The Fear of Losing Someone You Love and Coping with It

Written by: Vasundhara Shukla – M.Phil (Psychology)

Last updated date : September 17, 2022

Table of Contents
Article title – Low self esteem
  1. Chapter 1
  2. Chapter 2
  3. Chapter 3
  4. Chapter 4
  5. Chapter 5
  6. Chapter 6
  7. Chapter 7
  8. Chapter 8

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Table of Contents The Fear of Losing Someone You Love and Coping with It
  1. Fear of Losing Loved Ones
  2. How to Cope?

The fear of losing someone you love is real and very common. Each one of us has a person in our lives whom we never want to part with. But we are unaware of what the future holds, so we are plagued by the worry of losing the person who is so dear to us. When this occasional worry becomes a fear which affects your life decisions, work, and your relationship with others, then it takes the form of a phobia. In this article, we will discuss this fear in detail, find out its causes, and finally how we can cope with this fear at a time when the pandemic is still affecting people worldwide.

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Chapter 1:
Fear of Losing Loved Ones

Losing people can be devastating and the experience can stick with you for the rest of your life. Losing someone does not necessarily mean death, it could be because of the end of the relationship as well. Whatever the cause may be, the experience is saddening for most people. Most of us also fear losing people in our lives despite there being no indication that we are going to.

Psychologists say that this fear might occur because of the person’s childhood experiences. If the parents were responsive to the needs and want of the child such that the child did not feel neglected, then the person might not have a fear of separation. However, some worry is present in each one of us regardless of our childhood experiences. When we do enter into a relationship with someone, we expose our inner world to the other person so they get to know us better. In doing so we have to let go of our self-consciousness and we expect the same from the other person. This is a long process of trust building and only after building trust can we reveal ourselves.

When we separate from this loved one, we have to let go of the comfort and trust we have built with them. Accepting the separation is by no means easy. Just as trusting someone takes time, so does ending the relationship and moving on. This process can also contribute to the fear of losing someone you love.

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Chapter 2:
How to Cope?

Here are some ways you can handle the fear of losing someone you love-

Acknowledge the Fear

Fear makes us behave in a certain way which might be damaging to the relationship. We might not even know about these fears as well. Thinking about how you felt in the past when you lost a loved one and trying to understand why you felt how you felt can provide answers regarding the fear of separation. When you know what worries you, you can try to find a solution for that. You can not find a way to deal with this fear if you are in the dark regarding your feelings and thoughts.

Prepare a List 

Prepare a list of the things that you worry about if you lose your loved one. There can be many fears that could make up for this fear of losing someone like fear of being alone, fear of not being loved, fear of not being able to do things by yourself, etc. Questioning what would happen if you lose someone you love will tell you about these smaller fears.

Recall Past Losses

By doing so you remind yourself that in the past you have handled and coped with losses and emerged stronger. You will know if such a situation arises, you will be able to handle it.

Acceptance 

Accept that separation is not in your control and sometimes you might not be able to fix it. This will help you let go of the control of doing everything in your power to sustain the relationship. Letting go will require strength and you might have to remind yourself of this fact every day. But this will help you enjoy the present where there is no indication that you will lose someone you love.

Codependency

Sometimes we fear losing someone because we are unable to figure out how we will handle our lives without the other’s help. And because of this reason, we cling to the relationship even if it might be doing more harm than good. Codependency occurs when we get our self-worth and self-esteem from the other person whom we are in a relationship with.

Communicate

Talk to your loved ones about these fears and tell them how you feel. This will give them an understanding of what guides your behavior and might help them become more empathetic. By communicating your fear, you might also come up with a solution together.

Spend Time Alone

People who have an excessive fear of losing someone they love, tend to be afraid of loneliness. Coping with loneliness is one way to reduce this fear. Try to do activities by yourself like going to watch a movie alone, having dinner alone, or even going to the park and enjoying nature by yourself. Spending time by yourself can be very rewarding once you start to see it as solitude rather than loneliness.

Relaxation Exercises 

Relaxation exercises can reduce anxiety very effectively. You can practice these easy exercises-

  1. Take a deep breath in on the cunt of four, hold it for five counts, and exhale slowly for six counts. Do this every time you feel overwhelmed or anxious.
  2. Put one hand on the abdomen and inhale deeply such that your stomach and abdomen expand. Then slowly exhale while observing the expansion and contraction of your stomach.

Talk to a Therapist

This fear can be related to an experience of loss or separation that had a deep impact on you. To understand how this fear was formed, you can talk to a mental health professional who will help entangle these pieces of information for you. They can also help you in dealing with these feelings that promote letting go of control.

Finally, losing someone you love will never be easy. But staying in the present and enjoying the time you spend with your loved one will help in coping with this fear. Sometimes low self-esteem can cause these fears as well. Knowing the cause is important to heal better. To understand how self-esteem impacts us and what to do about it, please check out our course ‘Low Self Esteem‘.

Reviews 4.1

Learn evidence-based scientific ways to build self-esteem In this six

51 Lessons

12 hours

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

€9.00 €12.00

25% discount