Letting Go > Breaking Up > How to End a Relationship When You Don’t Want to Be Alone

How to End a Relationship When You Don’t Want to Be Alone

Being alone can be lonely, boring, and even scary…but it’s better than staying with a guy who isn’t right for you. Here’s how to end a relationship even when you’re scared or reluctant to start life on your own…

“I’ve been in the same relationship for 18 years,” says Nikki in response to How to Know if a Man is Emotionally Available for Love. “He’s a good man. He’s not abusive, he doesn’t drink or gamble or even smoke. But he has never been able to love me fully, he always held back, and I let the relationship keep going. I couldn’t admit that I was scared to be alone. I stayed with him because even though I knew our relationship wasn’t improving or even that healthy, I couldn’t face life as a single woman. Now I’ll be 40 soon and I don’t want to live in fear anymore. But I’m still scared to be alone, so how do I end my relationship?”

You’re not alone if you’re scared to be alone – here’s what Jack says on my article about letting go of someone you love: “I have a tremendous fear of being alone, but even with us living under the same roof, I’m as lonely as anyone can possibly be. I realize it’s over. I can’t end our relationship and stay as a roommate, watching him run around. I can see he’s unhappy, which makes me unhappy. I’d be doing him a favor by leaving, because at least he would have the freedom I know he wants.”

I think Jack would be doing both his partner and himself a favor if he ended his relationship. It may be easier in the short term to stay with someone even when you know the relationship is over, but in the long run it’ll only make things worse. Nikki has learned that, and Jack is in the process of learning it as well.

Ending a Relationship When You’re Scared to Be Alone

These tips are easier said than done, especially for a full-time writer like me! I love being alone. I didn’t get married until I was 35 years old (we’ve been married 11 years, so I guess I don’t love being alone as much as I thought). I’ve never lived with a boyfriend, never had a long-term love relationship outside of my marriage. I lived in Africa as a single woman for three years and traveled to many exotic parts of the world…all by myself.

I love spending time by myself. I prefer being married, but I think there’s a lot to be said for being alone.

If you can no longer ignore the warning signs of a bad relationship, it’s time for you to start learning how to be alone. The sooner you face, accept, and live with your fears of being alone, the sooner you can move forward into a happier, healthier life.

Learn why you’re scared to be alone

Maybe you’ve always lived with a husband or boyfriend, or you’re worried you’re not financially able of taking care of yourself. Maybe you’re worried about what friends, family, coworkers, and the neighbors will think if you’re alone.

One of the first steps to overcoming your feelings about being alone is to figure out the root of your fear. Maybe you were raised by a single mother, and are scared of the potential problems of raising your own kids by yourself. Maybe your parents have been married for 50 years, and you want to live up to their marriage expectations. Or, maybe you feel like you’re too shy to date, and can’t face more rejection in a love relationship.

Start writing down your fears…and your solutions

If you can learn the reasons you’re scared to be alone, you can start dealing with them. But if you just feel a vague fear or even terror at the thought of being single, then you won’t be able to move forward. You can start figuring out your fears by taking at least 15 minutes to write, write, and write more of your fears. Find a quiet place, take out a notebook and pen, and freewrite whatever comes into your mind when you picture yourself ending your relationship and being alone in a new life. Let yourself experience your fears, anxieties, and concerns.

You don’t need to start solving your problems right away…just get them out on paper. When you’re ready, you can start writing down the solutions or ways to overcome your fears of ending the relationship and starting over in your new life.

Find your Higher Power

The truth is that you’ll never find the strength and courage you need if you rely on yourself alone. You simply don’t have the energy, wisdom, or willpower to give yourself all the support and guidance you need. You can’t do it all alone.

How to End a Relationship Scared to Be Alone

How to End a Relationship When You’re Scared to Be Alone

And, you can’t rely on your friends, family, grown children, or your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband to bolster your strength and courage. They’re doing the best they can to manage their own lives, relationships, thoughts, and emotions! They’ve got their own fears, struggles, problems, and issues to take care of. They love you but you can’t depend on them to give you an unending supply of hope, faith, encouragement, or energy. You can’t rely on them to teach you about ending a relationship and facing your fears of being alone. You need to find a source of Higher Power that will give you a constant river of energy, love, hope, faith, and courage.

Maybe you call this source of spiritual strength and energy God, or a Higher Power, or the Universe. It really doesn’t matter what you call Him….as long as you find Him.

Stay connected to your source of strength, energy, and power

It’s one thing to know God exists. Maybe you’ve felt His presence – and maybe you’ve even prayed that He shows you how to end a relationship when you’re scared to be alone.

