Most men and women long to find love and be loved in return. Anuptaphobia is an irrational and very intense fear of not being in a romantic relationship. The fear of being single can be overwhelming and cause a person to experience full-blown anxiety attacks that affect every aspect of their lives.
Anuptaphobia isn’t the fear of being alone. Instead, it is a pathological fear of never having someone to share life with. Both men and women can experience this disorder. Depending on how severe the condition is, it can lead to other very serious mental health issues like anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and severe depression.
Most cultures expect both men and women to have found a life partner by the time they reach their thirties. There are many men and women who prefer to remain in control of their own lives and follow their own paths. Others, however, may feel that they are not living up to their family’s expectations if they have not found a mate and are working on a committed long-term relationship. The anxiety and fear they feel can start to control their lives, sometimes causing them to lose a person who may be in love with them but isn’t quite ready to commit. This obsession with being in a committed relationship can be irrational and overwhelming, threatening their personal integrity and mental health.
What Is Anuptaphobia?
Anuptaphobia is not a simple fear. It is an irrational, uncontrollable fear that borders on obsessive behavior. The thought of being single is overwhelming and unacceptable. Being labeled a spinster or a bachelor will send them into an anxiety attack that they may not be able to control. An anuptaphobe will enter a relationship for the sole purpose of being in a relationship. Many will commit to a relationship even if they do not love or have passionate feelings for the other person. While they may care for them, they may not be attracted to them physically or as a person.
Anuptaphobia can drive a person to seek out relationships with the wrong people. Once in a relationship, they will do everything to stay in that relationship, even if it is unhealthy. Women will often stay in unhealthy relationships because they have been taught that leaving a family home, no matter how bad it is, is wrong. They are taught to believe that they are the ones at fault and that people will think ill of them if they are not with a committed partner after a certain age. Men are also led to believe that they may be lacking in some way if they are not in a committed relationship after they reach a specific age.
What Causes Anuptaphobia?
Anuptaphobia has no known cause. Genetics may play a role if the person has a strong family history of mental illness. This includes different types of phobias and anxiety or panic disorders. If genetics plays a prominent role, they may only need one or two traumatic experiences to trigger the obsessive need to be with a partner in a romantic relationship. Genetic predisposition may also play a role in how severe the condition is and what treatments will be most effective. Every person’s treatment plan will be different and determined by many different factors.
A person’s environment is also crucial when it comes to the development of certain phobias. Irrational fears often have no real basis other than a person’s lack of self-esteem and overall feelings of not living up to the expectations of those they love and respect. The fear of disappointing those they care about or not meeting the high standards that have been set for them are also possibilities that affect and strengthen this obsession.
A poor self-image that is often the result of intense bullying or constant teasing may also cause this type of mental disorder to take control and lead the person blindly down a path to destruction. They may begin to feel as if they are inadequate and unable to be loved or cared for. This may cause them to settle for a committed relationship with anyone who shows them even the slightest amount of affection. These unhealthy relationships may go on for several years simply because the anuptaphobe will not accept being alone or being single. They must be in a relationship to have the security and comfort they need to be happy and able to thrive in other areas of their lives.
Symptoms of Anuptaphobia
Anuptaphobia has both physical and psychological symptoms. The intense anxiety they feel as a result of not being in a committed relationship may prevent them from being around other couples or being around their friends or family members who are involved in committed relationships. The anxiety they feel at the thought of being single can be so overwhelming that it can disrupt all aspects of their lives, making them avoid other feelings and emotions as well.
The physical symptoms of anuptaphobia can be intense and show up without warning. Just the thought of not being in a relationship can cause them to experience:
- High blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Hot flashes
- Cold chills
- Inability to breathe
- Inability to focus
- Feeling light-headed or faint
- Ringing in the ears
A person may experience one of these symptoms or several at a time. The severity of the symptoms will range from person to person and may come and go depending on what else is going on in the person’s life outside of their relationship concerns.
Like the physical symptoms, the psychological symptoms may be overwhelming and hard to control. A panic attack can result in many of the following feelings:
- Fear of death or dying
- Feelings of dread
- Fear of being out of control
- Withdrawn and isolated
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Fear of being harmed or injured
- Mood swings
- Lack of concentration
Controlling these feelings when you are in an unhealthy relationship can be extremely difficult. Not having someone to share your life with can fuel feelings of insecurity and low self-worth. Depression and extreme anxiety can create a destructive spiral that can have a deep, profound effect on a person’s mental health.
Anuptaphobia has no designated treatment options that are used specifically for its symptoms, either singly or collectively. Anxiety medications will calm the person down so that other treatment methods can be used more effectively. While medication will assist with controlling the physiological aspects of the symptoms, other forms of therapy will be needed to address the psychological symptoms and how they affect the person’s mental health and overall feelings of well-being and self-worth.
Talk therapy will allow the therapist and the patient to work through the faults in their thinking and help them develop coping skills that are effective and will allow them to be more mindful in their relationships and also when they are single or without a partner. Talking about their fears may help them to address them more fully and start to put things in perspective. Journaling may also add insight and will allow the patient to revisit their thoughts and reinforce positive thought patterns.
Exposure therapy is also beneficial. By exposing the patient to the fears and feelings they are most afraid of, a therapist can help them break destructive thought patterns and behaviors that keep them trapped within their own mind. The exposure begins slowly, allowing the patient to gradually become more familiar and accustomed to the very thing they fear the most. Over time, they are able to become more mindful of their worth and aware that they do not have to be in a relationship to be whole and valuable to the world around them.
Exercise, yoga, in particular, may offer assistance in dealing with anuptaphobia. Yoga uses breathing and mindful concentration to overcome stress and anxiety. Practicing yoga on a daily basis can ease the mind and allow the patient to overcome mental obstacles that could have a negative impact on the patient’s overall quality of life. More traditional forms of exercise improve blood flow to the brain, providing fresh oxygen and flushing away waste that can impair concentration and awareness. It also releases endorphins that can enhance a person’s feelings of general well-being.
Anuptaphobia can be overwhelming and lead a person to enter unhealthy relationships with anyone who seems to show the slightest interest. This type of relationship can be detrimental and dangerous to the person’s overall mental health. Understanding anuptaphobia’s symptoms and finding the best way to treat them is essential if a person is going to overcome the disorder and get back on track, living a higher quality of life.