How to Overcome the Fear of Being Single

Photo credit @savwalts

One of the biggest fears when you go through a breakup is that you’ll never be with someone again.

This will terrify you. It’ll cause you to lose many nights of sleep and go into a deep depression.

You’ll believe that no one will ever love you again, that everyone else with reject you and that all future relationships will end in failure, possible murder and tragedy.

You’re terrified of being alone because you’ll shame your parents and feel like a failure.

You’re scared of being alone because all your friends are in relationships and getting hitched. They’re hiring videographers, sending out wedding invitations and working on seating arrangements.

Or, most likely, this is the only picture you had imagined for your life. I mean, you had read about this story growing up. You had always believed that you would marry and settle down, and you were doing everything in your power to materialize this life.

Yet it’s not panning out that way.

You broke up…again.

You got divorced…again.

You’re alone again and struggling to make sense of life. You’re terrified about what the future will be because you planned for no other future.

Can I get an Amen?

Hold up, people.

Or person reading this.

Hold the &)@&)# up.

Let me tell you a story all about how…my life got flipped turned upside down…I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, let me tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air.

Oops, wrong story.

Let me take a minute to tell you that I was at a party – an Indian party with many married men.

The topic of wives came up and, interestingly, I heard a very comfortable, knowing and shared sentiment from everyone, though no one said a word.

The feeling wasn’t joy and universal acclaim.

It was something along the lines of “we’ve settled, we’re trapped and we can’t say anything.”

“Marriage isn’t the worst thing to happen to me but it’s not the best, either. I could have gone after my dreams and lived a great life but this ain’t that bad either. We got a house, kids and retirement.”

I felt a sense of gloom and doom and a tinge of sadness. I also felt giddy that the tables had turned.

I was the one who should have felt ashamed, alone and unhappy. My life had gone so far off course that I couldn’t relate to a single person at that party but I was the happiest lad in the room.

What gives?

Let me break it down for you, friends.

You don’t have to be afraid of being single. You don’t have to be afraid of your future. You don’t have to be afraid of filing your taxes single or being the solo RSVP for any party! 

You can overcome the fear of being single and the fear of being a cat lady and the fear of being a lonely old man by…drum roll, please…

1. Loving yourself.

Loving yourself means treating yourself like you would treat someone you truly love. It’s the way you speak to yourself, the way you mentally judge yourself and how much you criticize yourself. It’s the way you treat your body and emotions.

I’ve written at length about how to love yourself, including in my books, Self Romance Manifesto and Love Yourself After Heartbreak.

A practice to love yourself and get comfortable being single is to treat yourself like you were in a relationship. Where would you go? What would you do? Which friends would you hang out with along with your significant other?

Live that love life even without the love from someone else.

Love yourself by loving your life and living it to the maximum.

2.Learning about yourself.

You have no idea who you are because you’ve spent most of your life believing that you need other people. You believe that you are your family. You are your partner. You are your relationship status.

News flash … you’re you. You may have no idea what that even is, but now it’s your responsibility and life purpose to figure out who you are.

(I have a couple of ideas about discovering yourself. If you would like a free guide on how to find yourself, sign up for my blog and I’ll send you a free ebook about finding and being yourself.)

Your job now is to discover your preferences, opinions, choices and purpose. It is to ask yourself what makes you happy and what you want out of life.

3.Cutting out the nonsense and noise.

The people around you often make the situation worse by putting more pressure on you or making you more scared than you already are.

They have their own agendas and reasons for intervening in your life.

If you’re getting a divorce in the Indian or Asian community, the people around you must salvage reputations and save face.

Your family could care less about you; they care more about the family name.

Keep the negativity and intervenors at bay.

You’re already hearing a lot of internal noise and negative chatter. You don’t need more from the outside world.

Stay hyper-vigilant about your inner circle. Make sure they are supportive and encouraging and that they help you feel more at ease.

4.Cultivating happiness and community.

You don’t have to wait until you’re in a relationship to be happy.

Let me repeat that: you don’t have to wait until you’re in a relationship to be happy.

You can find happiness today.

Your task is to cultivate happiness. If you have no idea how to do that and think you’ll need years of therapy from Dr. Freud himself, try this.

Do things that make you happy and that don’t destroy your health or well-being.

That rules out hard drugs, hard liquor and hard men. It includes simple pleasures, your favorite activities and new adventures.

If you don’t know what will make you happy, just get active and do something.

Get out of the house; stop wallowing in the sadness of loneliness.

5.Cultivating community.

This simply means doing things with other people.

You can ride your bicycle by yourself or join a cycling group.

You can read a book by yourself or join a book club.

You don’t have to go it alone.

Create situations where you’re around people and feeling less alone. Look for people you can do things with.

6.Giving back.

You may hate people and the pursuit of happiness and community.

Fine.

May I suggest giving back in some way, shape or form?

It’s weird but something is addictive about giving back.

Why do you think I write this blog? 99% percent of the people who read it do so at no cost and with no obligation whatsoever.

I spend half my life, it feels like, writing for this blog and other publications.

Why?

Because I enjoy sharing and giving… Giving back gives me immense pleasure.

The other 1% of people buy my books (which you can do here) or hire me for coaching (which you can do here).

7. Having balance.

If you’re working 24/7, you won’t have time for anything else.

If you’re completely occupying yourself, you have no space for all the parts of your life to flourish.

You must prioritize your down time and eliminate activities that don’t fulfill you.

Then you can create balance and down time to allow friendships to blossom, to allow yourself to socialize and date.

If you’re interested in another relationship, you must make the time and space for it.

Someone else will enter your life only if you make time for them. If you want a relationship, you must prioritize relationships.

8. Living with courage and hope.

You must exercise courage every day. You must find the courage to live without the fear of the unknown and the fear of uncertainty.

Yes, living by yourself is scary but you’re the captain of your ship and you’re in control of your life.

You had the courage to be in relationships and survive breakups in the past. Now you can survive without a relationship.

You can live courageously while being hopeful about a new relationship.

Back up the hope with action. You can’t hope your way to a new relationship. Get online. Go out. Volunteer. Get active in the community. Live your life and be open to meeting people who are potential partners.

9.Creating the life you want.

You’re waiting until you find that special someone to start living the life you want.

I propose starting that life today. No, you won’t be able to have kids and a family, but these days adoption and surrogacy make these options possible.

You can start living the life you want. You can go after the career you want. You can pursue the dreams you want. Start the business you want. Help the people you want. Travel to the countries you want.

You don’t have to wait until someday because that someday may never come.

Create the life you want today. Have a vision for your ideal life and start on it. A partner can enhance it but doesn’t have to be a critical component for you to get started.

Check on my books on self-love and self-acceptance at the Amazon store here.