Snakes, Drowning, And Six Flags: The Things Women Fear More Than Breakups


Today we got a press release that read, “A woman’s greatest fears are rejection and abandonment.” This woman disagrees.

The release — for a dating book, natch — began thus:

A woman’s greatest fears are rejection and abandonment. Therefore, she has an instinctive need to protect her heart. The relationship guidelines outlined in Looking for Mr. Right but Slept with Mr. Wrong: Confessions of a Single Woman will help a woman identify Mr. Wrong and recognize Mr. Right, limiting the amount of rejection she encounters while dating.

While I’m skeptical that a book — or anything, really — can reliably limit rejection, I also resent the idea that that’s even my biggest fear. Why must “a woman’s” darkest dread revolve around dating? Sure, I fear abandonment, as many people — male and female — do. But I’m way more afraid of dying a long, slow, painful death. I’m afraid of walking down deserted streets, especially if I spot a man walking towards me in the distance. Yes, I’m more afraid of being assaulted than being rejected. And — less intense but no less frequently contemplated — I’m afraid of losing my ring. But it’s not a wedding ring — it’s the ring I inherited from my grandmother when she died. None of this is to say relationships aren’t important to me — just that I have other concerns.

Other staffers concur. Jenna’s worst fear is simply “snakes.” Dodai offers “I’m afraid of my family dying,” which I also fear more than rejection, “and for some reason I have the specific fear of falling down and knocking out my teeth.” Intern Maura sees Dodai’s teeth (the loss of which is, for what it’s worth, an extremely common nightmare) and raises her “balloons, amusement park rides, car accidents.” Other staff fears include episiotomies, spiders, drowning, death by fire, crowds, the dark, “needles and medical procedures involving the spine,” and “the way Luke Wilson attempts suicide in The Royal Tenenbaums.” Really, many of the darkest corners of our psyches — and the precious parts of ourselves we’re afraid of losing — have nothing to do with dating. Jessica sums up her worst fear nicely: “Death. I have an instinctive need to protect my life.”

Confessions Of A Single Woman [Official Site]

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin