Fear of Losing Someone You Love
Fear of losing someone you love is a common fear. (Or something happening to someone you love.) These fears comes from a great love. The fear is love. But once you realize the love, and take action on that, there is no point to the fear. Fear is immobilizing, love is energizing.
Remember, the biological reason for fear is to get us to act, after the action, the fear is pointless. (Worse than pointless, as it hurts you.)
In this article, I am going to share something that will hopefully change this fear. At first, we fear losing something because everything is impermanent. Everything changes. But there is one thing important we neglect when we fear impermanence. Here it is:
Even Loss is Impermanent
This, too, passes.
In this tangled web of life, we are all connected. Our minds, hearts and souls are in sync with the world around us. When we are not connected to that world–when we feel separate–it is often expressed in mental health problems.
Anxiety, anger and depression come from a sense of disconnection. Anxiety makes us afraid of where we are are going; that we could lose something, miss an opportunity, or be inadequate. It makes us fear losing someone we love. We have to think we are separate, or different, to feel this way. Depression makes us feel bereft, isolated, left out, unloved and like we don't belong anywhere–separate. Anger comes from a sense of injustice that happened to us–it stems from an "us-them" mentality.
All of these are in our mind. We create a world where we are separate and don't belong, and victimized and then we feel worse and worse. Where, in reality, this makes us blind to the love we do have in our lives, blind to the people who care about us, and blind to our own contributions in life. This is lose-lose.
Take Action. Reduce Fear
There are many ways to take action instead of being immobilized by fear. For example: spend time with the person, tell them you love them, show them you love them, keep them company, offer them help, and thank them. All of these actions will help you feel more connected and lessen the fear.
Fear of Losing Someone You Love
If we remembered that we are connected, our hearts would warm and our grief would ease. When we bring to mind the unbreakable bonds between us and a loved one, as well as the influence those have had on our life, the fear of loving someone you love would decrease.
People are afraid it is too late. It is never too late. Even if someone dies–the relationship–the influence goes on, and so we can do something. As long as the "relationship" is there, we can mold it, and make new meaning around it. (Meaning that includes connection rather than loss. Meaning that includes positive self identity of love and caring.)
This makes all the difference in how we feel: bereft or connected.
Have you been immobilized by the fear of losing someone you love?
Lobozzo, J. (2012, November 28). Fear of Losing Someone You Love, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, January 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2012/11/fear-of-losing-someone-you-love
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
Thank you so much for reading and for commenting with your story. Jodi is the one who wrote this article, but as she is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, she is unable to respond to comments. I'm sorry to hear of your struggles. There may be readers here who have experienced something similar and can share with you things that they did to work through it. It sounds like it's important to you to have this family back in your life. It can be not only difficult but sometimes even harmful to try to provide suggestions online. Have you considered consulting a family therapist who might offer suggestions or at least suggest readings and resources that could be helpful for you. Good luck as you work to reunite.
I would love to pinpoint just one source of the anxiety and work on it. This is something I've tried. I said this anxiety was different and stronger right? The thing about it is when the anxiety comes it seems to have no reason, it gives me all the symptoms (shaking,nausea,headaches,throwing up, uncontrollable thoughts, complete misery etc.) but it's as though the anxiety makes me search for a reason to be nervous if that makes any sense? It's just there. All the time. Sitting in the back of my head waiting for it to get dark. Like right now for instance, I'm at a lockin with the youth group at my church, and the anxiety is just sitting there and when people say random comments about death it comes out of nowhere fluctuates, makes me feel like I'm gonna pile and then goes back down but it's still there like it's waiting for something else to be said. I hate the thought of having to go through this for the rest of my life. And while yes some nights I'm just too exhausted to do anything but pass out, I miss nights where I could stay up and watch movies with my family. Or go to a youth event at church and actually feel good enough to participate. Is there such thing as an anxiety disorder that has no real subject, but many and it waits to make me sick? Does any of this make sense?
