If the pressure to be coupled up is causing you distress, you’re not alone. Post-pandemic anxiety surrounding loneliness and being single is at its peak. Social media is partly to blame. The lingering negativity around being single is deeply ingrained in our culture, which doesn’t help either.
Like many other single people, you might question your value and worth. You might feel like you're not good enough and will never find someone to share your life with.
As you admire happy couples, you can’t help but wonder if you’ll be alone forever. Before you let these thoughts take over your life, you might want to consider a few things.
Things to know
- The fear of being alone is extremely common. In fact, it's biological.
- It's highly unlikely you'll be alone forever, so it's best if you make the most of being single while you can.
- Do some soul-searching into why you've been single for so long. Are you capable of investing in a long-term relationship? Are you emotionally secure?
Here’s what we’ll be looking at:
- Anxiety About Being Alone Forever
- The Benefits Of Being Single
- Making The Most Of Being Single
- Will I Be Alone Forever After Divorce?
Anxiety About Being Alone Forever
As human beings, we’re hard-wired for connection, which is why the fear of being alone is one of the most common fears. A study revealed that 42% of millennial women fear loneliness. Biological instinct and social conditioning tell us that being alone threatens our survival.
From a young age, we are taught to view romantic relationships as indicators of success. We’re led to believe that single life is never a choice. But instead, an unfortunate and tragic state.
Anxiety about being alone forever can affect your self-confidence and lead to self-sabotaging behaviors. You might throw yourself into toxic friendships or stay in toxic relationship. You might jump from one unsatisfying relationship to the next, exposing yourself to further mental and emotional distress.
It's crucial to figure out why you're experiencing anxiety over the prospect of being alone forever. Could you be struggling with low self-esteem? Are you finding it difficult to let go of a past relationship? Do you have unrealistic expectations surrounding romantic relationships?
If the fear of being alone is causing significant disruptions to your daily life, you might have monophobia. Psychotherapy with a licensed professional can help you overcome your fear and improve your quality of life.
The Benefits Of Being Single
Being single isn’t as awful as it’s made it out to be. There are many mental and physical benefits to being on your own:
You can discover who you are
It's easy to lose yourself in a relationship. Being single allows you to strengthen your sense of self. You’re free to make your own decisions. You can pursue your goals, travel and selfishly explore all your desires. More importantly, you can discover your purpose and achieve self-actualization.
You can focus on yourself
You can experience true happiness even without a partner. Studies show no significant difference between single people and partnered people's perceived well-being. When you can focus on yourself and what you truly want, you’re more likely to be satisfied with your life.
You can prioritize your mental health
As a single person, you only have to deal with your own mental health issues. You have more time to resolve any psychological issues that may be affecting your quality of life. This includes any childhood trauma, baggage from previous relationships, or self-limiting beliefs. Staying in good mental health might be easier for you.
You have more time for self-care
There’s growing evidence that single people are healthier than their married counterparts. Experts believe it’s because you have the time and freedom to prioritize exercise and other forms of self-care. You also don’t have to feel guilty about taking time for yourself.
Making The Most Of Being Single
Nobody can complete you or make you feel good all the time. You’ve got to learn how to be that person for yourself before bringing someone else into the equation. Here’s how you can make the most out of being single:
Invest in meaningful relationships
While you may not have a romantic partner, there are other ways to fulfill your social needs. Because you have more time, you’re better positioned to invest more into your social connections.
Focus on building healthy relationships with family members and friends. Nurture those connections and lean on them for emotional support.
Live in the present
Worrying about something that may or may not happen robs you of the ability to experience a fulfilling life in the present. Letting negative thoughts and beliefs control you might result in what you fear most.
Your beliefs and expectations can influence your behavior on a subconscious level, leading to what is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. A self-fulfilling prophecy refers to a belief or expectation about a future event that becomes a reality due to that belief.
