Is Your Fear Of Being Alone Ruining Your Life?
Nobody wants to be alone. Having somebody is obviously better than being alone. But it’s important that that somebody is right for you, and not just anybody to fill the void. This is something I’ve told multiple of my friends, countless times, who seem to do a lot of relationship hopping. They’ll be in hysterics, crying, fearing they’ll never be happy again one day and then the next day…telling me all about this new guy they’re seeing. Huh? Did I miss something? They were just completely torn up about somebody else. I’d love to call it resilience, but it’s not—it’s fear of being alone.
“That was fast,” I’ll say. “Glad we could get you over that heartache so quickly…all that ice cream and Thai food I brought over must have really helped!” I’ll add that bit sarcastically, just to remind her that I took a lot of time and energy to help her with her recent “heartache” and it seems like it wasn’t that serious after all. A little annoying as the friend in the situation. “I don’t like to be single,” she replied, sheepishly.
Nobody likes to be single—that’s what I told my friend. When people are single, it’s not necessarily because they love it, but rather because they A) are confident and stable enough to remain single while they B) are looking for a good match and not just any match. My friend doesn’t quite see the problem yet with frantically jumping from one relationship to the next. But, that fear of being alone—it’s one of the biggest things we need to tackle in life if we’ll ever be happy. Everyone has that fear. Not everyone overcomes it. But if you don’t, it can rule your life aka ruin it. It’s a very powerful fear.
It feeds on-again-off-again things
If you are in one of those terrible, energy sucking, emotionally brutal on-again-off-again relationships, it’s likely because you’re afraid of being alone. Once you find someone who will always take you back, that’s a very addicting thing for someone who is afraid of being alone. But those relationships stunt your growth and ruin your self-esteem.
You’re always drawn back in
You want to leave a bad relationship. You have all the best intentions. You’ve identified the problems and you understand that you plus that person = bad news. And you confidently declare it’s over. But then, you’re faced with the prospect of being alone, and since you haven’t faced that fear and tackled it, you turn right back around, and stay in that bad relationship. You believe it’s better than being alone—you don’t know any better, since you’ve never tried being alone.
You always have a backup
Even when you’re in a relationship (likely a bad one, if it was just borne of a fear of being alone), you already have a backup plan. You’ve identified someone you’ll cozy up to, if and when this relationship goes south. You’ve started slowly confiding in this person about your current bad relationship, developing that trust—that bond—and building the idea that you could be single soon.
So you take no time to breathe
Since you have a backup, and you walk right out of one relationship into another, you take no time to breathe. You take no time to assess what went wrong in the last relationship. For that very reason, most of your relationships likely look identical. Life will throw you the same misery over and over again until you finally learn the lesson you’re meant to learn from it.
Also, that backup causes fights
Oh, and that backup beau you have is one of the reasons your relationships always end. Your boyfriend sees it—this new “friendship” you’re developing with this other dude. All the texting and the coffee hangouts. And you start throwing it in his face when you fight—you let him know the other guy never acts like he’s acting. Your very fear of being alone is causing you to do things that are ending your relationships.
Friend time is all about guys
When you spend time with your friends, you’re really just thinking about your boyfriend, or about finding a boyfriend. You shoehorn the plan, and force everyone to go to the party that guy you like invited you to, even if that’s not what they want to do. In a group setting with friends and a potential love interest, you dominate the conversation, and throw your friends under the bus so you look the best.
In fact, friends are just accessories
Your female friends are just accessories that help you find and keep guys (you don’t keep them long, though). You’ve burnt a lot of female friend bridges, because other women see it. They see that your love life will always come first. They see that you aren’t really listening to them when they talk to you over dinner—you’re scanning the room for men.
You’ll drop everything for a guy
You’ll change all of your plans, screw people over, and bend over backwards in order to see a guy or make your boyfriend happy. You’ll cancel on friends at the last minute. You’ll pressure your friends to let you bring your boyfriend along to girls’ night. You’ll bail on driving your friend to the airport or helping her with her party planning, to be with the guy. You aren’t reliable—you’re only loyal to your fear of being alone.
You accept some crappy friends, too
That fear of being alone means you have little filter for whom you let into your life, too. That means both romantic and platonic. You just want to make sure you have someone to talk to and hang out with at all hours. So you will likely attract others with a fear of being alone, and find yourself in many unhealthy, codependent friendships.
Like friends who aren’t nice to you
You may also let in some friends who just aren’t nice to you—friends who boss you around, who belittle you, who treat you like a doormat, and who generally take advantage of the fact that you need them. Domineering personality types seek out those who are afraid of being alone so that they can boss them around.
You aren’t focusing on you
What about you? Not you the girlfriend or partner or boo or wifey. But you as the individual. Who is she? What does she want? Is there anything she wants to work on? Places she’d like to travel? Skills she’d like to hone? You may not even think about those things because all you focus on is how to find a partner/be a girlfriend at all times.
You can’t—you have another boss
You really can’t put your personal journey first when you’re afraid of being alone. Working on yourself requires time alone, and that’s just time you’re not willing to take. You can’t possibly just do you when you have a romantic partner (it would make you a sh*tty partner). So you’ve never given yourself the freedom to pursue your passions and goals at full speed.
It kills your confidence
Though you may chase relationships to appease your low self-esteem, you’re only making it lower by doing so. You’re training your brain to believe, “I cannot be alone. I won’t survive alone. I don’t know how to be single.” That’s crippling for self-esteem.
You don’t speak up
You never speak up when you’re unhappy in a relationship—platonic or romantic. More than you want to say what you need to say, you just want the person to stay. You’re so afraid that making any sort of demands would drive a person away, so you make no demands, and you tolerate miserable and sub-par relationships.
Nobody trusts your judgment
Others struggle to trust you—to trust that you’ll do what you say you’ll do, to trust that you have conviction, and to trust that you even know yourself. How could they trust any of those things, if each time you say “it’s over” with a guy, you get back with him? Or each time you say you’re going to voice your needs in a relationship…you don’t?