Is it worse to feel lonely in a sparsely populated place or in a heavily populated city or town?
I’ve live in many cities, large and small, as well as towns and isolated locations.
For me, living in the country, far from people and services is not much different from the cities except for one thing.
Excuses for my inability to socialize.
In a city, there are potential friendships to be made everywhere. There are groups to be joined, activities to attend and a lot of self-recrimination about not trying any of it.
In the country, there are few people and less than no opportunities to socialize. There are no services, no groups to join, no functions you may want to attend. There is nothing. So you have the very good reason built-in for being alone and lonely. Your only potential to connect with others is online. Not really the same caliber for potential loneliness busters as the city, but vital all the same.
In the city I would often look out the windows, watching the crowds go by, seeing people walking and talking, laughing and crying together. It always made me wonder if I should get on out there and give it a try. Then the anxiety would set in, because of my very real inability to read social cues and my disastrous history of picking friends, I never made it out the front door. Not to mention the inconsistency of feeling well enough to participate in group gatherings and the knowledge that I cannot be counted on to follow through.Now, I live in a small, once upon a time farming community, on 5 acres of undeveloped land. Houses are few and far between, with about 4 homes within walking distance. There are 35 families in this town, most of whom I wouldn’t recognize if they showed up at my door. The closest town is about a 10 minute car ride away, with a few commodities. It is a predominantly French-speaking, tightly knit small town. Even though I am bilingual, I have no interest in befriending anyone there. I use their public library and read the books only in English. I have yet to explore their larger French section. Maybe someday, when I’ve read every book in the English section. As far as resources are concerned, I saw they had a gun club, a volunteer bunch that groom the trails for X-country skiing and snow machines, and a Golden Age group (usually they meet for card games and such). None of which interest me in the slightest.
A little further away is another town, takes 20 minutes to get there, which have more services for people but are staunchly French/anti-English as a whole. If you go into their grocery store and speak English to certain cashiers they refuse to answer you back in English and glare at you the during the whole transaction. I avoid going there as much as possible.
Which leaves the city, that is 30-40 minutes away, with full services any city has to offer, along with 2 hospitals, one French and one English, as this province I live in is officially a bilingual province. Which to me means English or French should be readily available to the citizens preference. Sounds good in theory, but people are people and all do their best to impose their will upon others that are different from them. Doesn’t really matter, because I have been to that city exactly twice in the year I have lived in this area.
All this rambling to say, I choose the country to feel less guilty about not getting out and about to make friends, like all the experts advise us to do. Not only is it vital for the human condition physically to interact socially with other humans, the experts also say it is vital for the psyche. People tend to live longer when their lives are rich with other people.
Unfortunately, I immediately wonder why anyone would want to live longer.
Is that a sign of something deep and dark in my being or am I just being realistic? Or fatalistic? Or depressed?