Loneliness. Seems like a pretty straightforward emotion don't you think?

You are lacking connection. Attention. And you feel isolated from other human beings.

But why does it feel like we get loneliness and the need for a romantic relationship confused?

The claim that one is "feeling lonely" easily gets mixed up with others thinking you just want a boyfriend to curl up on the couch with and fall asleep watching some sappy rom-com (because brownie points to the boyfriend who would agree to that). Or thinking you want attention from someone 24/7, checking in via text message and sending a billion ":) :) :)" to show affection.

Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of times I want to feel the love from a partner. But as a human being, curing loneliness is not seeking attention from a sappy relationship.

It's craving for an authentic connection.

I am not lonely for chocolates and flowers.

I am lonely for infinite conversations across the dinner table.

I am not lonely for date night

I am lonely for crisscrossed legs on my bed during quiet Saturday nights, discussing with a friend the endless possibilities in the world.

I am not lonely for someone to "fix" me.

I am lonely to share and have my weakness understood by another.

Nowadays, how many times are we actually seeking authenticity? How often do we understand that small talk does not fulfill our human social needs? How often are we confusing our "human loneliness" with our "attention-seeking loneliness?"

Maybe if we understood that our loneliness was telling our mind to seek real connection, we wouldn't be stuck in the middle of a relationship that brings us pain. Maybe if we could figure out what our head and heart really wanted - we wouldn't be making so many mistakes.

I am lonely. But I am lonely for humans. I am lonely for bona fide people.