Solitude, Miserable Relationships and Horror
Updated: May 21
While I personally don't think it's a good idea, there are indeed situations where people choose to suffer in relationships, social or romantic, over the possibility of finding themselves alone.
Even though I myself do not fear being alone, I can see why the fear of being alone is a very dominant one within humanity.
Horror games and movies often depict the protagonist as being alone in the darkness, within the depths of darkness or of any other symbol of unknowing, without anyone to help them, and without knowing what lies within that unknown, and whether or not they are in actual danger of fatal significance.
For example, in the beginning of Silent Hill 2, the player is inevitably forced to walk through the woods until they reach the town, because there is no other way to get there and to proceed the game. Even if the player came there by car, the road is blocked, leaving them with the sole option of getting there by foot.
As you walk in the fog all by yourself, you might notice a disturbing noise of footsteps that are not yours, leaving you, the player who just got started, to wonder whether someone—or something—is following you in the midst of the fog.
As a lone traveler, you have no way to figure out what these outer sounds of footsteps are. You don’t have someone you trust to accompany you and protect you once you find yourself in serious danger. You don’t know whether those footsteps are of a friendly or a hostile being. Ultimately, you never get to see in-game what those footsteps were, or who made them.
It was just a trick to get you scared, because if you were to walk in a group instead of on your own, the sense of danger, caused by the footsteps, would be less scary, because the company of others adds a sense of security to your general confidence, even if the company of others is abusive or at least very unkind to you.
Also, in the series of Friday the 13th, the classic horror movies, the killer does not take the entire group of his victims on altogether; they take one after another, until the numbers of the group diminish and become easier to eliminate, while the sense of horror only grows as the group weakens by its quantity.
When the killer reaches the final victim of the entire group, this is where most of the horror—and the action—is traditionally located in the movies, because when you have literally no one to help you and the rest of your friends are dead, and you’re all alone against a mysterious killer with no one to help you kill and/or evade them, the horror intensifies significantly, purely due to the fact that only one victim remains against a great unknown of a monster.
Hence why some, if not many, people may choose to be in a relationship rather than be alone. Even if there is no actual danger, there is still the fear of finding oneself in the depths of a powerful nihilism, once the cocoon of purposefulness, even if that cocoon hurts, is gone.
The fear from nihilism may overcome the desire to renounce a meaningful, yet very painful, relationship. This is because many people have yet to realize the importance of self-sufficiency; the importance of not depending your sense of self-worth on your status with others.