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Research Finds That Fear of Being Alone Seems to Be a Dating Turnoff But Not Necessarily a Dealbreaker

·399 words·2 mins
Psyched for the Weekend

He’s complaining about his love life. I mean, I don’t blame him. It’s been a long dry spell, so I see what he means.

But I can see he _does _have a few folks interested in him — and I’m starting to feel like he might just be stuck in one of those vicious cycles. Where he has just convinced he’s unlovable and is missing the actual opportunity around him.

“What about her?” I say. I drop a name. “She seems to be really into you.”

“Yeah, I guess,” he says. “Although it’s less that she’s really into me — and more that she just wants a partner. That she’s afraid to be alone.”

I nod. I know exactly what he’s talking about. We’ve had this talk before. About how passion is a turn-on, for sure… but desperation? It’s a huge turn-off.

People Can Tell When You’re Afraid of Being Single, and It’s a Turnoff — But Not Necessarily a Dealbreaker

Today’s research study has our back. It’s not just him, it’s not just me. But it seems to be an appreciable fact that’s semi-generalizable.

So before we start out, it’s important to note that previous research has established that people who are scared of being alone do not have difficulty attracting partners. This research team found this interesting and wanted to explore if this was because:

  1. People can’t tell you’re afraid of being single.  –OR–
  2. People’s fear of being single doesn’t make them less single.

Okay! So what did today’s study find? This was actually really interesting:

  1. People could tell when others were afraid of being single.
  2. Higher fear of being single did lead to the prospect being perceived as less desirable.
  3. HOWEVER — and this is a big HOWEVER — people who were THEMSELVES more afraid of being single were less likely to find the same quality to be a deterrent in others.

So the takeaway here is that people can tell when you’re afraid to be alone, and it does make you less desirable — but it’s not necessarily a dealbreaker — and especially if they, too, are scared to be alone.

Interesting stuff.


This post is part of an ongoing Poly Land feature called Psyched for the Weekend, in which I geek out with brief takes about some of my favorite psychological studies and concepts. For the entire series, please see this link.


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