1. FOMO meaning and origin
  2. What causes FOMO
  3. Why FOMO is dangerous for dating and relationships
  4. How to deal with FOMO in relationships

Every day, we have to make decisions. Our whole life is a choice of one of several possibilities, and sometimes the option we haven’t chosen turns out to be the most successful. And that’s where we begin to think that, if the choice was different, then life would be much better. These thoughts lead to the so-called fear of missing out or FOMO.

Unfortunately, all of us have a predisposition to such a psychological reaction. After all, we all had doubts about our loved ones at least once. Some people quickly cope with the fear of missing out in relationships, while for others, it can drag on for years and lead to depression. Regrets about the missed opportunities and the wrong choice can affect any area of ​​a person’s life. Let's look at how FOMO manifests itself, what consequences it leads to, and how to deal with this phobia.

fear of missing out relationships

FOMO meaning and origin

FOMO is an obsessive fear or anxiety that something interesting or financially beneficial is passing by you. FOMO's persistent obsession separates it from mere curiosity or interest in what’s happening. Studies say that about half of people have experienced it at least once, and there are slightly more men among them than women. A person with FOMO feels regret when they feel that they missed something regarding their friends, acquaintances, and friends of friends, didn’t reply to a message, didn’t like a photo, or missed an update.

As a rule, the fear of missing out comes from childhood. Often, it starts as regret that you didn’t choose a creative profession or didn’t achieve the desired results in sports. Also, the lack of achievements at work and its routine also lead to regrets. At such moments, you begin to remember how great you were in amateur performances, how you performed at concerts in a music school, and how you spent five years mastering karate. You come to an understanding that working as a sales manager or office employee isn’t the top of your dreams, and everything could’ve turned out differently if you had chosen a different profession for yourself.

FOMO is a phenomenon of the social media era. Some researchers call it the cause of dependence on social networks. But besides addiction (which in itself is an unpleasant and undesirable thing), the desire to constantly check for updates leads to other consequences. A person begins to rob other areas of their life, devoting less time to themselves, their family, work, study, and real communication – things which bring a feeling of fullness into our life and genuine joy from belonging to a group.

In a love relationship, this phobia is hugely widespread, and it’s much more difficult to overcome it than in the professional sphere. For the most part, regrets relate to first love or student romance. Most often, FOMO relationships occur between people who think that if they chose another companion, their whole life would be filled with love. They recall college flings, timid school courtships with love poems, and it seems that their lives would be one continuous holiday if they chose to stay with their first love.

What causes FOMO

Envy. Actually, it helps understand what we want, and competition encourages us to achieve what we want. But sometimes the constant comparison of yourself with others becomes toxic, especially if there are very clear ideas about success in life. The conviction that “everything is nice and impeccable for everyone, and my life is full of unpleasant things” leads to constant anxiety and even anger. A person feels like a loser, ignoring the fact that there are no perfect people and everyone has their secrets.

how to deal with fomoUnreadiness to take responsibility for your life. The way we live is almost always our own choice. When a person is sure that everything turns out this way and not otherwise solely due to circumstances, the world seems unfair, and someone else’s beautiful and interesting life is the result of luck. There is a feeling that life is passing by because it is difficult for people to be included in their life and change something in it.

Active use of social networks. The emergence of the FOMO phenomenon is directly related to social networks, respectively, the more often you are online, the higher the likelihood of getting hooked on posts of happy couples.

Why FOMO is dangerous for dating and relationships

In addition to an overall sense of unhappiness, FOMO in relationships and dating can lead to all kinds of problems. Here are the main ones.

1) You may get stuck in a vicious circle of aimless dating

Modern society no longer expects you to settle down and build a family right after you turn 18, so you can take your time and look for the best option. The thing is that the quest for a perfect partner may drag on for years. Once you start settling down, your new life might begin to seem like it’s lacking something important. That’s because the experience you’ve gained during the dating period doesn’t translate to your relationship the way you thought it would.

2) You’ll be thinking about your ex all the time

It’s common for us to have a backup plan, someone we can call up if the relationship falls apart. And this someone is often an ex. It’s better if you don’t rely on such plans and treat them more like freedom. Obsessive thoughts about what might’ve happened between you and your former partner if you haven’t broken up can destroy your new relationship if you don’t take control over them.

