The Fear Of Ending Up Alone, Is It Driving Our Love Lives More Than We Realize?
The fear of ending up alone is usually personified by the image of a woman in her 40s with a bunch of cats. This fear, while legitimate, has been amplified in today’s world. It is considered that a person without a life partner has an incomplete and unfulfilled life. No one likes to be alone, we humans inherently are social beings but the pressure of having a husband or wife hasn’t ever been greater in history as is now. This fear has its own consequences. It makes us settle down with someone whom we know isn’t right for us. This fear makes us desperate for love. It forces us to hold onto someone we want to let go of. It encourages us to put ourselves down just to make the person stay because if we don’t can we take the risk of ending up alone? No. This fear is driving us and our relationships.
Why are people so scared of ending up alone?
Is it the thought of everyone else around you having someone and you don’t? Is it fear of social, financial, physical security and stability? Is it the fear of not being part of a family? Or, is it the fear of society or log kya kahenge? This question might be difficult to answer for many people because fear of fear is greater than the fear itself. The societal expectation from us is to marry someone someday and in the Indian society, it goes a step further to expect the ‘happy forever’ i.e. never to divorce or be alone.
The idea of finding the ‘right one’ or a ‘soulmate’ has also been glorified by the fictional novels and the romantic movies we watch. These have centred our lives around the idea of a romantic love story which unlike in a fictional story isn’t as smooth as we think. These ideas raise our expectations and also the need to find someone. This need has even been commercialized by dating applications like Tinder, Bumble, etc. This is the reason why romance novels and movies are the most-watched of all. It’s simple: We have been conditioned to like them and fear being alone.
How to overcome the feeling of ending up alone?
To release ourselves from the shackles of this fear we need to understand:
- What we crave is love and love can be found everywhere-from our parents, siblings, friends, our hobbies, nature, and of course, ourselves.
- There is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely.
- To love ourselves and enjoy our own company other than relying on an external source for happiness.
There are even some advantages of ending up alone. We make ourselves a priority, our interests, and our likes take a center stage. We can be more creative and productive. This helps in our self-development. It is very natural to want a romantic relationship but to force yourself to be with someone to not be alone is a crime we commit against ourselves.Image Source: Freepik
Ending up alone isn’t something new. In our Indian history, bramahcharya and sannyasa were a part of life. There are many examples of Sufis, saints, scholars, scientists, etc. who were alone in their life. We all enter the earth alone and leave it alone, finding someone to share life with is a benefit but even if we don’t find a life partner we always have other family, friends or even pets (come on, cats and dogs aren’t that bad).
There is also an increasing trend of being ‘self-partnered’ around the globe and it recently travelled to India as we witnessed the first sologamy which took place in Gujrat. To make matters sweeter, Sushmita Sen recently spoke out about how the idea of ending up alone isn’t scary. In fact, it’s a pleasure. These occurrences should inspire us to break the stereotypes and love ourselves instead of hoping for that love and happiness from other sources. It’s about time for a change, don’t you think?