When the prospect of spending even a single moment unattached causes you to break out in night sweats, there’s a good chance that you suffer from anuptaphobia, or the fear of being single.
Although it can feel like it, not having a romantic partner isn’t the worst thing that could happen in life. Being single is actually good for your health: It allows room for tremendous growth and reflection and also leaves a lot of time for catching up with your friends and being hella lazy. But that optimistic outlook can be a hard sell to someone who has an irrational aversion to being alone that causes them to perceive singledom as a one-way ticket to perpetual misery.
But even when a love addict is attached, they tend to allow their fear of being alone to sabotage their relationships. sometimes without even realizing it. Sometimes, their romantic status matters more than the quality of the partnerships they form.
If you can barely tolerate life when you’re not in a relationship, here are some clear-cut signs that you have a legitimate fear of being single.
1You’re always in a relationship.
Even if you’re fresh off a breakup, you tend to focus more attention on looking for a replacement partner than allowing yourself to heal and truly bounce back from your last relationship — without addressing the truth that marathon rebound behavior might guarantee that you’ll never be alone, but you might end up sacrificing your greater happiness in the process.
2You don’t choose your partners wisely.
Literally anyone will do, as long as you’re attached. You ignore the obvious signs that you’re dating a(nother) jerk and blindly forge ahead with the utmost faith that you’ve finally found “The One.” When your well-meaning friends and family tell you your new boo is no good for you, you dismiss them because you’ve convinced yourself that their objections mean they just don’t want to see you happy.
3You stay in toxic relationships.
You realize that you shouldn’t accept dishonesty, infidelity, or an emotionally unavailable partner, but you’re too afraid to leave. It’s like tolerating toxic behavior in a relationship feels better than being single.
4You keep all your exes on standby.
Completely cutting off your former flames is out of the question, not because you’re legitimately friends with your exes, but because you feel secure keeping them around as potential space fillers in case you end up single with no prospects.
5You lose yourself in your relationships.
Whenever you become seriously involved with someone, your lose your sense of self. You automatically change to mimic whoever you date, and suddenly you find yourself eating foods you don’t like, watching TV shows you don’t enjoy, or dressing a certain way just to please them.
While being an agreeable partner has its advantages, being too nice can affect your relationship in a negative way. If you have a partner who likes you for YOU, they may be turned off by your co-dependent, “go along to get along” approach, which could lead to a breakup that puts you back in the scariest position you can think of: being single.
6You come on too strong during first dates.
You frequently engage in first date habits that are flat-out rude like talking too much, asking super intrusive questions (they may not wanna share their baby name ideas with you just yet), or ignoring the person’s physical boundaries. All this cringeworthy behavior isn’t because you’re an awful person. It’s just that you’d rather bypass all this minor introductory talk and make the relationship official already because you’ve been single for an entire month, and it’s really starting to make you believe you’ll be alone forever.
It’s easier said than done, but being single for a while may be just what you need to develop a healthier relationship with yourself. The time alone can help you learn to value who you are, which will make it much more likely that you find a compatible mate who’s in it for the long run, simply because they see the value in you, too.