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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.
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.
- 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.