Fear Of Leaving Partner: FOBU

Fear of leaving the partner: FOBU

When a relationship generates more suffering than well-being or when the love is simply over, the most logical thing to do is to end the relationship and move on. However, it’s not always easy. Some people experience a real dread just thinking about it. They suffer from what is referred to as FOBU, which is fear of leaving the partner.

The acronym FOBU derives from the English Fear of breaking up (fear of breaking up a relationship, in fact). It is a behavioral pattern that is repeated in people of any age and social condition, although it is true that Generation Y or Millennials are more vulnerable to this phenomenon.

Tinder, WhatsApp or Instagram are the new platforms that are usually used for flirting. There are thousands of cases of couples who, in fact, never got to see each other face to face .

This lack of physical communication is a double-edged sword: on the one hand it softens the blows; on the other hand, it makes young people more vulnerable. They spend more time than their parents and grandparents dealing with certain vital traumas, which are necessary for proper mental and emotional development Consequently, at this age they are more vulnerable to FOBU.

Why does FOBU occur?

FOBU occurs primarily due to low self-esteem, fear of being alone and ultimately starting over. When a relationship is toxic and we feel trapped, any attempt at independence presupposes a world, despite the pain. If we have been involved in this story for a long time, closing with everything will imply a drastic change.

The routine we are used to keeps us in a bittersweet comfort zone. Having a close relationship with the family of our partner, with his friends and thinking of putting an end to all this depresses us, discourages us. What they will think of us, with what face they will look at us on the street or how we will no longer have contact with the people with whom we have bonded and to whom we are affectionate  are just some of our fears.

Couple looking at each other with head cut off from image

When a relationship ends, the person who ended it usually feels responsible and guilty for all the pain that the breakup has caused.  We hate hurting others, we feel like executioners and we choose to punish ourselves for weeks.  We also know that we too will suffer and this only increases the fear we feel. Our life becomes a spiral of doubts and worries, because we don’t know how to deal with the problem.

Another major cause of FOBU is not knowing how to be alone. Needing the approval and presence of another person in our life makes it impossible to think about leaving them and ending the story. We prefer to be unhappy and live a wretched existence, rather than face what we already know: that we don’t want to be with this person anymore.

How can we overcome our FOBU?

The only way to overcome the FOBU is to take the situation head-on. Being brave is very difficult, but sometimes it’s the only way to get our happiness. There is no point in keeping us in a place where suffering is greater than well-being.

If the relationship was healthy and true, but the flame of love has gone out, the logical thing to do is to be honest with the other person. Remember that you may not be in love anymore, but you have been in the past. For this, the other deserves the greatest possible respect. To deceive him into believing that love continues to exist between you is not only a cowardly attitude, but also a very selfish one.

So,  if the relationship was toxic and addictive, ending it is a priority for our mental health.  Anyone deserves to be respected, appreciated and loved by people who reciprocate their feelings. Enslaving ourselves to suffering and pain will only undermine our self-esteem and lead us into an alley with no way out.

Young couple

One way or another, keep in mind that you will be assailed by millions of doubts and remorse. Your life will change and surely there will be many things that you will miss, especially the feeling of having someone by your side, even if the relationship you lived was toxic. There will be days when you will even feel lonely and get caught up in the idea of ​​getting back with your ex,  but it’s not your heart talking, it’s just a lack of a habit.

Talk to a specialist

If your fear of being alone or leaving your partner begins to affect you in an abnormal way, see a specialist. It may be that you have developed a medical condition caused by a traumatic event  (previous breakups) or that you need to improve your self-esteem.

Respect and value yourself is essential in these cases. It is necessary to love yourself enough to be able to close a story that does not fill us, does not satisfy us and does us no good. You have to ignore what others have to say.

Decide and act

Don’t let too much time pass if you know you are a victim of FOBU.  This feeling will imprison you more and more and prevent you from making a decision.

Therefore, when you decide to end the relationship, remember that it is possible that the other person does not react well. Because you broke his heart or because he wants to keep you under his control at all costs. The most important thing is that you protect yourself, especially in the latter case.

After communicating your decision, distance yourself from the other for a period. Although it may seem an insensitive attitude, it is necessary. Be mature and accept the consequences of your acts, but always be clear that the world does not end. Perhaps this decision is the best thing that can happen to you .

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