There is a difference. I can tell you from personal experience. Sometimes they go together, but often times they do not.
Growing up through high school and through my early college years, I was never alone, but I was often lonely. Even in relationships with women I would find myself becoming lonely and depressed following the initial honeymoon phase of the relationship. Back then, I had dozens of friends and many people knew me. I haven’t had trouble remembering all their names there were so many… that or it was the copious amounts of pot I was smoking on a daily basis but I can’t say for sure. Living in a frat house, there were dozens of friends around and parties several times a week. However, I can tell you that there was no moment in my life where I was a lonelier person than being in that environment.
2014 was an interesting year for me. It was when I became fully red pill-aware and began shifting away from libertarianism towards reactionary in my politics (though I still hold some libertarian sympathies). Even in the beginning of the year I was still having trouble dealing with loneliness even though I was in a relationship. I certainly had become more alone in my personal life since this is post-college and I am working. In my work, I work alone. So this can often compound the loneliness a person feels. Combine with it the fact that your friends are be married off to harpies who won’t let have an ounce of freedom because the men willingly and eagerly give away their balls (my friends are extremely blue pill). Your social life takes a bit of a hit as well. Also, you tend to glorify a career beyond the satisfaction that it can realistically provide, leaving you feel a little empty. Being alone and being lonely is never a fun combination. So I did what any reasonable person would do in such a situation and began to drink heavily.
I remember the particular moment I felt that I hit rock bottom (or so to say). It was around March of 2014. It was hearing that a friend may potentially lose his job over some politically incorrect things he said. It was pretty upsetting to me. The things he said were not very extreme at all (certainly not as extreme as what you would find in your average DE blog). You feel for your friend because you realize that if he could be fired for what he said, then anyone of us certainly could be fired as well. It was a feeling of helplessness over the current situation compounded by loneliness, being alone, and the drink.
Enter the red pill.
The feeling of helplessness was a feeling that was so unpleasant that it drove me to looking for answers. I was already aware of the red pill but have not really dabbled much in it. I found the Roosh V Forum and joined. It was here that I found the answers I was looking for.
My mother is literally dead, my father is figuratively dead to me, I have no immediate family, no children, no wife, no girlfriend, my friends are pretty lame, I work alone, and I live alone. I have had to support myself since Day 1 of adulthood. I am about as alone as any person can be sans the mountain hermit. However, I am not lonely. In fact, I have never felt happier to be honest with you.
I didn’t find exact answers per se but I did find myself as cliche as it sounds. The manosphere is a community that I respect greatly because it provided me a place where I could build myself up to become a better man. It was finding my mission, or my purpose in life, that made me feel content with myself. It has been the strides I have been making in terms of self-improvement that have built up my confidence and self-esteem. I got back to hitting those weights after being dormant for nearly a decade. I read 20 books last year (the most I have ever read in a year). I went on my first international trip last year to the Philippines (Sorry Canada, you don’t count). I started this blog and apparently people read it. I also added several notches to the belt. I made myself my mission in 2014 and this is the happiest I have been in a long time.
I really do owe it to the manosphere for “saving” me if you will. Reading the stories, sharing wisdom, connecting with like-minded people. It is a great resource for any man out there.
I am alone but I am not lonely. So, reader, if you are lonely, I would suggest you do some self-reflection and ask yourself what you can be doing to make yourself a better person. Perhaps you have been unknowingly neglecting the person that matters most: you.