Loneliness is one of those things you aren’t supposed to feel and many people claim they are alone, not lonely. Yet recently I have realised that I am lonely. I spend far too much time in my own company and not always necessarily through choice. I’m beginning to think this is wearing me down.

When I was in my twenties and thirties I think I quite enjoyed spending some time alone. Eating dinner, watching TV, reading books and pottering around my flat certainly didn’t bother me the way it bothers some people. Perhaps at the back of my mind was the idea that all this was leading somewhere though it turned out that it wasn’t; just to more of the same. I’m now beginning to feel like Robert De Niro’s character in The Intern prior to his internship: un-needed, superfluous and running out of time. He was alone because he was a widower. I have no such excuse.

I think I am reasonably good at making friends since I am actually quite interested in other people. It’s just that I am too fussy about how I spend my precious time; I often get restless in company if we aren’t doing much. Then I want to be at home reading or doing something useful. I am a bit of a miser when it comes to time.

There is also the small matter of my nasty right-wing views, which I find impossible to keep to myself and which drive some people away. Still, friendship probably requires vaguely compatible world views so I suppose nothing is lost. And there must surely be plenty of people out there who do share my views. I should probably try to meet more of them, as well as being open to squandering rather than hoarding time. Or just finding a good woman to marry would probably solve everything.

This entry was posted in General.

2 comments on “Loneliness

  1. Joseph says:

    This was a very honest post that I could relate to a lot. I’m an introvert by nature, which means overly stimulating social gatherings can wear me down/irritate me quickly. But I need people in my life some of the time, and the problem is that if you stop bothering with people they will stop bothering with you and it’s terrifyingly easy to end up as the lonely old mad git who everyone in the neighbourhood gives a wide berth to. Although I’m an expat who doesn’t live anywhere near other expats, as I’m married with 3 kids, it’s easy for me to fool myself into thinking I’m being sociable stuck at home when I’m really not. Sometimes months can go by where I don’t interact with another non-Japanese person in the flesh, and I’m not sure that’s healthy in the long run. So I tend to hang onto the few fellow expat friends I have in Tokyo, even though they’re all raging liberals.

  2. Yes, I completely agree. And I especially feel worn down among westerners since so many of them seem a bit too self-confident, as well as totally signed up to the liberal consensus. Even so, I have recently come to the conclusion that I write people off far too quickly and while there really are some genuinely unbearable people out there, most of them are in reality no worse than me.

    Are you married to a Japanese woman? What work do you do in Tokyo? I imagine you speak very good Japanese whereas I still only know about 20 words, despite having been here off and on for 13 years. What made you come to Japan in the first place? I would be interested in your views of the Japanese themselves because I think I might see them through rose-tinted glasses. I only ever seem to meet nice ones who I only know very superficially.

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