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Susan Winter Headshot

The Irrational Fear of Being Alone

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The fear of being alone is terrifying for most people I know. This paralyzing projection keeps many a couple trapped in a dysfunctional loop of unhappy relations. Though the reasons stated for not separating include children, loss of money or "it's just not the right time," at the core of this stasis is a fear of being alone. Someone, it seems, is better than no one.

The fear of being alone is an irrational construct. Alone doesn't mean "lonely." Yet, the false premise states that clinging to "another" for safety will somehow guarantee our safety. Security derived from an outer source is impossible. In the absence of our own self-love, we cannot connect to another in a meaningful way. Staying in an unhappy partnership is viewed as being of greater value than honoring the self. It is fear. Projected fear. The loneliness imagined will only be experienced when not united with our selves.

I've counseled many people on the merits of being comfortable in their own skin and finding peace within. While this is the answer, it's astounding how much resistance is given to the concept.  

The reason for this resistance lies in outer identification. We've been told through movies, music and literature that we're incomplete if we're alone. Only the presence of "another" can alleviate the void we feel inside and make us feel whole. In actuality, we feel the void when we're not aligned with ourselves.

It's folly. But still, the myth continues in the minds of far too many. How enticing the belief that someone else will be the balm to soothe us and the cure to our discontent? And how sad the realization that no one can provide solace for what we lack, inside.

No outer force that can sooth inner discontent. In pressing our partner to do our work for us, they will certainly fail. Then, they become the problem. Our relationship becomes the problem. The love that was supposed to complete us becomes a battleground of conflicting wills as each holds the other's happiness in their fickle hands.

The fear of being alone is far greater than the real doing of it. Taking time to be alone with ourselves can be the greatest journey of a lifetime. The discovery of what we like, what we feel, what we want and who we really are is liberation at its finest.

When actualized, one discovers the delight of a freedom far greater than imagined. After all, the worries and projected fears have passed, there comes the unexpected ah-ha moment -- we are fine. Our former avoidance seems ridiculous in hindsight. There is peace and contentment. Then, joy.

We realize we have ourselves as good company. We begin to value the life we have. We learn our fears of being alone were completely unfounded. We create a new platform from which love may grow.

When we've worked through the fear of being alone, we may assess the validity of our existing partnership. With the pressure off our partner to save us, the relationship that seemed "dead" often finds new life. As we've changed, our partner must change in correspondence. From the point of inner connection, we may amend what we have or magnetize new suitors who also like themselves and like us.

Comfort within one's self is the best starting point for a new relationship, or for a current love affair in peril. It's the work that must be done by no one, but us. And, once done... is cherished as the edification of all that we are, and have now become.