Yes, all of this definitely makes sense. While I'm not in a position to make a diagnosis, I will say that what you are describing sounds like features of panic disorder. The symptoms you mention as well as an unidentifiable cause are part of panic disorder, a specific type of anxiety disorder. With panic disorder, panic attacks come on seemingly at random, anywhere at any time, and don't appear to have a single cause. You do have some specific things behind yours (the fear of having someone you love die, and a stronger intensity at night). Still, that doesn't rule out panic disorder and can actually be a good thing (well, anxiety isn't "good" of course) because they can give you a focus for improvement. A psychologist/psychiatrist can make an official diagnosis and be able to help you work through this. I'm sure it doesn't feel like it now, but this won't last forever. It will get better, and working with a professional therapist can help a lot. Hang in there!
The psychic replied that I was working for the govt. I had a lot of changes in my life so there was this stress I couldn let go of. At that moment it all made sense. Why I couldn sleep, and not jus why I couldn sleep, i understood why i couldn look for good relationships or a good job. Both were things I deserved but neither is what I have. I am content with shitty situations cos I dont want to hurt too much when things go away.
Before I acquire something, my past life haa already taught me the fear of losing something i really love and cant bear to let go of. How can I self heal when I cant experience the hurt now that I had experienced in a past life?
Jodi is the one who wrote this post, but because she is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, she's unable to respond to comments. I'm Tanya, one of the current writers of Anxiety-Schmanxiety. Thank you for your comment. I'm not familiar with bridging past and current lives as part of the healing process. I do know that coming to accept ourselves for who we are is an important component of mental health and well-being. When people come to terms with their past and embrace the strengths they have now, anxiety and depression are often reduced. The principles are likely similar in your situation. Also, have you looked into resources that exist in this area? There might be books written about this subject. Whatever you do, don't give up on yourself and your ability to heal.
Thank you for commenting and sharing your experiences. Jodi is the one who wrote this article, but as she is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, she is unable to comment. I'm Tanya, one of the current authors of Anxiety-Schmanxiety. It sounds like you have very strong feelings of love and caring -- for your parents, for your boyfriend, etc. That is a very wonderful character strength, but it definitely can be anywhere from frustrating to downright debilitating when it is so powerful that it interferes in the very relationships you cherish. You mentioned that when this happened with your parents, you had to get your mind to stop attacking you. That's a really great way to put this! Our minds can most definitely attack us. I understand that this situation is different than the one with your parents, but the same principles of love, caring, attachment, and separation anxiety are at work. Back then, how did you get your mind to stop playing those tricks (whatever you did must have been effective -- your panic attacks became few and far between)? Perhaps start there. Even though this love is different, it can be effective to go back to what worked for you then. Then build off it. Perhaps others here can comment and share their own techniques for calming this very real fear.
I have gone through the same process of trying to rid myself from this anxiety as I did when I was younger. However, much of that involved having my mom sleep with me every night to get me to relax. Then we decided on seeing a psychologist. She's amazing and has helped me a great deal, however it was through processes like writing in a journal and breathing techniques. These worked then but are barely of any help now, and obviously my mom can't come sleep with me or I'd be reversing my success. Are there any medicines I could take to keep the anxiety away? Preferably one that doesn't cause and addiction, I took myself off of lexapro a year ago because it wasn't working but still gave me frustrating side effects. Are there any known daily medicines that actually keep the anxiety away? Yes I love deeply, and it's seeming to be more of a curse than a gift. I'm sorry to bother you with all these questions. Soon I will be going to college and my dream would be to minor in health missions and major in nursing and then continue on to specializing in ICU care and specializing again in ICU pediatric care. However at night (my anxiety trigger) the thought of caring for so many makes me sick. This is my dream, and I don't want to give it up, but I can't spend the rest of my life going to bed with all these thoughts forcing themselves into my head without me having ANY control over stopping them.
