Lonely and/or Alone

I was talking with to someone about various things when the subject turned to relationships. This person stated that they were lonely and alone. And it got me to thinking.  Lonely/alone, in a sense they sound like the same thing.  Oh by the way, they are both adjectives to describe a noun, which happens to be you. Here is what the dictionary has for lonely and alone.

Alone – separate, apart, or isolated from others, to the exclusion of all others or all else, solitarily; solely.

Lonely – affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome, destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc, lone; solitary; without company; companionless, remote from places of human habitation; desolate; unfrequented; bleak.

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They both sound the same to me. But the dictionary has classified them as TWO distinct adjectives. What really got me thinking is “Can you have one word without the other?”. In some cases there are some small/large differences where you can be alone and not lonely and vice-a-versa.  But look at the sentences for both of the words (alone: the exclusion of all others or all else/lonely: remote from places of human habitation; desolate). After I talked with my friend, and we hashed over the concept, with both of us not completely agreeing, I came up with this interpretation. I sit here alone typing out this trip through my mind. Am I lonely, yes? I miss companionship in my life.  Whether it is the companionship of family, friends or love ones. Today I also feel lonely. Either way, it is just me, here by myself.  I have come to the conclusion that they can exist separately and together and like all words, we have the power to determine how they are used in our life. So I will surround myself with people to ward off the loneliness so that I won’t feel so alone. See what I mean!

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