How to free yourself from the fear of being single

How to free yourself from the fear of being single

Courage

A few years ago, when living in Brooklyn, I was hurriedly scurrying from my subway stop, late for work. I remember the day clearly: it was a blustery, frozen winter day and the wind was whipping down the streets of SoHo. As I was doing my best to make up time on foot without slipping on some ice, a figure emerged from an office building that caused me to stop dead in my tracks.

It was my ex – with whom I had shared an apartment before our relationship exploded into a million pieces.

The knot in my stomach rose to my throat as I tried to casually say hello and ask him how he was… and when I resumed my trajectory, I was shaking all over. Shaking worse than any cold air could make me tremble. Trembling not because, in the years since we broke up, he had quickly settled down and had a child with the next girl he dated. Trembling because I was still single. I was left to question whether I’d done the right thing. Was I a fool to let the relationship blow up? Was that the closest I will ever get to marriage?

Will I be single forever?

I became consumed with fear and anxiety. By the time I got to work, I thought I might be sick.

As I look back at that moment, I become glad that I chose a path to transform that fear because I no longer feel those pangs of regret and anxiety. I’ve learned how to embrace my life, regardless of relationship status.

Yet I know there are so many singles who are paralyzed with it – caught in a Catch 22:  unhappy with their lives and desperate to find a partnership that will shine the light of happiness into their seemingly dark and gloomy worlds. Some are so unhappy with themselves that they’ve just given up and choose to ignore the topic altogether.

The problem here is that like attracts like – if you’re afraid or desperate or deeply unhappy with yourself and your life, you’ll only amplify what you already experience.

One is the loneliest number – NOT

The fear of being single forever is often rooted in or related to another fear: the fear of loneliness.

Fear is a major reason why we attract unsuitable partners and why the search for love can become the most arduous and frustrating task.

When you’re in the fear zone, you end up focusing on the non-productive things. You focus on superficial tactics (like what generic singles event to attend, when to call someone back, how long to wait to say “I love you,” when to get intimate – blah blah blah) rather than on deep internal shifts.

I’ve seen too many singles who are laser focused on finding a partner to the exclusion of everything else. All of this has a downward spiral effect.

In my recent newsletter, I talked about a psychological study by researchers from the University of Toronto that showed anxiety about loneliness and being single plays a key role in unhealthy relationship behaviors.

If this is striking a chord with you, how can you replace your anxiety with feelings that are more life-serving? I have some great coaching exercises to help my clients deal with projected fear – for now, here are some simple tips.

Leave it to the Buddhists.

Leave it to the Buddhists.

Fight fear with being present in the moment. Fearing to end up alone is nothing more than a self-created daydream, but dwell on it enough and you may very well fulfill your prophecy. Worrying about what may or may not happen only distances you further and further from getting what you want. Try to be extremely aware when your mind starts to visualize a frightening future, and reel your thoughts back in by paying acute attention to what is happening all around you and, more importantly, within you. Live only in “The Now” and you will see your anxiety subside.

Fight fear with building a big life. There are a number of practical things we can do to overcome our fear of loneliness.

  • Get involved and volunteer in your community.
  • Participate in your company’s softball or volleyball team.
  • Build a cadre of intimate friends, including several of the opposite sex.
  • Find people who are less fortunate than you and help them.

When you focus on building a big life, you come across a lot of people. It’s impossible to be lonely when you have a lot of people in your life. And no matter what happens, you still have a big life.

Fight fear by dispelling hidden beliefs. The fear of being single can stem from multitudes of hidden beliefs, ranging from a belief that you are not good enough to ideas that society regards you as a pariah if you remain single.

Because most of us have never learned how to appreciate ourselves, we mistakenly believe that being single must mean there is something terribly wrong with us; when we can’t find someone to give us this required validation and love, the belief will actually strengthen and our self-worth will plummet even further.

Whatever the specific belief may be, it is most likely the block that it is sabotaging the very thing that you desire for your life. The only way to move past these sabotaging beliefs is through recognition (awareness of belief) and staunch dedication to undoing them.

To be sure, beliefs are formed and reinforced over long periods of time so unraveling them will take some doing. This is why I dedicate a large part of my coaching programs to unearthing and transforming subconscious beliefs.

