Now that Thanksgiving is over, we are quickly moving to the Christmas holidays and ringing in 2014. So that means countless office parties, winter weddings and holiday soirees, What that also means is that means another opportunity to meet the love of your life, or to end another year where you will check “single” on your 1040-EZ form.
Fear of being alone can cause people to make bad choices when it comes to relationships. In fact according to a new study by the University of Toronto (U of T) study has found published in the December edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found fear of being single is a meaningful predictor of settling for less in relationships among both men and women.
“Those with stronger fears about being single are willing to settle for less in their relationships,” says lead author Stephanie Spielmann, postdoctoral researcher in the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology. “Sometimes they stay in relationships they aren’t happy in, and sometimes they want to date people who aren’t very good for them.” She adds, “Now we understand that people’s anxieties about being single seem to play a key role in these types of unhealthy relationship behaviors.”
“In our results we see men and women having similar concerns about being single, which lead to similar coping behaviors, contradicting the idea that only women struggle with a fear of being single,” says co-author, Professor Geoff MacDonald of the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology. “Loneliness is a painful experience for both men and women, so it’s not surprising that the fear of being single seems not to discriminate on the basis of gender.”
So if you fill the tug at your heart to settle for someone who might not be worthy of your time, Here are some tips to avoid a potential bad choice.
- Educate yourself! The mainstream media this time of year is filled with really unhealthy messages regarding relationships, for example that you need another person to make the holidays complete. These romantic notions work great in books and the Hallmark channel but are highly destructive if taken literally. You are always a whole and indivisible being, capable of immense self-love, self acceptance and self sexuality.
- Tell yourself you are making a choice to be single! This is a paradigm shift that may help you in the long run. By consciously making the choice, if will shift the way you view your life and how you live it when it comes to sharing it with your co-workers, family and friends.
- Be self disciplined! Instead of remaining the victim of your own fear of being single, take control! Tell yourself that you will actively remain single for a the holidays. If you do plan to date, try to make sure the dates give are fun and give you ample time to get know someone.
- Do what you want! In the end your relationship status is a personal choice, there is no right or wrong, no good or bad. Instead of being the victim of cultural assumptions and societal norms, take the time to find out how you really would like to engage with other people. What kind of status would you choose if there was no pressure, no assumptions? Take your time and find what’s best for you. If you think something is a good idea then there have already been many others who think the same, and have most likely blazed a trail for you to follow. The way you engage in relationships, or don’t is not what’s important, the important thing is doing in consciously, and doing what’s right for YOU!
- It’s ALWAYS better to be single than to start a bad relationship! There’s not much more to say here. Getting into,or an unhealthy, bad relationship simply out of a fear of being alone is a really bad idea. It takes a lot of courage to take that leap into being single, but it’s always, 100% of the time worth it when the relationship is causing more harm than good.
Strivers has there ever been a time where you wanted to get into a relationship out of fear of being alone? What did you do to avoid it?
Let’s make the holiday season a great one.