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I know many farmers, several tweeters, and a few friends that all express the same feeling at different times. Loneliness.

Regardless of your circumstances or sex as you get older, if you remain single, or become single, you find yourself surrounded by people in relationships, with children that appear to have a greater meaning or motive in their lives. You can be lonely, and those with various relationships, whether they be partners, children, or significant others, may not understand your position. If you are lucky, you may be happy with your lot. Alone does not mean lonely.

I only have a little insight into this. Aged 27 I had consoled myself to be single and was lucky enough to be happy with my lot, largely thanks to my job, friends and colleagues. This changed by the age of 33, I was married with my first child. I have a small insight in what it is like to be single and alone. It is a simple fact that, despite our great advances, life is generally geared in favour of those in relationships with partners. Our social and economic systems favour such relationships.

If you add to this the isolation caused by location and working hours of farming it is understandable that many in agriculture find themselves in this position.

Being alone, especially if you feel lonely, can be a significant risk factor in your mental and physical health. It is very easy for others to give advice, but the remedy is for the individual to discover what works for them.

I have no magic remedy to follow other than a couple of thoughts:

The psychologist Viktor Frankly said,"A man who has nothing else in this world may still know bliss." This is because he believed we choose how to view any situation. For example, if your partner dies before you, you have spared them the grief and sorrow you feel. He believed we can choose how we view any situation. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Secondly are the words of Grayson Perry about Men's rights that also apply to women.

" The right to be vulnerable.

The right to be weak.

The right to be wrong.

The right to be intuitive

The right to know.

The right to be uncertain.

The right to be flexible.

The right not to be ashamed of any of these. "

If you are a lonely farmer do not be afraid to ask to be listened to:

Lincs Rural Support Network helpline me 8am to 8pm 0800 138 1710

Farm Community Network 7am to 11pm 03000 111 999

You are not alone.

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