I see the word ‘someone’ used a lot in sentimental and intimate and romantic ways pretty often. I’ll give a few examples…
“I just want someone to hold me and tell me everything’s going to be okay…”
“I just want someone‘s lips on mine…”
“I just want someone to be there for me when I’m down…”
“I need someone to care enough to reach out/know me/check on me/whatever…”
Even my personal favorite iconic Queen song espouses this kind of language…
Can anybody find me somebody to love?
Or I can go even farther back to Jefferson Airplane…
Don’t you want somebody to love?
Don’t you need somebody to love?
Wouldn’t you love somebody to love?
You better find somebody to love…
(Ok, it’s not ‘someone,’ but somebody = someone.)
I get it. A lot of the time, when human beings get lonely, we ask for ‘someone’ or ‘somebody’ which is a faceless, nameless everyman to fill whatever void it is we’re feeling because we just want the void filled in that moment of desperation. I’ve been there. I love those songs ^^^^. I understand the sentiments in all the romantic (or just generally social) lamentations including ‘someone.’ I really do. Hell, I’ve probably said them myself. I KNOW I’ve sung along to Queen about a thousand times and totally thought I meant it. Before I met J.
But reality is, I never really meant ‘someone.’
I know maybe some people do literally mean ‘someone,’ and I’m not judging that. But I’ve never found any solace or relief in ‘someone’ telling me everything’s going to be alright, or in ‘someone’ holding me, or in ‘someone’ claiming to love me. I have more requirements beyond ‘someone,’ and I always have. I want it to be J. I want it to be my best friend. My son. My favorite people to talk to. I want it to be a person invested in me. I want a person I trust and feel sincerity from and feel comfortable with to hold me, to reassure me, to check up on me, to tell me they love me. I don’t want ‘someone.’ I want someone SPECIAL. And that’s infinitely harder to find.
Sometimes I wish I were a person who could be comforted by ‘someone.’ That I could just put a random internet posting up on social media that said, ‘I’m feeling down and could use some reassurance,’ and whatever takers came at me in the comments could soothe whatever ache was flaring up in that moment, but I’ve actually tried that, and for me, it doesn’t work. It has to be a specific person, or one person out of a finite group of people.
And I obviously can’t speak for every other person who uses ‘someone’ or ‘somebody,’ this way when they are feeling lonely or down, but I’m still going to go out on a limb and guess that most people, at least some of the time, don’t really mean ‘someone’ in its dictionary definition sense–
“Someone: A person who is not known, named, or specified.” (Merriam-Webster)
“Someone: Pronoun; used to refer to a single person when you do not know who they are or when it is not important who they are.” (Cambridge)
I think usually, when we say or write or sing ‘someone,’ we have a specific person in mind. It’s not always romantic. Sometimes it’s your mom. Or your brother. Or your college roommate. Or that kid that sat behind you in 10th grade chemistry.
Maybe sometimes we really don’t know who it is specifically, but we’re still thinking of specificity. She has kind eyes and a great laugh. His hugs feel warm and safe like coming home. They never tell us not to cry or shame us when we’re crying and they always listen until we get out our entire thought without interruption. We’re not seeing ‘someone,’ we’re seeing ‘our person,’ whoever that is. It IS important who it is.
When I write, my characters are looking for, thinking of, needing, wanting, wishing for, ‘someone.’ But I’ve never written a love story where my character settles for just ‘someone,’ ‘somebody,’ the first person, the next person, the only person so far, to come along. Someone and somebody don’t mean anyone or anybody when I write. They mean a specific person. Some of my characters are lonely. Some of them are *painfully* lonely. Misunderstood. Feeling unloved. Or broken. Or exhausted. Or all of that. But they still don’t just want ‘somebody to love.’ They want THEIR PERSON to love.
And when I’m lonely…and exhausted…and feeling maybe a little misunderstood and unloved…like now, when J’s away…I don’t want ‘someone’ to relieve me. I want to talk to my trusted friends. I want to settle down at night with my son. I want J. I want J to come home. Not ‘someone.’ My people. My person. J.