The key to finding the strength you need is to keep dipping into His flow. Can you feel the hum that reverberates through the Universe? Can you hear the engine that is constantly and quietly driving everything we see, feel, hear, and do? No matter if you can’t…it is still there. It’s that still small voice that is telling you what you need to do. Stay connected to that voice, to the flow of the Universe that is here for you.

God created you, He loves you, and He has a plan for your life. You may not be where you hoped you’d be at this stage of your life, but it’s not too late. This is an exciting time for you – it’s your chance to raise your head, take a leap of faith, and re-create your life! This is your chance to do something you’ve never done before. Yes, you’re scared to be alone. And yes, you can do this. But you can’t do it alone.

Think of yourself as strong, independent, and healthy

Another step that may help you stop being scared is to start reframing how you see yourself. Instead of clinging on to your boyfriend or husband and feeling scared to be without him or her, start detaching.

Emotional detachment means different things to different people. To me, it means you can be in a healthy love relationship but not fixate on your boyfriend or husband. For example, detaching from someone you care about can involve going to events and parties by yourself, taking a weekend trip alone, or making plans with your friends that don’t include your partner.

You might also start spending time with strong, single, independent people who are happy and healthy. Their sense of wellness and strength will rub off on you. You’ll pick up their positive, independent energy.

Speak your truth

“Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes,” said Maggie Kuhn. This is especially important when you’re learning how to leave a relationship even though you’re scared to be alone!

Scared to Be Alone, Ending a Relationship

Scared to Be Alone, Ending a Relationship

The other night I dreamt about women standing up in a huge auditorium and saying what’s on their minds and in their hearts. Two women talked about how hard it is to keep their hair looking good – the first woman felt alone and scared; she asked the second woman to stand with her. Then another woman stood up and announced that she’s finally pregnant! Her husband started their announcement; she loudly and proudly finished it. Two other women played their instruments – a trumpet and a tambourine – in celebration and support.

Our voices matter. My voice matters, and so does yours.

Even if your voice shakes

It doesn’t matter if you speak up about something as “inconsequential” as how to keep your hair from frizzing up in the rain or why you decided to go to Colorado instead of Columbia. It doesn’t matter if you’re announcing a baby bump, a new business, or a bike ride down the block. It doesn’t matter if you’re not sure how to end a relationship and start a new life, if you’re scared to be alone or anxious about what people think of you.

Be scared, and do what you need to do to take care of your life. Speak up, tell your husband or boyfriend what you need. Be honest and authentic. Your voice matters. Your spirit, your energy, and your plans have a real and direct effect on the world around you – whether or not you see immediate results.

Stand aside and let the critical voices pass

I’m a wee bit embarrassed to admit how judgmental I was of the first two women who spoke up in my dream.

“Who cares about how hard it is to keep a hairstyle looking good?” I thought. “How boring!”

I can’t always silence my critical inner voice – or the judgments of other people – but I can step aside and let those voices pass right on by. Instead of sitting in the crowd judging other women for what they say, I stand alongside those who actually have courage to stand up and speak out.

If you end your relationship, you may be criticized and judged. You’ll have to prepare for that. It’s okay if you’re not ready to speak your truth, if your fear of being alone is still overpowering your dislike of your relationship. It takes time to figure out what’s in your heart and mind. Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes, and you will Blossom in wildly unexpected shapes, colors, and sizes.

Be bold. Be brave.

Moving onwards, reaching upwards

letting go of someone you loveI wrote 75 How to Let Go of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets (and 75 Tips!) for Healing Your Heart because I needed to learn how to let go of my sister. Letting her go was the most painful and difficult thing I ever did, but I had no choice.

To write this ebook, I interviewed life coaches, counselors, and grief coaches on letting go. I know how shocking, confusing, and heart-wrenching it is when you’re letting go of a loved one. It’s devastating – and it changes how you see yourself. Learning how to let go of someone you love is about rediscovering your passion and identity.

Ending a relationship when you’re scared of being alone is a process. Give yourself time to come to grips with the idea of solo living. Part of overcoming your fears is acknowledging and voicing your fears of being alone – which I invite you to do below.

Read books that make you happy to be single, if you’re scared to be alone. You need to focus on the positive aspects of being single – which include improved self-confidence, independence, strength and a renewed sense of self-worth and self-respect.

scared to be aloneMeditations to Heal Your Life by Louise Hay is a fantastic book for healing and growth. Her insights and encouragement will enrich your body, mind, and soul, while giving you practical knowledge to apply to your day-to-day life. Tell yourself that you are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. Use her meditations to affirm that you’re doing the right thing with your life and your relationship, and that you can move forward boldly and open-heartedly.

