Autophobia is a real phobia in which someone fears being alone, ignored, or unloved. Maybe you aren’t full on phobia status, but “These days, we’re probably all a little autophobic …” Do you display signs of fearing yourself and being alone, be it romantically or socially? Six signs you might be terrified of being alone…with no one but yourself for company.
- Boy-Toy—You stay in a relationship with someone who is—well, not Mr. Forever, but Mr. Good-enough-for the moment, because, well, it’s better than being alone. Or you are bored. Or all your friends have guys and therefore you end up left out unless you have a guy too. Guys, this may work vice versa.
- The Night in Terrors—You can’t stand a Friday night in or a weekend without plans. You feel like you have no life, you need friends to get you out on the town. Maybe you feel like you’ll never find that special someone who is just waiting for you to appear in some swanky (or dive) bar.
- Buddy System—A friend for everything, can you even pee without a friend to accompany you? Activities become “we should do this,” or “I’d love to do this, but I have no one to go with me.” You can’t do anything new or exciting alone. Friends are great—the problem is, if your friend is unavailable or not that interested, you miss out on the experience.
- Home Alone—You live with roommates because you don’t like living alone; in addition, they get you out doing things you otherwise might not. If you do live alone, you find yourself out and about more often, finding reasons to leave the house.
- Shot Gun!—You’d rather sit in the passenger seat all the time and let others make all the plans and decisions, rather than take the wheel yourself. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you, and you’ll partake to feel included and to “have a life”. You don’t have to come up with a good idea (which might actually suck) or invite others (and risk rejection); instead you get to tag along and leave the tough stuff to everyone else.
- Lunch date with your cell phone—You can’t have lunch by yourself without checking your cell phone a million times, trolling Facebook, or filling the time with a quick bite and some errands. Anything to avoid sitting by yourself looking awkward with nothing to do for an hour. Because really, what loser eats alone?
None of these items in and of themselves are bad things—just be clear with yourself about the reason why you do what you do. If it’s a crappy relationship—get out of it! If you don’t really want to get a nasty hang over from a rowdy night out with the girls, then chillax at home. Basically, don’t let a fear of being alone make you feel like you have to do less-than-fun things.
If you said yes to any of these signs, then maybe you need a heart to heart with your biggest admirer—yourself. Have a date with yourself and get reacquainted. Get comfortable with yourself (and build some confidence in who you are) and your fears of being alone, either romantically or socially, will start to fade away. You cannot rely on others to always be available to make your life busy, interesting, or fulfilling. It’s up to you to trust in yourself, your choices, and in the fact that people like you and will love you. It’s your life so make sure you can enjoy it with or without other people.
“These days, we’re probably all a little autophobic…We’ve become dependent on others to define ourselves…We’ve become good at dealing with others but often at the expense of learning to deal with ourselves. And in today’s technology driven landscape (e-mail, text messaging, and cell phones) we can easily avoid that internal dialogue and introspection that forces self reflection and –realization.” Ian Kerner, author of “Be Honest, You’re Not That into Him Either”