Coping with Loneliness

Coping with Loneliness by Dr. Randy Gilchrist, LDS Psychologist (FREE LDS online dating site)

"…It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him" (Genesis 2:18). It is not good that man or woman should be alone, in fact. Built into us as people is an innate, physical, spiritual, and emotional need to have someone. To marry, to share your life with that special someone. And when we don't have that special someone, it is very common to feel lonely. To long and yearn to be with someone. To love someone more than we love ourself. To possible have a family together. To have the partner in life, as well as the world to come. Strong instincts and drive push us towards this ideal. However, lack of available quality partners, breakups, divorce, anxiety, heartache, heartbreak and other issues can lean us to be single and stay single, possibly for a very long time. The loneliness that results to be very difficult to tolerate.

Symptoms of loneliness:

Until you have the special someone to date, get engaged to, and marry, you may experience a number of symptoms of loneliness. At a light to moderate level, loneliness consists of simply desiring companionship, even feeling a little down and frustrated about not having it. At higher level, greater loneliness can mirror a major depressive episode, potentially for a long time. Loneliness with depressive symptoms can include the following: overall sadness, over or under eating, over or under sleeping, low interest and enjoyment in activities, lowered self esteem, low energy, fatigue, and feelings of hopelessness.

Suggestions to Combat Loneliness:

There are a number of things you can do to combat loneliness:

*Get out of the house and get around others. Being alone at home can intensify loneliness. Getting out among other people can be important. If you have friends or family you can get together with, please do so. Otherwise, find somewhere to go to be around people, such as the mall, the park, etc.

*Open up to others. When you are out around others that are friends, associates, acquaintances, or strangers, find opportunities to initiate and maintain as much small talk as you can with however many people you can. Get to know others and allow others to get to know you. Don't wait for others to approach you, and count it as a bonus when it occasionally happens. Own the need to initiate talking with others.

*Study about communication and relationships. Learn about how to talk to others and what makes for successful relationships from some quality self-help materials. Some possible resources include Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and People Skills by Robert Bolton, First Impressions by Ann Demarais and Valerie White, and Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by John Gottman. Knowledge is power, and the more you learn about men, women, relationships, and people skills in general, the more empowered you will be to connect with others.

*Directly address the loneliness: Do something to address the loneliness itself. You can see a qualified licensed psychologist, talk with your bishop, go to a relationships self-help group (live or online), and/or utilize some quality self-help materials. Two good workbooks to help you include Mind Over Mood by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky and Leaving Loneliness by David Narang.

*Be willing to go for it, socialize, and date: don't give up on dating, engagement, and eventual marriage. All it takes is 1 good one! Go to ward, stake, and regional singles activities. Try online LDS dating (suggestion: Remember: nothing ventured, nothing gained!

You can do this! And the Lord will help you. Because "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).

Dr. G

2017-07-14 Randy Gilchrist Psychological health

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (, practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at; email me questions to