Please don't apologize! HealthyPlace is a resource and a forum, and it is our hope that people come here to find some answers to their mental health questions. Unfortunately, because I don't have a medical degree and because HealthyPlace isn't a medical site, I can't give advice on prescriptions. Medication is so complex, as are people, and something that works wonders for one person could be horrible for someone else. You have great questions, though, and I encourage you to talk to a doctor you are comfortable with. Reading your comments, I think you should truly feel confident in yourself that you can overcome this (journeys of recovery aren't always quick and easy, but they are possible). I say this because you have both goals and insight. You are aware of your anxiety, what causes it, and when it is at its worst, you know that the thing that would ease your anxiety (having your mother lie down with you) will be a setback so you're resisting because you want to move forward, and you have goals for your future -- plus you are wise in recognizing that the goal of caring for so many might be overwhelming for you, and that means that you can make adjustments so your goals are healthy for you. These are all great things that you can build on as you move forward. Perhaps it might be helpful to identify just one thing that is the most problematic for you right now and focus on reducing that. How can you calm your anxious thoughts about that one thing? Just let the other anxieties hang out in the background while you work on the first thing. When you have that minimized to a degree that you're comfortable with, identify the next anxiety to work on, and so forth. You're not doomed to this for life!
I really like the name of this site. I am hoping to get some help here-before it's too late.
I fear I am losing something/someone really special, and I don't know quite what to do.
Oh dear, I guess I should start from the top.
I will be short so I hope I don't leave anything important out.
My guy and I met late in life. We connected via an
online dating site. We had both been through some really painful experiences. I was married for a number of years. He has never been wed, we are both in our mid 40's.
I was the one to initiate the relationship. He did not mail me back for over a month- so I thought he was not interested. But he did, and we seemed to be a great match. I felt I had finally started living.
We met at an area resort over Labor Day w/e of 2012. Upon our first meeting, I did something I should not have, and brought up some topics that were of interest to see how he felt. One of those discussions was about weight/ and fitness. I made the mistake of asking him if I was his match physically. To which he told me in brutal honesty that I was not. Weight was an issue for him. He told me that he wished he could be unconditional but was not. I kept the hurt to myself. We ended up having a fabulous time. But I remember thinking to myself on the long ride home that it was over before it started. To my shock he contacted me right away. I was still mulling over what he had said to me and so I was not convinced I wanted to enter into another dead-end relationship.So I told him how he had made me feel. To which he got really angry and told me that he felt I had misrepresented myself on my profile. I am 5'4 and i weigh 118 lbs. (this is below the BMI for my height) Anyway- somehow we got past that when he admitted that he feels self-conscience if the girl is in his mind bigger. He is 5'5 and weighs about 135??? So he has height issues.
Okay, to the point. We started off shaky but we began to develop what I thought were strong feelings for one another. Great, we made the move in last fall. I moved across 2 states for him.
I was happy to do it, I am very much in love with him. At first it was nice- we had some issues, but a lot to deal with pets we each had.
The problem is, he does not tell me he loves me, he barely looks at me when I am talking to him.
He gets irritated with me easily, he tells me that I am trying to control him if I complain that he never initiates intimacy. If he does it is when he is wanting something in return.
If I try to bring the subject up he gets defensive and angry. He tells me your lying and it's all BS. I was beginning to think I am going crazy. I am not a person who needs the other's attention all the time- I like to do my own thing too; and have my own life. However I am beginning to feel sad, lonely, invisible and unloved. My fear is that he is not really all that interested in me physically and that he doesn't really not how to tell me.
Did I mention that he has roaming eyes as well (usually right in front of me).
I don't want to waste another year on loving someone who will probably never love me, and who will at some point want out. What do I do? Please help.
