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June 12, 1987 - Image 87

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-06-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

SING ,,,E

Specialists
and singles
say getting out
of the house
is a way
to combat
loneliness

ROBYN KLEEREKOPER

Special to The Jewish News

Neil Beckman

Are you lonesome tonight?
M

any people, because of
choice or circumstance,
live alone without a
meaningful relation-
ship with another per-
son to pass away the hours. Nearly
20 million Americans live alone,
and 35 million singles are heads of
households.
Does this necessarily lead to
loneliness? Does being single, or
even a single parent, condemn one
to a life of T.V. dinners and reruns
of Dallas? And does being on one's
own suggest unhappiness?
According to Janice Goldfein, a
psychiatric social worker, "There
are many kinds of loneliness. The
first that comes to mind is a loneli-
ness many of us feel at fleeting
times in our lives that you wish
you were closer to another person,
that you wanted to be able to share
something, just being together, or
sharing intimate feelings or prob-
lems.
"There's the old saying — you
can be alone in a crowd and feel
lonely, or be alone and feel lonely.

If you are feeling lonely, it's as
though you have no connection
with another person, and there's
nobody who you feel shares enough
significant things with you, and
understands where you are coming
from or what events are going on
in your life, or what issues concern
you or why they concern you.
"I guess I think of loneliness as
the other side of what is friendship,
and that's to feel you have a friend
... not just to do things with, but
someone whom you trust, who can
share parts of your world and be
non-judgmental. It's not just some-
one we do social activities with. We
all have people who fit that de-
scription.
"No one particular relationship
can fill everyone's needs, and even
married people can experience
loneliness at times, especially if
they feel their spouse isn't a friend.
Perhaps they live parallel lives.
But a single person, just by nature
of being alone, has more opportu-
nity to feel lonely.
But Goldfein adds, "I think the

reason a lot of people feel lonely is
they wouldn't really be lonely, they
just think they should have been
married. And I'm not sure that
everyone who thinks that would
have been happily married. A lot of
people would have been much hap-
pier by themselves."
For someone who is single, and
who for professional reasons has
moved to a new city or town, it
may take several years to overcome
the strangeness and feelings of iso-
lation that are inevitable in the
transition.
Marc Miller, 26, of Southfield,
moved from Monroe to the "big
city" about three years ago, and
still feels he hasn't become in-
volved in the community. "I'm just
now starting to feel Detroit is my
home. I'm becoming familiar with
the area. But I still go back to my
parents' synagogue for the High
Holidays and such.
"At times I get lonely. I sup
pose I really haven't made too
much of an effort yet to make new
friends. I have some friends that I

made when I went to Michigan
State, and most of my friends here
are ones I made in high school and
college. I'm probably getting to a
point when I'm ready to go out and
join an organization or something.
However, I'm not really aware of
what is available. I probably need
someone to push me along."
Like Miller, many people in

Continued on next page

Correction

On page 79 of the June 5,1987
Jewish News, we published in
the Single Life section a
photograph of Mrs. Helen
Kaye, Mrs. Michele Samson
and Mrs. Suzi Wiener atten-
ding a sock hop at One on
One Athletic Club. All three
are married. We regret and
apologize for any harm or
embarrassment that may
have resulted from the in-
ference they were single.

87

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