Monophobia – The Fear of Being Alone

Monophobia – The Fear of Being Alone


Some people are afraid to be alone and will do anything to say they are “in a relationship”? Maybe it’s time for them to consider the benefits of being single.

fear of being alone

Peter Bernik/123RF Photo

Over the last few years, reading vastly and drawing inferences from discussions with friends has led me to believe that a lot of people suffer from a syndrome known as “monophobia.” It is an acute fear of being alone and having to cope without a specific person, or perhaps any person, in close proximity. This fear in my opinion has made a lot of people make wrong decisions, especially when it comes to relationships.

Various psychologists have carried out series of research to determine whether the fear of ending up alone drives people to compromise when choosing boyfriends/girlfriends and even more importantly, life partners. They found the stigma of being single so powerful that many adults choose to be in “sub-standard” relationships, or stick with one that is breaking down rather than be single and alone.

More specifically and further buttressing earlier opinions, recent research carried out by the department of psychology at the University of Toronto say this profound fear of being single may also explain why many people stick with “toxic” relationships that are going nowhere.

This trend brings one question to mind; why do we have to prioritize relationship status above relationship quality, settling for less responsive partners and remaining in relationships that are less satisfying? While discussing with a friend of mine, I cringed at the types of experiences she’s had to deal with and was further perplexed by her choices; for instance, she said she would rather remain in her unhappy relationship than break up with her most times “absent” boyfriend.

This type of behavior is very common in our society today, and I’m  sure most of us know at least one person going through this situation. Contrary to what many of us think, there are numerous benefits of being single. Please permit me to walk you through six of them.

You can work on yourself

There are higher chances of you seeking to improve yourself when you’re single than when you’re in a relationship. When you’re single, you realize that you’re more interested in becoming a better individual and you focus on developing yourself mentally and emotionally. You can engage in self-evaluation, identifying and working on overcoming your weaknesses and shortcomings.

You can save tons of time

It’s fun to send flirty messages back and forth, but you can’t imagine how much time the typical couple spend on their phones – exchanging IMs, tweets, phone calls or even stalking each other (yes I know most of us do this). Of course you could decide to be with a partner who is independent but it would be easier to find a dictionary in Patience’s library than to find such a creature. So you cannot begin to imagine how much time single people have to engage in productive activities.

You can become more self-reliant

Have you ever been through a breakup so bad that you couldn’t function for days, weeks, months or even years. Love is a powerful force that can be both beautiful and damaging. Strong feelings should not be silenced but never let a romantic interest become the single reason for your existence or your happiness. Don’t! Why? Because sadly, few relationships are destined for eternal success and I have been lucky to witness a few in my relatively short time on earth so far. So all I am saying is that when you are single, you learn how to be independent and how to make yourself happy without anyone’s assistance or contribution.

You can stay in touch with family and friends

Most of us know how relationships can become so overwhelming that you have little time for yourself let alone family and friends. We tend to prioritize that person albeit naturally and forget family or friends who have been with us through trying periods in our lives. So you have more than enough time to spend with your people when you’re single.

You can do whatever the heck you want

When you’re single, you can just wake up one morning and decide to take a trip to Paris, Seychelles, Ibiza, OK I’ll stop. Can you do this when you’re in a relationship? No, not usually. When single, you can decide to be spontaneous; go fishing on the Atlantic Ocean, cycle from Ikorodu to Lekki without having to explain your actions to anyone.

You can flirt without fear

Let’s face it, everyone flirts.  Sometimes knowingly and other times unknowingly, but only single people have the “legal” right to engage in harmless/innocent flirting every now and then. (But is there any such thing as innocent/harmless flirting? Story for another article.)

I could go on and on about the benefits of being single but I will stop now because I think everyone gets the point. This is by no means encouraging anyone to turn down the chance of being in a happy and committed relationship; all I am saying is that if you are not happy and it’s looking like there won’t be any light at the end of that relationship tunnel, please walk away and you will find your light.

Chima OnyewuchiChima Onyewuchi is a dynamic writer who focuses on different topical issues that cut across areas which include but are not limited to business, entertainment, relationships and sports. He gained his writing expertise while working for a top consulting firm in Nigeria and currently works as a business analyst in that country. In his spare time, he watches TV, soccer and listens to music. You can follow him on Twitter at @_wuzy.
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