There's a difference between being alone and being lonely. Being alone means there's no significant other to wake up next to, to call when we get good news, or to kiss goodnight after a long day. Being lonely means living perpetually in a world not being able to escape ourselves and craving anything but our own company.
Although the balance may seem awkward or difficult to strike at first, it will get easier. Soon, it will be second nature and life will become much richer when happiness is not only dependent on others. There is nothing more rewarding at times than to be able to wear pajamas the whole day and simply use the time as one pleases.
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Who wants to be alone? My dad's words made no sense to me at the time. The idea of walking into a restaurant and saying to the hostess "Just one, please" is daunting, terrifying, and depressing. Movies alone. Shopping alone. Entire weekends alone. It all just sounds and feels terrible. Bleak. Until it doesn't.