How The Fear Of Being Single Can Affect You

 / 

, ,
fear of being single

Some people hold the belief that if a person is not in a relationship, he/she must be lonely and miserable. As a result of this fear-inducing scenario, people may rush into relationships that are not the best fit and do not bring them joy.

There is also a body of research that focuses on singlism, a term that describes an anti-single sentiment. Singlism may result in “single adults in contemporary American society [being] targets of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination…” (DePaulo & Morris, 2005, p. 57). Therefore, not only do people worry about being single, but those who are single are also judged for it.

The Research

Research has shown that people will settle for less in a relationship for fear of being single (Spielmann, MacDonald, Maxwell, Joel, Peragine, Muise, & Impett, 2013). In Spielmann et al.’s study (2013), they defined the fear of being single as “…entailing concern, anxiety, or distress regarding the current or prospective experience of being without a romantic partner” (p. 1049).

don't fear loneliness

This distress can be experienced by both those who are not in relationships and those who are currently in one, but worry about their stability or question their longevity. While most research has focused on this anxiety in women, the authors note that both men and women may experience discomfort when it comes to singledom, because both sexes have an intrinsic need to find and maintain intimate relationships (Spielmann et al., 2013).

Related: Understanding The Fear Of Abandonment And Object Constancy

The researchers conducted a series of studies, through which they developed the Fear of Being Single Scale. Overall, they found that individuals with stronger fears were more likely to lower their standards, both in their current relationships and when selecting new mates. In addition, higher scores on their scale “…predicted greater dependence in less satisfying relationships” (Spielmann et al., 2013, p. 1068).

The more fear a person had, the less likely they would be to end a relationship that they were in, even when they were not satisfied. Being that people with a fear of singledom settle for less, it may further perpetuate the idea that being single leads to unhappiness.

fear of remaining unmarried

The Implications

People who fear being alone may stay in unfulfilling relationships or may be quick to rush into relationships that are not ideal. In essence, people may focus more on their relationship status than the relationship itself, which is very problematic.

It is important to be cognizant of any anxiety you have surrounding being single or the possibility of ending a relationship. You must also understand that pressure to be in a relationship may have negative consequences, such as settling for less (Spielman et al., 2013).

Related: 4 Mantras To Heal Your Fear Of Commitment

Being single is not necessarily negative. In fact, there are many benefits to being single. Many singles experience more autonomy and personal growth than those who are married (Marks & Lambert, 1998). In addition, being single enables a person to spend more time maintaining close connections with others.

Better Off Single With High Standards Than In A Relationship

Research has shown that singles maintain greater contact with their friends, neighbours, siblings, and parents than their married counterparts (Sarkisian & Gerstel, 2016). Therefore, those who are single benefit from fulfilling relationships with themselves and others.

Remember that there is nothing wrong with being single. Do not compare yourself to others in relationships. Instead, value the meaningful relationships that you have in your life.


References:
DePaulo, B. M., & Morris, W. L. (2005). Singles in society and in science. Psychological Inquiry, 16(2-3), 57-83.

Marks, N. F., & Lambert, J. D. (1998). Marital status continuity and change among young and midlife adults: Longitudinal effects on psychological well-being. Journal of Family Issues, 19(6), 652-686.

Sarkisian, N., & Gerstel, N. (2016). Does singlehood isolate or integrate? Examining the link between marital status and ties to kin, friends, and neighbors. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 33(3), 361-384.

Spielmann, S. S., MacDonald, G., Maxwell, J. A., Joel, S., Peragine, D., Muise, A., & Impett, E. A. (2013). Settling for less out of fear of being single. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105(6), 1049-1073.

Written by: Marisa T. Cohen
Originally appeared on:  Psychology Today
For more information about Dr. Marisa T. Cohen and her work, please visit her website: www.marisatcohen.com
Republished with permission
fear of being single pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Eggshell Parenting Meaning: 5 Signs You’re Making These Mistakes!

Eggshell Parenting: Signs You're Making These Mistakes!

