Who wants to be alone? Some people love being single. They enjoy solitary afternoons where they can kick back and relax, do a bit of writing, play some video games, and do all of these without interruption.
For others, time alone may sound like an absolute nightmare.
What makes us feel lonely when we aren’t attached, and can this fear of being alone come back to bite us when we do find ourselves in a relationship?
Why we feel lonely
The official term for fear of being alone is monophobia.
The Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research brought out an interesting point about being alone when it states that loneliness is not necessarily caused by being alone, but by being without a needed relationship.
When not in a romantic relationship, many people feel lonely even when loving friends and family surround them.
Research says that loneliness can lead to mental health disorders, alcohol abuse, difficulty sleeping, and negatively impact our health.
It doesn’t exactly sound like a picnic, does it?
Being alone sucks for most people, but the fear of loneliness may cause us to make poor decisions.
How the fear of being alone affects your love life
Here are all the different ways that the fear of being alone is harming our love lives.
1. Putting up with toxic people
The concoction of low self-esteem and the fear of being alone may drive some toward (or to stay with) toxic partners.
Common signs of a toxic relationship include:
- You’re always dealing with drama
- Disrespectful/belittling comments or actions
- The constant cycle of trying to rescue or fix your partner
- Partner is selfish/egotistical
- Partner constantly lies
- Physical/mental/sexual abuse
Nobody should have to deal with any of the above in any relationship – especially not a romantic one.
Nevertheless, if one person is afraid to be alone, they may reason, “My partner doesn’t treat me very well, but at least I’m not alone” and let toxic behaviour slide.
2. You stay for the wrong reasons
As we see above, the fear of being alone can make you stay in toxic relationships for the wrong reasons, but it can also make you stay in BORING relationships.
When people get out of serious relationships, they often rebound with a new relationship. This isn’t a bond that’s supposed to last, necessarily. It’s just there to kill the loneliness.
Now imagine your rebound relationship goes on for years and years with a person you’re not exactly crazy about, aren’t super attracted to, and don’t have much in common with.
Don’t let the fear of loneliness and staying with the wrong person be why you miss out on a worthwhile connection.
3. Self-love, who?
When you’re always relying on someone else to make you happy, you’re robbing yourself from developing self-love.
Self-love will help you avoid getting together with the wrong people because it gives you a new appreciation for who you are and what you deserve.
You set standards for yourself and won’t settle for romances that go nowhere.
4. You’re missing out on true happiness
The biggest reason being alone can negatively impact your love life is because you’re preventing yourself from finding true happiness.
You miss out on a great relationship with yourself and erasing opportunities to strengthen your friendships, but you’re preventing yourself from finding your perfect partner.
You deserve to find the right relationship. The one that gives you butterflies and bursts with chemistry. You deserve to find THE ONE!
Overcoming the fear of being alone
Now that you know how the fear of being alone can prevent great things from happening, you may be wondering what you can do to combat your nerves to face the world solo.
1. Embrace the silence
Alanis Morissette said it best in her song ‘All I Want’ when she said, “Why are you so petrified of silence. Here can you handle this?” The track then goes silent before Morissette comes back in singing, “Did you think about your bills, your ex, your deadlines, or when you think you’re gonna die? Did you long for the next distraction?”
So, why are we so afraid of silence?
The truth is, constant distractions surround us. We have our phones, friends, partners, parents, YouTube videos, mood music, podcasts, television, and games – the list goes on and on.
Combat this and try to spend 10 to 30 minutes a day without technology, books, or other distractions getting in your way. Take that time to exercise, take a bath, and just enjoy your thoughts.
2. Go on a date with yourself
One of the biggest ways you can banish the fear of being alone is to go on a date with yourself. Eat at a restaurant alone, go to a museum with only your thoughts for company, go learn a new hobby.
Many find the thought of going out solo to be a little scary, but the results are well worth the effort. You will boost your self-confidence, learn to embrace the silence, and even meet new friends along the way.
3. Enhance your friendships
Instead of feeling anxious or sad that you aren’t in a relationship, why not use the time you have alone to strengthen your friendships or create new ones?
4. Work on self-love
When you learn not only to love yourself but get to know yourself, you boost your self-awareness. This will help you understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. It’ll help build your confidence and allow you to set personal goals for yourself.
Self-love will make you feel happier in your life, boost your confidence, and strengthen your convictions.
These great benefits for you are great, but they’ll also teach you how to love your future partner in the most authentic way possible.
Being afraid to be alone can negatively affect your self-love, cause you to settle for toxic behaviour in your relationships, and rob you from having true happiness.
You can overcome the fear of being alone, boost your self-worth, and set yourself up for healthy future relationships.