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How to End a Bad Relationship When You Are Afraid to Be Alone

by Jae Kemp, studioD

The fear of being alone can prove crippling when it comes time to transition from being half of a couple to an individual on your own. Even if the idea of conquering life by yourself makes you nervous, you can become confident and comfortable with ending your relationship. Boosting your self-esteem as you reconnect with yourself and establish your independence, plus a little help from your friends, will aid you in successfully ending a toxic partnership and moving on.

Believe in Yourself

Some individuals have a hard time being alone because of trust issues stemming from childhood, says psychologist Karyl McBride in the "Psychology Today" article "Why Am I So Afraid of Being Alone?" By nurturing your self-esteem, you can overcome past negative experiences that may influence you to cling to an unhealthy relationship today. One way to do this is to replace overly critical self-talk with affirmations. When you begin doubting yourself, repeat the words “I am capable of handling life on my own” or take a moment to focus on a time in the past when you effectively handled a would-be crisis by yourself.

Back to You

Abandoning ourselves is what actually makes us feel lonely, says psychologist Margaret Paul, in the article "What Your Fear of Loneliness is Really About" for "The Huffington Post." If you have made concessions throughout your relationship to keep the peace, you may feel lonely even in your partner's presence. Reconnect with your sense of self by engaging in activities you enjoyed prior to your partnership or have wished you could try, but were prevented from doing so by the relationship. Enroll in a foreign language course at the local college, for instance.

Independence Days

Living on your own can seem much scarier when it looms on the far horizon. Take concrete steps toward establishing your independence to take care of practical necessities and also to help you count on your own decision-making prowess when it comes to the big stuff. If there is an area of day-to-day life management that constitutes a knowledge blind spot for you, tackle it head-on. Watch a cooking show if you don't trust your culinary skills, learn to get your finances in order or research potential new homes for yourself and then commit to what you deem the best choice.

Lean on Friends

Exiting a negative relationship doesn't have to mean sitting alone in a quiet house. Take this opportunity to reach out to friends and family members. Chances are loved ones who have witnessed your relationship dissatisfaction would love to help you make the adjustments necessary for your happiness. While talking through your feelings can certainly help, don't limit your social time to phone calls and emails. Accept any invitation you can to enjoy going out with friends and invite your social circle over to your new place.

About the Author

Jae Kemp has been writing and editing professionally since 2010. In addition to reviewing novels, memoirs and psychology/self-help books for major review services, Kemp has served as a copywriter, commercial and creative editor, and staff article writer.

Photo Credits

  • D. Anschutz/Photodisc/Getty Images