I'm a professional freelance writer who has been writing about breakups and relationships for over eight years.
How to Cope With the Fear of Being Alone Forever
After a few cycles of bad dates and dead-end relationships, I started to think, "Oh my goodness, I'm going to be alone forever. There must me something wrong with me!" Then, of course, years went by, I slapped some sense into myself, and I found a great partner, but I also realized how widespread this fear is.
Everyone I know is either trying to find someone, forget someone, or deal with someone. The desire for loving attachment is one of the most basic, enduring, and natural human needs. A lot of people out there feel like they will never find love. They have a nagging feeling that maybe they are "doomed" to be alone forever, or maybe they are too "flawed" to be loved—and that, my friends, is a very painful thing to feel.
I want you to believe you are a worthy person. I want you to believe that you deserve to be loved and to find a romantic partner that will cherish you. Get rid of the fear of being forever single. Remember, fear is just an emotion that you are having, a belief about your future—it's not reality.
10 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Being Single
- Stop criticizing yourself.
- Feel good about yourself.
- Realize that you have something valuable to offer.
- Change the way you think and feel about potential romantic partners.
- Change the way you think and feel about being single.
- Focus on the things you already have.
- Schedule activities.
- Don't idealize other people's relationships.
- Don't be jealous of other people's relationships.
- Seek professional help.
1. Stop Criticizing Yourself
Take an honest look at how often you put yourself down during an average day. How often do you criticize yourself by telling yourself things like: I'm so stupid. I'm too fat. I'm too old. I'm ugly. I'm damaged goods. I always screw things up. I'm an idiot. And so on and so forth. Rings a bell? Well, if you talk to yourself in this way, your mood will drop, your fears and insecurities will increase, and you are basically conditioning yourself to believe you are an unworthy person. Your thoughts have a direct impact on how you feel.
It's simple. Think good things: feel good. Think bad things: feel bad.
You are doing this to yourself! Stop it! Be gentle with yourself. Maybe someone else made you believe you were unworthy through criticism, abuse, or rejection. Don't give your power away just because some fool criticized you. Honey, you're the bomb! Who was this fool, anyway? Forgive yourself for making mistakes.
When the voice of negative self-talk comes on, try this: Tell the voice to leave you alone; tell your inner voice to stop pestering you; say to yourself: I'm a worthy person. It's a no brainer, hot-stuff: if you keep focusing on your perceived shortcomings, you'll trick yourself into believing no one will ever want to be with you.
2. Feel Good About Yourself
This cannot be said enough. Imagine you walked into a car dealership and the salesman told you he had a car for you. He says, "Well, it's kinda old and beat up. It still runs, but it's high on gas, there's a few scratches on the paint, and I'm not sure how reliable it is." Now, how much would you want to buy that car? You'd be out of there in a New York second and looking for something better in no time, I'm quite sure. Why? Because if the person selling you the car doesn't even believe in the quality of the car, why should you?
This is exactly why you need to increase your confidence and self-esteem. If you don't believe in what you are selling, then why should others? Confidence is attractive. If you believe you have something valuable to offer, so will others. The more you truly love yourself, the more convinced you'll be that you will find your soul mate.
3. Realize You Have Something Valuable to Offer
What are some of your great qualities? Are you an honest, hard-working, sensitive person? Are you an athletic, artistic, family-oriented individual? Are a relaxed, easy-going person, or an organized, efficient person?
Not only can you find someone who shares the same interests and qualities that you hold, but you can also complement (not complete with!) your future partner by bringing in your own strengths to the relationship. Basically, don't think only about what you want from a relationship, but think about what you bring to a relationship and how someone will be happy to benefit from your great qualities.
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4. Change the Way You Think and Feel About Potential Romantic Partners
So many individuals hold false beliefs about potential partners. Because you've had bad experiences, your way to appraise other people has changed. What are the beliefs you hold about other people in the dating pool? Do you think things like:
- All men are jerks.
- Men only want sex.
- Men fear relationships.
- Men can't be faithful.
- All women are gold diggers.
- All women are emotional explosions.
- All the good ones are taken.
Well, that's simply not true. Men want love and marriage just as much as women do. There are still plenty of great, fun-loving, charming, and gentle people out there. If you hold these negative thoughts about potential partners, your fear of staying single forever multiplies because you are constantly telling yourself that there is no one for you out there. I know a ton of great single males and females who would love to be in a reciprocal loving relationship. A ton!
5. Change the Way You Think and Feel About Being Single
Have you noticed how being married and having children has become a measure of personal success and worth? There seems to be tremendous social pressure to be in a relationship, especially for women. No matter how successful a woman is, if she's single, people think she's either unhappy or so difficult to get along with that she can't make a relationship work. This makes being single look like some sort of personal failure.
You are not a failure. Your personal value is exactly the same whether you are single or in a relationship. Honestly, you could be in a relationship today if you wanted to. It probably wouldn't be a great relationship, but you'd be in a relationship. So being single just means that you want to wait for Mr. or Ms. Right, not Mr. or Ms. Right Now; or it can mean you have taken time to heal from your previous relationship (which seems wise).
6. Focus on What You Do Have
Be grateful for friends and family. Your fear of being alone makes you feel and act desperate (I know—I've been there, too). But nobody wants to fill the position of the interchangeable boyfriend or girlfriend. People want to know you love them for who they are, and that you don't just need someone to take care of you. Be grateful for all the beautiful things that you do have. Focusing on the one thing that is missing from your life makes you miss the larger picture: You have tons of great things going for you already!
7. Schedule Activities Every Week and Enjoy Yourself
Make the most of your time alone and enjoy yourself. Being in a relationship leaves less time for hanging out with friends, reading books, scheduling activities that are just for you (no matter how great your new boyfriend is, I doubt he'll want to go have bikini wax with you). See this as a relational-vacation time! Go out there and have some fun.
By filling your life with activities, you won't focus on the "emptiness" as much. Instead, you'll see that you have a rich life, and you'll feel happier. Being happier will make you an instant date-magnet! People want to be around happy people. Confidence is the most attractive outfit.
8. Don't Idealize Other People's Relationships
Unfortunately, feeling loved and building a significant relationship is so important that a lot of people will prefer to stay in a bad relationship than to be single. Some people build relationships before they get rid of their fear of being single and alone, before they identify what they want, or before they heal the hurt of past relationships.
Are you part of those who try to heal the hurt from a previous relationship with the next? Some people who do this are lucky enough to find a good partner, yes, but not everyone. Some fall into relationships that don't correspond to their personal needs and they wake up 10 years later caught in the middle of a relationship full of turmoil.
Not all couples are happy ones. Be grateful that you have something new and shiny to look forward to—you can wait and choose the kind of partner that really corresponds with your needs.
9. Don't Be Jealous of Other's Relationships
Do you feel a pang of bitterness when your colleague tells you she's getting married? Or when your friend tells you about an amazing date that she's had? You might be thinking "Why her? Why not me?"—and there goes your day. Feel happy for people who find their soulmate, send out positive thoughts out to happy couples you meet on the street.
When you see a happy couple holding hands, think: "How lovely, that's what I want! I can't wait to see who'll be the person holding my hand soon!" This positive thought automatically shifts your perspective and formulates an optimistic view of your own relational future.
10. Seek Professional Help
If you need a bit of extra support in building your self-worth, why not seek help from a therapist? On your path to building greater love and respect or yourself, a little of support and validation can go a long way. Going to therapy doesn't mean there is something "wrong" with you; it means you've decided to take matters in your own hands and to recruit a professional to help you reach your goal.
Thanks for reading. All the best, and don't forget to love yourself!