A new study published in CyberPsychology & Behavior suggests that college students who were primed to imagine lonely feelings didn’t find any relief from their loneliness when chatting with strangers online.

Subjects in the study who had high trait loneliness found some relief from talking …

96 Comments to
Lonely People Find No Comfort in Chatting with Online Strangers

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  1. Hi,
    I was so pleased to come across this website.Anyone looking at me and having daily contact with me would be astonished to think I was lonely- I’m married to a wonderful man I love dearly ,have 2 great grown up kids and 4 grandchildren- so how could I be lonely? but I am- there is this great empty space inside me all the time. I am due to be made redundant in the New year for the 2nd time in 8 years and it sometimes makes me feel so low and angry but there is noone that I can talk to and who will feel angry with me- I know I have my family and I guess that makes me luckier than most but I need someone who cares about me because they like me and not because we are related- I cant really explain it any other way.I have work colleagues who quite frankly bore me to death with their talk of what the grandchildren are doing,which museums they are planning to visit and where the best long distance walks are! I know I’m the same age as them 59 but in my head I’m still 28 -I go on facebook and feel envious when I see other people having a birthday and loads of their friends wish them a good day- I had just 3 people wish me Happy birthday – 2 of
    them my kids! I sometimes feel like writing on there that I’m lonely just to see if anyone would reply back but it just seems pathetic. I worry that when I die there will only be a handful of people at my funeral and I feel it will be so embarassing for my family. It’s good to let off a bit of steam and for once not to have to be the perennially smiling, positive, happy go lucky person that I portray myself as being. I feel in good company for once- thank you

  2. Hi, Im 29 years old and very lonely. I’m a very talkative, funny, witty person who is usually the life of the party but inside i feel very alone. I don’t know what to do. I live at home with my parents and sisters but even with them here I feel like I need to get away. Sometimes i feel like packing my bags and just going away…not running away but just going away somewhere. I don’t know why I feel so empty inside, I don’t know where this comes from. Why does it have to be such a bad thing–to feel alone–because society has made us believe that solitude is unhappiness. I’m not sure. I go shopping alone, I have gone to the movie theatres alone and on my days off I’m alone inside my house. Where can I go? I feel like I should be doing something but don’t know what. I feel like I’m wasting time. Sometimes I think the world would be a better place without me here…then at least I won’t have to suffer through this pain and unhappiness…..

    • Hello lonely girl,
      I´m 29 years old as well and I can relate to your feeling. I don´t know if you are still looking for a friend but if you are I´m here to talk to.

  3. I’ve read many of these entries. Very touching all. I am a 48 yr old man. I’ve been struggling with this since I was a teenager. I’m sometimes amazed (only in the last few years or so) that I lasted this long with this affliction. It’s excruciating some of the time and maybe 2-3 times a year,.. I am beside myself with pain and hopelessness. Tonight, I am inconsolable…

    I’m a bright person and it always troubles me that I can’t turn it around. I am forever in thought, deep thought (at least I think it is). There’s a catch 22 here somewhere. Nonetheless, it seems the older I get the lonelier I feel. That’s all I can write at the moment.

  4. There are/is a multitude of us ,,whose minds never seem to slow down. I can be in a group of friends or others having a great time,,,,a half hour later I feel empty,,whether I’m still with them or alone..I believe the answer is to just slow down as hard as that might sound to do..Just stop the fact seeking and figuring. Just take/make the time to appreciate the moment,,the sun,clouds, moon,stars even just a tree,, or enjoying a mother and child on swings in a park. That keeps me 50% sane

    • Jim..

      I feel you. Many times, its when those moments are long gone you begin to realize what they mean. I really want it to stop -the constant thinking and just learn to live in the here and now…

  5. i don’t want to be lonely, i just want to be normal..

    • You are normal!!!

    • What is normal??? I don´t think that being lonely equals being not normal.

