Feeling Lonely? This Model Can Help You Find Deeper Connections

How to use the 3 types of loneliness to feel connected in a lonely world.

Stephan Joppich
7 min readApr 17, 2022


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One of the most frustrating things about loneliness? It’s complex.

Everyone experiences different kinds of loneliness in different stages of their lives. Loneliness is not a lightbulb we can turn on and off; it’s a vast spectrum of brightness, colors, and temperatures.

But that doesn’t mean we’re powerless.

Quite the opposite: With just a few models in mind, we can start observing loneliness like a scientist. Then, we can identify the causes, experiment with potential solutions, and analyze the findings.

So, here’s one simple model that was an absolute game-changer for me: The three types of loneliness. It transformed the way I think about my relationships forever.

Why So Many People Feel Lonely

Before we can understand the three types of loneliness, we need to ask a crucial question: Why is modern life so lonely?

Some context: The way we interact with others has solidified over 200,000 years of human evolution. It was merely in the last 200 years that — thanks to the industrial revolution — careers and individualism started pulling us away from our home community.

We’ve embraced atomized lifestyles.

The problem? Our brain is still wired to live in a connected tribe where we rely on each other for survival. Feeling connected has always been the norm.

But now, it’s possible to go through adult life without forming any deep relationships. And it’s becoming a reality. We can order everything we need to survive from the comfort of our couch. What’s more, the number of one-person households has skyrocketed over the past decades.

Note: Living alone doesn’t mean you don’t have any deep relationships in your life. But it means you see fewer people and don’t depend on others as much. Studies have repeatedly shown that people living alone are more likely to develop mental illnesses — especially loneliness. (Image source)

As a result, loneliness is becoming the norm.

In other words, the world around us has radically changed, but our brains are stuck in the stone age. And that means we still need the same…



Stephan Joppich

Engineer turned philosophy student • I write about loneliness, minimalism, and books that changed my life • More food for thought → stephanjoppich.com