Fight fear of being single by embracing being single. You are most likely to attract a healthy happy partnership when you’re comfortable with yourself. What this means is that if you’re not happy as a single person, you won’t appeal to the well-adjusted, loving, and reliable person you’re seeking. There is no better way to end up in a fulfilling partnership than to completely immerse yourself in a wonderful life. Enjoy your freedom and flexibility to the hilt, learn to luxuriate in your alone time, and you will naturally draw eligible, high quality people to you. Worry and whine endlessly about being unattached, on the other hand, and your desperation will repel people.

Finally, fight fear with gratitude. Instead of walking around in a state of lack and wanting, which fuels the fear of not receiving and inevitably makes you look desperate, think of all the things you have in life that you are grateful for. Focus on what you do have, instead of what you don’t. If you practice gratitude and learn to make it your natural state of mind, your inner self will stop craving a relationship and thus, you will stop being so needy to the opposite sex.

Remember that fear of being single is a result of scarcity thinking.

Spend a few minutes each morning meditating on all that you are grateful for; your health, your family, your friends, even your job. Appreciate the little things that you often overlook or take for granted. Once you make gratitude a daily practice, you will see how abundant and glorious your life really is. Fear disappears from your mind and is instead replaced with intense joy. Joy that is contagious to everyone.

 

Are you ready to free yourself from fear? That’s why I created my home study program Become Successfully Single & Relationship Ready – to cut through the superficial stuff and teach you what really works, to relax and be fulfilled.

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify and eliminate your unconscious blocks to love. These include any hidden fears or patterns you may be repeating since childhood.
  • How to get a clear picture of what you require, need and want in a relationship.
  • How to create the right conditions for true love to enter your life.

When you follow this program, you kick fear right out of your life by making the kinds of changes that will empower you, fill you with confidence, and make you incredibly attractive to the partner you’re looking for. You’ll also experience success in all areas of your life – from better friendships and a stronger social network to more success in your career and finances.

To learn more, click here.

Desperately fear being single? Read this

Desperately fear being single? Read this

Courage Solutions

Zombie Single symptoms medically explained

I use the phrase “Zombie Single” tongue in cheek as a humorous way to refer to those singles who are blindly obsessed with finding a partnership.

A zombie single is characterized by feelings of desperation and crushing loneliness while at the same time doing the same things, expecting different results – without any thought or reflection upon their actions and their consequences.

Afraid of being alone, they attend every generic singles event that they can find on Meet Up yet still aren’t getting any closer to living a life they love.

They don’t have a close network to rely on, they’ve done no inner work to resolve sabotaging beliefs and behaviors.

They are unconsciously motivated by a deep fear of being single, unaware of what’s driving them.

While I use the phrase in jest, I gotta love science. Turns out there is an actual phobia to describe what zombie singles suffer from:

Anuptaphobia (check it out)

fear zombiesMedically defined as “a morbid fear of staying or remaining single,” Anuptaphobia is not your average phobia, and judging by some of the conversations I have with people, it’s safe to say we’re living through an epidemic.

An entire generation has succumbed to Anuptaphobia and the symptoms have been running rampant throughout the U.S. Even the most accomplished and intelligent single women and men have been falling this recently named phobia. Even the strong aren’t safe.

All kidding aside, the Fear of Being Single is actually a psychological condition brought on by numerous factors, including traumas that we’ve experienced in our past. Yet I think it’s safe to say we’ve tainted our own water.

Over time, we’ve created a culture that doesn’t support relationships, yet we still hold romantic, Hollywood-ified expectations of love. We’ve swallowed the You Complete Me pill to the point where we can’t feel whole without another person, while also not knowing how to be together. Capable and smart singles are walking around as empty shells, feeling worthless and defeated.

The worst part about Anuptaphobia is that people waste their lives letting it control them. They live lives of quiet desperation, suffering under its influence, refusing to believe they can have happy lives independent of being in a relationship.

They can’t see that they can be happy as an individual, that marriage isn’t the panacea they hope it will be. They’re hindered by the fear that they’ll be isolated and alone and depressed.

Then, they wind up manifesting the very thing they fear the most.

You, too, may be suffering from this disease – but before you can treat yourself, you must first properly diagnose yourself.

Here’s how you can tell if you’re suffering from Anuptaphobia:

You habitually stay in relationships that don’t work

You have a tendency to try and push square pegs into round holes. You end up with partners not because they’re right, but because they’re there. You settle for relationships and people because you’d rather settle now than strive for something great later. You are so deathly terrified of being on your own that you’ll stay with someone you don’t even like.

