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How To Stop Worrying About Ending Up Alone

A woman submitted this letter to my podcast:

I have a big fear of ending up alone which has led me to spend my whole life chasing male validation, making poor dating choices and getting taken advantage of by many men. The last relationship I was in was with a narcissist and my fear of being alone was what kept me in that relationship for so long. I keep feeling like there is something wrong with me because all the other women around me seem to get men to commit to them so easily.

I come from a family of conservative Catholics, I went to Catholic school growing up, so I was given the message my whole life that getting married and having kids is just what everyone does and there is no other way to live life. I’m the only one in my entire family that is still single and all of my friends have gone off and gotten married and had kids, and I barely get to see them anymore now. I’m 33 years old and I rarely meet other women my age that are still single in the area where I live. I feel like an outcast.

I’m lonely, depressed, and I feel like I’m missing out. I really want to learn to be happy single and overcome my fear of ending up alone so I can become stronger and stop letting men take advantage of me, but I honestly don’t know how to overcome my fear. I keep hearing conservatives telling women that if they don’t get married and have kids that they will live a lonley miserable pathetic life and hearing that scares me, and hearing them make fun of older single women just makes me feel even worse. I’ve never wanted to have kids, but I still always had a desire to have a long term partner and I fear that it’s never going to happen for me. Is it really possible to still live a happy fullfilling life single? If so, how? I also worry about who is going to be there to take care of me when I’m older if I remain single and childless.

My co-host said it best. “We look at getting married and having children as achievements when they’re really just choices.”

People who pressure women to think marriage is The Holy Grail and men who threaten women with spinsterhood have one thing in common: They’re both projecting their own fears and insecurities about being single.

It’s in society’s best interest to make women believe marriage is the ultimate brass ring. If married, it’s easier to subjugate women so they remain oppressed. Don’t fall for this trick.

Hear the rest of my answer to this letter in this free podcast teaser episode.

The best thing a single woman navigating today’s dating landscape can do is find her tribe.

Join other witty, empathetic, brilliant women at my weekly Zoom Support & Advice Zoom sessions. We hold general support meetings every Thursday as well as specialty sessions for Plus-Sized Dating, Dating With Disabilities, Dating Over 40, and sessions for Women of Color. Medium readers save 20% off their subscriptions. Get more details here.

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