by Nancy Fagan-Murphy, M.S., WomenAndTransition.comPeople commonly feel lonely during times of transition. It's a period that is often associated with a loss of some kind (i.e. relationship, home, fertility, pet, health, role in life) and with that comes a void. The very definition of this word according to Webster`s dictionary is, "cut off from others, sad from being alone, a feeling of desolateness."Loneliness is a powerful human emotion that is built into us for a reason-people need to fill their voids with something new in order to maintain emotional balance. It may also indicate that the people in your life are not meeting your emotional needs; therefore, it`s time for you to expand your pool of friends. Without this emotion, what would propel people to maintain friendships, family, and intimate relationships? Not much.Keep a chart of when you feel you`re most lonely. Common times are evenings and weekends. Make a pact with yourself to either reach out to others or get out of the house during your down times. Go to public places where people congregate: parks, church, libraries, bookstores, shopping areas. Join organizations or volunteer. Rather than existing among others passively, make an attempt to connect with the people around you. You'll be surprised by the doors that open with a simple, "Hello." Loneliness will be a distant memory before you know it. It`s up to you to take the first step and make it happen.Nancy Fagan-Murphy, M.S., author of "The Complete Idiot`s Guide to Romance" and "Desirable Men: How to Find Them." To read more, visit WomenAndTransition.com.