How to Stop Worrying About Being Alone Forever: A Guide for 30 or 40 (something) Women?
Do you worry all the time about being alone forever?
Do you continually think that you’re just not good enough or that you’re not worthy and deserving of love?
This article is about what 30’ or 40’s women can do when they worry about being alone forever – because they think there’s something wrong with them.
What happens when you worry all the time?
What happens when you worry all the time—when you know that once again a relationship isn’t going to work or isn’t going to get any better?
Despite all the effort, you put into it—despite all the things you try to change to make it better—the relationship is failing. And you are worrying.
For instance, when you feel it’s going downhill again, you may get that horrible, unwanted sinking feeling deep inside of you.
Or you may notice that you just can’t stop worrying all day when you should be paying attention to your work and writing out reports.
Or whenever you see someone laughing with a friend, you worry you’ll never have a long-lasting relationship.
Or at the end of the week, when you arrive home and open the door to your empty apartment, you dread the long, quiet weekend looming ahead.
You think you overthink, and you worry constantly.
Your brain comes up with stories of other lonely women, bad memories, and sometimes frightening ideas of what might happen to you in the future. Your mind swirls with these words and visions of awfulness, and you feel as though they just won’t let you go.
And then your brain brings out the old refrain: It’s not him. It’s you. It’s you who can’t get it right.
You just aren’t good enough, and you just don’t understand how relationships work.
When you slip into that old way of thinking, what do you do?
Do you notice that sometimes all this thinking means you’re unable to concentrate when people are talking to you?
Or does all that thinking drive you to talk incessantly with your friends and co-workers, analyzing and considering every past event and all possible responses?
Does all that thinking mean you can’t sleep at night because you can’t let it go, and so you spend dark, lonely hours frantically scrolling through messages and Facebook in order to find the answers?
Or perhaps you become quiet, and in that quiet and painful place, you stay home, watching TV and movies for hours to distract your mind, ordering in your food and turning down invitations and party plans.
What are you afraid of?
In all that thinking and in all that feeling, can you stop for a bit and find a still place in your mind?
Can you ask yourself—gently and without frustration—what you’re afraid of?
Can you sit in that not-knowing for a moment and hear what that fear is?
Or do you already know what you fear the most?
Is it being alone forever?
Is it . . .
- Being unable to make a relationship work?
- Being unloved forever?
- Being unable to find someone to share your dreams?
- Being with people you can’t trust?
- Being unsafe?
Even if some of these ideas stir up real fears, part of you probably knows that the first step is always to hear what is going on inside your head.
You may also recognize that many of these thoughts are old and have been replaying inside your head for many years.
When you notice this, you remember that they will continue to have life inside and outside of you—if you allow them to stay there.
What has happened in the past with your relationships?
Take a moment and look back over the relationships you’ve experienced.
Can you see a pattern in your behavior?
Can you take a step back and see what things you do in relationships?
Look for things you might have done in the past, such as:
- Going quiet
- Shutting down
- Refusing to talk or engage
- Pushing people away
- Being needy or clinging
- Arguing and creatingarguments
- Causing chaos and upheaval
What sorts of thoughts go through your mind when you’re thinking about a past relationship, and what sort of feelings do you remember?
Do you continually think that you’re just not good enough—that you’re not worthy or deserving of love?
Do you feel that you’ll be betrayed or that the person you love will cheat on you?
Do you notice feelings of disappointment or of vulnerability?
Are you thinking, “Why don’t my relationships work out?”
You might be thinking, “There must be something wrong with me. I’m always going to be alone.”
Since you are the most obvious common denominator in all your bad relationships, you might begin to think that there’s something particularly wrong with who you are, how you behave, or how you relate to others.
In that thinking, do you notice that you feel stuck? That you are simply repeating the old behavior of past relationships? That nothing seems as if it will ever change?
Your brain may spend hours mulling over these possibilities, investigating and reliving past incidents related to your past relationships.
As your brain thinks, overthinks, and overanalyzes, you might begin to feel stuck and struggle to find a quiet or peaceful place in your head.
How do you stop worrying about being alone forever?
Remember, you are not your thoughts.
You are not what you think (even though you probably think you are).
Rather, you are having thoughts, and your brain is using words to make sentences.
That’s because your brain is a meaning-making machine.
When thoughts and words join together and become part of a story, they begin to have real meaning.
When you think these words—and when the story develops a beginning, a middle, and an end—your brain has added meaning to them, and you will probably start to believe in that story.
If you believe it enough, and if you tell yourself that same story again and again over time, it will become a powerful story for you.
Most of the time, we believe wholeheartedly in the stories our brains tell us.
If your brain continually tells you a story of failed relationships and broken promises, you probably believe what that story says about you.
Here are some ideas to help you stop worrying
Try using these techniques to change what your brain says about your relationships:
- Notice the negative thoughts and ideas your brain uses about relationships, and you may discover why you feel so sad.
- Say to yourself,“I’m just noticing that I’m having the thought about not being good at relationships,” so you can begin to separate yourself from the thought.
- Write each negative thought on a scrap of paper, and then crumple it up and throw it into the trash bin. When you can see the thought actually going away, you can tell your brain you don’t need it anymore.
- Replace each negative thought with another, more positive thought that you have prepared earlier—perhaps something like “I can have happy, loving relationships with others.”
- Say to yourself, “Just worrying again,” so you can remind yourself that worrying is OK(as long as you don’t listen to the negative story).
Are you asking, “But how can I change anything when this is just who I am?”
It’s easy to think things won’t change; that’s a natural feeling.
However, we know that:
- You can change what you feel.
- You can change what you think.
- You can change what you do.
Everything both inside and outside your head will change.
We know there are fundamental principles in relationships that we can learn and build into our lives so our relationships work differently.
Are you willing to try new ways of thinking, feeling, and doing things?
If you are, then I can assure you: you can change the way relationships work for you.
Free eBook: “Twelve Ways to Change Your Thinking”
Your brain loves to make sense of things.
It loves to figure out and understand the reasons behind things and to attach meaning to events.
However, when your thoughts become stuck in an overwhelmingly negative cycle, you struggle to get free.
In the free eBook “Twelve Ways to Change Your Thinking,” you’ll find a selection of strategies to help you interrupt these “stuck” thinking patterns and move out of that negative cycle.
For example, you’ll learn:
- How to notice your thoughts
- What different strategies exist—including which ones work best for you
- How to separate yourself from your thinking
- How to change your thinking so you can change your feelings
- What thinking really is (as opposed to feelings)
Choose one or two strategies and practice them often, so you’ll eventually have specific techniques that work well for you.
Download your free eBook here.