When the fear of loss puts the relationship to the test

You’ve just spent time on your first date and now you’re sitting at home alone and staring at your smartphone in a cramped way. Why doesn’t he answer? He’s dating someone else! What is he doing now? Where is he now? Who is he with now? You find that your thoughts and feelings are immediately lost to your date partner and increasingly become negative. You have reached a state where you must ask yourself whether you may be suffering from a fear of loss. An emotion that can manifest in different facets and makes it much more difficult for singles to find a partner.

Fixed relationships are also repeatedly put to the test by the fear of separation. We’ll show you how to recognize the red flags that explain why people are afraid of losing their partner and how to face their fears.

Recognize 5 Possible Signs of Fear of Loss

Both singles and couples struggle with the excesses of their fears, so here are the top five warnings that should wake you up.

1. Emotional dependence

The fear of loss often has deeper roots. Perhaps you had traumatic experiences as a child, such as a parent’s divorce or the loss of a loved one. The panic of being alone and loneliness often lead to emotional attachments. Affected people are at risk of becoming emotionally involved soon after their first encounter.

In relationships, people who are afraid of losing their partner quickly give up their freedom. They align their entire life with the partnership and are also happy to be exploited so as not to lose the relationship.

2. Mistrust and compulsion to control

You can recognize the fear of loss in a would-be partner from the fact that he constantly contacts you and tries to stay in touch during the dating phase. The reason for this is their distrust, which means that the affected person wants to control the other prophylactically.

In a relationship, these attempts at control can become compulsive. Partners afraid of loss are masters of control calls. You always want to be up-to-date and make sure the other person is really doing what they agreed to do or where you think they are.

3. jealousy

Fear of loss can also quickly turn into jealousy. This is the case of singles, for example, when they realize, when they get to know each other, that contact is being made with other people at the same time.

In partnerships, you are jealous if your partner spends a lot of time with friends or gets along with other women or men.

4. Supports

For affected singles, detachment can also be a stressful issue. Be it that when looking for a partner, they only talk about the previous relationship, which they cannot overcome or draw attention to due to excessive attachment to the new encounter. This form of fear of loss can lead to self-abandonment in relationships because one partner only adapts their own needs to the other’s in order not to lose them.

5. Fear of loss and relationships

Fear of attachment is also an important symptom associated with fear of abandonment. By avoiding a solid bond, single people who are unable to relate avoid the risk of losing the other from the start. So they cancel dates early or don’t even show up for the appointment. These people often find it difficult to build trust in others, allow closeness, and establish a relationship.

Attachment avoidance and fear of attachment are pervasive, often combined phenomena that need to be distinguished, which makes the search for a partner more difficult or can put great strain on an existing relationship. 

Bottom line: People who avoid attachment don’t even engage in deeper contacts—although they actually look at them—to protect themselves from loss. People who are afraid of commitment do bond, but they perceive closeness, self-commitment, deep feelings, and commitment as a threat. In either case, the cause is often found in early childhood attachment experiences. If there is a pronounced fear of commitment and/or avoidance of commitment, it is advisable to find solutions with professional support.


However, people with this fear of losing can also be found among couples. They are focused on looking for a partner who doesn’t really get into a relationship with them. This characteristic is mainly characterized by the extreme alternation of proximity and distance.

Why the fear of losing a potential partner makes it difficult to find a partner

Affected singles do not have good prerequisites for entering a new bond. Because constant panic often leads to negative behavior, which is also noticeable in dating. This is where the principle of self-fulfilling prophecy comes into play.

Dating people who are afraid of being abandoned and who are also convinced of it have a pessimistic view of things from the beginning. They also behave accordingly and see their negative fears confirmed. Next, we will present three different consequences that result from the fear of losing one person and have a negative impact on the other.

1. Your contact seems taken aback

Marriage, home, and child. Even when meeting in person, singles run the risk of making joint plans for the future or drawing up various commitment scenarios, even if they don’t really know each other yet.

Result:  Your counterpart is surprised by the “shared” views and may not be ready for further meetings.

2.  Your date partner feels surrounded by the fear of loss

You have a strong need to always and exclusively want to see your partner. That’s why you don’t follow the agreed times and see your boyfriend after work or in front of the apartment. What you might think is a pleasant surprise can quickly trigger the unpleasant feeling of being in the shadows and being dependent on someone else. A high frequency of phone calls or contacts can also ensure that your potential partner feels cornered and perhaps even suddenly breaks off contact.

3.  Your potential partner feels controlled

As a single afraid of losing someone, you have a strong need to find out everything about the other person. Of course, increased interest in the process of getting to know each other is normal, and questions about the day or certain plans are entirely legitimate. But calls that resemble an interrogation do not work. If you start to control your date, in the end, you will get the exact opposite of what you really want: you fly them yourself.

Tips for fighting the fear of loss

Overcoming the fear of being abandoned when it comes to getting to know yourself

  • accept your feelings
  • Keep your thoughts here and now
  • Keep other contacts too and don’t just focus on one contact
  • Question your own suspicions and redirect negative thoughts
  • Make time for yourself too

Struggling with Fear of Loss as an Affected Relationship Partner

  • Practice more attention in every day relationships and enjoy the moment
  • Ask whether there are legitimate reasons for distrust
  • Talk about your fears and concerns together
  • Strengthen your self-esteem
  • Build a social environment outside of partnership and cultivate your friendships

As a partner, take the fear of losing out of the affected person

  • Talk openly to your partner about it and show him what it is doing to you.
  • Make sure he can trust you
  • Make him understand that you want to understand the fear of loss

Conclusion: Successfully Fighting Fear Starts with Insight

Fighting the fear of loss and successfully overcoming it is not an easy way. Many reasons can be found in ingrained childhood traumas. Control compulsions and jealousy are often consequences of these anxiety states. Don’t let it get that far. Only when you are clear about the causes of fear of loss and have accepted them can you get out of the vicious circle of negative thoughts and develop a positive attitude towards life. Successful processing of fears makes it easier for singles in particular to find the right partner and ends up in a happy relationship.