How to know if you like someone or if you’re just lonely

• How can you tell whether you actually have feelings for someone, or are just lonely?

Andrew Byrne, LMFT:

If this is a question you are asking yourself, it may be a good idea to pause your dating life and spend some time with yourself, to learn how to enjoy being with yourself. Loneliness is a state of mind and has nothing to do with whether we are or are not in proximity with others. Loneliness comes from a sense that we need others in order to be happy, and thus it is important to teach ourselves that we can be okay outside of a relationship, so that when we choose to be in a relationship, we are more prepared to receive love and not fall into the trap of looking for a partner to “complete” us. Only you can know when the feelings you have for another person are authentic feelings leading you into a relationship, and as a general rule of thumb, I find it is important to love yourself before you can really know if the desire to be with a potential partner is authentic.

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