With spring not too far away and Valentine’s Day smack in the middle, some call February the month of love and romance. So this is a good time to address one of the most prevailing issues in our society: the fear of being alone. By nature humans are social creatures; we love to share our time, dreams, joys, successes and challenges with those we care about. Yet, while the world population continues to dramatically increase, more and more people struggle with loneliness. A survey showed that one in three adults in the US is afraid of being alone.
The fear of being alone can hit you whether you are single or in a relationship. You may be afraid when your partner is leaving for a trip because you don’t feel equipped to deal with emergency situations or unforeseeable problems. You can’t imagine moving away from your family and old friends because you need their comfort and guidance. Yet, one of the most common hallmarks of the fear of being alone is that you don’t like spending time on your own. Being alone makes you feel nervous, sad and uncomfortable; your mind seems to spin into negativity and ‘what if thinking’, which is why you turn on the TV or call someone just distract yourself from yourself. It is like having to spend time with an annoying room-mate, who constantly tries to get your attention.
It is the discomfort and uneasiness of being alone, that may make you cling to relationships, even if they are not necessarily fulfilling or supportive. You control your partner with anger and blame, or you accept intolerable or even abusive behavior just to not be single again. Although you realize that being in a loveless relationship can make you feel even more alone than if you would be by yourself, the presence of a warm body still appears more reassuring than having to deal with life on your own.
Just like you can’t overcome the fear of not being good enough by either procrastinating or striving for approval from others, you can’t overcome the fear of being along by either avoiding yourself or becoming dependent on others. What causes this fear isn’t the lack of relationships with others – but the absence of a relationship with yourself. But how do you stop feeling uncomfortable with yourself and learn to know, appreciate and trust yourself more? And is it possible to eventually become your own best friend?
Join me on Empowerment Radio this Wednesday from 11 to noon PST and learn how you can heal the fear of being alone at its subconscious roots so that you are able to enjoy and appreciate the one person, you will spend every day for the rest of your life with.