Many of us struggle with the fear of being alone. In romantic relationships, the fear of being alone can cause us to avoid addressing relationship problems or stay in relationships longer than is healthy for us. In friendships, fear of being alone can cause us to have dependency. Even while single, the fear of being alone can lead us to potentially self-destructive relationship or behavioral patterns.
It’s a debilitating fear. It’s also actively harmful. Not only can the fear of being alone keep us from making better decisions in the relationship, but it can also cause us to:
- Overly depend on our partners.
- Feel trapped and unhappy without addressing needs.
- Cause self-doubt, negative self-talk, and other similarly destructive patterns.
Relationships are immensely fulfilling. But the fear of being alone can cause us to hurt our relationships and our own lives.
How to No Longer Fear Being Alone
When a person fears being alone too much, the solutions is independence. By independence, we are not necessarily saying that you need to leave your partner, or that you need to start distancing yourself from them.
But we do mean that you will need to establish, for yourself, that you can do things to live a life without your partner, and that you are with your partner by choice rather than necessity. One way to start this is to begin to teach yourself how to do some of the activities that you used to depend on your partner to do for you. For example:
- Learn to pay bills on your own.
- Learn to work with tools on your own.
- Learn to plan events for your kids on your own.
- Learn to find activities that you can enjoy on your own.
- Learn to take care of your emotional and physical needs.
You can still rely on your partner if that is the dynamic that you have in the relationship. But learning to do these for yourself – showing yourself that you can be independent and are choosing not to – will decrease the reliance on your partner to fulfill your needs, and will take away some of the fear that comes with being alone.
Single people benefit from this as well. There is this saying in relationships that “you only meet people when you stop looking.” That’s not necessarily true, but it is true that the more capable you feel when you’re alone, the more you can ensure that the decisions you make in new relationships are based on your connection, and not on the fear of being by yourself.
If you fear being alone, whether you are in a relationship or not, speaking with a psychologist can help you overcome this fear, while also providing you with yet more tools at your disposal to feel more confident with yourself. Contact us today anywhere in New York state for more about our psychotherapy services.