Researchers from the University of Toronto discovered the fear of being single is a meaningful predictor of settling for less in relationships among both men and women.
Study findings may be found in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
“Those with stronger fears about being single are willing to settle for less in their relationships,” said lead author Dr. Stephanie Spielmann, postdoctoral researcher in the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology.
“Sometimes they stay in relationships they aren’t happy in, and sometimes they want to date people who aren’t very good for them.”
She said, “Now we understand that people’s anxieties about being single seem to play a key role in these types of unhealthy relationship behaviors.”
Investigators surveyed several samples of North American adults, consisting of University of Toronto undergraduates and community members from Canada and the U.S. The samples included a wide range of ages.
“In our results we see men and women having similar concerns about being single, which lead to similar coping behaviors, contradicting the idea that only women struggle with a fear of being single,” said co-author Dr. Geoff MacDonald.
“Loneliness is a painful experience for both men and women, so it’s not surprising that the fear of being single seems not to discriminate on the basis of gender.”
Source: University of Toronto