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There are seven types of loneliness. Are you experiencing one?

We all feel a little lonely sometimes.

But there are different types of loneliness and different levels of isolation.

There’s the gut-wrenching periods of loneliness when you feel like you can’t reach out to a single soul for support. This kind of loneliness is overwhelming and feels unending.

And then there’s the pockets of loneliness when you notice the brief absence of companionship in your life.

Some tips on making friends as an adult on The Well. 

The author of Happiness, Gretchen Rubin, has identified seven different types of loneliness, and you could be experiencing one of them right now:

1. New-situation loneliness

When you move to a new city or start a new job, you’re going to feel lonely. Everything is new and you’re surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Take heart in the fact that you will start to make connections with people and these new friendships will eventually fill the gaps in your life.

2. I’m-different loneliness

Sometimes you just feel like you can’t connect with the people around you. You feel different. You feel isolated. It’s difficult to find common ground with the people around you. Maybe your faith is really important to you and the people around you don’t share that. Maybe everyone else is watching Game of Thrones and you just don’t get it. Either way, you will eventually meet people with similar interests and your interests will change.

3. No-sweetheart loneliness

Rubin says people feel this kind of loneliness when they’re surrounded by family and friends but they don’t have the intimate attachment of a partner. Or maybe you have a partner, but you don’t feel a deep connection to that person. This kind of loneliness can change, you might meet a new partner or you’ll learn to live a full life without a partner.

loneliness
You may feel lonely because you miss the quiet presence of someone else. Image via iStock.
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4. No-animal loneliness

This one is for all the animal lovers out there. Many people need to connect with animals. They're your little pals and you can't imagine life without them. If you find yourself without your pet - either through death or a sustained time apart - you're really going to miss them. You need a little mate in your life and you shouldn't feel bad about that.

5. No-time-for-me loneliness

Rubin explains that sometimes you can be surrounded by people who are friendly enough, but they never make the jump from friendly to friends. They could already have a really busy life with lots of friends of their own, so they're not interested in creating a deeper connection with you. And sometimes your strongest friendships change shape as your friends move onto different phases of their lives and they no longer have the time to nurture the friendship.

Friendship: The good, the bad and the toxic on The Well. 

6. Untrustworthy-friends loneliness

Sometimes your friends don't turn out to be the people you thought they were. You start to doubt your friendships and you realise you could be lonelier than you thought. You could feel lonely even though you're surrounded by friends and seem to have fun with them.

7. Quiet-presence loneliness

You may feel lonely because you miss the quiet presence of someone else. You may have an active social life and be surrounded by family and friends, but you miss having someone to hang out with at home. They could be a roommate, a family member, or a significant other. You miss the quiet presence of someone fixing you a cup of coffee or catching up on the latest reality TV with you.

Have you experienced any of these types of loneliness? 

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