Everything You Wanted to Know about FOMO in Relationships

Many are familiar with the feeling that everyone around us endlessly goes to exhibitions, lectures, the gym and walks a lot, and, of course, they manage to watch all the new series as well. Besides, half of the friends left the job and moved to warmer countries. Even Instagram breakfasts look more interesting than yours. One gets the impression that everyone except you does not have life but a constant party. In fact, this is not the case - just such a life of friends is presented from the side. If you find yourself experiencing anxiety and a sense of your worthlessness, and you start claiming with the phrase, “everyone but me,” it’s probably not (or not only) that you are really missing something. You may have a syndrome of lost profits.

how to get rid of fomo

Fear of Missing Out – What Exactly Is This?

Let’s talk about the fear of missing out, let’s find out what it is.

What is the fear of missing out?

What is FOMO meaning? It is a fear that you are missing something. This is an obsessive feeling that you live a much less fulfilling life than those around you, do not have time, although you could, and all the most interesting happens where you are not. And the stronger this feeling is, the greater the desire to check all the time - how about others? - will be.

But what about FOMO and relationships? There is a place for FOMO in relationships. You see all these single women seeking single men, they all look so amazing, and you look back at your partner, and they just seem shallow. Even if it is rationally not the case. You end up wanting to date a young girl instead of your partner, as you see the latter’s life for what it is.

FOMO? This is the first I’m hearing about that

Yes, this is a new phenomenon, but in fact, the need to "keep abreast," as psychologists confirm, is not new in itself because once it helped us survive. It was precisely about the syndrome of lost profit that was first discussed only in the zero ones - on the example of buyers who faced unlimited choices. The abbreviation FOMO was included in the online version of the Oxford Dictionary in 2013 (with it, for example, the word “twerk” was included there). Despite the novelty of the term, the syndrome is already relatively studied. In particular, in 2013, scientists from Essex and California universities conducted a series of studies. It turned out that the syndrome is directly related not only to dissatisfaction with one’s life but also to the active use of social networks.

How Social Networks Provoke FOMO

Does it exist because we began to know too much about other people's lives?

how to deal with fomoNot certainly in that way. Social networks show us how other people live. It seems to us that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram made someone else's life as open as possible. But do not forget that we (consciously or unconsciously) strive to create a “better version” of ourselves in social networks: for this, the term “Facebook personality” has even appeared. We not only choose photos from the best angles but also the “right” links that we share; we attend exclusively the “necessary” events and places. Therefore, do not consider social networks a reliable and complete reflection of reality. It seems that everyone understands this, but it is still difficult to resist comparisons: there are so many vivid examples in front of your eyes that your own life may seem less worthwhile.

Is this not ordinary envy?

At a basic level - yes, because envy is a feeling of frustration and a painful reaction to other people's successes. But in the case of the syndrome of lost profits, it mixes with the feeling that you can become part of a “better life” if you constantly sit on social networks. Moreover, the active consumption of information from friends can cause both a sense of ownership and even greater isolation and loneliness. As the researchers note, it can become aggravated if you have the habit of simply scrolling the tape - that is, observing someone else's life without participating in it at least at the commentary level.

But we all use social networks. How to understand that I have the syndrome of missing out? It all depends on how social networks affect your life. It’s bad when the desire to check on Instagram or Facebook becomes intrusive, uncontrollable, causes great anxiety or depression. A person with a syndrome of lost profit is haunted by an irrational fear that if you close your laptop or turn off the phone, some important event will surely happen, but you will miss it, lose something important in your life. Another symptom of the syndrome of lost profit may be the habit of constantly being distracted by your smartphone, no matter what you do (even during a date or while driving).

And what, many people have such a problem?

Most likely, yes, but there is no exact data on the fear of missing out in relationships yet. A study conducted by the MyLife service showed that 56% of respondents had a syndrome to one degree or another: social network users admitted that when they went offline, they were afraid to miss important events, news and interesting posts. According to another source, lost profits are more common among men than women but not by much.

So, is this a disease?

