Has a friend or colleague casually remarked on your relationship status?
Has a friend ever pushed you to ‘go for it or warn you that you might be forever alone if you do not start acting differently?
These questions and thoughts tend to stay with us, making us question and doubt ourselves. Over time, we internalize the fear of feeling alone or being forever lonely without even realizing it. And it continues to act as a barrier preventing you from living your life to the fullest and ironically enough can even act as a hurdle in finding and building meaningful relationships.
1. Self Acceptance
The question we really need to ask ourselves is –
‘Why is the thought of ending up alone so scary in the first place?’ ‘Do you like yourself?’
If you do not appreciate and value yourself, you tend to tolerate unhealthy actions and behaviors, ignore red flags, and might often find yourself in toxic relationships with partners who do not treat you right. Once you start accepting and falling in love with yourself, you gain clarity on what you deserve, and how you wish to be treated. When you radiate a sense of self-confidence, you also tend to become a more attractive companion.
It is important that you reflect on your ideas about a relationship.
What does being in a relationship mean to you?
Are you waiting for someone to come and fix all your problems?
Are your expectations realistic or even fair?
Being in a relationship does not guarantee a perfect life with no problems, even though that is what we have been made to believe. Do not use relationships as an escape from your current life.
3. ‘Happily Ever After?’
We have all dreamt of a happily ever after at some point in our lives. Maybe, the opposite of this phrase that pops up in our heads is ‘forever feeling alone’. What is wrong with this idea is that it makes us firmly hold the idea that our happiness is contingent on romantic relationships. Relationships are hard work too. It requires a consistent investment of effort, time, and emotions.
Relationships are not meant to take away all your past pain and bring a lot of happiness, all on their own. It is to have someone to share your sadness and happiness with. The only person who can truly make you happy is you. A partner can definitely add to your emotional experience but cannot be made completely accountable or responsible for it.
Work on yourself. Tackle those insecurities that hold you back from living your best life. It could sound like “I am not pretty enough” “not smart enough” or “Maybe I am too boring”. The movies we watch might build unrealistic expectations of a romantic relationship. Building a relationship with a partner is not equivalent to having a savior to protect yourself from all your insecurities.
It is time you stop waiting for someone to come and tell you that “You are perfect just the way you are”. Say that to yourself, now. And who knows you might find someone who agrees with you soon enough?!
5. Support Yourself
The feeling of loneliness tends to start weakening when you start feeling comfortable in your own skin, developing a kind and compassionate relationship with your own self first. If only we start asking the right questions like –
“Who am I? “
“What do I like about myself? “
“What am I looking for? “
“What are my needs and expectations from a partner? “
to guide our quest for a relationship, we might actually start finding some direction for ourselves. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend and you will begin to feel that safe, secure space that helps you look for a partner from a place of desire and not need.
6. Question your Stereotypes
Question your beliefs and expectations. Specific bad experiences in the past may continue to define your thoughts and expectations in a new relationship. As humans subconsciously tend to act in ways to confirm their pre-existing beliefs and stereotypes, it is important that you process your painful past experiences in order to take away the power that they continue to hold over you.
See if you are over-generalizing based on the past. Doing this will help you approach new people with a fresh unbiased lens.
7. Engage in Activities
Instead of pressurizing yourself to find ‘the one, explore activities that make you feel genuinely happy and satisfied. You might be trying so hard to be in a relationship because you have feeling alone like it is a bad thing but have never truly known or enjoyed your own company. The activities can be cooking, painting, gardening, taking a walk, riding a bicycle, writing, reading, and basically anything that brings you joy and makes you feel more connected to yourself.
8. Find Your Tribe
In engaging in activities that you like, you can take a step further by joining groups, or societies of individuals with shared likes and interests. This will help you find like-minded individuals, and build meaningful friendships and relationships.
9. Choose to Volunteer
Engaging in prosocial behavior does not only help others in need, it can help you feel better about yourself, find a bigger meaning in your life, and feel more connected to others in society. This might be just what you need to overcome that void, emptiness, and feeling alone or being ‘forever lonely’ inside you. When you learn to show up for others, you start learning to show up for yourself in ways you had never known before.
10. Seek professional support
If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of being alone, struggle with relationship issues, find it difficult to trust people, and find yourself getting into bad, toxic relationships over and over again, it is okay to reach out for professional help.
You are not alone. Your online counselor at BetterLYF can help you feel empowered and encouraged along this journey of finding a partner without losing yourself on the way.
Seeking help is a sign of courage. Don't let self-limiting beliefs hold you back from a life you deserve. Avail online therapy to become happier and better. Learn how