I'm so glad that you found HealthyPlace and that you think it will be helpful for you. Jodi is the one who wrote this article, but as she is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, she is unable to respond to comments. I'm Tanya, one of the current writers of Anxiety-Schmanxiety. I think what you describe, an unbalance of love and power and communication in a relationship, is something that so many people will relate to. One thing to ponder, and it might take some time to come to a conclusion, is whether you want to be with this man specifically or if you like the idea of having a relationship. It's very easy to get those tangled up because we naturally want relationships to work. When they don't, it's very anxiety-provoking. I have a feeling that other readers will be able to share their experiences to help you sort this out.
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Jodi is the one who wrote this terrific article, but because she's no longer writing for HealthyPlace, she is unable to respond to comments. I'm Tanya, one of the current writers of the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog. On behalf of all of HealthyPlace, I'll say that we're glad that you discovered this place and find it both enjoyable and informative. I hope you continue to visit, read, and interact, and I look forward to more comments from you.
Jodi is the one who wrote this article, but because she is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, she is unable to respond to comments. I'm Tanya, one of the current authors of Anxiety-Schmanxiety. I'm happy that you found HealthyPlace, and specifically the article about the fear of losing someone you love. You're not alone; it's a common anxiety that, as you probably know, can take over thoughts and can become an obsession. I hope you found some tips and common experiences in the comments. This is a healthy way of getting out and connecting to others. Doing so can help pull us out of the isolation that can accompany extreme anxiety. It's also beneficial to get out in person to make connections in your community. It can feel very difficult at first, so consider taking little steps. Take regular walks or trips to a park where you might eventually meet other mothers, join a parenting group (M.O.P.S. groups are common nation-wide), connect with an old friend, etc. These won't immediately solve the problem, but they can help you reconnect, and connection really does tame fear -- especially a fear of losing those close to you.
It all begins with him loosing his phone so I was unable to contact him and now when he is taking to long to reply, I have those thoughts that something bad happened to him.
I have anxiety and I'm seeing a counsellor but it's hard for me and even if he is trying to understand and support, I'm sure it's hard for my boyfriend as well.
Jodi is the one who wrote this article, but because she is not longer writing for HealthyPlace, she is unable to respond to comments. I'm Tanya, one of the current authors of the Anxiety-Schmaxiety column. Anxiety about something happening to someone you care about is very unpleasant, to say the least. It seems that you feel that this is something you don't want to do, and that is a good thing. Awareness of an anxiety is the first step in growing past it. And seeking treatment is a way of taking control -- even though the progress can seem slow. I'm glad you shared your story here, and I think that many people will be able to relate to it and thus know that they're not alone (you're not alone, either).
my situation is a little bit more difficult. I love someone, but there are 4 reasons why fear demolishes everything.
1) She loves someone else. She has a boyfriend for over 3 years.
2) She's in my class in school, making it so painful to see her every day but not a single moment for just the two of us.
3) She knows that I love her, but I think she still doesn't understand how serious my problems are. I'm pretty emotional myself. I get carried away by her beauty, her intelligence, her humor, her compassion,... She cares about others and want them to be happy too. I don't know what exactly the cause of it is, but I think she started to leave me be. Maybe because I can't live a day without her. Or she's just tired of listening to my problems.
4) The fact that she's in my class is the hardest. I'm graduating in 3 months. We will all go our separate ways. I love her and my friends too much. I care too much = I lose too much. The fear is too strong and I can't handle it anymore. Getting more and more the feeling of loneliness.
The increased feeling of loneliness that you describe is quite common as people approach major transitions, such as graduation from school. It can be overwhelming to think of you and your friends going on separate paths. It's very anxiety provoking, and it can feel like loss. But while your friendships are changing, they aren't erased. This next stage of life is about further discovering yourself, your interests, your passions, and forming new relationships as you go. And it might be especially painful at first to be away from the girl you feel strongly about, perhaps having a bit of space and distance will make room for you to be yourself. Schools often have counselors who are expert in helping people transition as graduation approaches. Is there a counselor there with whom you could meet to talk about things and plan for ways to both keep your old friends and prepare for new ones? Talking with someone and actively making a plan often helps people feel more in control of their changing lives.
