To Anyone Feeling Single and Lonely . . .

In this week’s video, I’m asked what my “why” is—what motivates me to keep doing what I do. And my answer often comes as a surprise: to help people feel less alone.

It’s my hope that today’s video encourages you and helps you realize that you’re not alone. If we can just make this world a little bit less lonely for each other, we can literally save lives.

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Matthew:

Tanya, what’s your question?

Tanya:

So, I’ve followed you for a lot of years and you’ve evolved your brand and what you do and what you offer, and I love that it’s more encompassing than it was just how to get the guy. What motivates you? What’s your why and what keeps you coming here? And thank you for your time today.

Matthew:

Thank you. Wow, that’s a lovely question to start with. Thank you for saying that. My why is I think that, um, I think we’re incredibly lonely. I think we’re more lonely than we let on. I think we live in a world that poses as a less lonely world than we’ve ever had, that is masking for the most lonely world we’ve ever had, and that concerns me. And I know that when I’m here in this room with you guys, it is exciting to me and nourishing to me and healing to me to be in a room of people, all expressing in some form or another their pain, their vulnerability, who they are, that I get to express my vulnerability, that we get to be in this together because it’s not fucking easy. Life’s not easy. And I just, you know. . .

Anthony Bourdain was one of my heroes and he killed himself. And you look at this and you think, what is happening? What is going on in these moments of pain, these extremes of pain and loneliness and despair that make us rid ourselves of this amazing thing? But it doesn’t always feel amazing. Life doesn’t always feel amazing, life can really suck so badly and it can be terrible. So, I sometimes get a bit bored of the peak performance rhetoric, where everything is all about peak performance, peak performance, peak performance, productivity, productivity, productivity, living life at the highest level. Okay, but you know what? A lot of life is making ourselves feel okay and connected and loved when its feels unbearable, and I just love that we all get to be together and share in that.

And I think it’s deeply sad, there’s something deeply existentially sad about what I do in the sense that we’re looking for a love, a soulmate, whatever you want to call it, and we want that person. We want that person and we want it because we have so much love to give. It’s not just what we want. We have all this energy, this romantic energy that would be fun, would be beautiful to put into someone. It’s like drinking a coffee in the morning and have nothing to do with all of that energy because you know you want to give it to someone. You know you have so much more to give than what you’re giving right now because you have no object to direct it towards, and that can make many of us sad. And especially, as we go through lives and we get older, we start looking at the years that we could be spending with someone, and we’re like, “Why not now?”

But when we share that and when we talk about that and when we voice it and when we come together in a room like this, I just think we feel better about that. We get to feel like, “Oh, I’m not the only great person who’s finding my way here.” Look at all these quality people, look at all these beautiful faces, look at all these accomplished women. Look at all these amazing people, intelligent people that makes me feel less alone. Look how many awesome people are in the same boat. That’s fine. So, let’s talk about it. Let’s be together. That, to me, is more important than any bit of wisdom that I could give is let’s have a place where we can all come and just be that energy together. Because if we can make the world a little bit less lonely for each other, not to be too grandiose, but that saves lives, genuinely saves lives.

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15 Replies to “To Anyone Feeling Single and Lonely . . .”

  1. This is so wise. Matt, I’ve heard you talk about Tony Robbins as an – icon? Role model? Maybe those terms are too strong but whenever I’ve heard you compare your work to his – I just want to say, your perspective is SO much better.

    I too am so over the cult of peak performance. Highly functional morning routines aren’t what make people happy – it’s improving our connections with other people. Sure, I care about my work and creative life – but I think they too are fundamentally about creating those connections. Thank you for your leadership in centering what really matters!

  2. Thank you Matthew. Your text came at the perfect time. Today I was feeling very alone and you made me feel loved.

  3. This is such an honest, authentic sharing, Matthew! Thank you for addressing what so many of us are thinking.

    I appreciate and respect you so much.

    Sending you my best regards,
    Marilyn Overton

  4. That one comment , so many of you awesome people all in the same boat .
    Powerful the impact of that Mathew .
    It shows how difficult it is whatever the conditioning has done to us and whatever is going on in consciousness right now . It gives me compassion for us all . Thankyou sooo much

  5. Matthew, this is a very powerful and inspiring message that carries kindness and courage to all of us. It reminded me of the opening to Emily Dickinson’s poem, “If I can stop one Heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.” Thank you for making a difference in so many people’s lives. You are absolutely right, helping and connecting with people give us purpose and meaning.

  6. Connecting people and becoming connected is the most noble goal I can think of.

    I sense it takes a deep, personal understanding for this to become your ‘why’. So thank you, Matthew, I hope you always know you are, also, not alone.

