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Fear of Being Single: Anuptaphobia, 31 Signs You’re Afraid & Secrets to Beat It

Do you have anxiety around the idea of being single? If so, you might just suffer from anuptaphobia. Here’s how to take charge of your fear of being single.

fear of being single anuptaphobia

Ever thought you’d die alone surrounded by 27 cats? You’re not alone in that fear. The dreaded fear of being single—a concept as ubiquitous as cat memes on the internet, but not nearly as fun. We’re diving deep into the science of anuptaphobia today.

Our goal? To help you understand and confront this gnawing fear of being single in a way that’s as grounded as your grandma’s meatloaf—only this comes sprinkled with scientific insights!

So, if you’re thinking that Netflix and chilling by yourself is the pinnacle of life, you might want to stick around. Because, spoiler alert, we’re about to uncover when the fear of being single turns into a full-blown phobia you might need to address.

[Read: Tired of being single AF – 51 signs & the dating goals and habits you need]

What is anuptaphobia? Your new vocabulary word for today

So, you find yourself anxious at the thought of attending another wedding solo or spending another Valentine’s Day with your favorite takeout.

You’re not just afraid of being single, you’re tiptoeing into the realm of anuptaphobia.

This irrational and constant fear of being single is more than just occasional late-night worries. Think of it as that annoying pop-up ad that keeps showing up when you’re trying to read an article—it’s there, and it just won’t go away.

If you’re scared of being single, understanding theories like attachment theory and social comparison theory can offer real insights.

For instance, if your style of attachment tends to be anxious, you’re more likely to constantly worry about being alone. On the flip side, societal influences—like when it seems everyone and their dog is getting engaged—can exacerbate these fears, making you feel like you’re losing in a game of romantic musical chairs.

This all comes to life in moments like stalking an ex on social media or contemplating sending that risky “u up?” text at 2 a.m. But knowing is half the battle, right? So now that we’ve named the monster, let’s get ready to tackle it.

Mom, dad, is it you? The causes of the fear of being single

Have you ever wondered why the fear of being single can grip you tighter than a toddler clutching their favorite toy?

It’s not random, and while it’s easy to think you’re the only one struggling with this, you’re actually in pretty good, albeit anxious, company.

The reasons behind being afraid of being single can be traced back to a blend of familial influences, societal pressures, and good ol’ personal insecurities.

1. Familial influences

Let’s start at the very beginning—a very good place to start. How your parents interacted with each other, or didn’t, can set the stage for your own fears about relationships.

You grow up seeing love or the lack thereof modeled by your parents, and this could play a role in why you’re scared of being single today.

2. Societal pressures and romantic idealization

Pop culture, stand up! From Disney princesses waiting for Prince Charming to rom-coms where everyone ends up happily coupled, society has a way of pushing the narrative that being single equals being incomplete. [Read: 19 unrealistic expectations in love we want to believe but shouldn’t]

3. Insecurity and self-esteem issues

Last but not least, that nagging inner critic of yours could also be the reason for your anuptaphobia.

When you’re already feeling a little shaky about who you are, the idea of not having someone else to validate your worth can be downright terrifying.

Signs you might be suffering from anuptaphobia and you’re afraid of being single

So you’re starting to realize that the fear of being single might be more than just a passing cloud on your emotional skyline.

Before you rush off to find a therapist—or a hug—let’s sift through some common symptoms. These signs might just indicate you’re dealing with anuptaphobia.

1. Feeling anxious over long-term solitude

When the fear of being single manifests as anxiety over long-term solitude, you’re not just worried about Saturday nights alone, you’re anxious about years, perhaps decades, without a significant other.

This can be a debilitating feeling that often requires a deeper look into the underlying causes.

2. Panic at the sight of happy couples

You’re scrolling through social media, and boom—another engagement announcement. Instead of feeling happy for the couple, panic sets in, and you wonder if you’ll ever find your person. This is more than just FOMO, this could be a symptom of anuptaphobia.

3. Persistent sadness when single

If you’re constantly feeling down whenever you’re not in a relationship, it’s worth asking why.

Emotional well-being should not solely depend on your relationship status. Being afraid of being single to the point where it affects your mood could indicate underlying issues.

4. Sticking to toxic relationships

Being in a bad relationship because you think it’s better than being alone? Yikes! This behavioral symptom shows that you’re not just scared of being single; you’re willing to compromise your own well-being to avoid it.

5. Serial dating

If you hop from one relationship to another like a frog on lily pads, pause and consider why.

Is it because the idea of being single makes you break out in metaphorical hives? That’s anuptaphobia rearing its head. [Read: Serial dater – what it is, 38 signs to see one & why serial dating sucks]

6. Glued to dating apps but fear commitment

It’s one thing to enjoy swiping right, it’s another to be addicted to dating apps while dreading an actual committed relationship.

If this paradox describes you, you might be dealing with a complex form of the fear of being single.

7. Overgeneralizing relationship status

When you start to think that “everyone is in a relationship except for me,” you’re succumbing to a cognitive bias. Overgeneralizing your single status can make you more afraid of being single, amplifying your anuptaphobia.

8. Catastrophic thinking

Imagining that you’ll die alone or end up as a crazy cat lady is a form of catastrophic thinking that can fuel your fear. If you catch yourself thinking this way, it’s a glaring sign of being scared of being single. [Read: Feeling forever alone? Steps to feel loved all over again]

9. Obsessive planning to avoid being single

Whether it’s scheming to get back with an ex or contemplating a relationship you know isn’t good for you, obsessive planning is a cognitive symptom that screams anuptaphobia.

