The Terror of Being Alone

We are unnecessarily scared of being on our own because we fail to keep in mind the distinction between solitude (a fine condition) and loneliness (a pain). We need to recover a sense of the good sides of being by ourselves – in order to be able to make the right choices around friendship and love.
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“In the privacy of our minds, one thought – highly shameful by nature – may haunt us as we evaluate whether to stay in or leave an unsatisfactory relationship: what if we were to end things and end up in a place of appalling loneliness?

We’re meant to be above such pragmatic worries. Only cowards and reprobates would mind a few weekends (or decades) by themselves. We’ve heard of those books that sing the praises of solitude (the divorcee who relocated to a solitary hut on a bare Scottish island; the one who went sailing around the world in a dinghy). But we can admit that we’re not naturals at this sort of thing: there have been empty days when we almost lost our minds. There was one trip that we took on our own years back that was, behind the scenes, a psychological catastrophe. We’re not really in a position to wave away the dangers of being left alone on our rock…”


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Produced in collaboration with:

Tomas Espaillat

Title animation produced in collaboration with

Vale Productions