Fear of being alone!

I used to think the worst thing in life was to be all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to be with people who make you feel all alone.    – Robin Williams

A friend’s sister was going through a marriage crisis. Everyday she would cry to her mother and sister about the turmoil she was going through. Her parents, extremely open minded and tough as nails, finally asked her to walk out of her marriage. But the girl decided to stay on… reason given – ‘what if I end up alone and don’t find anyone.’

Seen this before? Of course, right? And then you have people who post breakup immediately go onto Tinder looking for love or get into a relationship on the rebound. Anything to fill the void of being alone.

Basically, humans are social creatures, and we tend to seek out relationships in some form or the other. None of us want to be ‘alone’. Our society has made us believe in the concept of true love.. and ‘The One’.. This person has been burdened with the responsibility of being our key to everlasting happiness. The ‘monkey’ has been put on their shoulder, for our peace of mind. Scary isn’t it?

Coming back to my friend’s sister, many of us, like her, end up remaining in unhappy relationships because the fear or inertia is unsurmountable. Even when I called off my marriage, I remember this paralysing fear I had of being alone. I had been with my ex since I was 18yrs old.. and now at 30 to find myself single again was absolute torture. All my friends were either married or having babies and here I was freshly single and with all sorts of insecurities creeping up.

You know, the fact is we are all afraid that at some point we might be alone; it’s only natural. But the important thing is to not settle for something because of this fear. Fear can cause us to become desperate and make wrong choices.

Always make choices from a position of strength and not weakness. So, what are some things we can do to help us overcome this fear?

What is your social circle like: It’s not quantity but quality that matters here. What kind of people do you associate with? People who are only trying to get hitched or the ones who realise that relationships are only a part and not their whole life.

Post my divorce, I remember meeting someone who was single. She too was in her 30s but her entire attitude to being single felt so fresh and different. She wasn’t afraid. And although alone, she wasn’t lonely. It kind of turned my world around. I started breathing easier. I had been so cocooned in my little world; I hadn’t realised there were so many different kinds of people out there. It’s then, I learnt to accept my situation better and not feel pressurised in anyway.  

Try rewriting your story. We all have a script running in our head. Graduate by 25 à get married by 29 à kids by blah blah.. and when reality doesn’t catch up with the story, we start palpitating.

Now all fears have a root cause. Identify this root cause. I think the 1 simple thing we can start doing is the “why, why, why, why” and “what will happen if this happens”…  as you go deeper, you will realise that most of it could be just negative self-talk or some belief that you have carried with you since childhood. This exercise helped me when I had to overcome my fear of putting myself out there about my cancer.

And once you have gotten to the bottom of why being alone is okay, try rewriting your story. And make it kickass!

Reconnect with yourself: I learned to love myself rather late in the game. It took cancer for me to finally love myself. But for people who fear being alone, it’s the one thing to prioritise. Your entire perspective to others and your relationship changes once you start loving yourself. It’s then that you truly start realising if you deserve such love or better. That your happiness is not dependant on someone else all the time.

If I have to look back, I learned so much about myself and the world back when I was alone. I learned to be independent, made some great new friends, learned to give my happiness a front seat and so much more.

Being single is not a jail sentence, especially in this day and age. To be okay with the situation you are in, and not let fear dictate your next move is important… always remember, your vibe attracts your tribe!