Having a partner is great, but there are those who overestimate having a boyfriend or a husband and consider the opposite state of celibacy to be the worst in the world.
There is even the popular idea that a person who has not been able to have a partner over the age of 30 will have a problem or even have failed in life.
Due to social pressure and the glorification of being in a relationship, many people have come to develop a true pathological fear of being single. Their fear is so great that they do their best to date someone, even if it means getting caught up in a toxic relationship.
Knowing how to overcome the fear of being single is a great way to gain mental health, a step forward in our development as people, as individuals who, on their own, are already worthwhile. We will find out in more detail how to achieve this.
Characteristics of the fear of being single
Many people dream of having a partner, which many see as a basic need. Proof of this is that there are singles who are desperately looking for someone to date, not because they feel celibacy means failure, that they are worthless without a partner.
Due to this belief, once they manage to have a boyfriend or girlfriend they do their best to keep the relationship going, even if it hurts them. The fear of being single is very intense in the lives of many people, causing them to behave in unhealthy ways.
Needless to say, it’s worth keeping this in mind. Not having a partner is not bad at all in itself. What we need yes or yes from the other half of an orange is a myth: we are already a whole orange, with a lot of juice and which is worth a lot. Celibacy is a moment that far from being interpreted as being alone in this life and that no one wants from us is, in fact, an opportunity to get to know each other better and a very rewarding stage in life.
But despite this evidence, many people continue to fear celibacy as if it is very bad for our health. Why does this fear of being single appear? What are the causes? We will come back to this a few lines later.
Why does the fear of being single arise?
While over the past few decades, society has become more aware that we don’t need to be with another person to be happy, the truth is that the idea of romantic love continues to have an impact. enormous influence on the collective imagination. This is proof that many people believe that in fact having a partner is what gives meaning to our lives, to each other’s.
The media and society are to blame for this belief. We see it in movies, in songs, in novels… we get the idea of romantic love even in children’s films (those of a certain industry with a mouse are a very clear example). They sell us that when everything goes wrong for us we just need to find a partner and by magic all our problems will be solved.
Sounds good, really, but you have to be very naive to believe that the world really works this way. This message is very false, but it still has a notorious power of persuasion.
After all, it is seen as much easier to have a partner than to put a thread in the needle to change the course of our life and to solve our problems. Many people still believe that having a boyfriend or girlfriend is the cure-all, which will solve all of our problems. It is believed that having a partner inherently gives happiness, gives meaning to their life.
Unfortunately, happiness won’t come on its own if we start dating someone. We will only be happier dating someone if our individual lives were going well before we started dating. Happiness does not come from the outside and it is not provided by another person, but it arises from our interior and the relationship we have with ourselves, although external factors can also cause it. influence.
But basically, at least in most cases, who is responsible for our happiness is ourselves.
People who form a couple by deceiving themselves and their family environment often find themselves in a relationship that is not at all satisfying to them., and can even be trapped in a toxic relationship. One of the main problems with this type of relationship is precisely the fear of being single. In fact, this fear of being single ended up being named: anuptaphobia, which is essentially the irrational, persistent, and unwarranted fear of remaining single forever and which includes symptoms of anxiety, obsessions, and depression.
People who have this fear are constantly searching for the meaning of love life. It is for this reason that they are unable to end a relationship with another person in which they feel deeply unhappy, because they believe breaking would end up losing.
We live in a society where if you are over 30 and single or even younger we almost immediately think “you will have a problem”, a problem mostly experienced by women who seem to have a lot that they give. for the sole purpose of reproducing.
The old idea that someone who is unmarried and with children has failed in life is still well established.. We have it so ingrained in our minds that there are those who cannot conceive of the idea of being happy in solitude.
How to overcome the fear of being single?
This may come as a surprise to many people, but the truth is that singles tend to be happier than those in toxic relationships, and as the saying goes, “Better to be alone than to be unaccompanied”.
Either way, our vital focus should not be with someone, but rather, in case the opportunity arises, finding someone and focusing on building a good relationship. In the meantime, the ideal is to learn to be alone and to take advantage of the great freedom that celibacy brings us.
Focusing on finding good relationships and valuing celibacy are the two best actions for dealing with the fear of being single. In addition, they tend to reinforce each other.
One of the secrets of a good relationship is not to need our partner to be happy.. It doesn’t mean that we don’t want to be with that special person in our lives, but we realize that we can survive without the other person. The best love is the one in which both are free, valued, respected and know how to live each on their own without having the feeling of leaving behind the person they want.
To overcome the fear of being single, the following keys should be considered:
1. Improve your self-esteem
Appreciating how we really are and being comfortable with ourselves helps us not depend on others to feel good.. Like everyone else in this world, we have our strengths, even if we are not aware of them. By discovering them, we will see how much we are worth without needing others. With and without a partner, these strengths will continue.
2. Identify negative beliefs about celibacy
As we said, many people see celibacy as a personal failure. We believe that if we are alone, it is because we do not know how to be with others or because others do not find us attractive.. These negative beliefs and many more can be at the root of our fear of being single.
We need to identify them and really assess whether they are right or not, and how much they make us think this is celibacy. Relationships don’t have to be positive or signify success in life, just as celibacy doesn’t have to mean the exact opposite. Everything in this life is relative, with its pros and cons, and only seeing the bad appearance of a situation is what can scare us.
3. Share time with other people
Many tend to associate the loneliness about not having a partner, despite the possibility of having a healthy and extended social life with many friends. It is important to spend some of our time interacting with friends, family and other important peoplewhether we have it or not. It is also highly recommended that you meet new people with whom to establish a friendship.
4. Solve your own problems
We have already said that many people consider this to be the panacea for solving their personal problems with a partner. The reality is that if you’re wrong with yourself, dating someone all you will do is be wrong now with yourself and another person. The only way to have a good relationship with our partner is to solve our own problems, alone or with the help of a psychologist.
- Congost, S. (sf). Handbook of Emotional Emotional Dependence. Psicopedia.org.
- Money Magazine (February 13, 2020). Afraid of being single? It is anuptaphobia.
- Rodriguez de Medina, I. (2013). Emotional dependence in interpersonal relationships. Creative Teaching Electronic Research Journal, 2, 143-148.
- Salabert, E. (December 31, 2020). Anuptaphobia, panic at not having a partner. Webconsultes.com.
- Belloch A., Sandín B. and Ramos F. Manual of psychopathology. Volume II. Mc Graw Hill 2008.