There are some fears that keep people like us up at night: a death in the family, natural disasters, terminal or life-threatening illness – the list goes on. How are those fears quantified amongst young people?
The VICELAND UK Census asked readers, “What are you most scared of?” The top answer: never finding love. This towers over the fear of being homeless, finding yourself in the middle of a terrorist attack or losing your job. A whopping 42 percent of people who are single say it is their biggest fear. What exactly leads on to this fear?
The fear of not finding love can be driven by isolation. The real question is: are we lonely? Loneliness was originally perceived to be a lingering shadow that followed older folks, however, younger folks are the ones that suffer from this type of “chronic disconnection,” despite the large and beneficial aspects of social media. Great Britain was deemed the "loneliness capital" of Europe, and not due to the aging population, as reported by the Guardian. The Mental Health Foundation, according to the Guardian, determined that loneliness is a greater concern among young people. As 18 to 34-year-olds were studied, it showed they were more likely to feel lonely often, and worried more about feeling alone and feeling depressed because of loneliness. A 2014 national survey showed 48 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they often felt lonely in comparison to the overall 34 percent average. Young people in Great Britain were nearly twice as likely to be lonely than the national average.
Another factor that contributes to this fear is the aspect of a child growing up living in two different houses. That traditional template for life-long love isn't as traditional anymore, so being cautious about commitment is understandable. While separation can lead to longer term happiness when a relationship ends, there is no real "goal" or "milestone" in sight. This could be the reason why people are so desperate for it.
Perhaps you have been in a few relationships. After each break-up, it takes more energy to prepare yourself for the next relationship, with you becoming more and more unsure of the outcome. This could lead to looking for more options, for someone better or a more fulfilling relationship, and the craving can become insatiable.
An additional reason could be the aspect of not being able to maintain friendships. In Great Britain, two and a half million men over the age of 18 don’t have a close friend that they would discuss a serious life problem with.
With this in mind, why is our greatest worry as a young person never finding love? Professor Ben Fincham told VICE that after all of his research, it is concluded that you have to be with another person or people to have fun; this aspect just doesn’t work if you’re alone. Having fun is what causes you to feel contentment, happiness and satisfaction for a longer time after the event.
Growing up, many were taught that individualism is the way to go to reach proper adulthood, and that interdependence is not something to be fond of. Wanting something that will last is a milestone goal for young people; staying with someone down to the grave is the type of life that many want to live, and are afraid to not have.
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