Let's get this straight before we go any further, physically being alone is not the same as the emotional experience of loneliness. Although they can occur exclusively of each other, loneliness and being alone can also occur at the same time, which explains why some people confuse the two. No matter the way loneliness transpires, it can deeply impact your ability to begin, sustain, and/or maintain healthy relationships. So what makes loneliness and being alone different? Being alone is about physical space, not having an actual presence around you. This can be easily altered and has less of an impact on your emotional world. Whereas loneliness is a longing for connection; a strong desire to encounter emotional closeness with yourself or others.