You obsessively think about marriage & love

Your mind is constantly preoccupied with romantic notions of “the perfect life” and “happily ever after” that you can’t see how good your real life is right now. You obsess over things beyond your control, creating delusions and fantasies of a life even Hollywood can’t properly achieve. You forget to look around you and enjoy the moment because you’re constantly obsessing over how lonely you feel.

You feel inadequate

You feel painfully incomplete. You feel as if you’re walking around with a gaping wound, the other half of you missing. You are not completely present when people talk to you because you feel you have nothing good to offer. You think that because you are single, you are worthless. Because you are alone, you have nothing to offer. Yet what you don’t realize is your inadequacy is all in your head.

You are unable to spend time alone

You get worked up and anxious when you are by yourself for too long. You never understood the idea of enjoying your own company and would rather eat glass before living in an apartment or home by yourself. You fill all of your free time with things to do, especially with friends you don’t even like that much. You don’t even want to get used to your own company.

You over-analyze everything

When dating, you obsess over how the other person thinks or acts, trying to figure out what the person is doing. Enough said.

… If you’ve discovered that you might be afraid of being single, there are plenty of things you can do to help you relax. My next blog post will spell out some simple solutions.

But in the meantime, through my Become Successfully Single & Relationship Ready home study coaching program, you’ll learn what’s behind your fear and your feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction.

More importantly, you’ll learn how to overcome the lack of self-love due to past trauma, parental dysfunction or just typical childhood experiences that lead many of us to believe we’re not worthy of love.

You’ll learn new ways you can let go of what’s blocking you from feeling in complete acceptance of yourself. I’ll share strategies of how to move through the dark feelings of loneliness and rejection that stem from feeling afraid of being single.

You’ll learn the proven techniques that hundreds of singles have used in the last several decades that have led them to more personal fulfillment, inner peace and higher self-esteem.

When you follow my program, you’ll knock fear out of your life by making the kinds of shifts that will empower you, fill you with confidence, and make you incredibly attractive to the partner you’re looking for.

Fear can keep you trapped and loveless. It can cause you to repeat the very same patterns that are preventing you from finding the love you deserve. I know my programs can show you a new way – the fearless path to lasting love.

To learn more, click here.

Shy No More: Tips for Empowered Dating

Shy No More: Tips for Empowered Dating

Courage Dating Dating Skills Self-Acceptance Uncategorized

Last night I hosted a special teleclass on Empowered Dating for Introverts and judging by the fevered pitch of dismay I received from those who missed it, this is a hot topic. I thought I would share here the kernels of what I discussed, including a step-by-step process to help you (as an introvert and/or as someone who is shy) date to your strengths.

Before we get into strategies and tactics, let’s differentiate between Shyness and Introversion because the two are not the same. According to Psychology Today, Shyness is the awkwardness or apprehension some people feel when approaching or being approached by other people. Shy people often desperately want to connect with others, but don’t know how or can’t tolerate the anxiety that comes with human interaction. Introverts, on the other hand, have the interpersonal skills and healthy self-esteem needed for interacting with others yet feel most energized by time alone. Shy people want very much to be with others but lack the social skills and self-esteem to take a chance. Introverts seek time alone because they want time alone. At a party, you might see an introvert and a shy person standing against the wall, but the introvert prefers to be there, while the Continue reading

Ask the Coach: Isn’t Relationship Coaching Nothing More Than Snake Oil?

Ask the Coach: Isn’t Relationship Coaching Nothing More Than Snake Oil?

Ask the Coach Courage Freedom Self Esteem Women

Dear Coach Linda:
Forgive me for being blunt, but what do you think you’re doing here on Meet Up.com, promoting yourself as a relationship coach? You are nothing more than a snake oil salesman, out to make a buck. – Jim

Hi Jim,
I’m curious about how vehemently you are opposed to relationship coaching – I assume stems from your concern about people being taken advantage of, especially those who have recently gone through a divorce and may be feeling vulnerable, hurt, and lonely. If this is true, then I appreciate your desire to protect people from vultures.

But I whole-heartedly disagree with you about relationship coaching being nothing more than snake oil. Here’s why. Continue reading

Attract the Extraordinary Now – Exclusive Consultation

Attract the Extraordinary Now – Exclusive Consultation

Ask the Coach Courage Planning Relationships Solutions Special Events

Limited Time Only

By the fact that you’re reading this blog post, you’re indicating your interest in experiencing an extraordinary life and an extraordinary relationship — where you are fully engaged in the things that are important to you, where you are completely empowered, are living your life vision and are experiencing extraordinary relationships.

