9 signs someone is only in a relationship because they're lonely

There is a clear distinction between being in a relationship because of genuine love and simply because you are afraid of being alone.

Understanding this difference is crucial. Being in a relationship out of loneliness means that you are mainly focused on filling a void, instead of really connecting with your partner.

Recognizing this pattern isn’t always easy, but there are certain signs that can indicate someone is in a relationship just because they’re lonely.

In this article we will discover nine such symptoms. At the end you will be able to understand whether you or someone close to you is dating out of loneliness or love.

Let’s dive right in.

1) They constantly seek reassurance

It is a common human trait to seek validation and reassurance in our relationships. It increases our self-confidence and makes us feel appreciated.

But if someone is in a relationship just because they are lonely, their need for reassurance can become excessive.

They may constantly seek validation of their partner’s feelings and need to be told that they are loved again and again. Their self-esteem often becomes tied solely to the relationship, causing them to rely heavily on their partner for emotional support.

This dependency is not healthy, and it is a clear sign that they are dating out of fear of loneliness rather than out of genuine love.

Understanding these behaviors can help you determine whether loneliness is driving the relationship. Remember that everyone needs reassurance sometimes, but if it becomes a constant need it may be worth considering why.

2) They jump from relationship to relationship

I’ve seen this pattern many times. A friend of mine, let’s call her Sarah, never seemed to be single for more than a few weeks. She jumped from one relationship to another, without taking the time to heal and understand her feelings from the previous breakup.

Sarah has always been in a relationship, but she never seemed really happy. It was more like she was terrified of being alone, so she clung to whoever came next.

Looking back, it was clear that Sarah used these relationships as a way to avoid facing her loneliness. It wasn’t about the person she was with; it was about having someone there, anyone, so she didn’t have to be alone.

This behavior is a common sign that someone is in a relationship not because they are truly invested in their partner, but because they are lonely and afraid of being alone.

3) They are more interested in the idea of ​​a relationship than in their partner

During the honeymoon phase of a relationship, it’s normal to feel in love and focus on the positives. However, as time goes by, this should transition into a deeper understanding and appreciation of your partner’s individual qualities.

However, when someone is in a relationship out of loneliness, he or she may be more enamored with the idea of ​​being in a relationship than with their actual partner. Relationship status becomes an asset, a shield against loneliness, rather than a meaningful connection with another person.

Did you know that research has shown that people who fear being single are more likely to settle for less in their relationships? They may overlook glaring incompatibilities or warning signs because they are more focused on not being alone than on finding a compatible partner.

This is another sign to look out for if you suspect someone is in a relationship purely out of fear of loneliness.

4) They feel insecure when their partner is not there

We all enjoy the company of our romantic partners, but it’s also healthy to have time off. It allows us to maintain our individuality and personal growth.

However, someone who is in a relationship because they are lonely may have difficulty with this concept. They may feel anxious or insecure when their partner is not there. This insecurity often stems from the fear of being alone, rather than from the fear of losing the partner itself.

This excessive attachment can put a strain on the relationship, making it revolve around one person’s need for constant companionship and reassurance. Recognizing this sign can help determine if loneliness, rather than love, is at the heart of the relationship.

5) They don’t have a strong social circle outside of the relationship

Having a strong social network outside of a romantic relationship is crucial for mental health and well-being. Friends provide emotional support, shared experiences and a sense of connection.

However, someone who is in a relationship out of loneliness may not have a strong social circle outside of their partner. They may isolate themselves or rely solely on their partner for social interaction.

This strong dependence on one person for all social needs may indicate that the person is using the relationship as a barrier to loneliness. It’s another sign to look out for when trying to understand the dynamics of a relationship.

6) They feel unfulfilled even when they are with their partner

Being in a loving relationship should bring joy, fulfillment, and a sense of companionship. You should feel happier and more complete when you are with your partner.

However, if someone is in a relationship just because they are lonely, they may still feel unfulfilled even when they are with their partner. This is because their loneliness has more to do with their relationship with themselves than with the absence of others.

They may find themselves in a room full of people, even sitting next to their partner, and still feel deeply alone. This can be heartbreaking to see, because no amount of external companionship can fill the void of internal loneliness.

Understanding this nuance can help identify whether someone is in a relationship out of loneliness rather than genuine affection.

7) They fear the end of the relationship more than they appreciate its existence

A few years ago I was in a relationship that, in retrospect, was not good for me. I wasn’t happy, and yet the thought of ending it all was terrifying. I feared being alone more than being unhappy in the relationship.

If someone is in a relationship because they are lonely, they may fear its ending more than they appreciate its existence. The fear of becoming single again can overshadow the reality that the relationship is not fulfilling or healthy.

This disproportionate fear of being single can be a strong indicator that someone is in a relationship primarily to escape loneliness.

8) They are always looking for new relationships

Someone who is in a relationship because they are lonely may always be looking for new relationships, even if they already have one. This isn’t necessarily about infidelity or lack of commitment, but more about their fear of being alone.

They can continually build connections with potential partners, keeping their options open in case their current relationship ends. This ‘back-up plan’ gives them the assurance that they won’t be alone even if their current relationship doesn’t work out.

This constant pursuit of new relationships, even if they are in one, may indicate that loneliness, not love, is the driving force behind their dating behavior.

9) They are unhappy, but can’t figure out why

When someone is in a relationship out of loneliness, he or she often feels unhappy without understanding why. They have a partner, so they shouldn’t feel alone, right? But it’s not that simple.

Loneliness doesn’t always come from being alone. Often it is the result of not feeling understood or connected on a deeper level. If someone is in a relationship for the wrong reasons, he or she may feel emotionally lonely, even when he or she is with their partner.

This unexplained accident can be a major sign that someone is in a relationship, especially because he or she is lonely. It is crucial to recognize this and address the underlying issues, rather than entering a new relationship to mask the loneliness.

Final Thoughts: It’s about self-discovery

A relationship should be about companionship, love and growth. When these elements are overshadowed by the fear of loneliness, it may be time to take a step back and do some self-reflection.

The famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung once said: ‘Loneliness does not come from not having people around you, but from not being able to communicate about the things that seem important to you.’

If someone is in a relationship just because they are lonely, they may be missing out on this vital communication and connection. They can be with someone all the time and still feel alone because their true feelings and desires are not acknowledged or understood.

It’s important to remember that being alone doesn’t have to equal loneliness. It can be a time for self-discovery, understanding one’s own needs and learning to enjoy one’s own company.

Recognizing these signs in yourself or others can be a crucial step in addressing the root cause of loneliness and cultivating healthier relationships in the future.

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