Loneliness is a lie. It is caused by a thought. It's all in your mind. It is a thought followed by a feeling . Definition of Loneliness: sadness because one has no friends or company.
It sounds like you experience a feeling of sadness knowing you lack “company” for the night. i.e. “It really sets in about the moment I walk in my house after work and *realize (have a thought) that I'm going to be here, all alone (besides the occasional text) until my ass wakes up for work the next day.”
You are leaving the moment and suffering feelings of sadness caused by future events that haven't occurred yet…meaning, you “feel” bad because you perceive an event (being alone for the next 5 hours until bed) as being your reality. So instead, change that shit.
You have unlimited options. First, do something. Entertain yourself. Be alone and make a 3 course meal and dessert and watch RAMBO. Learn a new skill, take an online course. Meditate and watch your thoughts as if they were logs floating down a river. Just experience them coming and going. Don't judge them or “hold on” to one of them…just let them flow in and out. Where do they come from? Where do they go? Can you even slow your mind down enough to pay attention. I could go on ad infinitum. Just do something. Make a decision to not experience loneliness and take action.
What I did: If you need something to get you moving, I started with cleaning my apartment from top to bottom with insane attention to detail. This action removed/interrupted the rumination in my head over the fact that “I was going to be alone all night”.
YOU are the maker of your reality. Stop relying on outside influences to calm your inner state of being. I stopped answering texts and instead would call the person and have a real conversation. I studied my craft more. I watched Netflix and finished several series alone. I walked to the local coffee shop and got to know the owner as I sat and simply watched my fellow human beings go about their day.
Loneliness v.s. Solitude
Loneliness is a feeling. Solitude is a state of BEING. Definition of Solitude: the state or situation of being alone. (Notice the word “situation”. You can always change your “situation”. You are not a powerless being.)
Choosing to participate in the “loneliness” state of mind is dis-empowering. Solitude is an empowering state of BEING.
Allow yourself to participate in the experience of solitude and the “feelings of loneliness” will dissolve. Power from within you returns. Loneliness lacks purpose. Solitude is purpose.
IMPORTANT REMINDER on Rumination
When people ruminate, they over-think or obsess about situations or life events, such as work or relationships. Research has shown that rumination is associated with a variety of negative consequences, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, binge-drinking and binge-eating. Don't EVER ruminate.