Being alone does not imply aloneness – being with someone does not guarantee togetherness.
One can be physically separated from others yet never experience the feeling of loneliness. One can be physically with others but not feel anything but lonely. One can be physically together with his or her spouse, even intimately, yet experience no togetherness, no sharing of one another, but not feel lonely. Loneliness comes when a person strongly desires the fellowship of at least one other person but life denies it. The reason could be separation by physical distance, mental or physical illness, depression, or inhibitions within the personality. Whatever the case, loneliness does not come from being alone, but from denied – yet desired – fellowship with others. The feeling of togetherness comes when a person feels important, accepted, and related to, while in the company of someone with whom he or she desires fellowship. But the feeling of fellowship will not happen if there exists an unresolved personality conflict, no personal chemistry, or sufficient distraction. One cannot experience the feelings of loneliness and togetherness at the same time. It is possible, however, to never experience togetherness and not feel lonely, yet impossible to feel lonely without first desiring fellowship and denied the privilege.
We owe to each other the fellowship we each desire. We owe to each other the freedom to be a unique individual without interference. One person’s fellowship is another person’s loneliness and loss of freedom, and one person’s feeling of freedom is but denied fellowship for the other. We will only gain freedom and fellowship when we make it our business to understand first, the unique design of our fellow man and our self.
- Feeling alone while together (time.com)