Loneliness isn’t about the number of connections, it’s about the quality of them. For me, I don’t have a need for a great deal of relationships—one or two people who I see frequently will suffice. However, it’s more important that they’re connections where I empathize with the person deeply and see them regularly. Thus, in my case, a close relationship with a partner can suffice.
Loneliness is different than being alone, then, in that I can be around others—at a party or at work—and still feel lonely if those connections aren’t meeting my social needs. However, I can be alone and not feel lonely. In fact, I often am. When my partner is out with her friends I rarely feel lonely because my social needs are, at large, being met. Thus, I can be alone and not feel lonely.
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