Loving your life and attracting the love of your life all starts with becoming Successfully Single and Relationship Ready – and I’d like to help you do that.

For a limited time, I’m offering a special “Attract an Extraordinary Relationship Now” consultation for ZERO COST. During this exclusive private coaching session we’ll work together to: Continue reading

Empowered Dating for Introverts

Empowered Dating for Introverts

Courage Dating Dating Skills Fulfillment Relationships Self Discovery

Do you feel awkward, even apprehensive, when approaching or being approached by other people? Do you desperately want to connect with others, but don’t know how or can’t tolerate the anxiety that comes with interaction? Dating can seem extraordinarily hard for those who are either shy or introverted – taking risks to put oneself out there can seem like a daunting task. Plus our society tends to disfavor either trait; often we express this bias by encouraging shy and/or introverted people to see themselves as ill.

The truth is, more people than not are both. In fact, shyness and introversion – or more accurately, the careful, sensitive temperament from which both often spring – are not just normal, they are valuable. The challenge is when we long to make a connection and are Continue reading

Becoming a Warrior in service to your life

Becoming a Warrior in service to your life

Courage Freedom Spiritual Laws Success Word to the Wise

Including your love life
And as evidenced by my clients

I’m always curious about human nature – particularly in what motivates and compels us, why some people choose to accomplish and improve their lives and why others simply don’t. I am enamored of the capability to pursue a dream in the face of fear, curious about why some people succeed and others crumble, and even more interested in why others don’t even lift a finger.

This morning, I was reflecting on my clients and their collective coaching experiences from a bird’s eye view, which is the best perspective to see the collective forest as opposed to each individual tree, so that I could deeply understand what drew them into my coaching processes and to see what their common threads were. What is it about my clients that compelled them to take this journey?

As I was ruminating, I noticed they all possess this urgent, critical, and with some, Continue reading

Let’s Bust the Valentine’s Day Blues

Attitudes Courage Dating Dreams Fulfillment Planning Self Discovery Self Esteem Solutions

Back in the day when I was a relationship train-wreck, before I started to get my sh*t together about my self-esteem and intimacy issues, I used to despise Valentine’s Day, and all its reminders about romance and being in love and all those ads where pretty gals were surprised and delighted to be presented beautiful diamond engagement rings by handsome dudes. I used to hang black crepe paper ribbons in my work cubicle, wear all black, and regard the day as a day of mourning. I used to range emotionally from seething to despair around this time of year. I know I am (was) not alone – I talk to many singles now who regard Valentine’s Day as an unwelcome reminder of their “alone-ness” and longing for a loving connection. Continue reading

How to be successful in everything you do

Attitudes Courage Dreams Fulfillment Goals

 – including in your relationships

Over the course of my career, as a life coach and in the world of advertising, I’ve been fortunate to learn from people amazingly successful, and wise, in both the realm of their professions and in their personal lives. (Note: I define “success” here as achieving what matters most to you – not as some objective measure of outer wealth, accomplishment or achievement.) Observing people who are living fully on their terms and loving it, I’ve seen how they think, react, interrelate, and problem solve.  I’ve applied these lessons to my own life, and to those I coach.

I’ve seen these people not only engage continuously in life-supporting (and generous) behaviors, but also avoid certain negative actions and mindsets that other, less successful people habitually get lost in. Here’s an overview of 8 limiting beliefs and behaviors these people avoid: Continue reading

New Year’s Resolutions: Stretching for the stars

Courage Creativity Dreams Fulfillment Goals Homework Planning Resolutions Solutions Success

True confidence can only be found if we put our creative vision for our life to the test, and stretch our selves to the utmost.  – 3 of Wands

What you are is what you have been, what you will be is what you do now. – Buddha

If you’re like me, the New Year always brings with it an element of nostalgia – or better yet, regret – because I realize that I didn’t quite accomplish what I said I was going to do. When you look back at 2013, what are the things that you most regret NOT doing? In the early months of 2014, are you on track to NOT DOING them again? Rather than beat myself up, however, I look at January as an ideal opportunity to transform regrets into opportunities, or goals, for this coming year. And then, because I like to focus on the extraordinary, think about how these goals can S*T*R*E*T*C*H. I love stretch goals because they challenge us to break out of the routine. Are you ready to stretch your goals and give yourself a good mental/emotional workout? Continue reading