How to overcome the fear of abandonment

Fear of abandonment can prevent you from enjoying your relationships. To help you, we show you what things to take into account to overcome it.

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz on November 26, 2021.

Last update: November 26, 2021

For a relationship to be stable, several ingredients must converge at the same time. The sum of all these translates into well-being, prosperity and satisfaction.. The fear that our partner will leave us can prevent us from fully enjoying the relationship. Today we teach you how to overcome the fear of abandonment through 7 reflections.

Of course, the fear of being abandoned is not exclusive to relationships. You can feel this fear with your family, your friends, your colleagues and even with your pets.. Since the emotional connection that is made with an intimate person is closer, it is natural that it is more common in these cases. Despite this, our ideas to overcome the fear of abandonment will serve you in other contexts.

7 tips to overcome the fear of abandonment

In general, the fear of abandonment is a consequence of the attachment patterns that we have developed during childhood. The attachment style we had with our parents or caregivers determines what behaviors we will have in our adolescence and adulthood.

Childhood trauma can also be to blame (such as divorce, the evidence indicates), not to mention that it can be a symptom of a phobia (atazagoraphobia, pistanthrophobia, autophobia, and many more). In rarer cases, it can be triggered as a consequence of a mental disorder (such as borderline personality disorder).

In any case, fear of abandonment is a very common problem. Unfortunately it affects millions of people around the world, mainly during the relationship. According to the experts, can lead to insecurity in the relationship, often leading to the end of the relationship. We present 7 tips to overcome the fear of abandonment that you can use.

1. Identify the beginnings of your fear

As we have already pointed out, fear of abandonment is usually related to past experiences. Whether they are experiences in childhood, early youth, or adulthood, there is always a spark that ignites the blaze of fear. Identifying where it all started can help you overcome the fear of abandonment.

Then do a retrospective exercise in which you evaluate how it has been the way you have related to people in the past. Were you always afraid of being abandoned? Could you identify when it started? What was it that motivated you? Is it something that started with your new relationship? Asking uncomfortable questions is a tool for uncovering the truth.

2. Work on your self-esteem

Self-esteem is the fundamental pillar of emotional health, so it will inevitably influence all aspects of life.

Often the fear of being abandoned by the partner is due to self-esteem problems. Indeed, this fear is not something that manifests itself in isolation; it is often accompanied by jealousy, insecurities, trust issues, and so on.

All of this points to a self-perception problem, one that is not necessarily friendly to ourselves. You should make working on your self-esteem a priority, something that can help you reduce your fear of abandonment. We leave you with some ideas on how to do it here.

3. Talk to your partner

Something paradoxical about the fear of abandonment is that develops even when our partner has shown no desire to abandon us. It is a reaction that does not have a correspondence with reality; so that sometimes it is necessary to face it with this face to face.

This is why talking with your partner about the future of the relationship, the interests that exist in common, the mutual feelings that both profess, the degree of support and unconditional love that they share and the desire to build a stable relationship can be of great help. Definitely, it’s a relief to know that your thoughts are unrelated to your partner’s intentions.

4. Take care of yourself

In order to build self-esteem, another thing you can do to overcome the fear of abandonment is to take care of yourself. You must begin to practice self-kindness, in addition to gathering a series of habits aimed at guaranteeing your well-being and prosperity. We leave you with some ideas:

  • Start doing sports.
  • Start a balanced diet.
  • Expand your circle of friends.
  • Include fun activities that you can do without the participation of your partner or friends.
  • Avoid stressful situations.
  • Take care of your physical appearance.
  • Stop judging yourself or demanding so much of yourself.
  • Consider yoga, meditation, and other relaxing activities.

In short, any type of activity that makes you happy is welcome. Through it you will discover that happiness materializes in different ways (not only in the prototype of a partner next to you) and that you can also get it both alone and with people around you.

5. Consider going to therapy

Without wishing to sound insistent, we remind you that the attachment style that characterizes the fear of abandonment is often associated with unsolved problems. Although nothing prevents you from trying to discover these on your own, often the mediation of a specialist is of great help in shortening the process.

Try going to therapy alone, and then if you want, opt for couples therapy. Fortunately, the attachment styles we develop are not carved in stone. We can modify them with a little effort, so that the patterns that characterized us in the past do not have to condition us today.

6. Watch for the signs

Reflecting on our problems is one of the fundamental steps in knowing how to face them in the future.

Don’t forget the warning signs that the irrational fear of being abandoned will invade you. These are almost identical to those for a panic attack, even those for anxiety disorder. You can take into account the following reflections:

  • What were you doing just before the feeling came over you?
  • What feelings go through your head?
  • How much control do you have over the emotions you develop?
  • Is your mind clouded or are you fully aware of everything?
  • What exactly do you do when you feel abandoned? Mourn? Despair?
  • What is your attitude towards your partner? You walk away? You get closer? Do you fight? Do you become irritable?

Also try to find answer to what kind of support would you like to receive when the feeling invades you. When you have collected all the information, you will have an idea of ​​how such an attack plays out. This way you can identify when it is manifesting so that you can better control it.

7. Keep working on yourself

We have already pointed out that attachment styles can be modified. However, you will not always be able to overcome them as quickly as you wish; and you may even find other things to work on along the way. Be that as it may, you should know that patience is a great ally when overcoming the fear of abandonment.

Other obvious allies are the support of your partner or that person who is closest to you right now. Keep working on polishing the details is a constant task, one that will only end when you decide. Betting on you, on your integrity and emotional stability is never a wasted effort.

If you take into account these 7 tips to overcome the fear of leaving your partner, you can start and end the process in a more practical way. Take into account each of the points, and of course also include your partner to work together.

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