7 Revealing Truths About People Who Cannot Be Alone

I hear quite frequently from people wondering how and why their exes enter into new relationships so quickly, as though one foot must always be grounded in a partnership. They question if the displayed and professed love is real or if it is merely a show. They are curious how their former love seemed to move on so quickly while they are still struggling to simply let go.

Over the years of discussion and observation, I have seen the following characteristics appear time and time again in those who seem to always jump from one relationship into another. As with any generalizations, these traits will not fit all people equally.

Those that are perpetually in relationships tend to be romantics. They believe in soulmates and True Love and believe that it’s simply a matter of trying on partners until you find the one with the right fit. Romantics love the rush of a new relationship and truly believe that this time, it’s the one.

Relationship-hoppers are optimistic, rather than view past failed relationships as a sign of something wrong, they frame it as a sign that they need to try again. They aren’t the type to be bitter about former flames or love in general. They don’t spend time beating themselves or their exes up. They just move on.

The never-single tend to be giving, generous with their time and their attention. They may take this too far and develop their own self-worth through what they do for others. Or, they may give as a way of strengthening the attachment (think the stereotypical “sugar daddy” arrangement).

People that can’t be alone are often insecure. Perhaps they define their worth through the value of the partner on their arm. Or they believe that they are not enough on their own and so they seek guidance from a lover. They see themselves reflected in their significant other.

An avoidance of singlehood is also a sign of dependence on others. I frequently find that they had a domineering mother or were the youngest child. These are often people that have been conditioned to not think for themselves. Being alone for them triggers more than just loneliness, it brings with it an inability to cope.

Not wanting to be alone frequently arises out of fearfulness. They are afraid to be unloved. Scared to face life’s challenges alone. Worried that they will never find love (again) and so they jump at any chance just in case it’s the final opportunity. They may be afraid of the world and their favored hiding place is within the confines of a relationship.

The always-partnered may be unreflective. They are more prone to external action than introspection and self analysis. This lack of soul-searching helps them move on quickly, but can also mean that they carry the same problems with them into successive relationships.


There is no “right” amount of time to wait between relationships. The time needed is different for every person and every situation.

If you think you may have a tendency to rush into relationships too soon, read this. It will give you some points to consider.

If you are wondering how your ex could move on so quickly, remember that you’re only seeing part of the picture, the part they want you to see. And their story is no longer yours. No matter what they’re up to, you do you!

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13 thoughts on “7 Revealing Truths About People Who Cannot Be Alone

  1. Sadly, I know – or should I say I knew …for six years… someone who falls into the last four categories perfectly. Not only did his infidelity shock me, but he also made me feel ridiculously stupid, naive, gullible and blind when he moved on swiftly and seamlessly to his next relationship. He moved away and in with her after less than three months. When we first started dating, his family – and is children – did the “Here we go again”eye-roll/groan. (His sister had no trouble letting me know this . . .) I took it SO PERSONALLY, like they were insulting ME. Like I was some sort of gold digger or needy woman. MY intentions were pure and true.
    Man oh man . . . love can fuck.you.up.

      1. HA! Good thing, or else I’d be in big Trouble 🙂
        Btw, I’m seeing the “sugar daddy” bit now, and I think that held true for Bob, too, but I wasn’t in that category. He actually got upset with me SEVERAL times for not wanting a debit card for his bank account. And he always insisted that was what was his, was ours, which I always appreciated b/c that was a new thought process after my husband of 20+ years; for example, I’d have to ask if I could *borrow* “his” car. . . .
        Honestly, I hard a difficult time with the joint anything after my marriage . . .
        His second wife and the current do though, fall into the takers category. Not sure about anyone else. So, yeah, add that to the list. *Heavy sigh* I guess I misread the “giver” category description. the first time around.
        MORE.COFFEE.STAT.

  2. I’ve often questioned my own moving on after my ex-wife moved out. In hindsight, my marriage ended long before the papers were served. I can only surmise as I have picked up the pieces is that my ex-wife was interested in accessing the retirement funds before her “cancer returned”. This fatalistic attitude prevailed for many years which created a lot of unhappiness and anger. It took about six months to see that I no longer feared coming home after work. From what I have been told by people who still cross paths with my ex, the unhappiness and anger have not subsided. Thankfully I’m in a much better place but still not sure getting married a second time is wise considering the emotional and financial drain of the Court of Family Law?

    1. Why didn’t you help to reassure her? It’s all over the internet as well as discussions of married women walking through health issues, abuses, oppressions etc; not only alone but often at the hands of the husband. However, you don’t hear these men speaking of their failure or taking responsibilty for what they were a part of.

      1. Honestly, You are assuming that I did not reassure my ex-wife which is the polar opposite of what I did to care for her during the cancer journey and its aftermath. One of the doctors involved in her care stated that I did far more than the majority of men would do as a caregiver. In addition, my efforts to save the marriage were far and above what most people would attempt. Even my ex-wife admitted to our Pastor that I was doing everything possible to save the marriage but she was not even trying. I was told by one of my doctors, based on your character and values, that if you had filed for divorce you would not have been able to live with the guilt. Since you wife filed, you can move on in your life with a clear conscience.

  3. i spent most of my 20s as a serial monogamist. i am a romantic and an optimist…but i also suffer from low self-esteem & insecurity. sadly, i would choose relationships based on how damaged the person was (the more the better!) so that i could focus on nurturing them rather than facing my own damage.
    i spent the last 14 years in just one on-again/off-again relationship with a perfectly damaged narcissist who loved my devotion to nurturing him. this forced me to realize things about myself and to grow out of my pattern.
    now i feel SO ready to start a healthy relationship. i feel like i am so ready that i am glowing…but still have that fear that i will fall into another damaged pattern or be with someone just because they want to be with me (part of my pattern as an insecure person). and am actually terrified of relationships for the first time in my life–despite my desire to be in a relationship.
    i am hoping the optimistic romantic part of me will win this one.

  4. I’m content on my own, and am completely happy with who I am as an individual (so there’s no sense of deriving my self-worth from someone else). At the same time, I think we are social animals, and life is just more enjoyable when you have someone to share it with.

    But I could never see being in a relationship just to be in a relationship. It would have to be one that is good, and healthy for me. If not, what’s the point?

  5. I discovered this for myself. Because I had been married to an abusive husband for 20 years, I didn’t think I would be able to find someone for me. So I jumped out of that relationship into another relationship and married. And when I say I jumped out of the one relationship and married again, I married the same day I divorced. I did not stop and take time for myself because I didn’t think I could wait and had to take what was offered to me. I married someone I’ve known since childhood. I think part of that was because I was afraid of my abusive husband and needed security that he would leave me alone. My husband now and I have been married 14 years. It’s an okay marriage. He is a good person, which I am thankful for that, because in the state of mind I was at that time, I could have married another abusive person.

    1. I’m impressed by your insight. And so glad you didn’t find yourself in another abusive situation. You bring up a good point – it’s easier to move quickly (or even too fast) when we already know the person. It has a tendency to fast forward through the early “getting to know you” stages of dating.

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