Dr. Monica Vaskey
Many people have a fear of being alone. Even if your life is surrounded by people, you can find yourself struggling with feeling like you are all alone. This could be in certain situations or just in your life in general.
Understanding your fear can help you grow and move beyond it. Instead of being trapped and living in fear of current or future loneliness, you can learn how to find connection and security.
The many ways people have a fear of being alone.Fear of being alone doesn’t mean you are afraid of being in a room all by yourself (although that can certainly be the case.) More often, however, the fear of being alone is linked to being emotionally alone rather than physically alone.
People have all different ways they fear being alone.
Fear of never finding a partner.
A common fear associated with being alone is the fear of never finding a partner or spouse. Many people worry that they will end up alone, without that special person with whom they can walk through life.
This can show up from early years, even in childhood, or it may manifest later when a person feels that time to find their special someone is running out. No matter when this feeling starts, the person may struggle with the fear so much that it impacts daily living and relationships.
Fear of losing someone you love.
Conversely, some people do have that special person and they worry that they will lose them. Because they are aware of the potential for loss, they worry that the person they love will leave or die. If this happens, they would be left alone and that feels scary.
This can be true for more than romantic relationships. It is not uncommon for parents to worry about losing a child and being left alone. Whether they have a spouse or other children is irrelevant. The feeling of being alone is a loss of that specific relationship.
Children, even adult children, can worry about losing a parent and being left alone without the security of that person that guided them through life. All types of relationships, especially close relationships, can struggle with the fear of being alone if the person they love leaves or dies.
Fear of time alone.
For some people, it is less about the loss or lack of a relationship than about actually being alone. Spending time alone can be scary for some people, especially those who have factors from their past that are connected to this feeling.
If a person experienced excessive time alone as a child when they needed support and the presence of caring people, being alone later in life can feel scary. They often worry that they are back in that situation from childhood, left feeling helpless to do anything about it.
Others may have experienced unsafe situations when they were alone. This could be a child left to care for themselves before it was developmentally appropriate. It could also be a person that has a history of making poor or unsafe choices when they are alone such as substance abuse or self-harm. If they have experiences like this, being alone can feel risky and unsafe to them, resulting in fear.
God didn’t intend for us to be alone.
Looking back to the creation of people, God recognized that it was not good for a person to be alone in the world. After God created all the animals and Adam, He recognized the need for something more.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” – Genesis 2:18, ESV
In creating Eve, God was giving Adam the partner he needed to walk through life. This connection shows us how important it is, all the way from early creation, for people to have someone with whom they can enjoy, endure, and experience life.
Does that mean we are never alone?
We are many centuries removed from the early days of creation when Adam and Eve walked through life together in the Garden of Eden. Since God created Eve, humanity has experienced many things, including sin, which causes us to have the feeling of separation or being alone.We experience things like the death of people we love, ending relationships, fractured relationships, unmet expectations in relationships, and relationships that we long for but never come to fruition. All of this can make being alone feel inevitable. But God had another plan.
God, through His divine nature, the coming of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit, promises that we are never alone.
From the early Old Testament when we are reminded, “It is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6b, ESV) to the New Testament when Jesus promises, “‘And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:20b, ESV) we are reminded that God is always with us.
Even when we feel alone, we can rest in the promise that God never leaves us alone. He stays with us, always present, no matter what we feel or are going through.
If God is with you, why do you sometimes feel alone?
While you may understand what the Bible says about God’s presence, it may be hard to believe it when you struggle with feeling alone or the fear of being alone.
The way you engage with God looks and feels different from the way you engage with people. This can mean that you know God is there, but you still worry about being alone.
The best thing you can do is to bring these feelings to God. Share your fears with Him and ask for His guidance in understanding them and finding help to overcome them. You can also call on the Holy Spirit for help.
The Holy Spirit is always with us and connects us to God, the father, and Jesus. It is empowering to know that Jesus also felt lonely at times, and we are not alone with those feelings; that is why he sent the Holy Spirit. God wants to help you with everything you feel. Start talking to Him about it and see how He helps you.
How to change your fear of being alone.
People who fear being alone often want nothing more than to not feel this way. It can be a burden that makes them weary and affects both daily life and relationships.
The best way to change these feelings is by implementing a multifaceted approach:
Talk to God.
This is always the best place to start. Get honest with Him about how you feel and how it is impacting you. If it’s hard to talk to Him, try writing your prayers down. Share how you feel, remind yourself of who He is, and ask for His help.
Talk to someone who can help.Start by talking to people in your life whom you trust. Tell them how you feel and how you are struggling. You can even ask them to pray for you. This could be a friend, a family member, or a pastor. Additionally, consider talking to a counselor. They are trained to help people
process all kinds of feelings and find solutions that make their lives better.
Taking time to remind yourself of what is true about God can help you remember that you are never truly alone. Read scriptures that show you God’s promises and stories of people in the Bible who felt alone, but were amazed by God’s faithful presence.
- The bleeding woman (Mark 5:25-34)
- Jesus prayed (Luke 5:16)
- A reminder in Joshua (Joshua 1:9)
- A promise in Isaiah (Isaiah 41:10)
- The gift of peace (John 14:27)
Make new connections and networks by joining a social group at the church or in the community.
Volunteer and give back to the community by focusing on others.
Increase physical activity.
Spend time in nature.
God longs for you to feel secure in Him. But sometimes you need help to do that, especially when you are battling fears. You can change your fear of being alone. The counselors in our office can help you understand why you fear being alone and help you find freedom from that fear. Call us today for help.
“Prayer”, Courtesy of Ben White, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Prayer”, Courtesy of Naassom Azevedo, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “On My Knees”, Courtesy of Ben White, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Walking on the Sand”, Courtesy of Toa Heftiba, Unsplash.com, CC0 License
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