Here are a few steps to take when you’re scared to be alone (or divorced, or separated), but know you need to end the relationship you’re in.
You’re not alone if you’re scared to be alone – here’s what Jack (not his real name) says on my article about leaving a man you love:
“I have a tremendous fear of being alone, but even with us living under the same roof, I’m as lonely as anyone can possibly be. I realize it’s over. I can’t end our relationship and stay as a roommate, watching him run around. I can see he’s unhappy, which makes me unhappy. I’d be doing him a favor by leaving, because at least he would have the freedom I know he wants.”
I think Jack would be doing both his partner and himself a favour if he ended his relationship. It may be easier in the short term to stay with someone even when you know the relationship is over, but in the long run it’ll only make things worse.
Read Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone if you’re scared to be alone! You need to focus on the positive aspects of being single – which include improved self-confidence, independence, strength and a renewed sense of self-worth and self-respect.
How to End a Relationship When You’re Scared to Be Alone
These tips may be easier said than done for me, because I didn’t get married until I was 35 years old. I’ve never lived with a boyfriend, never had a long-term love relationship outside of my marriage. I lived in Africa for three years and traveled to many exotic parts of the world…all by myself.
I like being alone. I prefer being married, but I think there’s a lot to be said for being alone! Especially when you can no longer ignore the signs your relationship is over.
The sooner you face, accept, and live with your fears of being alone, the sooner you can move forward into a happier, healthier life.
Figure out why you’re scared to be alone
Maybe you’ve always lived with a partner, or you’re worried you’re not financially capable of taking care of yourself. Maybe you’re worried about what friends, family, coworkers, and the neighbours will think if you’re alone.
One of the first steps to overcoming your feelings about being alone is to figure out the root of your fear. Maybe you were raised by a single mother, and are scared of the potential problems of raising your own kids by yourself. Maybe your parents have been married for 50 years, and you want to live up to their marriage expectations.
Or, maybe you feel like you’re too shy to date, and can’t face more rejection in a love relationship.
Start writing down your fears…and eventually your solutions
If you can isolate the reasons you’re scared to be alone, you can deal with them. But if you just feel a vague fear or even terror at the thought of being single, then you won’t be able to move forward.
You can start figuring out your fears by taking at least 15 minutes to write, write, and write more of your fears. Find a quiet place, take out a notebook and pen, and freewrite whatever comes into your mind when you picture yourself ending your relationship and being alone in a new life. Let yourself experience your fears, anxieties, and concerns.
You don’t need to start solving your problems right away…just get them out on paper. When you’re ready, you can start writing down the solutions or ways to overcome your fears of ending the relationship and starting over in your new life.
Start thinking of yourself as strong and independent
Another step that may help you stop being scared is to start reframing how you see yourself. Instead of clinging on to your partner and feeling scared to be without him or her, start detaching. This means different things to different people – detaching from someone you care about can involve going to events and parties by yourself, taking a weekend trip alone, or making plans with your friends that don’t include your partner.
You might also start spending time with strong, single, independent people who are happy and healthy. Their sense of wellness and strength will rub off on you!
Ending a relationship when you’re scared of being alone is a process. Give yourself time to come to grips with the idea of solo living. Part of overcoming your fears is acknowledging and voicing your fears of being alone – which I invite you to do below.
For more tips, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.
Do you know it’s time to end your relationship, but you’re scared to be alone? I welcome your comments below…