Moments of greater solitude

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Robert Maurer

Moments of greater solitude

The moments of greatest loneliness are those in which a radical change occurs in relation to the strongest bonds and often generate a sense of helplessness. These variations force us to face new challenges and the feeling of having accumulated a new failure.

Last update: April 13, 2022

In one way or another, it happens to everyone to feel alone. However, we could baptize some moments as the most lonely in life. The moments of greatest solitude correspond to the episodes in which we face painful separations, the same ones that tear us apart a bit.

The suffering experienced in these cases cannot be shared with anyone. The pain is so intimate, and sometimes intense, that it is difficult for others to approach and offer the feeling of company.

The moments of greatest solitude they bring with them a sense of helplessness and fear, which usually lasts for some time. They also cause a major shift in one's worldview and often accelerate major transformations in one's habitual way of life.

"Man's loneliness is none other than his fear of life."

-Eugene O’Neill-

A study on moments of greatest loneliness

How were these three moments of greatest loneliness identified? Everything is the result of a study conducted by the University of California which was attended by 340 people.

The volunteers ranged in age from 27 to 101 years. The consensus in the responses was high and for this reason it was considered that the results could be generalized.

Respondents agreed that the age they had experienced moments of loneliness was the late twenties and early thirties; and then in the middle of the fifty and after eighty.

By analyzing the reasons why we tend to experience a greater feeling of loneliness at these ages, the researchers found that they coincided with three important life events:

  • The final separation of the parents to live alone.
  • The abandonment of the children of the house and the consequent effect of the "empty nest".
  • The frequent loss of bonds that occurs in old age.

1. Separating from parents

Under normal conditions, the bond with the parents it is the deepest that is established in the course of life. She always has her advantages and disadvantages, her sublime moments and her deaf resentments.

Neither parents nor children are perfect, so this relationship will be filled with ups and downs. However, it typically has a solid, general vibe is friendly and affectionate, and the roots run deep.

For the same reason, when it comes time to leave the house, something dies forever inside us. At first you can experience great loneliness and it is not uncommon to relive fears that can be quite childish.

In view of this new step in the conquest of autonomy, enjoying a certain security and self-confidence is very important.

2. When the children leave, one of the moments of greatest loneliness

Parents also feel immense loneliness when their children leave home. Whether living together has been easy or difficult, they are reluctant to "give" their children to the world, even when they are aware that it is their turn. They experience reverse helplessness: they think they will need them, but they will not be able to help them.

The departure of the children also implies an important vital restructuring. An important part of the parenting role fails. For the same reason, they are forced to establish new habits that no longer revolve around their children.

3. The loneliness of old age

As we age, we suffer two major losses. The first is that of our faculties: we see less and less, we feel worse, we move more slowly and we do not have the mental speed as before, to name just a few aspects. We are the same and at the same time different.

In the same way, many of the people we know begin to die. Probably our partner too. From the age of eighty onwards, death becomes an idea that haunts frequently. Such a situation instills a sense of great loneliness.


Loneliness is neither a panacea nor a devastating monster. It has its advantages and also involves some losses.

Even if sometimes we have to leave something or someone very dear to us, that doesn't mean it's all over. It is up to us to fill that inevitable loneliness with content.

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