Realest reasons behind the fear of being single

If symptoms are the smoke, then motivations are the fire. To put out the flames of anuptaphobia, let’s get real about why some of us are genuinely scared of being single. Here are some common motivators:

1. Loneliness or boredom

Fear of loneliness is often the first thing people think of when they’re afraid of being single. But let’s not overlook boredom.

Sometimes, it’s not about being alone, it’s about being unoccupied and feeling as if life is passing you by. [Read: Do you want a partner or are you just feeling more lonely?]

2. Family pressure

“Any grandkids on the horizon?” Family can sometimes be the most significant pressure point, especially if they’re dangling the carrot of ‘settling down’ in front of you like a life goal you’re failing to achieve.

3. Fear of dying alone

It’s a bit morbid, but the fear of not having someone to share life’s final moments with can fuel the fear of being single.

For some, the idea of dying alone magnifies every other worry associated with anuptaphobia.

4. Lack of a support system

If you believe a romantic partner is the only valid form of emotional support, being single can seem like walking a tightrope without a net. This lack of a perceived support system can be a strong motivator for fearing singlehood. [Read: 28 BIG myths & HUGE benefits of being single girls must know & remember]

5. Watching others move on

Whether it’s your best friend’s wedding or your younger sibling’s baby shower, watching everyone else reach these milestones can make you feel like you’re not just single but also stuck in a life stage you’ve outgrown.

The pitfalls of having fear of being single

The fear of being single isn’t just an isolated worry. It has a ripple effect, impacting not just your emotional but also your social well-being. Here’s how:

1. Anxiety

The constant dread of ending up alone can lead to generalized anxiety disorder or exacerbate existing anxiety issues. [Read: Signs of anxiety – how to read the signs ASAP & handle them better]

2. Depression

If you’re perpetually thinking you’re going to be forever single, it can be a short hop to feeling hopeless, which is a core symptom of depression.

3. Unhealthy coping mechanisms

Welcome to the world of rebound relationships, where you may find yourself dating just to avoid the sting of solitude.

4. The “people-pleaser” syndrome

Afraid of being single? You might turn into a perpetual people-pleaser, sacrificing your own needs to keep anyone and everyone around. [Read: People pleaser – 21 signs you’re one & how to stop people pleasing]

5. Loss of individuality

When you’re more concerned with not being alone than with being yourself, you risk losing sight of who you are. Your unique traits take a backseat as you conform to what you think will make you more “dateable.”

6. Getting trapped in the cycle of casual dating

If you’re afraid of being single, you might find yourself in an endless loop of casual dating. You might think, “Hey, it’s better than being alone,” but this cycle can be emotionally draining and might make you feel more isolated in the long run.

7. Contracting STDs

Fearing solitude can sometimes push people into risky sexual behavior. The urgency to not be alone might override the importance of safe sexual practices, leading to a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

If the fear of being single is driving you to neglect your own well-being, it’s time for some introspection. [Read: STDs 101 – the most common types and their symptoms]

How to conquer the fear of being single

So you’re scared of being single. Welcome to the club—a club that no one really wants to be in but has surprisingly high membership.

But guess what? This is one club you can easily exit with a bit of self-awareness and action. Here are some practical steps to get you out of the anuptaphobia rut:

1. Schedule ‘me-time’

The concept of exposure therapy is about facing your fears in controlled, manageable doses. So let’s make it actionable.

Pencil in short bursts of “me-time” into your calendar, like an hour to indulge in a hobby or take a leisurely walk.

2. Get to know yourself

Emotional intelligence is your inner compass that tells you why you feel what you feel and how to deal with it.

Think about setting aside time each week to reflect on your emotions. Journaling or using an emotion-tracking app can give you the insights you need.

3. Be present in the moment

Mindfulness techniques can be super useful for people who are afraid of being single. The idea is to live in the ‘here and now’ instead of fretting about a lonely future.

Try incorporating a short 5-10 minute mindfulness meditation session into your daily routine. [Read: 32 secrets to be present & live in the moment when life is speeding past you]

4. Lean on your tribe

When you’re scared of being single, it’s easy to overlook the rich network of friends and family that you already have.

Reach out to them for emotional support and perspective. You’ll find that a hearty laugh or deep conversation can offer a temporary but powerful reprieve from your fears.

5. Learn to say no

Believe it or not, learning to set boundaries can significantly reduce your fear of being alone. As Emeline sings, “This Is How I Learn to Say No,” and you can too. By understanding what you will and won’t tolerate, both from yourself and others, you pave the way for healthier relationships.

Take small steps like refusing plans you’re not interested in or saying no to additional work that will eat into your personal time. [Read: How to say no – 15 ways to reason politely, stop pleasing & feel kickass]

6. Rekindle or discover your passion

When you’re focused on a hobby you love, you’d be surprised how quickly your fear of being single can fade into the background.

Whether it’s painting, coding, or cooking, immerse yourself in activities that make you lose track of time.

7. When to seek professional help

Sometimes, it’s a mountain too steep to climb alone, and that’s okay. If the fear of being single is impacting your quality of life, disrupting your mental health, or making you engage in risky behavior, a mental health professional can provide the support and coping strategies you need.

Being single is a status, not a stigma

Remember, being single is a status, not a stigma. If you’ve been tangled up in the web of anuptaphobia or simply scared of being single, it’s time to take charge of your narrative.

Embrace the single life for what it truly is: an opportunity for self-discovery, growth, and heck, a lot of fun. Life is too short to let your fear of being single dictate your happiness.

Now, go out there and be the fabulous, single-and-ready-to-not-mingle *unless you want to* person you were always meant to be. 

[Read: 52 signs you’re meant to be single & you like it that way!]

People with anuptaphobia have a fear of being single, leading them to have risky behavior and a poor outlook on life. If this sounds like you, use our tips to self-medicate and consult your doctor when needed.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...