Middle-aged Men Home Alone, and Lonely!

Mother Teresa once said loneliness, and the feeling of being unwanted, is the most terrible poverty, and she was right. The older a man gets, the lonelier he can become, and sometimes this has absolutely nothing at all to do with the absence of people in his life, but more to do with his perception of feeling isolated from the world and its citizens.


Being alone and being lonely is not the same thing. Some men actually enjoy their own company. Sadly though, there are still too many folks in modern society that are both alone and lonely, and that’s something that needs addressing for the sake of their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Research has concluded that loneliness is linked to a higher risk of premature death the older one gets. It’s a state of mind that can make every day activities an effort. Lonely people are also more prone to develop high blood pressure as they age, and all the potential health complications associated with hypertension. And for folks who are already unwell, loneliness can accelerate the spread and intensity of an illness and hinder any chances of recovery.

If you’re Lonely when you’re alone, you’re in Bad Company

Despite the advances in communications technology, the abundance of transportation options, and numerous venues for people to meet up and interact, the feeling of isolation still has a way of occupying a man’s mind. There is no single cause for this debilitating state of being, but it exists nonetheless, and eats away at the very core of his worth when allowed to fester.

Be Mindful of Early Warnings

Early symptoms of loneliness might manifest in ways like declining offers to go out with family or friends; finding excuses why it’s not possible to attend various events; cherry-picking who to open the door to’ and not answering the phone more often than not. The lonely one may start to become anti-people, paranoid even, but he’s not sure why.

“One can endure sorrow alone, but it takes two to be glad” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Being lonely for long periods of time has no benefits at all. At its best, the solitude of mind creates feelings of emptiness, aloneness and a redundant spirit. At it’s worse, it can lead to deep depression and the potential for physical and mental illness. In some extreme cases, suicidal thoughts or actions can begin to occupy the mind.


There is Help. There is always Help

Every year the Samaritans and Befrienders Worldwide help thousands of middle-aged men pull out of their malaise. Foundations like these can’t be praised highly enough for their good works. You can find the Samaritans here, and Befrienders Worldwide here.

We can’t see ourselves how others see us

More often than not, loneliness doesn’t just happen, it grows over time, and the root cause is not always obvious. It’s common for others to see the changes long before the sufferer sees them in himself. Family and friends might start to comment on how he’s becoming less sociable, contactable or approachable than he once was.

“To be alone is to be different, to be different is to be alone.” ~ Suzanne Gordon

The Main Causes of Loneliness in Mature Men

Sometimes a solitary mind is the result of a person’s genetics, but there are also many other factors at play. Most people can break out of their isolation by making a few minor adjustments to lifestyle. But just because an idea is simple in theory, doesn’t always make it easy to implement. This is why some men will need the guidance of a trained professional.

“Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell you that solitude is fine.” ~ Honor de Balzac


Be Mindful of Emotional Triggers

Although the onset of aloneness can be triggered by numerous factors, below are a few of the more common causes to watch out for.

  1. Living in a long-term yet loveless relationship.
  2. Recently divorced, separated or a long time single.
  3. Feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem etc
  4. Unemployed or struggling to cope on a low income.
  5. Kids have grown up and Dad’s lost his purpose in life.
  6. A dependence on alcohol or other mind altering substances.

It’s Good to Talk

People need people; it’s a simple as that. Even those men who claim to love solitude, deep down they know that life without others is not the life it could be. It may well be that he’s become uncomfortable around his fellows. Nevertheless, there are many ways to plug back into humanity and the biggest hurdle is taking that first step towards positive change.

4 Real World Solutions for Loneliness:

  1. Join an health club and exercise regularly with others looking to get fit.
  2. Find a new interest and join a course to develop it.
  3. Go for daily walks (come rain or shine), and connect with your surroundings
  4. Force yourself to call someone, even it it’s just to say hello.

2 Virtual Solutions for Loneliness

  1. Join an interactive forum on the internet and start chatting
  2. Strike up friendships on social media like Facebook or Twitter

Taking positive action is the only sure way to escape the bondage or isolation. It doesn’t have to be big, bold steps. A gradual approach can work wonders so long as it’s constant. The point is to do something and keep moving forwards. Having a simple check-list of things to do, and ticking items off along the way, is a great way to reinforce those accomplishments.

If you have something to add to this post on man’s loneliness , please leave your comments below or start/join a conversation in the 50ish interactive forums.

By Toby Strowger | 50ish Site Contributor
Toby Strowger is a men’s lifestyle writer for 50ish.org

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Readers Comments

    Peter says:

    I wouldn’t recommend facebook or social madia-type groups unless it is a means to physical activity. Otherwise it can become yet another ‘cushion’ to hide behind…a virtual reality! Decent article otherwise.

    sarah blake says:

    It’s true, there are a lot of older men out there. And you are quite right: taking lessons in something that interests you can be a great help. Not only does it involve talking to someone else and keeping you mind active but once you have got into the habit of doing things, it can help you to do other things. I know this from personal experience. I took up running, then I joined a running club, then I set myself the challenge of adding more ways of getting out and meeting people. Now my life is very full, I’m glad to say. Your readers can do this too.
    email and website and my rates are very reasonable.
    Thank you for your insightful article.

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