8 common fears about being single – and how to overcome them

Anya Meyerowitz
·4-min read
Photo credit: Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman
Photo credit: Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman

From Red Online

One of the main reasons that people stay trapped in a bad relationship is the fear of crossing the Rubicon and being single for evermore. It can be a big and scary step to take, particularly if it has been a long relationship. And the pandemic doesn't help either — with the added fear of loneliness and fewer opportunities to meet people.

Neil Wilkie, relationship expert, psychotherapist and author of Reset - The Relationship, advises that we should 'reflect on how the relationship is now and whether you have done all you can to improve it?'

If it feels as though you have all you can or the only thing keeping you there is the fear of being single again, then it might be time to face the truth. Though no easy task, there are ways to overcome fears about impending singledom.

Here, Neil talks us through the eight most common fears and how to overcome each of them.

1.'No-one will ever love me again'

This is a very common fear; after all there was only one person in the world who could ever love you!

How to overcome this?

You need to start by loving yourself; unless you can genuinely do this, you are less likely to attract people that love you for who you are. Make a list of all your positive attributes and you could even give yourself positive affirmations as you look at yourself in the mirror every morning.

2.'I have had the best; it is downhill all the way now'

Is that what you genuinely think? What evidence do you have to prove this?

How to overcome this?

Rather than looking back through rose tinted spectacles and nostalgia; look forward to the sort of loving relationship that you would like in the future. Maybe you could even raise the bar to ensure that you find the right relationship in the future.

3.'I’m sentenced to a life of being lonely and single'

The only one that might sentence you to that is yourself and your negative self-talk.

How to overcome this?

Reflect on what you learned from the last relationship and what you can take with you into the future one. Draw yourself a picture of your ideal future. Get a sense of what that will feel like and what you need to do to get you there.

4.'I’m too old; no-one will want me'

The oldest couple to get married in the UK had a combined age of 194 years, so there is probably some hope for you yet!

How to overcome this?

Be realistic about your expectations; if you think you will be attractive to someone that is young enough to be your child, think again. Look for a partner that will have had similar life experiences to you and has compatible dreams for your futures.

5.'I will rush into a worse one on the rebound'

That is an easy mistake to fall into; because all suitable partners are disappearing rapidly!

How to overcome this?

Pause, take a breath and start to savour the search. Be very clear about what you want and where you are setting the bar. You might even enjoy the journey even if it will take a time to reach the destination.

6.'It will be embarrassing; my friends, family and colleagues won’t know what to do'

If your friends and family like and love you then they will be there to support you in finding a new relationship. They will know that love can be an elusive and difficult journey.

How to overcome this?

Avoid turning this into a drama where you are the victim and your ex is a truly horrible person. Be positive about what you have learned from the past relationship and be open and honest about what you want in the future. Enlist the help of your friends, family and colleagues to find the right person. They will enjoy the journey too!

7.'It will show that I am a failure'

Who is judging you? Is it better to have had the strength to end a bad relationship than clinging on?

How to overcome this?

Change your perspective from looking backwards to enjoying being in the now and looking forward to a new and better relationship.

8.'I won’t be able to have children'

Is the biological clock ticking away and is having children vitally important to you? You might be surprised that the oldest natural birth in the UK was at the age of 59.

How to overcome this?

Focus on being fit, healthy and happy. Then find your ideal partner to support you in that. Switch off that internal clock as it will be a distraction and may lead you to bad decisions.

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