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New to being Lonely
Hello, I am 29 and I live in Tennessee. I spent 10 years in the military, and retired in 2018. I am a single dad to one son. I just recently broke up with my girlfriend. She is now my ex. I was not happy with her, so I decided it was best to let her go. I went through a divorce in 2019 and then started dating so I was not really ever lonely, but boy I am now. I have a ton of tattoos, and people in this area do not like that look, so it is hard to get dates with decent women. I am hoping to find someone long distance that will eventually become short distance. My question is, what do you all do when you feel really lonely?
We post here.
Chasewells9191, as Broken heart suggests, people in your shoes do gravitate here where you'll find others facing the same struggles as you and offering support.  There's always suggestions discussed, but more often than not, people tend to resist change and maintain the path they're on unless a tragic event happens or they meet a significant person that influences them.  I can't be that significant person when you don't even know me, but allow me to give my perspective just the same so you can at least ponder it.  I have two answers for you.

First, as a life long single myself twice your age who's never had the love or support of a family, I've made extraordinary efforts to find a girl/mate myself - to no avail so far.  I can say though that there are certainly an abundance of them out there seeking the same thing in return.  And I've found that the on-line date sites can offer people the most efficient way to maximize one's potential for finding a companion.  By working several sites, one can easily peruse tens of thousands of prospects, producing far more statistical odds for success than the miniscule number one meets in normal daily life.  I'm not suggesting that you ignore the prospects you might meet in daily life, but that you augment it with 3 or 4 web date sites.  Even though I've never found my mate yet through that venue, and even though there are naturally bad players in the game, I still think its a very legitimate resource for any single person to use, and you have a wide variety in types to choose from.  Your tats will of course scare off many prospects, but we all have various traits that do the same.  That doesn't rule out everybody though.  You're still young and will be prime girl catching material through your 30's, 40's, and 50's, particularly with foreign girls in less developed countries.  So, stay optimistic.

Second, your question has an answer that goes beyond finding your next girlfriend or otherwise erasing your feelings of loneliness.  The reality is you may or may not find the right companion or friends in life that satisfy your relationship needs.  Few actually do.  You may have to live with the deficiency the same way we have to live with other problems in life - many of which never get resolved.  That doesn't mean you can't or won't find a girl as I suggested above, but as Broken Heart and others here have revealed, being hitched with someone doesn't necessarily negate loneliness.  So what's the deeper answer or solution?

While you're spending time and effort trying to improve your life's relationships and fulfill your own perceived needs, the years will pass and one deficiency or problem will generally be replaced by another.  It seems like we spend a whole life with struggles, so obviously we must learn how to face and manage them, rather than just look forward to having a perfect life.  How do we best do that?
I believe the answer lies with one's world view, which defines who you are, why you're here, and what your purpose in life is.  That's also what religion defines.  Personally, I believe that Christianity not only offers the best evidence of being the one true faith in this world, but also offers the best answers to our questions and challenges in life.  Concerning all of our deficiencies and problems, Jesus gives us an answer:  the most important thing in this world and life is to know and love the Lord, and to love and care for others.  With that, the answer to how best to manage our problems is evident.  We direct our attention outward rather than inward.  We focus our time and attention on God and others.  In my case, I've found this to be the real solution to loneliness, not by eliminating it, but by making it less important.  I have meaning and purpose to my life, and that's evident whether I'm single or not.  You should have the same. 

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