If years of watching Sex and the City has taught us anything, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s that single life isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t always so glamorous. So if the thought of being the only one not coupled up this holiday season gives you a panic attack, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not alone. In fact, fear of being single can drive people to stay in bad relationships or settle for less-than-desirable partners, according to a new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Researchers from the University of Toronto conducted a series of studies to show how common this fear of being single is and how it affects your love life. They found that singlehood anxiety is definitely a thing: 40 percent of people feared not having the long-term companionship of a partner, and 18 percent reported an explicit fear of being single. In subsequent studies, researchers found that people with stronger fears had lower relationship standards. That is, they were more likely to stay in just-OK relationships, less likely to initiate a breakup, and less selective when it came to choosing a partner. Basically, they were settling.