Do you know it’s time to end your relationship, but you’re scared to be alone? I welcome your comments below. I can’t give you advice about your relationship or life, but you may find it helpful to share your experience. Writing your story often brings clarity and insight, and can help you heal.

For more tips on how to end a relationship when you’re scared to be alone, read When You Can’t Let Go of the Past.

My prayer is that you find the strength and courage you need to end a relationship, even when you’re scared to be alone. May you find hope and faith, wisdom and clarity.


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105 thoughts on “How to End a Relationship When You Don’t Want to Be Alone”

  1. I’m 50years old I’m retired due to health issues. I have been on an off with a man who has been very on again off again. He recently was incarcerated and he found the Mormon religion and seem to find his way but without me. This hurts I had waited for him till he got out and since he’s been out he’s turned into a good man but complicated. I’m scared of being alone I still
    Love him but I don’t know if he wants me to be a part of his life. I have abandoned everyone for him. I’m alone and I don’t know what to do about him and I. Because he still comes around. I’m scared

    1. Thank you for being so honest, Cherlyn, and for sharing this glimpse into your life. It sounds like you’re coping with so much. Love and life and relationships sure can get complicated! Especially when two people aren’t on the same page about their future or plans.
      I was thinking of you when I wrote this article:
      3 Ways to Cope With an “On Again Off Again” Relationship
      I hope it helps you find the courage, strength and wisdom you need.
      Take good care of yourself, for you are a child of God…and that means you’re worth taking good care of!

  2. Chrissy, I totally relate to your story. I’m trying my best to move foward in a new city but didn’t know where to start.. after 6 months of grief I am finding myself again but I miss my partner every moment. How do I move on after 20years of commitment, the thought of being with a new partner does not make me excited but I’m lonely at the same time. I really just want my partner back but he has moved on without me. I find strength reading motivational quotes and have reconnected with spirituality, but I still feel lost without him. Seeing him move on so quick has hurt so much and I just wish I didn’t feel so betrayed.
    I started doing the things I used to love for strength but I lay down at night and feel a deafening pain from my chest, I miss him so much.
    It’s been hard and I just keep remembering the abuse I suffered at his hands and wonder if I could ever find a man that would treat me with respect and loyalty.
    I had my dog when we separated but 4 months into the break up she passed on and now my father is fighting cancer 30000kms away. My mother is estranged so I have dealt with so much alone in 6months. If I can get through this much I hope you can all find the strength to find love in yourself again and a more positive life with or without your partner.
    Remember to hold on to any snippet of hope you have and tell yourself that there is a plan for your life and if he’s meant to be part of it in the future he will be.
    For now this is your life and you need to get up and dry your eyes, be present and get on with living the life you were blessed with.

  3. I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for two years and nine months. We began dating at age 16 and we are now 18. He and I have always had arguments since we began dating , but we truly loved each other . We’ve gone through two break ups in high school and I made that choice because we needed time to change and grow. Although up till this day we keep on arguing non stop over little things . Until yesterday I asked if he cared about me and he responded I care about Thai relationship and I have feelings for you . I began to cry when I read the message because he had never told me before that he has feelings for me. He has always told me that he loves me . I found it suspicious and heart breaking how he said that rather than saying he loves me. I don’t know if I’m over exaggerating or not. I’m starting to think he no longer loves me and at the end of the conversation he said I’m overthinking it. I know my relationship isn’t healthy but I’m scared to end it and be alone because I can’t bare the thought of having to do things on my own and not have him by my side . Also to go to college on my own and not with him .

  4. I’m afraid that he will give her what I wanted with him just to upset me. He will throw it in my face and she and him will joke about it. His ex I feel he’s making plans with her as soon as I leave they will be back together.

  5. I am struggling with the idea of being alone in life. My divorce just came through, my two kids are grown. They live in different cities and have their own lives and children. My mother has gone on to be with the Lord, my father is wonderful but very old. My siblings live in other parts of the country. I’m dating a man casually but it’s not serious.

    I’m alone in life. Who do I put down as my emergency contact? What do I do when I have to take time off work because I’m sick and there isn’t a second income to pay the bills? Who will I go on vacations with? I will eat alone, watch television alone, go to the movies alone.

    I know the Lord will provide and be with me during all of this but it is still very scary and I struggle with what my life may end up like. People see me as outgoing, ready to be in the crowd and busy all the time. That’s because when I sit still I get scared and realize I am alone most of the time. I’m not that interested in the man I’m dating but I tell myself it’s better than being alone. So, I put on a brave face around family and friends so no one worries about me. I act like all is well because I don’t them to be concerned. They have always known me as the strong one, but inside my heart aches and my mind races and I am scared.