What is it about being alone that instills such fear in people?
Two beautiful, accomplished, vivacious women in their mid-50s I know are struggling to embrace a new life without the security blanket of a mate. And I mean struggling.
One woman knows she’s not “in love” with her mate of several years, and is having a tough time making the break.
“What if I make a mistake?” she asked me. “What if he’s really the one?”
“What if you make a lifetime commitment, change your life and he’s NOT the one?” I responded.
The fear? Of being alone.
Another woman I know is barely out of her long-term relationship and absolutely requires another to feel ok and empowered.
It’s not just fear of being alone for life. It’s fear of being alone for five minutes.
A therapist once taught me a technique by which to analyze any action that scared me. Ask yourself What’s the worst that can happen? And then How likely is that to happen?
These are women who have a tremendous amount going for them and the irony is that they are probably not going to be alone for long. They’re gorgeous, smart and fun. Hell, I’d marry them if I were a guy. (Or a lesbian–yay for equal rights!)
I asked my husband how likely he thought it was that one woman we knew would end up without a relationship.
“Slim to none,” he said, “and Slim’s left town.”
But: what if she did? What if she lived the rest of her life without a man?
Is it worth being with someone so wrong for her?
Are you really empowering yourself if a man is a required part of that equation?
These answers seem so clear to me, on the outside. Then again, the one thing I miss about my very happy life today is that I no longer have any of the “alone time” I got so used to in the 27 years Michael and I were apart. Being alone doesn’t frighten me at all. I love it.
Unless I hear noises in the night.
Unlike many women, I loved the dating process. But these women fear the process, the kissing of frogs, the inevitable rejection. Me? I never felt it was rejection as much as it was personal preference. Chocolate or vanilla, that’s all. Chocolate or vanilla.
I get that first steps are hard. This one’s a killer.
So, I’m asking readers: what would you say to encourage these women?