A Fear of Being Alone Drives Poor Relationships?

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Making the right choice, rather than settling for what's there can mean you are happier.
Making the right choice, rather than settling for what's there can mean you are happier.

Making the right choice, rather than settling for what's there can mean you are happier.
Making the right choice, rather than settling for what’s there can mean you are happier.

Making Relationships Work Means Making Choices

TORONTO – Fools rush in where angels dare not tread. That ages old saying might explain poor relationships. Have you ever wondered why a relationship didn’t work out? Maybe it is because you settled for less than you could have.

The fear of being single is a meaningful predictor of settling for less in relationships among both men and women, a new University of Toronto (U of T) study has found. The results were published in the December edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Fear of being single

“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 behaviours.”

Investigators surveyed several samples of North American adults, consisting of University of Toronto undergraduates and community members from Canada and the U.S. The samples included a wide range of ages.

“In our results we see men and women having similar concerns about being single, which lead to similar coping behaviours, 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.”

Speed Dating or Long Term Relationships?

In some cases it is a move to ‘move too fast’. The old style courtship in modern times can be replaced by ‘shacking up’ and then a reluctance to break the relationship when it is not working.

Often that speed results in couples stuck together, or children coming about as a result of the relationship that further tie down people.

The key is becoming secure in yourself, and in some cases being confident in yourself to not make fear based relationship choices.

After all, how many times in a relationship have all your friends and family commented on how you ‘Can do so much better’. Maybe overcoming that fear will help you do just that.

 

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