Solitude in the City

Life in any city is vibrant and exciting. The pulsing streets are illuminated with lights that never seem to sleep and filled with rushing people who always have somewhere to be. As one of the world’s most visited cities, London is the place to be and never fails to rake in millions of visitors every year. The diverse population offers a melting pot to delve into and explore, with a multitude of cultures thriving in the metropolis. There’s an endless list of things to do across London, no matter your preference, and most definitely, countless people to connect with, whether it be at a bar, an exercise class, a workshop or on a packed Underground train. So, how could anyone possibly be lonely in London?

As an economic hub, Londoners are incredibly busy with their working lives and blame their 40-hour work week for making social time impossible. Whereas others may say, generally, a fast-paced city, like London, is a difficult climate to meet and really get to know people in. Furthermore, the abundant population can be overwhelming. Have you ever had so many options, that what you were seeking loses its value? Perhaps, we take the overflow of potential friends for granted and just can’t be bothered to socialise. If you were alone and stuck on a desert island for a week and, all of sudden, you saw another human being, you would be with them within a split-second. However, on a crowded red bus, most people just can’t wait to escape any type of interaction and dive into a solitary screening of the latest TV show.

Does this mean we have to cross the M25 to combat loneliness? London is drastically different from small, close-knit, English towns, but this doesn’t have to determine loneliness. This city may be hard to socially navigate, but this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With so many options, you dig for the best and cherish them. Beyond physical loneliness, the condition of the mind is powerful. The popular saying, ‘Happiness is a state of mind’, too, applies to feeling isolated. When you’re constantly surrounded by crowds of people, being alone can be daunting, but growing in self-assurance and learning to love your own company is a worthwhile process.