose of life, a time to dream again and landscape a clear vision to turn dreams into reality without the distraction of romantic relationships, burdensome obligations to family and friends or just idle engagement. It may seem like a selfish pursuit of time but actually it will benefit not just the person but future relationships.
I would now consider myself in a "good lonely" stage. I am currently single. I have friends who understand that I have just entered graduate school and may not be able to "lunch" as often as times before. My family considers my time. I am not in complete isolation from the world, yet I am "doing me." I am realizing dreams again; laughing in my car when I am alone; taking the long way home to think. This lonely time is where I have known the most contentment in—just myself, being myself, by myself.