8 Ways to Overcome The Fear of Losing Someone You Love
Loss and love are two emotions that often go hand in hand, at least in my experience. The fear of losing someone you love is an emotion or an experience that you’re never prepared for and when this experience comes to pass, it leaves behind a trail of hurt and open wounds that can never be filled. If I can use another analogy, then I’d say that losing someone you love is equal to a song left incomplete.
I say it’s an emotion because when this fear comes to pass, it leaves us feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed. Whether we talk about the loss of a romantic partner due to separation, a loved one passing away, or a friend drifting apart – the loss we experience can affect our mental and emotional well-being and can be hard to overcome.
But what is this fear of losing someone you love all about? What can this fear look and feel like? And can it be overcome?
Let’s answer all these questions in this blog…
What is the Fear of Losing Someone You Love?
The fear of losing someone you love is also referred to as “Thanatophobia” even though Thanatophobia is the fear of death or dying. This experience can be quite intense and irrational and often revolves around the possibility of a loved one being no longer a part of your everyday life.
This irrational fear can manifest itself in different ways – more often as anxiety, depression, and a persistent sense of uneasiness. It’s important to understand the fear of losing someone you love is a part of our nature but when this phobia becomes overwhelming, it can begin to negatively affect your relationships and day-to-day lives.
There are different types of losses you can experience in your lifetime. Some of the common types of loss can include;
- Loss of a Romantic Partner
If you’ve been in a relationship – long-term or married – then losing a partner to either divorce, separation, or death can be painful.
- Loss of a Friend or Friendship
If you and your friend have grown apart, due to a long-distance move, change in beliefs, or anything else, then you may also experience a sense of loss.
- Losing a Family Member
Losing a family member because of death or circumstances can also be a loss that can bring sadness to your life.
- Loss of Social Groups
If you’ve moved to a new city or country, leaving behind your family and friends, then you may also experience a loss of social groups or community.
The Causes Behind The Fear of Losing Someone You Love
If I talk about the causes behind having this fear of losing someone, various factors can be behind it. In some ways, it can be your attachment style that can contribute to this fear. Attachment styles are developed in our childhood and can influence our relationships, including the fear of losing someone. People with anxious attachment styles are more likely to experience this fear as they constantly worry about abandonment.
Other times, it can be a past trauma where you’ve experienced loss or abandonment that can trigger the fear of losing someone close to you. Traumatic experiences can leave behind emotional scars that can make it hard to trust and feel secure in a relationship. If you lack self-esteem or have low self-confidence, then this can cause fears of inadequacy, making you feel that your loved ones will leave you.
More often than not, the feeling of not having control in life can also worsen the fear of losing someone you love. Life is uncertain and not being able to control or prevent a loss can be distressing, triggering the phobia and leaving you in emotional turmoil.
How to Overcome the Fear of Losing Someone You Love?
Now that you know what the fear of losing someone looks like, let’s take a look at the ways you can overcome the fear of losing someone you love;
1. Acknowledge Your Fear:
The first thing you need to do to overcome your fear is to acknowledge its existence. Accept that it’s OK to feel these emotions and that you are not the only one experiencing this. When you can acknowledge the fear, only then can you begin to address it.
2. Work on Your Confidence:
Next, you can also try to work on your self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. You can do this by participating in activities that make you feel better about yourself and remind you of your strengths and qualities instead of your shortcomings.
3. Practice Mindfulness:
In times when life becomes uncertain and unpredictable, it can be good to remind yourself to be in the present moment. Mindfulness meditation can help you stay in the present moment and can help reduce anxiety about uncertainties.
4. Talk to Someone:
When your fear of losing someone, you love becomes overwhelming and paralyzing, then I would recommend that you talk to your loved one about it. Be open and honest about your feelings. Doing this can strengthen your relationships and reduce the anxiety associated with the fear of losing a loved one.
5. Practice Gratitude:
You can also try to overcome the fear of losing someone you love by focusing on the positive side of things. Learn to express your gratitude for the time you have spent with your loved ones. This exercise can help reduce the anxiety that comes with this fear.
6. Find Healthy Coping Techniques:
When we go through troubling times, we often look for distractions. More often than not, to let go of our worries, we entangle ourselves with unhealthy coping mechanisms. Here, you need to find healthy coping mechanisms that can work for you. You can try journaling, exercising, or spending time with your loved ones.
7. Let Go of Control:
It’s OK to admit that you can’t control everything in life. Uncertainties are a part of life, so learn to let go of the need to control everything around you. The need to control everything can take over your well-being and when you feel like life is losing control, you may begin spiraling downward into anxiety.
8. Seek Help:
If your fear of losing someone you love is causing you distress and interfering with your everyday life, then maybe it’s time to seek help. A therapist or counselor can help you understand where your fear is coming from and offer coping strategies to help you work through the causes of your fear.
The fear of losing someone you love is a common experience but can be distressing as well. It’s an experience that can be treated with support and implementing the right strategies. It’s natural to feel the fear of losing someone you love from time to time, but this fear shouldn’t be allowed to take control over your life, relationships, and everything else in between.
When this fear becomes too overwhelming and paralyzing, know that you can seek help and support from your loved ones, social support, and a counselor.
“What we have once enjoyed deeply, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller
I hope this blog helped you learn more about what is the fear of losing someone and how to overcome the fear of losing someone you love. Let me know what you think about this article in the comments section below.