Loneliness is the gap between the level of connectedness you want and the level of connectedness you actually feel.
Many people are now using social media and the Internet to meet others. Just last weekend I had breakfast with someone who I hadn't seen for nearly 25 years, who I reconnected with via Facebook. And I know several people who have met partners via website dating services (although they are a little shy about telling you this).
I find myself unconsciously wondering about new contacts, and whether they will be a good friend-fit for me. I hope for a level of self-awareness, vulnerability, thoughtfulness and a willingness to reciprocate equivalent investment in potential friends.
One of my greatest pleasures in life is to engage in a meaningful conversation - to be trusted by another person with their vulnerability, and conversely, to believe they understand me, are interested and accept me without passing judgment. This sounds intense, but friendships build over time and as levels of trust are embedded, then more and more vulnerability and acceptance is released.
Someone once said that:
"Really great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget."
I agree. So to all my friends, thank you for your friendship. You are highly valued and much loved.