So, you’ve just gone through a breakup or divorce?
Or maybe you’re considering ending the relationship you’re in? But, you’re overcome with monophobia.
Yes, monophobia. The fear of being alone! Whether it’s societal stigmas, familial pressure, or self-imposed dread, the fear of being alone is a real thing that many people deal with.
Your feelings are valid, but you don’t have to suffer through them.
Here are some practical ways to overcome the fear of being alone after a breakup.
1. FIND OUT WHERE THE FEAR COMES FROM
Back in my 20s, being alone was literally my worst nightmare.
The fear of loneliness and singlehood consumed me so much that I could not help myself but jump from one relationship to another without catching my breath.
This also caused me to pick relationships not really based on compatibility and affinity but more so about who’s available.
I never really took the time neither to acknowledge my fear nor to understand what it was all about.
Why being alone felt like a death sentence to me? Why was I so obsessed with being with someone?
I never had to ask myself these questions so long as I could manage to get into a new relationship again (sound familiar?)…until my divorce happened.
I could no longer run from my fear because as you could imagine, It was not as easy to find a new relationship and bury my unresolved issues and feelings.
That’s when I decided to do therapy where I discovered that I indeed suffered from a severe fear of abandonment that originated from childhood trauma,
I was also introduced to the attachment style theory which explained and helped me make sense of many past relationship experiences and how I came to relate to people the way I do ( anxious attachment style for my part).
If you are wondering why you get so anxious when thinking about being alone, maybe you can ask yourself what kind of attachment style do I have.
Did you grew up in an emotionally healthy family or did you experience some form of trauma or neglect?
Did you always feel this way or did your fear of being alone kicks in after a specific event in your life?
These are just examples of the many questions you can ask yourself ( or do so with the help of a therapist) to pin down where the fear of being alone comes from.
GET TO KNOW YOURSELF AGAIN
Life can feel really weird after a breakup, especially if you were in a long-term relationship.
Chances are, you may have forgotten what life was like before you met your ex. How did you spend your free time?
How often did you see your friends? What did you enjoy watching on TV by yourself?
There’s no better time than now to re-introduce yourself to yourself.
Maybe you’ve neglected an old hobby or passion, or perhaps you never finished watching that Netflix series you loved.
What are the parts of you that you want to re-discover?
You may have even felt as though your life was defined by the relationship you were in.
So, this can also be a time for re-invention. Who do you want to be?
What type of life do you want to have now that you are alone?
Being in a relationship is a beautiful thing, but the most important relationship you’ll be in is the one that you have with yourself.
BOOK YOUR CALENDAR
The scariest part of being alone is feeling lonely.
However, the two don’t have to go hand-in-hand.
Alone time is important to recharge and rest, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend all of your free time alone.
One of the upsides to being single is not having to coordinate with a partner!
You can spend your free time however you please.
Use that to your advantage and start planning away.
Book coffee dates with friends, join a book club, or attend the office happy hour.
Keeping busy and spending time with others can also be a great way to help you heal from your breakup.
ROMANTICIZE YOUR LIFE
Breaking up means ending a romantic partnership, but you can still live a romantic life while being single. Spoil yourself, luxuriate, and enjoy the little things in life.
Turn the mundane parts of your day into romantic experiences.
For example, buy yourself flowers instead of waiting for a partner to get them for you.
Drink coffee at a local cafè while reading a book.
Cook yourself a fancy meal while listening to jazz.
Do things for the experience, not just for the result.
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IT’S OKAY TO SAY “NO”
For a while after your breakup, it may be difficult to attend events alone and that’s okay!
If your breakup is fresh and being around other couples is triggering, decline the invite.
This feeling won’t last forever, but for now, it’s important to take care of yourself.
If your decision is not directly impacting the lives or experiences of others, it’s more than okay to take a step back while you heal.
DEVELOP HABITS AND HOBBIES
A mistake that people make when going through a breakup, is picking up unhealthy coping mechanisms.
They begin partying or numbing with alcohol, in an attempt to help them avoid their feelings.
This can lead to negative thought patterns and missing your ex even more.
Instead, try to develop hobbies and habits to deeply nourish yourself.
Consider a mindfulness practice, such as journaling, yoga, or meditation.
This will help you work through your feelings and keep some peace of mind.
Walking or exercising will boost your mood, among the many other health benefits.
Self-care practices like taking a bath, getting a massage, or spending more time on a skin-care routine are just some of the many ways you can productively spend your time taking care of yourself.
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CONNECT WITH OTHER SINGLES
So, you’re worried about being alone? You aren’t really alone when you think about it.
There are so many people, just like you, who are single for the first time in a while.
People end relationships every day, and they’re learning to navigate solo life, just like you. If you don’t know any of them personally, go out and find them!
This doesn’t mean find a new romantic partner, although you can do that whenever you’re ready.
This is about finding single friends, who can relate to you and how you’re feeling.
Now, you may be thinking “how do I make friends as a grown adult”? It’s simpler than you think.
Smile at a stranger, make small talk with the person standing behind you in the check-out line, strike up a conversation with that neighbor you’ve never gotten to know.
When you make friends and spend time with other singles, you’re less likely to feel alone, as compared to spending time with friends who are coupled up.
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FIND THE LESSON
Breakups suck. Period.
However, there’s always a learning opportunity if you allow yourself to embrace it.
When you’re feeling ready, take some time to reflect on the past and start the process of reflecting on how the fear of being alone has affected your life so far.
Sit down with pen and paper to jot down an old-fashioned pros and cons list.
What did you like and dislike about your last relationship?
Did the last relationship resemble all the other previous relationships?
Do you see a pattern of attracting toxic people?
What qualities of that relationship would you like to find in the future and what qualities would you ditch?
What did you learn about love and about yourself?
How will you use these experiences to enhance your love life going forward?
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WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT BEING ALONE, ANYWAY?
Being alone is not inherently negative.
You’ve attached a negative emotion to being alone and that might be something to deeply consider.
Being alone doesn’t equate to being lonely.
Staying in an unhappy relationship can often feel more lonely than being single.
Remember that being alone is usually temporary, and can serve as a beautiful opportunity to explore and experience life through a new lens.
Most importantly, don’t be hard on yourself. Give yourself the grace, time, and compassion to move through your feelings in any way that will help you move forward.
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Thanks for reading this post,