It's no surprise that the world is full of lonely people. As we've evolved from living in small rural communities in proximity to our extended families to living far away from anyone we really know, scattered from our families and relying on social media to connect, loneliness has become an epidemic.
We all seek the wonderful experience of sharing love and connection—it's hard-wired in us. But the truth is, we're not guaranteed to find that romantic love connection. And even if we do, we have no guarantees that it will last. So, many people find themselves asking, "If I don’t find a partner with whom I can deeply connect, does that mean I have to live a lonely life? Does it mean I'll never really experience the love and connection that gives life meaning?"
It doesn't. I promise it doesn't. But it does mean that we need to open ourselves to new ways to love and connect. Romantic relationships are not what life is all about. A meaningful alternative to this mindset is what I call beloved companionship.
Beloved companionship is nothing new. The popular TV show The Golden Girls pointed the way for us. In this show, four women lived together as friends. They laughed, cried, fought, learned, and supported one another in their highest good. They deeply understood one another. They loved one another, and they were not lonely.
Beloved companionship is not the same as being roommates—it’s a committed, nonsexual, deeply caring relationship.