You probably want to sit down for what I’m about to tell you because it’s going to blow the lid off everything you thought you knew about relationships.A new study done at the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology discovered that fear of being single leads both men and women to settle for relationships that don’t fulfill them. For as long as I can remember, I've watched my friends pair off. As an introvert, I not only like my alone time, I need it. I said it: "I'm lonely." And try as my paired up friends might, they don’t seem to fully understand what it's like to watch everyone around you fall in love. Giphy Between boyfriends and girlfriends and spouses and kids and church, there's always someone before you on the priority list.Temporarily and fleetingly in high school, longer and more lasting in college, and now, permanently. But, somewhere along the line, I stopped just being single and started being lonely. They don't understand that I'm lonely and what it means to be so. I don't have that one person I come home to at the end of the day, with whom I share all the mundane details of my life.Obviously, I am being sarcastic about this being mind-blowing news.Raise your hand if you’ve continued dating someone you weren’t amped about because you watched The Mamas And The Papas “Behind The Music” and couldn’t bear the thought of choking on a sandwich and having no one there to do the Heimlich Maneuver. “Those with stronger fears about being single are willing to settle for less in their relationships. Your best efforts are spent managing your anxiety about spinsterhood (and whatever the male equivalent of that is) so that you don’t pick the worst people ever to date.Raise your hand if you’ve been exclusive with the fist person you met online because you were new to a city and you were afraid they were the only person you’d meet. Sometimes they stay in relationships they aren’t happy in, and sometimes they want to date people who aren’t very good for them. So our anxiety about a long,sprawling life alone with our plants or our pets or our gaming console is directly proportionate to how bad our dating choices are? The scientists concluded, wisely, that loneliness does not discriminate on the basis of gender.
If you don’t believe that your needs are being met, and that perhaps your partner doesn’t care anymore, it is extremely easy to feel alone in a relationship.Giphy Or maybe it just seems that way when you're not. And, well, that just makes things all the more lonely, doesn't it?But from my point of view, everywhere I look, I see couples. It seems like everyone else is looking at you with a mix of contempt and pity. Small wonder then that you might feel like demanding some acknowledgement from the world.You feel like you have a neon sign over your head that screams “this guy can’t get laid” and everyone is snickering at you whenever they see you. And what’s one of the best ways to show that you’re not the same loser you used to be? Showing your girlfriend off like a prize isn’t going to convince anyone that you’ve changed.It’s a very understandable motivation, when you get right down to it. You’ve been reinforcing your archetype, building your new style and you’re starting to have some successes.