Parenting is one of the most sincere tasks in every individual’s life that should be done with utmost care and coherence. However, the relationship between parents and their children is often tampered by the mental, and behavioral issues of the parents.

Thus, mood disorders and the violent nature of parents can affect the child’s life. Eggshell parenting is one such consequence. In this blog, we will guide you to understand eggshell parenting and show you the risky spots you should avoid.

What is Eggshell Parenting?  



Up Next

How Healthy Relationships Can Improve Your Physical Health

How Healthy Relationships Can Improve Your Physical Health

Healthy relationships are crucial for feeling happy, positive, and also physically healthy. The physical benefits of healthy relationships are a lot, and this article is going to talk about that in detail. Let’s find out the importance of having strong and healthy relationships.

Humans need humans to survive.

It’s no secret that a healthy relationship can bring joy and happiness to your life, but did you know that it can also have a positive impact on your physical health?

From reducing stress levels to boosting your immune system, there are many surprising health benefits to being in a happy partnership. Read on to learn more.

We are social creatures who thrive on strong, healthy relationships with friends, colleagues and family me



Up Next

Do you often feel Defenseless and Defeated? 7 Signs of a Narcissistic Relationship

Am I In A narcissistic relationship? signs that confirms!

Do you constantly try to make sense of things that do not make sense? We know how exhausting that might be, constantly running in a loop with no ends not only drains you emotionally but also has serious effects on your physical and mental health.

If you can relate to the first sentence, you might have ended up with a narcissist, that is, someone having Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). This article discusses the 7 undeniable signs of being in a narcissistic relationship.

7 Ways a Victim Behaves in a Narcissistic Relationship



Up Next

Should I Start a Family? 10 Reasons That Might Convince You

Should I Start a Family? Reasons That Might Convince You

Two paths are diverging before you at a crossroads. You can either continue with your present life which has the comforts you know so well, or you could choose the other path which goes into the unknown. 

The decision to start a family is one of those big adventures in life that leaves us breathless with awe; it is filled with twists and turns and love upon love.

This article takes you on an exciting journey of decoding parenthood: an adventure that is both daunting and thrilling, and joyous as well as demanding.

Whether it is from the depths of unconditional love or soaring heights of leaving a lasting impact, each reason acts as a lighthouse in this respect.

Therefore, let’s examine these 10 reasons why to start a family!



Up Next

Emotional Monitoring: Is It Sabotaging Your Relationship? 5 Ways To Fix It

What Is Emotional Monitoring: Best Ways To Fix It

Are you frequently asking, “Are you okay?” or “Are you mad at me?” If you find yourself either asking these questions or receiving them, then you may be stuck in a behavior pattern called emotional monitoring.

Emotional monitoring is where one continually scans other people’s emotions in order to regulate their own responses which can lead to emotional burnout and problems with communication.

But it is possible to break this cycle; it starts with knowing what signs look like and deliberately changing our ways when we see them.

What Is Emotional Monitoring In A Relationship?



Up Next

Are You Seeing Pink Flags In A Relationship? 9 Signs You Shouldn’t Overlook It

What Are Pink Flags In A Relationship? Warning Signs

In relationships, we usually look out for red flags – those big signs that something is seriously wrong. But what about the less obvious ones? Let’s talk about what are pink flags in a relationship.

These signs don’t scream “danger” but still make you stop and think!

So, What Are Pink Flags In A Relationship?

Consider pink flags in relat



Up Next

The Dreaded ‘What Are We’ Question: 7 Tips For Having ‘The Talk’ Successfully

"What Are We?" Best Tips To Have The Talk Successfully

The “what are we?” talk can be terrifying, even for the most experienced daters. But do not fret because armed with some strategic advice and a lot of bravery, you can make it through this conversation with your head held high.

If you have ever been stuck in a non-committal relationship much more than casual though not legitimately committed, you need to place the what are we question. It will allow you to find answers for yourself in the notoriously undefined modern dating gray area.

Below are some tips t