Fear of being alone can lead to unhealthy relationship decisions. I have heard many client say things like, “I know that this relationship is bad for me, but . . .” The “buts” include: I cannot be alone, I have never not been in a relationship, I am tired of trying to find someone, I am afraid I will never find anyone and so on. People, men or women, who are afraid of being alone, will often choose an unhealthy relationship over the possibility of having no relationship. They see the red flags, but choose to ignore them because they feel a desperate need to be in a relationship regardless of the cost. Facing your fear of being alone can be difficult. Having connections with other people represents a basic human need. We all need to feel loved and that we matter to someone. Sometimes people will settle for a negative connection rather than face the void of no connection.
The fear of being alone is extremely real for some. Here are some things to think about that may help calm that fear:
- What if you are missing the opportunity to meet someone who will love and respect you? It can be difficult to stick to doing what you know is best for you. Try putting the thought, “There is someone better coming,” in the back of your mind.
- Fear-based decisions are seldom good decision. If you were to act free from any fear, what choice would you make?
- You are already alone. Feeling alone and unloved when you are in a relationship may be worse that being alone.
- Being single for a time may give you an opportunity to get to know yourself, to stretch and grow and help prepare you to find a much healthier relationship.
Before you decide to leave carefully evaluate your contribution to the relationship. Are you behaving respectfully, acceptingly and lovingly? Have you made your expectations clear and have you set boundaries with your partner? Have you done all that you can to try to create a healthy relationship?
If you really are in a bad relationship, perhaps it would be helpful to accept is that it is better to be single than in an unhealthy relationship. Next it is vital to accept that you are worth it. You deserve to be loved, accepted and respected. Starting with you. Learning to matter to yourself is an important step. Practice loving, accepting and respecting yourself. Work on being comfortable with you.
Be patient and compassionate toward yourself. It may take time for you to build up the courage that you need to do what is best for you. Begin by changing how you think about your situation. Stop saying anything like, I am stuck, I cannot be alone, or I cannot leave. Focus instead on seeing yourself as strong and independent. See yourself in a healthy loving relationship. Facing your fear of being alone may begin you on the path of making better relationship decisions. Leaving is not always the solution, but you do have to do something different if you are going to see different results.