  6. Lonely is THE human affliction, isn’t it? I’ve also suffered this affliction, ever since I was a young child of 6 I can remember asking my mother why someone didn’t like me. She didn’t even know what to say! It is something that even therapy and laughter doesn’t permeate fully, it is something alot of us are ashamed to admit to, it is something I don’t dare share with anyone face to face for fear of their rejection of me (merely from their own fear of contracting it from me!). I am also 48 but female. It doesn’t go away, but I find visualizing a place of solitude and peace and acceptance of myself as I am fully helps me to bask in the joy of it. There is something that I learn from this affliction that maybe I wouldn’t learn if I were less introspective. I am thankful for this too, for I realize it brings me closer to recognizing dire truths and being unafraid to face them head on. Loneliness is merely an illusion really, it is a profound place to rejoice in oneself through their most natural talents, whatever they may be. Mine is music and writing. My work is in healing. I live myself through everything and I am happy. I attract those to me who are also connected in this way and I feel accepted and less alone! I pray that those on this site feeling these feelings are able to discover the gift of loneliness and embark on its beautiful journey through acceptance and fearless recovery.

  7. Oh, yes, I’m another one like most of you. Never imagined that my life could feel so lonely & disconnected. I’m one who does go out on my own, join groups, volunteer- but so many many times, the human connections are fleeting at best. Thankfully I have a very interested and active mind, I guess that’s why I’m still here. Now, after so many profound emotional losses and betrayals, my world is small, my hopes for joy minimal and fleeting- but I do know the territory well and don’t come unglued or cry and hurt as long when the pain wells up inside. I cry, I hide from the world, but then I just dry out and carry on. I just exist & try not to be burden to the world and just watch for a sign that someday, somehow I might one day not be so very alone and sad.

  8. im always so lonely! it feels like im adopted. my parents connect so much more better with my brother and sister but not me! my mom is to busy worry about how “skinny” i am! (which i am very skinny) and thinks that im older than her! even though she is forty! whenever my brother or sister want to go to a toy store (target,toys r us. etc) they get to no matter what! when i ask, they yell at me and say no! when i get in trouble, (even if its one little thing) i get more punished then my brother and sister! sometimes i think that if i disapered, no on would miss me…..

  9. Lonely is bad enough but it can stretch and make itself worse, and boy did I get the blunt of it all. Not only am I lonely, but I’m lovesick, I have a growing issue with AvPD (Avoidant Personality Disorder), and I even used to be antisocial! I’ve tried so many times to be more open and social, and all that happens is that I get shot down and rejected. It’s not me, as my 2 only friends have told me, I just always find my way to people that either don’t care or are just jerks. I haven’t ever dated, haven’t ever even talked openly to any other females than my mom, and I can’t urge myself to talk on most online sites. It’s not fun being a pariah! I just want to find someone else out there but I have nowhere to look, is there anyone out there to help a lonely soul like me?

  10. Dear cory,

    i am just like you! i am sooo uncomfortable around other people, and my face reddens when i talk to the popular girls. i wish that people would just be more nicer to us lonely people and invite us into their group

    ~Katerina

  11. sometimes my friends are sooo mean! they act like real bitches to me, and then real nice so i dont get mad at them! like the other day, i didnt eat ONE cookie at lunch, and my freind is complaining that i am wasting food for the homeless!

