Early adults (18-40) are craving a life enriched with intimate and committed relationships. Yet many are experiencing perpetual loneliness. More than many realize, loneliness contributes to many illnesses and depressive tendencies. This week make a concerted effort to extend friendship to someone in your community. Authentic friendships will do more to change the world than most anything!
Loneliness is a distressing, painful experience which humans…want to avoid.
-Kraus, Davis, Bazzini, Church, Kirchman
Now you are my friends.
-Jesus (John 15:15)
As Erik Erikson summarizes, loneliness can lead early adults to promiscuity or exclusivity, both dangerous extremes.
The pursuit of this phase is committed intimacy.
Commitment in relationships will lead to long-lasting satisfaction including emotional and mental health. Here are some suggestions for moving toward committed intimacy:
- Find a group to be a part of such as sports, music, crafts, hobbies, reading, arts, etc.
- Connect with a small group at church
- Find opportunities to volunteer and give back with others
- Study God’s plan for marriage and make the decision to marry very carefully
- Make life-long learning a habit you do not just on your own, but with others also
- Network in a way that adds value to others
- Find a mentor…fast!
- Mend broken family relationships or seek ways to connect or reconnect intentionally with family members
- Look for ways to be of service to employers, colleagues or employees
- Be aware that loneliness may peak at this phase, but can decrease from here on out as commitment increases
- More than likely, you will begin to stabilize in the community you are a part of as your relationship habits solidify.
Lord, make loneliness disappear!