  7. I really liked the part where the audience lit up. I think it’s beautiful and sometimes not feeling alone when you’re surrounded by people can be activated by just that, genuinely. It’s great to have the ability to be able to appreciate all that our emotions can do for us, especially the ones that are commonly repressed. I agree, sometimes it feels like there’s a secret agenda to always remain positive, but the reality is that there are ups and downs in life like the quote “it’s okay not to be okay”. I like the idea that productivity isn’t only work that you get paid for. Work can be defined in all areas of our lives especially when working on ourselves.

  8. Hi Matthew, so true what you say, we all are here to be on this single journey together, its also something to look forward to, that can keep a person goin, that is what we should create more of in our life, things to look forward to. I really value you in my life, happy to be a vital part in the commmunity :) hugs x

  9. Hi Matthew, thank you for this video. I think what makes our world such a lonely place is lack of kindness in every day life and blindness to the others. People forget that a smile or a simple good word is important and sometimes means a world to a lonely one. Hugs to everyone who feels lonely today :)

  10. Feeling like there is an abundance of love that I still have to give is what I struggle with, it is less about loneliness and more about being unable to give that love to a special someone, outside of family, feeling is that what brings me to Matthew’s ‘How to Get the Guy’ videos, etc., because without Matthew’s encouragement to persevere, how dreary life would be. Yes being in this together with amazing individuals makes me love myself more. Thank you Matthew for always being there when I need you most. Continue the good fight because we sincerely appreciate you for being ‘you’ to us.

    Jidetha V. Somersall

  11. I’m not dating anymore (I’ve decided to take a break until my kids are grown up) but I keep watching your videos anyway. Today’s resonated with me. I feel lonely all the time and in my job (I work as a home healthcare worker) I see a lot of lonely people, kept at home with health problems which make going out a challenge. Many live alone or with caregivers who are burnt out and lonely themselves. The pandemic has made things ten times worse. With cellphones and tablets, and tv streaming apps to occupy our time, a people spend so much time in artificial contact with people that it results in a loneliness in our society which we don’t even realize exists. I mainly work with the elderly, and I often hear about the way they met their spouse, the most common ways being at a dance, at a sports day, at church, through a friend or they were a neighbour who lived down the road. Back in the day, people actually went out to do things and meet people and they really wanted those real relationships. Nowadays, we sit on our phone and it keeps us from boredom but it makes us oblivious to the fact that we really aren’t cultivating those important relationship, because our so-called relationships with our “Friends on Facebook” are not really relationships, they are unfulfilling in ways which we need. I moved back to my hometown a few years after the relationship with my children’s father went kaboom and I have struggled to make friends. I played in rec sports leagues and volunteered in an effort to make friends and though those activities contributed to me feeling happier, it never led to any friendships created. People just seem busy or they already have friends and don’t need more. I hold out hope that one day I will find a kindred spirit, a friend who I can really connect with. Maybe if I can find a friend or two, I won’t feel like I need a romantic relationship to fulfill those needs of companionship. I’ve already decided to hold off dating for the next decade but when the loneliness rears its ugly head, I find myself on an online dating app contemplating finding that special someone to share myself with and feel less lonely. Its too bad their are no major apps for finding friends rather than lovers.

  12. Last month I was so burned out at work that I had no energy left to speak. My colleague came in to request something from me. I did not speak I just nodded and kept looking at my screen. He caught on that something was off so he came to stand in front of me and he saw tears rolling down on my face on their own beneath the mask.
    He said “Ok, forget my request. It’s already lunchtime. Did you eat?” I said no. So he dragged me out to lunch.

    To be honest, it was a very kind gesture of him. It felt a little better to have a good companion during my meal instead of breaking down alone – buried in work.

  13. Anthony Bourdain was a big hero of mine, too. And if he were still alive and in pain, this is what I would tell him: “Real love is a long marination of qualities to do with respect, admiration, appreciation, character, affection, cooperation, honour and sacrifice.” (It’s a quote I borrowed from Dr. Laura Schlesinger.) -But if you haven’t had that experience of love in your life, then you can rationalise to yourself that you haven’t experience real love, yet – so anyone giving you anything less than that, is or was, just a waste of your time, until the real thing presents itself. And it’s a belief that is worth living and waiting for, for all of us smart enough to recognise it, when it does present itself. We have to learn to love wisely, instead of too well. (“Tale of a man who loved not wisely, but too well” – that was Othello. And look where it got him.) Loving wisely, rather than too well; with our minds that have a set criteria for what love is – that is the way forward. I wish Anthony was still around so I could have told him that.

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