Now there is an official name for the fear of the terrifyingly exotic world of singledom Ė its called anuptaphobia. You can even be treated for it in extreme circumstances.
What is it about the single life that makes some people run frantically from one long term relationship to the next, or even worse, believe that a bad relationship is better than none at all?
The top six answers were given as follows:
No automatic plus ones for social events No one to cuddle at night Itís hard to find someone else Lack of completeness All my friends are in couples People will wonder whatís wrong with me
Let's have a look at each of these and some positive "Glass half full" counter points:
No automatic plus ones for social events
For a lot of people a partner is someone that is guaranteed to accompany them to parties, family engagements and dinners. If youíre used to this form of instant company - it can be an terrifying when youíre all alone.
On the positive side many people in couples are often a bit lazy about chatting to new people because they already have someone there at the party to chat to. Singledom allows a social freedom that is as exciting as it is scary.
No one to cuddle at night
Those who are used to a bed companion find it hard to imagine life without one. Some singlephobics even report not being able to sleep if their partnerís away for the night.
A single life does not necessarily mean one without any friendly affection. Scientific research shows that hugs have health benefits such as reducing blood pressure and alleviating stress - so it may be an idea to think Mediterranean rather than Scandinavian
Lack of completeness
Some people sincerely believe that we are designed to cope with life autonomously only until adulthood, and then we reach a point when we "need" someone else to "complete" us
Alternatively other people do believe that to be a happy couple you need to be first a happy single - as otherwise you can be too needy in a relationship - placing all the burden of your happiness on that other person.
Itís hard to find someone else
For some people, the fear of loneliness and not being able to find another partner is the biggest reason for not getting out of a bad relationship. "Better the devil you know" as the old saying goes.
It could be said, though, that the loneliness experienced in a destructive or bad relationship is even worse.
All my friends are in couples
If youíve been with your partner for a while then your social life tends to evolve around activities that cater best for couples. Everything is convenient and cosy, so much so that ending a relationship means more than just splitting up with someone, itís potentially messing up your groupís entire social structure
Looking at the positives, though - being newly single makes people approach friendships differently. Looking outside of the "couple bubble" means you can get to see a new and interesting side to your old friends too.
People will wonder whatís wrong with me
Thereís nothing worse than someone in a relationship asking you why youíre single. It makes you instantly feel inferior. It also requires you to come up with some sort of plausible answer as fast as possible.
Judgement on this scale really is in the eye of the beholder. Ultimately it is up to you how much of the other persons opinion affects how you feel about your situation. Let's face facts - there have never been more people actually choosing to stay single - rather than having it forced on them - than in this century.