Is the fear of missing out a phobia? Is it a disease? Not by itself. Strictly speaking, a condition or disease can be called a mental disorder only if it is in the "Mental Disorders" section of the International Classification of Diseases. There is no loss of profit syndrome there, but it can be associated with some disorders. Severe loss of profit syndrome can be associated with obsessive-compulsive, anxiety or depressive disorders, with a borderline personality disorder. But, of course, only a specialist can make such diagnoses.

The Effect of FOMO on Relationships

Let’s now talk about the effects of FOMO on relationships.

  1. You feel like you can end up picking the wrong person because of how many people you can meet online – you areexperiencing FOMO.
  2. Once in a relationship, you are overwhelmed by all the people you can encounter online, and they show themselves in a positive light, in their best way.
  3. Because of all of those people you meet online, you end up creating a set of expectations that are too high, everyone seems to be so amazing and colorful, while they are quite a bit shallower in real life, yet everyone online still remains so interesting and bright.
  4. It is easier for you to get obsessed with your ex-partners since their life is there for you to monitor, at any given moment, you can look at their photos, their stories on the Instagram, and this ends up bringing back memories of your past relationships.

And now let’s talk about how to get rid of FOMO. How to deal with FOMO?

How to Treat the Fear of Missing Out Phobia

If you understand that you have a problem, you need to solve it. Most of those who have such a syndrome consider this a trifle and an inevitable part of modern culture, therefore, they do not think about help. Of course, if you just worry that you spend too much time on the Web, you can try to cope on your own. For example, remove applications from your phone, think more about your merits and interests, take it as a fact that you don’t have to do everything, arrange yourself a digital detox, and start meditating.

phobia of missing outBut if this does not help, and you understand that you are uncontrollably checking social networks, experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, if you do not have the opportunity to access social networks for some time, you should seriously think about therapy. In some cases, a psychotherapist or psychologist is enough. If your condition becomes severe, almost unbearable, you experience intense tension or depression, then it is better to consult a psychiatrist who can prescribe medications.

If you understand that you are prone to FOMO, pay attention to recommendations that will help cope with these feelings.

Recognize your problem

How to get over FOMO? You have to recognize that you have a problem. You will not move forward without this important first step. Digital technologies hold us so tightly that it’s difficult to identify the syndrome of missed opportunities. We do not realize when “on autopilot” we once again look through the news feed in social networks or click on the “buy” button. At the same time, there are already alarming calls.

Limit your time in the virtual world

The Internet is sucking in, and getting out of its affectionate networks is not easy. The discipline and time management techniques will help you. Set a limit, the maximum of which is half an hour a day. Special applications will help. With their help, it will be easier for you to control yourself. If you feel “breaking,” for some time, completely remove the social network from the phone. Yes, this is an extreme measure, but it will work for your good.

Shift your attention

How do you fight the phobia of missing out? Instead of focusing on what you are missing, try to notice what you have. Of course, it is not easy to do this in social networks when "super-successful, super-cheerful, super this, super that” people surround you from all sides. Remove the friends that only show off from your friends list, and fill your feed with posts of those who share positives. Audit your subscriptions, remove the ones that cause you FOMO, and add those that help you tune in to a pleasant wave. Do not “eat” everything that pops up social networks, analyze, select and fill the feed with only pleasant or useful information for yourself.

Keep a personal journal of impressions

Often, active users of social networks pay great attention to the reactions of other people to their posts, whether it be a photo or text. Close access to most information about yourself, collect photos and memories in your diary (online or offline). It can help you shift your focus from public approval to a personal understanding of what makes your life beautiful. An additional bonus is that you can reduce the dependence on social networks and reduce the effect of FOMO.

Communicate in person

Here’s a thing about dealing with FOMO while dating. In difficult times, experiencing depression or loneliness, we want to find a person with whom there will be a close spiritual connection. Only social networks are unlikely to help. It is much more effective and useful to arrange a personal meeting with a good friend or go on a group trip. You will find yourself in the center of events, you can gradually get away from anxiety and feel that your life is filled with energy.

Focus on gratitude

Research shows that keeping a gratitude journal or just saying thanks to others can improve both your mood and those of others. This partly happens because when you give thanks, you focus more on what you have in abundance than on what you do not 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 is in your life, you will not have the desire to get into the "rabbit hole" of social networks and FOMO. You will begin to feel that you have what you need in life.

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