19-year-old kwilson225 struck a chord with many Beliefnet users this summer with her story of teasing and social isolation in high school and a dateless prom night. Feeling that life since high school has not improved, she reached out for advice and the community responded with ideas anyone who's ever felt alone can use. Read a sampling of their ideas and add your own.

...I am 19 and have never been kissed or out on a date. I have always wanted to be loved by someone "in that way", but the guys all pass by me and I always wake up and wonder 'how much longer?' ...I have no idea how to meet nice people...i work in a nursing home and my only 2 male co-workers are married and in their 30s, i don't know anyone from a lower grade at my school and I'm not living at a college or anything. I have no idea how to solve my problem of being lonely.

My best advice to you is to get out of your rut. Think of things that you might like to do and get involved. Schools are a great place to meet people--I see people meeting everyday in my classroom as a college professor. Also, schools have lots of clubs and activities. If school money is a problem, then begin some volunteer work for organizations in your community, through your church, or through someone else's church. The main goal here is to stay busy!. Hang in there--life will get better!
--cynthiaj (Post # 12)

...One great way that I have found to make friends is to listen. People love to talk about themselves & as you listen you can learn about some things that you have in common with them- then share yourself with them.Be willing to be open to others and to share of yourself. Be honest and kind- truely care for others(and most importantly... yourself!)... I promise you, dear heart, this will be returned to you. Most every spiritual path speaks of it... do unto others, etc...
--krhiannon (# 15)

...My best advice to you is RELAX. The more you concentrate on being lonely, the more it will bother you. I have found that the less I thought about finding a boyfriend & the more I got myself involved in other things such as hobbies, joining some clubs which interested me, & possibly taking some classes at the local community college really helped.
--stinkerpot (28)

...You are lonely because you haven't learned that God's love is the only love we need. And the most important person to love is God. Once we know and love God we aren't alone anymore...And we can love ourselves and feel complete and whole...I thought that my loneliness would be cured if i just found the right guy...I'm 28 and 2 broken hearts later, and i've finally realized that loving myself and God is 1st on the agenda..because you will be looking for that man to make you complete and whole and that is a task that no earthy man can do..it has to come from within you and your knowing God. Once you know God you can build self confidence in yourself so that when you meet the right person you are ready for him...
-- alsulliv (# 39)

In order to have friends, you have to be a friend. You have to put yourself out, take risks with your heart. What is it that makes some people so attractive to others? It's not the way they look but the way they think and act. You have to be attractive and you are attractive when you don't feel sorry for yourself. Life is not going to show up for you if you just wait for it. And people are attracted to happy, busy people.Do you have any hobbies? Join a hiking club or birdwatching club or whatever. As long as you are doing things that make you happy and know that you are worthy of love and happiness in a relationship, you will attract people to you...
--bikergirl (# 46)

Hello Lonely Girl,
Reading all of the good replies I thought I'd confuse you with one more. I am 54 and retired from the A.F. Reserves, and my advise is this: Nineteen is a great age to seek adventure and forget the difficulties of the teen years.Anyway, what I wanted to say, try seeking some adventure -- NOW --, join one of the military sevices and learn a skill, travel to a foreign country paid for by Uncle Sam, and make some new friends. If you like it, you have a career, if you don't, you have a skill, personal pride in accomplishing something difficult, and the strength to get on with your life. You can do it, take a risk -- go for it! Good luck -- and don't worry about men coming along, that will happen, I guarantee it!
--lesnout (# 55)

.There is nothing wrong in feeling what you feel, loneliness is as much a part of life as happiness sometimes we have to go through one stage to get to another. Loneliness isn't a bad thing, though it's self induced. I thought I was lonely and married the wrong man and set myself back fourteen years in that marriage and now here I sit fourteen years later feeling the same thing. Remember that another person can't take away something that you feel inside they are not a cure...
--jackiejones (# 59)

You sound so much like me when I was your age (now 48 years old) but I made all the wrong choices because I felt so lonely and worthless that I ended up marrying an abusive man who took advantage of that. Our neediness is like radar and we attract the wrong people, becoming people pleasers, leaving the love we should have for ourselves on the backburner. I am now divorced and have only come to start loving myself and dealing with all the mistakes I made...

Don't place importance on finding relief from your lonliness in a man, because you will make the wrong choices out of neediness. There are other ways to fill that void. You must trust that God has a plan for you, and he will reveal it when the time is right.

--jacqtrad (# 74)

.I know that some of the people who wrote to you suggested that you go to school, and I think that's a fine idea for you. However, it is not the only idea. You may enter the military, or join Americorps or some other public service group. You may do volunteer work in whatever area interests you. The important thing is that you are devoting your time and your energy to something that is truly important and interesting to you. Everything else will come from there. I promise...
--kdonovan (# 83)

...I think that you should find hobbies that you love doing, and then enroll in them. For example, are you interested in yoga, dancing, horseback riding, surfing, reading...whatever. Make a list, pick two things that grab your attention, and then take the next step. Find an organization that satisfies your interest, and enroll in it. I'd say pick two, that way you meet two different groups of people and in this way, you immediately broaden your circle.
--springk (# 84)

...START...SOMEWHERE. Pick a group -- Lion's Club, Habitat for Humanity, etc. Join a book club, a bike club, a hiking club. Volunteer to work at some of the cultural events around town -- they're always desparate for volunteers and its a great way to meet people. Do something strictly fun and outrageous that you've always wanted to do, like learning to swim, fly a plane, learning to tap dance, learning to cook, learning to weld, build furniture, fix cars, etc. Pick any interest group, community education class, etc. and just START! That's the hardest thing to do, but once you've done it, the next one is easier and it keeps getting easier...
--dhurst (# 89)

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