By Frank Kermit
Over the last few years I have witnessed the emergence of what I would almost call a new category of singles. Singles, who continue to remain single, primarily out of fear. I refer to people in this group as the Scared Single.
What makes these individuals so interesting is that the vast majority of them do not have any experience being in an actual relationship.
If someone was married, and then suffered an abusive relationship and/or nasty divorce, and wound up scared to date again, then being too scared to enter into relationships would make sense to most people.
If someone grew up in a household that was emotionally unhealthy, or witnessed horrible interactions between parents and/or other adults, then being too scared to enter into relationships would make sense to most people.
However, a significant number of people are choosing to resist being committal in any sort of romantic relation, and some even refuse to bother dating at all. They are actively choosing to completely by-pass any need for getting seriously involved with another human being, and are insisting on a childfree existence.
Many are adult aged virgins (of both genders) that have never had a serious significant other. The closest thing to a relationship most have had is a long-standing crush on a person they never actually dated.
Now, just so my position is clear, there is nothing wrong with someone wanting to remain single, choosing not to date, and opting to remain childfree. No one should be forced to take on any sort of relationship role that he or she is neither interested in nor comfortable with. In fact, forcing people who are not interested in dating to date, or start families, is unethical.
What intrigues me is to understand where the fear comes from. I am often quoted that 50% of marriages fail. This is true. However, that also indicates that 50% of marriages succeed. Here is where it becomes of interest to me.
When such a person insists they are happy with their style of life (and there are people who are happy with such lifestyle choices), when bother coming to see a Dating and Relationship Coach? People, who are happy with their life, do not seek the validation of others to fortify their choices or complain about being single.
At the heart of fear of relationships, we can see a fear of loss (getting something and then losing in the future), and we can see a fear of rejection (asking for something you want and being refused it), and we can see a fear of conflict (wanting to please others so badly that you submerge your own desires).
However, for the group of Scared Single, I think the fear may be something a little more personal. Many Scared Single, simply do not trust themselves enough to be able to attract what they want, and to be able to know how to keep it.
Essentially the Scared Single, do not have enough knowledge about what they want, and have no concept about the boundaries they have to balance out what they do not want. When I work with the Scared Single, a HUGE issue is the inability to weed out and spot the red flags, so that they do not get saddled dating the wrong person.
It takes a lot of courage to overcome the fears at the core of a Scared Single. Sometimes, the pain of being alone has to outweigh the pain of dating. That may take quite of bit of time to accumulate, as most Scared Single, find dating to be demoralizing (too many unrealistic expectations based on fantasy, that reality can never live up to).
There is a lot of letting go for the Scared Single to be ready to move to the next level in order to find love. It takes a level of acceptance and maturity that not every Scared Single has the motivation to achieve.
Just like all areas of life, it is the enemy within that is the toughest demon to slay.