The Irrational Fear of Being Alone

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 and/or loss of money, 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 ourselves.

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.  We’ve been told through stories, movies, music and literature  that we are incomplete if we are alone.  Only the presence of  “another” can complete us.

It’s folly. But still, this myth persists. There is no outside force that can sooth our 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. 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.

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.



  1. Mitchell L Peterson

    March 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Self Actualization… what a concept!

    Very nicely written- and oh, so true!

  2. Susan Winter

    March 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Mitchell. Thanks! Especially coming from a fellow writer. I appreciate this. Susan

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