Fear of breaking up: What is FOBU and is it affecting your love life?

Fear of Breaking up – FOBU is becoming an epidemic in people in their 20s and 30s because god forbid their relationships end and they have to be single again.

Is FOBU - Fear of Breaking-up - affecting your life?
© TO THE WONDER (2013), Magnolia Pictures
Is FOBU - Fear of Breaking-up - affecting your life?

There’s legit fear that lets us stay stuck in unhappy relationships and no we are not making this up. Fear of breaking up, aka, FOBU is as real as it gets. When a relationship causes you more pain than pleasure, or when love just runs out, the most appropriate course of action is to leave it and move on. Of course, this isn't always a simple task. Some people are really terrified at the prospect of breaking up. FOBU is a condition that affects these people.

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What is FOBU?

FOBU is an acronym for Fear of Breaking Up, which in a layman’s language translates to fear of ending a romantic relationship. It's a pattern of conduct that can be seen in people of various ages and social classes. However, some generations, such as Millennials and Generation Y, are particularly susceptible to this tendency.

Dr Elizabeth Lombardo, a Chicago-based psychologist and author is the one who named FOBU. According to Lombardo:

The biggest component of it is ‘I’m never going to find someone else. It's fortune-telling and catastrophizing. It’s the ‘I’m going to die alone and my cats are going to eat me’ thinking. And so, we think it’s safer to stay in the relationship than to chance not having a chance at a relationship again. It’s the idea that something is better than nothing.

Stemming from low-self esteem and fear of being alone, FOBU might be affecting your relationships even when you don’t realise it.

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How to get over it?

Let’s say on a scale of one to ten, you’re at five right now in terms of happiness when it comes to your love life. Usually, people would walk out of five and look for higher numbers of happiness. However, people suffering from FOBU – would fear being at an all-time two once they end the five-point relationship. So, what do they do instead? Suffer in unhappy relationships than lead their life independently.

Whoever said that the only way out is through knew what he was talking about. To get over FOBU you need to accept it is just a phase and face the situation head-on. You might temporarily be sad about breaking up but eventually, you will find that happiness again. Prepare yourself before breaking up so that you don’t relapse or even consult a specialist if the need be.

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