  12. This is a big topic, comprising many levels. However, it can be dangerous. Anyone feeling too sad or depressed should seek a doctor in your area and never hurt yourself, there can be a medical/therapeutical solution, since it can be clinical depression, which can be lethal. Also, one should be wary of any religious sects or scammers trying to prey financially or sexually or in other ways on lonely people. There are basically two sides of this issue that needs to be separated: being lonely and feeling lonely. Being lonely sure helps you into feeling lonely. So, the issue needs to be resolved along those two lines. I welcome that someone wants to put up a website for lonely people to connect, discuss and socialize. A wonderfull idea. It sure is a cultural issue, and different parts of the world alienate people more than others. Often elderly people get lonely. I have always been alone and liked it, since I have had so many projects and plans going on, keeping my mind busy, pursuing my dreams. Then suddenly, I found myself out of a job, with no girlfriend, with the old friends having drifted away into their families, with my own parents moved on to their new husband and wife, and with my sisters living with their own families. Since I have the means to support myself, I realized I was way out lonely. At the same time, I had fallen madly in love with a woman on the other side of the planet (American,long story) who just had been playing with this European tourist (me) and not wanted any more contact. America can btw be an even worsed place to be at for lonely people since there are no (at least not in LA) any public places to interact naturally with people, only private clubs. But back in Europe, this period of complete loneliness, no job, no girlfriend, no friends, no family around, was some of the worst months in my life. It was just a deafening silence. One see people on the streets, but it is not in the culture/nature to interact without being introduced. I don’t know what solitude confinement is like, but it must be horrible since it must have been the continuation of what I felt. And my love for that American girl was unanswered too. Living in a big city can be extremely lonely, since nobody wants to carry other peoples burden. The more people, the more privacy people seem to need. But Lady Gaga was my friend, so I had to constantly watch party music on MTV and go out partying every wednesday-saturday-sunday just to talk to party people on the subway/underground and join complete strangers on clubs in their party endeavours. It came to the point where staff at the central compulsory after-party McDonalds at the central party plaza in the party district of this European capital I live in started to recognize me, as the party dude. Now, they serve thousands every day so, that was sure a bad sign. What I did was to find a roommate who rents a room in my appartment, a girl that used to have a crush on me. One sure need some aces up ones sleeve. That made a tremendous difference, just to have someone around that is alive to say hi to makes so much of a difference. The same goes with having a job where one at least have someone to humanly interact with. So, I did stop the partying and have gone back to my own projects and interests, so I don’t feel lonely any more now. But my points are two: There is a major difference in feeling somewhat lonely and totally lonely, And something needs to be done in society to let lonely people interact more with each other. It is not a good thing to have people feel lonely in a society. A society needs to build structures for human interaction for its people.

  13. well, this is different… ;p
    im lisbeth…i feel so lost sometimes…i know i have anger issues and even though i try to control myself i know that im only hurtin inside..my parents only stress me out and i only feel that there is no purpose to my life…i dont think about suicide…but i do think that i wish i knew happiness again….i miss my brother…..he was my best friend…and now since we got on a fight…we havent talked to each other in almost a year…the only thing that makes me feel better is listening to depressing songs that make me cry….ugh…why do i have to be so different……

  14. hey,
    i am dstephen, no matter what i do, i only feel depression and hurt every day that goes by…. iwas born alone in a humble home, raised by a single poor mom….. i have no friends….i feel lonely not for now but have always… i have no girl friend….no best friend.no sister no brother. i live like i am in my own world, i wish some one could chat with me! i am so lonely, i am dieing in side. please! my email. gibsonrobins234@rocketmail.com please if you are there and feel like me, contact me

  15. well… to be honest, all the chatting and all the interaction through any internet website does makes one feel less lonely. the problem arises when you look at your life (after being online) and you realize that… you are still alone. this sudden realization might affect the person and even bring him/her down to a new level of solitude. i speak of personal experience, as i’ve felt every need to connect with someone and i did, unfortunately it was by pretending to be someone else, thus just proving my point, that im still lonely and that there’s nothing that can be changed

  16. i used to be a chat addict. then, when i got treatment for my depression, i try to stop. but, all i did was stop from the general chatroom, than go to a chatroom that based on good things (religious chat). yet, it was still an addiction. it was just lately i stop due to my study (final year students). it is hard to stop. yes, i can’t relate much to people in reality. in the chatroom, i used to join them in gathering about 3 times, making good friends, but they not lasted. even sometimes, now, i feel like going back into those addiction as i don’t have many people whom i can talk to. chatting looked good on the surface, but it slowly makes you isolate and detach from real world.

  17. Hi yes I understand. Lonliness, isolation deep feelings of just aloneness. I love the outdoors very much and it often helps me get through feelings of aloness BUT actually I prefer SOME time ALOne not ALL the time. I had a partner well he was my partner for a while then he changed and got nasty and unpredictable. I put up with the behavior changes, and lies and tricks because I needed to be with someone wanted to care about somone and share things with him etc everything is so much more vibtrant, beautiful and important when you share it with a friend! I love to fish, kayak, hike, walk, camp, music poetry, and yet I can’t seem to find a decent partner! Figure it out! When it is dismal, rainy damp gets dark early I seem to be having a terrible time worse this year than ever. Any ideas? Any others who wantr to share their soul lonliness without being dangerous types? Do people carehave the capability of caring for each other anymore?

