The word ‘lonely’ is defined as ‘sad because one has no friends or company’.
At first glance, this may seem like a depressing state to be in. However, when you think about it a while longer, you will find that all the components, the ‘sad’ and ‘no friends or company’ parts, are malleable.
Being sad is a matter of attitude (this of course refers to the sadness felt in the face of a situation you have the ability to influence, not to depression). If people who have experienced great loss and hardship in their lives can find the will not just to keep on surviving, but to live, and live happily, who are we to be sad?
We owe it to ourselves not to be lonely.
Learn to be content with your own company. Contrary to many people’s fears, this does not involve turning into a cat-loving weirdo. And even if it did, it would be totally okay. What, other than living your life to the fullest, is worth living for? Whatever you enjoy, be that learning a new language, discovering other cultures, making music…do it. Even if this means trying to find out what you are passionate about. The advantage of liking your own company is that you cannot let yourself down. If your happiness depends entirely on yourself, you will not feel lonely. And you will probably make friends along the way, too.
This way, sharing your life with others becomes a choice instead of a need. If you are completely content with just you, the presence of other people will only enhance your life, since they cannot take away your happiness by leaving.
Do not fear being alone. Being alone is only scary when you have unresolved conflict within yourself. Company is a distraction, and you do not want to be by yourself because you are left alone with your thoughts. Confront these thoughts, dark and ugly as they may be, and leave them behind.
Thus, there will be no reason to feel sad when you do not have friends or company. You will be fine with just you.
Take away the feeling of being lonely, and the rest becomes much easier.