Is it wise to fall in love with someone struggling to love himself: Lauren’s interview in London’s Daily Mail

Read this article by Anna Moore on Even the most cynical would wish David Walliams and his fiancée, Dutch model Lara Stone, the best. On the surface, they seem set for a fairy-tale finish. Walliams, 38, first spied Stone, 26, last March at a Chelsea football match. He pursued and wooed her, sending flowers by the house-full. After a whirlwind courtship, he proposed in January, popping a vintage Tiffany ring into her cheeseburger. A summer wedding is expected. So far, so fairy tale.

But the bigger picture is rather darker. Just a month before meeting Stone, Walliams gave a glimpse into his psyche when he was the castaway on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. Under probing from host Kirsty Young, he confessed to extreme ‘self-loathing’ and a ‘pathological fear’ of being alone. ‘I hate it,’ he said. ‘When I’m with my own thoughts, I start to unravel and think really dark thoughts, self-destructive thoughts.’

To avoid this, Walliams, a familiar face on the party circuit, would go out every night, surrounding himself with people. ‘If somebody said to me, “You have to spend a weekend on your own”, I wouldn’t be able to hack it,’ he admitted. Stranded on that make-believe desert island, he chose as his ‘luxury’ a gun to shoot himself with rather than be lonely.

‘I wouldn’t be able to hack a weekend on my own,’ says Walliams. ‘I’d hate it. I’d start to unravel’

Many of us are uncomfortable on our own. One American survey found that a quarter of all adults experience painful loneliness at least every few weeks. Lauren Mackler, life coach and author of international bestseller Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness and Transform Your Life, says, ‘We fear it. The very word “alone” is seen as sad and negative. It starts in childhood, as parents organise play dates for their toddlers and after-school activities for their children. If a child is happily occupied on his own, parents worry. At school, we want to be part of the crowd. As adults, we measure people by their partners and friends. We’re constantly told to work on our relationships with others – but never on our relationship with ourselves.’

However, Walliams’s own fear of being alone sounds rather more extreme – he himself describes it as ‘pathological’. Now a recognised medical condition known as ‘monophobia’ or ‘isolophobia’, it can have sufferers clinging to their partners when they leave for work, and obsessively needing company... Click here to read more.