  18. This site seems very popular with younger people, but what about those of us who are older? I’m 64, twice married, twice divorced, have 3 grown children, 3 young grandchildren, 2 cats, a turtle and some fish, all of whom I love, but there is no man in my life and I desperately miss the daily interaction of being part of a couple.
    However, I need a lot of alone time, don’t think I could handle actually living with a man again, unless we had a large house and each had hobbies to keep us busy, or the means to do a lot of travelling.
    I’ve always been shy and introverted, with low self-esteem, but I’ve gained some confidence over the years. I’ve learned that I can flirt with any man online, that it comes easily and I have fun with it and men have come close to falling in love with me online. BUT, although I’m intelligent, funny, open, caring, a bit ditzy, into sci-fi, sci-fact and love life, I’m not beautiful and about 40 pounds overweight.
    Add to that the fact that most men in my age group have trouble perfoming, but still think they are god’s gift to women and it gets to be very discouraging trying to find someone compatible.
    I know I’m whining, I’ll get over it, but sometimes a person just needs to vent.

    • Hi Katie,
      I am 61 and lonely. Most of my friends have disappeared due to death or other. I just want someone to talk to about everyday things, like the Royal wedding, bin Laden, or what I am doing today. You can email me at cstrandbakke@bresnan.net if you are interested.
      Goody

  19. Hi, I’m lonely too and have no close friends. The article caught my attention after I had deleted my profiles from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and was trying to understand why with so many millions of people on them, they did no good to help me feel any less lonely.

    I’ve since gone back to trying to make friends in real life. But I live in the northeastern U.S. where most people don’t want to take a chance on getting to know anyone. I feel sorry for myself and recognize that for what it is but I also worry for so many people because they have no idea about the opportunities they pass up every day. They miss out on getting to show me how wonderful they are nor do they get to know all that I have to offer.

    I think because I’ve suffered depression for so long, my feelings run alot deeper than many people. I’ve lived through some horrible tragedies. The loss of all of my childhood family to accidents and diseases has taken a huge toll. It’s so very hard most of the time not to have a subtantial enough support system in place but like others had said here, I put on a smile and keep my loneliness to myself.

    After my experiences trying to connect with people online, I’ve decided to altogether stop pursuing the idea of making friends online. It’s simply not enough just to interact with text and pictures on a screen.

    What I came to recognize also was that there are people online who enjoy making others believe that a real life relationship is possible yet thet never have any true intentions of connecting in real life. It’s like a game to them where if they can simply get you to play, they win. It doesn’t matter to them that you lose regardless of anything you do to the contrary. It’s so very hard to believe that anyone would be so cruel especially to others, including myself, who are truly lonely. But they don’t care. It could only about them making money or making other feel the hurt they must feel or something completely impersonal. Anyway, I think I’ve arrived at a point online where the line from that old wargames movie applies “the only way to win is not to play”.

    If you wish you can comment me at sdave455@hotmail.com

  20. I have trait lonliness as well and I don’t see ANY difference between email/chat/face to face.etc.

    I just deal with my lonlieness by reading fanfiction.

    Most of the time I get ignored or a negative reply which is why I will likely not bother to read any replies here so I won’t be too dissapointed.

    No matter how nice of a website and my comments: I tend to attract that one pickle and cause otherwise well-run websites to fall down the gutter in a few months.

    My presenece seems to attract hostility.