Instead of ruminating on the prospect of being alone forever, practice mindfulness and try to live a full life now. Explore your passions. Crush your personal and professional goals. Travel the world if you want to. Take advantage of the time and freedom you have— you’ll have fewer regrets later on in life.
While living your best life, you’ll meet new people and possibly a few potential partners. And the great part is: you’ll know exactly what you want.
Put yourself out there
Improve your social life and expand your social circle. Thanks to technology, there are plenty of ways to get out of your comfort zone. Download a dating app and start swiping right. Create a killer profile on a few dating sites and try out Zoom dates.
If you’re more traditional or online dating isn’t your thing, ask friends and family members to set you up on a few blind dates. The next time you get invited to a dinner party, happily accept and show up dressed to the nines. You might meet someone special.
Consider widening your interests. Volunteer, take up acting classes, or join a running club. If you’re feeling adventurous, list all the different things you’ve always wanted to try and tick them off one by one.
Keep an open mind
When you picture your life partner, do you have a specific ‘type’ in mind? Perhaps your idea of the right person is keeping you stuck. You might miss out on people who might be a better match for you.
Keep an open mind and make an effort to meet different people. If you’ve only focused on physical appearance, shift your focus to personality and values. You’ll never establish anything meaningful if you focus on superficial qualities.
At the end of the day, your actual type is someone whom you share a strong emotional and romantic connection with. In the long run, this increases your chances of building and maintaining a healthy, committed relationship.
Don't let societal expectations pressure you
Society pressures us to set goals and build our futures around marriage. You should be married by a certain age. You should have children before you’re 40. The pressure is even greater if you're a woman since your ‘biological clock is ticking.’
It’s stressful when all everyone can talk about is how single you are or how old you’re getting. Don't let societal expectations knock your self-confidence or pressure you into making hasty decisions. The last thing you want is to tie yourself to the wrong person.
If you’re happy being single, don’t feel the need to pair up just because other people say so. Similarly, if the idea of a loving and committed relationship appeals to you, look for your person from a place of self-love, self-awareness and confidence, not desperation.
Even if you consider yourself a reasonably autonomous person, you might have difficulty dealing with family expectations. If family members constantly bring up your single status or ask intrusive questions about your love life, it might be time to set boundaries.
Whenever your ‘abhorrent’ single life comes up, affirm that you're uncomfortable discussing it. Politely remind them that it’s a sensitive issue that you’d rather not talk about.
Better yet, steer the conversation toward your real life. Talk about your interest and achievements. Assert your right to be valued for who you are outside of a romantic relationship.
Are you willing to work for a long-term relationship? Are you willing to commit to loving someone through the good and the bad? There's a prevailing idea that love and relationships are meant to be easy. The honeymoon phase may even convince you of this fact.
You can’t get enough of each other, and every second sentence is a declaration of love. It’s hard to imagine that you could ever butt heads over the right way to hang toilet paper. But, after the honeymoon phase, the novelty of being in madly in love wears off.
You suddenly have to deal with who your beloved really is. Needless to say, things can get complicated. Even if you make it through this particular patch of turbulence, a happy relationship is going to take considerable effort. Do a little soul-searching to see if you're ready to invest that kind of mental and emotional energy into someone.
Will I Be Alone Forever After Divorce?
Going through a divorce can change your life in significant ways. However, don't let the fear of being alone stop you from leaving a toxic or abusive marriage.
Your self-esteem might be at an all-time low right now. You may even be experiencing loneliness and mental health issues. Let’s be honest; you stand to lose more by staying in an unhappy marriage.
Consider speaking to a professional about how you’re feeling. A therapist who specializes in divorce will be able to help you process your emotions. They can also give you the tools and resources you need to move on. Transitioning from being part of a unit to being a single person again will not be easy. Practice self-love and give yourself plenty of alone time to heal.
You were someone before you got married, and you're still that person now. The key is to rediscover who you really are. Embrace the possibilities and start living the life you want to live.