Separation is often painful, and separation anxiety is real. You don't have to have a completely fresh start with a blank slate. Even if your current friends aren't nearby next year, in what ways can you stay in contact with them? Perhaps you could all make a plan or a pact for contact (either through social media, e-mail, texting, or phone calls/skype) at regular times so you know you can count on having some time with them consistently. It's not the same, but it would continue the connection. Also, think in terms of little things you can do to adjust to the change rather than looking it as one huge picture that is difficult to deal with. Finally, keep cherishing your friendships! While they do change, they won't suddenly cease to exist. That's good!
He is my only parent
My mom has left me and my dad
I fear he will die
I will be alone
I don't know why I get these thoughts
I really cannot lose him
The fear of loss is very real and very scary. It's also common. You're not alone. Like Jodi mentioned in her article, it comes from love. It also comes from a sense of loss. I imagine that it was likely very difficult when your mother left (I don't want to put words in your mouth or to assume that I know what it felt like for you, of course.) While your dad might not just leave you the way your mom did, you fear that he might leave you by dying. Have you talked to him about this fear? It might be helpful for the two of you to talk about your love for each other, the odds of either of you dying soon, and how to focus on love in life rather than fear of death. There are never guarantees in life, but if you process this with him and think of ways to enjoy him and life, you might be able to reduce anxiety and move fear of loss to the background.
Jodi is no longer writing the Anxiety-Schmanxeity blog for HealthyPlace, so she is unable to respond to comments. I'm Tanya, one of the new authors of Anxiety-Schmanxiety. I did a little digging, and I was unable to find the Fear Vs Love article. Perhaps someone reading these comments knows the exact article to which you are referring and can provide a link. Sorry I was unable to find it.
Jodi is no longer writing for HealthyPlace so she's unable to respond to comments. I know, though, that when she sees it, she will be pleased that you found her guidance helpful.
. Overall she is doing well but fell ill yo her stomach last week and my body reacted as though it was the end of the world. That fear kicked in and I was catastrophizing every possible outcome. Nothing relieved it. It felt "premonition " like...
She went to the Dr. Today and learned she has diverticulitis. Instantly the anxiety subsided. I often feel silly after such a spell.
I have had my worst fears realized when I lost my first husband to cancer at 25. Then 2 years ago my dad dropped dead. You would think I could rationalize knowing I survived both but my mind and body aren't rational.
Lots of great stuff here. Thank you so much for all you do!
I am so sorry about yout kitty! It is common to feel like you want to never love after a heartbreak of loss. This is grief. Let it come, when you get more space you might realize you were better off having your kitty rather than never having her. If the love never exists you would have no joy ever at all. I wish I could give you a big hug and take away all of your pain. I'm so sorry! xo
I had a gf and because of family pressures she has started behaving very rudely and arrogantly with me all of a sudden. Previously she used to like each and everything I used to do. I used to care for her, I used to love her and she used to love it, appreciate it. But its been more than 2 months now when she finds my mistakes in everything I do and fights with me forever. I begged of her not to behave in this way, I asked forgiveness from her 100s of times but she is just not ready to listen and the extremity is that she has blocked me from everywhere stating she hates me. I have gone paranoid and I just dont understand what do I do to bring her back in my life. I have gone breathless, I just can't imagine my life without her and she is least bothered about me. It's all because of family pressures on her but I am suffering like hell of having a fear of losing her. I will die of this fear and pain I am going through. Please help.
Does she want to stay together? Why is she still your girlfriend if she has this big of a problem. If she is still with you, I would ask her what is going on? Why the change and what happened. Maybe there is something you don't know. Broken hearts feel like we can't get over them, but we can! Sending a hug! You won't die if you choose to live! <3 Jodi
Just relax and feel his love, this is just fear. And the fear will only spearate you. Believe in yourself. It is not a lack of trust in him, but in yourself. Work on trusting yourself. That you can handle everything.