  21. I finally admitted to myself this weekend that I feel happier on my own than I do usually when there are people around. I’m married age 58 and live in a rural area. I don’t have friends, (my dogs are my two best friends) I cannot share anything with my partner. Even trying to get her to come on short walks is impossible. She says she just tags along and feels like a spare part because my dogs come first. I would love to go for walks out in the country with her, but it is no use. Consequently I feel very alone. I love animals and have a keen interest in animal issues, looking after their welfare mainly. I have a boat, but have lost interest as I am always on my own if I go out to sea. This weekend when my wife and her adult daughter who also lives with us went to visit a sick friend in another part of the country, I actually felt a sense of liberation. Nothing had changed, I was still walking my dogs alone, but no longer felt lonely.
    Is there anything worse than being lonely in a house where there are others who wont share any of the little things that make life worth living?
    I have never spoken out like this before as I have always thought that things would get better. They haven’t, nor will they as simply telling my partner how I feel resulted in a terminal row.
    I’m intelligent, articulate and caring. I’m not looking for anything, just friendship with people/person who recognises a similar soul.

    • hi starburst… i understand how you feel. i was engaged once and felt lonely, as we never shared. it was sad. i like to share the tiny, little moments.. those are the nicest. if you would like to write to me, my website address is posted (www.elements4healing.weebly.com), i think. it has my email listed on contact page. best wishes, sunshine (my nickname from childhood) :)

    • Hi Starburst…I’ll talk with you about animals….and anything else. I’m terribly lonely myself…share digs with an old schoolmate and still very little interaction. It seems to be one of the worst curses of living in a dying civilization…this lonely crowd stuff…since most sensitive people seem to be going through much the same thing and all seems to realize it on some level..that there is no provision for true socialization outside home and family and the artificial world of hyper-socialized youth at their schools and campuses…..

      Please contact me anytime at “beautifulquitters@gmail.com”

  22. I’m 17 and I’ve been lonely for as long as I can remember, mostly because of how I was brought up it’s really hard for me to establish emotional connections with people. This year I started going to therapy to work out my depression and emotional issues, which I really reccommend to people who are chronicaly depressed or lonely. I’m trying to build up my self esteem and get over my social anxiety. I’m going to be starting college this august and I’m absolutely terrified that I will end up friendless and even more alone than I am now. I hope so much that I can make friends and be happy for once, but my fear is overwhelming my excitement. wish me luck…

  23. Hello,

    I am a 39 year old married female. I have a good husband but have no friends. I feel lonely a lot when he goes to work because I have been looking for a job but no one will hired me. During the day i get depressed and the only thing I look forward to is when he comes home. I wish there were friends online I could meet and chat with. I want to tell people what is going on inside ofme.
    rdgfldhelen@aol.com

    • hi im a 29yr old, same kinda prob with you, ive been in australia for 4 months and it has been hard. im from nz and back home i have loads of friends which use to piss my husband off. havin moved to australia has made me feeling lonely and depressed as i dont know many people, an having to look for a job has been hard. my husband works nights and when he gets home he sleeps. since moving here he has been very distant, he likes to spend alot of time with his friends and when we do hav time with him we always end up in an argument. sometimes i wonder whether we moved he for him or for our family

      • Sadly, HE wants friends and his family, you away from yours?? I would want away from HIM.

  24. I read all the comments. I have an answer to your problems and it doesn’t cost money. I also suggest checking out this video “Alan watts – Hermits in society” that will help a few of your anxieties.

    Most people with a lot of friends don’t listen to each others problems. In your case they don’t care or don’t want to know your problems (they are happy with the way things are). But we still have problems right? They tell us to go to a therapist, but a therapist can’t be a friend because you pay them to help you. It’s involuntary. Many times I have been told “well your problems aren’t important there are millions dying from hunger impoverishment” Well that may be true but I’m dying a lonely existence because we were made (raised) to play their social game. When we don’t play the game “capitalism in general” we lose automatically. Insecure societies hate outsiders even if you have a decent job. The insiders reinforce there ego just like “we” outsiders reinforce our egos.

    SOOOO the answer you ask! is very simple don’t play the game. Make your own rules. Become a entrepreneur. Learn to help each other with your problems like I see some of you already are. Or learn how to help yourself.