3) You may have difficulties choosing a partner

And we’re not only talking about online dating. You’re surrounded by thousands of potential romantic interests. Even if you aren’t, there are plenty of ways to broaden your circle of acquaintances. Modern lifestyle offers you the ability to meet people from everywhere. But such a variety comes at a price: how can you be confident in your choice if there are so many candidates for the role of that special someone? Due to the phobia of missing out, you’ll always feel like you made a rash decision committing to your partner.

4) The thought that you chose wrong might drive you mad

It takes a few minutes to find a good match for you on Tinder. But to do this, you must first filter the mismatches – and what if one of the dates you leftswiped is your one and only? This is what they call “the paradox of choice.” It doesn’t let you focus on what’s really important: building a relationship. Instead, you keep concentrating on your companion’s flaws and thinking that your happiness is still out there waiting for you.

5) You expect too much from people

A lot of 20 to 30 people dealing with FOMO while dating have too many expectations from their loved ones. It’s not enough for us to have a loving and caring partner – they should also be a personal psychologist, best friend, passionate loved, and so on. We expect one person to replace your entire circle of friends. And if the partner can’t fulfill your every need and please your whims, you start wondering if there’s someone who can and begin looking for a better option and miss out on a chance to create a lasting relationship.

6) You can’t stand your partner’s imperfections

While there are many, many people we can love, not many fit for building a strong relationship. It’s great to have a connection with your special someone, but it’s even more important to understand that perfect people don’t exist, and you have to cope with your partner’s flaws if you’re going to make your relationship last. You may not like some of them, but there’s no guarantee that the next companion you meet (if you break up with the current one, that is) will be better. A healthy union of hearts is all about common values and not flawless partners. Sure, there are some things you can’t tolerate, like a total interest mismatch, but minor disagreements aren’t worth breaking up.

7) You think you don’t need to work on yourself

Some people with the fear of missing out phobia believe that finding a new partner can help them solve personal issues. The problem is that nobody will help you get rid of your insecurities – this task is up to you. If you want to change something about your loved one, you should begin with yourself. You’ll never find someone so ideal that they’ll make you stop thinking about other options. If you don’t want to look for a new partner, just forget about this idea, and that’s all.

How to deal with FOMO in relationships

The main reasons for this phobia are routine, relationship issues, as well as domestic and material problems. Sometimes it’s pretty hard to overcome, but everything’s possible. Here’s how to get rid of FOMO and start living happily.

how to get rid of fomo1) Reassess your feelings

First of all, you need to evaluate your feelings for your partner. Recall those moments of courtship, love, and euphoria that determined your choice. You should realize that your loved one was really special for you, and you chose them for a reason.

2) Be realistic

How to get over FOMO if you keep comparing your relationship to the ones your friends and neighbors have? The lives of people who seem happier than you aren’t necessarily better than yours. It’s also filled with problems and conflicts, and they too have to overcome numerous mishaps. What you see on their social media pages is only the bright side, which is often embellished. Don’t compare yourself to others because they have their own path, and you must follow your own. Compare your today's self with yesterday's self and note the positive changes. This is the only true way to form healthy self-esteem and self-confidence.

3) Be grateful

Keeping a gratitude journal or just saying thanks to others can improve both your mood and those of others. This is partly due to the fact that when you give thanks, you focus more on what you have in abundance than on what you don’t have. This mood lift may be just what you need to rid yourself of feelings of depression or anxiety. Most likely, when you understand how much good you have in your life, you won’t have the desire to get into the rabbit hole of social media and FOMO. You’ll begin to feel that you have what you need in life.

4) Find a healthy alternative

Physical exercises will help you interrupt the endless stream of thoughts about the frailty of being against the background of successful achievers.

Yoga balances and calms well, but if you like intense loads, choose them. Physical activity releases energy in a person, directed to new achievements. Besides, you get a fit body and, as a result, increased self-esteem as a bonus.

The fear of missing out is the scourge of our time, and it plagues not only relationships and dating but other aspects of life as well. Today, it’s very easy to get hooked on destructive thoughts. No matter what aspect bothers you, remember that regretting what you have done (including love choices) is, in the long run, pointless. Stop tormenting yourself with thoughts about how great everything could’ve been, and only then you’ll fully experience the charm of what’s happening right now.

Comments (1)
30.04.2020 09:04
It seems to me that 80 percent of couples have this syndrome now. We constantly look at someone on Instagram, try to show our "ideal" life, and so on. In fact, you need to get rid of it by any means. Otherwise, you will never be satisfied with what you have at the moment.

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