Sherrie Campbell, PhD
Veteran, licensed Psychologist
Being single isn’t fun. In fact, it can be a very lonely time, and that time only becomes worse if being single or being alone is your biggest fear. There are many benefits to alone time and the most significant benefit is learning how to love yourself, stand on your own and work on building your confidence. There is nothing more appealing than confidence and nothing more attractive. If you continue to end up in dead-end relationships, your fear of being alone is probably keeping you with the wrong partners.
3 Self-Sabotage Patterns Driven by Fear:
1. Dating the Emotionally Unattached:
When we are afraid of being alone, we become needy. The greatest counterpart to someone needy is a partner who doesn’t need us. This becomes a game of cat and mouse with the cat always chasing — but never catching — the mouse. If your partner doesn’t take the time to nurture you or the other relationships in their life, there is no way you are going to be “the one” to change them. This is about emotional maturity. The emotionally unavailable are not mature enough to sustain any more than a cat and mouse game. If you stay with someone like this, you will feel more alone than if you were single, but your fears of being alone keep you from seeing rejection as more painful than aloneness.
2. Excusing The Unacceptable:
The fear of being alone can trap you into accepting treatment that is far below the standard of what you deserve. If you find that you are constantly justifying and rationalizing your partner’s treatment by saying to yourself or to others that “nobody’s perfect,” or “it’s not that bad,” then you are running from your own insecurity into a relationship that will only create more insecurity for you. Further, justifying and staying in these dead-end relationships only keeps you from finding the right person for you.
3. Not Letting Go of Ex’s:
If you are unable to let go of past relationships, needing to hang on or keep somewhat of a door open just in case you end up single again, you put too many players on the field. If you really want to be in love, you have to be able to take the risk of committing yourself to one person. If you have closed a chapter with an ex, keep it closed so you can give yourself fully to the new person in your life.
The fear of being alone drives us to lose our perspective on love and the value we have for ourselves. We will date anyone, accept anyone, chase after anyone and/or not let go of any of them. The best way to find a lasting relationship is not when you are in one. The best time to find one is to first find a lasting and connected grounding with your own self, with your life and with your worth. The best time to meet someone is when you no longer feel that “need” for a relationship. It is your job to create an individual life that you like so much that you do not need to be rescued from it.