    Otherwise if you play the game you have to conform. If you can’t be an insider (mental illness, don’t want to conform? etc etc) Then be an outsider, be friends with all the people who are outsiders (you will have so many friends you won’t have time for life) For every inside there is an outside. If you don’t want to be either then keep quiet but then you become isolated and the ego will collapse and break down to your true form. Just a body with blood vessels because all we are is material. We are all the same but the ego has disillusioned us to think otherwise. We are all the same on the inside but everything has to be a big deal on the outside. Everything is like this. Take away the labels the ego and what do we have? Unity in its purest form. We can’t live this way though because of being taught knowledge. It would reak havoc on a capitalistic society and survival would become useless.

    • i liked your post how true you are thats well said . I think its always good if people chat as well as listen not every one listens or care about others ..some people have lots of empathy compassion while some just cant be bothered if anyone says theyre lonely . I dont tell any one that im lonely .. but on here i can .People i know probably think im not as people assume i got a nice life .. .there are more people out there are lonely more than people realise people dont like to admit to it (like myself) its not something you can go up to someone and say im a lonely person … plus half the time theres no one to tell anyway .. X

  25. I have no words…

  26. >I also feel lonely living in the middle of the countryside with my other half who works all day .Its nice to have your own company at times but always nice to be able to visit pop for a meal ,drink, phone for chat etc,cuppa, or even share interests hobbies if yu feel yu are interested mailPinkfirecracker@htmail.co.uk if you like to email me . Friendship doesnt happen over night but will come in time given the chance to know each other Im friendly and live in south Wales area .

  27. sorry its pinkfirecracker@hotmail.co.uk got address wrong in previous message :)

  28. This artical is dead on….I thought I was the only one. But it’s still leaving me with no hope…I’m the loneliest person in the world I think.

    • Hi i want you to know i have been really down with no support at all,I know what it feels like to feel so alone.if you need to talk or need support please contact me x

  29. i feel so lonely and sometimes find myself crying asking myself why i feel so sad, m not a sociable person, m not ugly but very shy and can’t hold up to any conversation,i cant approach and mingle with other people, dont have relationships,i isolate myself even from my relatives,never close to any of them,i drink alone when im depressed which is very often, i have very bad thoughts like suicide, thought of seeing a shrink for years now but never had the courage to see one…m a girl by the way, if anyone wants to talk,send me a message or not..

    • Hi Rola

      Sorry to hear about that. I have to say I’m sorry because I feel the same way. I’m a male and sometimes there’s a sense of shame for me to be this way. I sound very much the same as you.

      I’m introverted myself. There are so many times that I torture myself because I feel like I’ve got to get out and try harder. I just end up that I don’t. But it seemed like so many things that I go to meet people do not work out well. I don’t know why, but it just doesn’t.

  30. Around ten years ago I went on the computer and went to chat rooms. It was a novelty for me because it was the first time I had a computer.

    It was nice at first, but I got sick of it after a while. I remembered when I would go on the chats, and a woman would come on asking “a/s/l please”.
    I would respond and then just get a faint, “thanks”.

    Also it seemed like there were bullies on there. I had good conversations with someone, only to have it intercepted by someone else.

    So I have forgotten about the chats. But I really don’t miss them.

  31. Hekko, I just found this site and thought I would check it out. I am a 51 year old Female, and being lonely is the worst way in to live. Yes I may have some medical problems but I can go out and do somethings. I have had seniors tell me that their children and family never visited or even cared and I did not understand how a child or family could do that to someone. But now I do know because I do not get calls or visits from my children or family. My days are all the same, and if it wasn’t for my cat that loves me and shows me that she needs me I would end it all!!!! Noone deserves to be isolated and left alone like they are already dead. I know that I am not, I still had alot that I can offer this world!! Deb

  32. Well i totally disagree with the fact. I myself have suffered from loneliness a couple of times and then very recently found out about a service called call mingle and tried it out and believe me it has helped me a great deal.It really awesome and i get to share about anything i want and i feel really great ever since.

  33. I have to disagree. Especially after having to move to different cities for work, I did feel better being a part of online communities. That’s why I founded http://chattest.ca . It’s a small online community chat for people who feel lonely and just want to have, well a chat :)

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