Finding Warmth in a Cold World: Navigating Loneliness in Midlife

   A divorced man in his thirties said to me: I feel so lonely.
   During this period, for the sake of career development, he applied to station in other places and traveled back and forth on weekends. Work is very hard every day, and running is also very tiring. He and his ex-wife were very quarrelsome before the divorce, but became calm after the divorce. The two parties take turns raising children. The three-year-old daughter stays at her mother’s house from Monday to Friday and at her father’s house on Saturdays and Sundays. They get along harmoniously. His ex-wife said categorically to him: Don’t think about it, I absolutely don’t want to remarry. It just so happened that he didn’t want to either.
   Based on his conditions, there were many people introduced to him. He told me: I don’t want to move. After work, all I want to do is lie down. I used to work out a few years ago, but now I feel that going to the gym to change clothes, shower, and blow-dry my hair is cumbersome and pointless. The same goes for a blind date, where you have to change clothes, take a shower and blow-dry your hair, choose a restaurant that the person likes, and say what the person likes to hear, which is also very troublesome and meaningless.
   However, he felt lonely and wanted to have someone by his side, so he didn’t have to do anything. Just chatting and cooking a hot pot together, that’s all. Even if he can’t cuddle and sleep, he feels that he is already old.
   I said: If you don’t go out on a date, where would you meet this person? He said: I know. I also know that it is impossible to fall in love if you are too lazy to move. But I don’t want to fall in love. I just want someone by my side. I said: Then you should find a man. It should be faster and easier for men. He said: Then I am even more lazy to move.
   A single sister in her fifties also told me: I feel lonely. (In order to avoid people saying that I am misogynistic, I will not mention why my sister is single. I simply can’t talk normally now.) My sister is a lovely person and has had many suitors over the years. I said: You can’t be short of people. She said: Yes, but everyone has to go back to his own home. I said: Are there no single people? She said: Yes.
   But, too lazy to dress up for a date. I am like a cell phone with no battery, and I hope this person is like a charger, right next to the bed. I don’t want to talk sweetly, and I don’t want to spend time together. I said: Because it’s autumn and winter, right? There are no flowers and no moon. She said: It’s possible.
   But anyway, I just want to have someone by my side who has feelings and a life, but not the kind of living together. It is impossible for a person at this age, who has to pay for groceries to eat, to talk about relationships. I said: Isn’t there a certain person who likes you very much, and you also like him very much? Doesn’t he want to live with you? She said: So-and-so has no children, and he is forty. I said to her: Don’t waste your time with me. Go fall in love and get married, people always have to have children. Don’t think that men are not afraid of aging, because sperm will not be good when you are really old. The key is that older people cannot get married. If you delay it any longer, you may not be able to get married for the rest of your life. I said: We should be together for at least two or three years to get rid of the things at hand. She said: What about in two or three years?
   I thought to myself: The epidemic will be over in just three years. Maybe it will be in a different state in two or three years. But I said nothing. I know I can’t give an answer.
   The cold is happening at this moment, and how to keep warm is definitely a problem. It is said that food will never be enough, and clothes will inevitably be cold. Every lonely person has his own food and clothing to satisfy. He can’t wait, and he can’t live long because of the cold weather.

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