If you tend to self-sabotage your relationships, think you aren’t good enough to have what you want, give up to early in a relationship, or keep going in circles of meeting and entertaining the wrong types of people repeatedly, this article is for you.
I’ve written this from a place of love and as someone who spent way too many years doing things that gave me the opposite of a loving relationship. I’m sharing these pearls of wisdom so you don’t make mistakes which may subconsciously block you from receiving love.
First, let’s agree that it is difficult to find love. If it were easy, then there wouldn’t be thousands of articles written to help us navigate our relationships and therapy offices full of couples and individuals seeking help and direction with their relationships. Let’s also state the obvious. Most relationships will not be successful. It often takes many failed attempts, before you find a relationship that works for you. I won’t bore you with statistics which substantiate this is the case.
If you are single, divorced or have dated many suitors, I’m sure you can attest to the difficulty of finding, building, and continually cultivating a long-lasting relationship. It’s just not that easy! Relationships require work. Sometimes introspection is needed along with a little bit of tweaking to help you be better so that you can do better when looking for love.
This lesson applies to different aspects of your life and to not include relationships in this equation would be a fallacy. But, if you are the common denominator and find it difficult to find the right relationship, and there are themes which seem to repeat themselves, here are some truths that will help you change your narrative.
Here are 8 ways you don’t know you’re rejecting love:
1. You think you deserve less.
First of all, you deserve a healthy, loving relationship where someone loves the crap out of you. If you don’t have this belief system in your mind, then you will subconsciously allow people into your life who aren’t deserving of you. Your heart will follow your mind.
When you start to have some doubts about your worth or think you deserve less, make a list of all of the traits and attributes that make you lovable. Review your list daily. Not only will it change your mindset, but it will also allow you to accept all of the greatness you will provide to someone deserving. The key word in that sentence is ‘deserving.’ When you master this step, you will automatically stop doing #2.
2. You settle for less.
Stop underestimating that intuitive feeling you get from someone you meet and date. We all have a natural instinct and reaction towards others when we interact with them. It’s intuition and there for good reason. Feelings you have for someone else can range from good, somewhere in the middle, and sometimes just a bad gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel right with another person that you are dating, don’t ignore the red flags.
There are often clues of who someone is right from the start. Some easier observations are how they treat others in their lives including friends, families, waitstaff at a restaurant or bar and others in which they come into contact. Often, people who are demanding or difficult will show you indications of this behavior in the way they interact with others. And while they might not demonstrate that action directly to you right away, but it’s inevitable that how someone treats others will circle back your way sooner or later. The big lesson here, is when someone isn’t what you truly want, don’t settle, move on.
3. You limit your options. It’s a big world out here. There are 7.6 billion people in the world. I get it and realize that while you don’t have access to all 7.6 billion, the world is still big enough that there is someone out there who is the right person and who is compatible with you.
Here are some ways you can change the way you look at your dating options. First of all, use technology in traditional and non-traditional ways. Dating apps are a start. Checking out events in which you have an interest and putting yourself out there and in the company of others who share a similar interest to you is another way to broaden your dating horizons. Have your closest friend write your dating profile or hook you up with someone. Weirdly enough, pay attention to your parent’s feedback about who you date. They know you better than anyone, have a lot of life experiences of their own, and will have your best interest at heart.
Date people who aren’t your usual type. Be open to dating someone of a different ethnicity or culture. When you start looking at dating this way, you realize there are plenty of options. Do things differently and mix up the approach you would typically take when dating.
4. You commit to those who aren’t committed to you.
I get it that you, I, and everyone has that one who we thought was the one, but who couldn’t see that we were their perfect one. And this is my $.02. If someone doesn’t realize that you are their someone, then they aren’t worthy of being your someone.
Wasting time on what could, might or should be is fundamentally different than focusing on what you can have in your life. Spending your time lamenting about someone who is emotionally unavailable to you, hoping that they will all of a sudden see all of the value you bring is similar to expecting a solar eclipse to come when you beckon it to you.
Life just doesn’t happen like this. If you are having a hard time letting go of your feelings for someone who isn’t reciprocating those feelings for you, review #1 to as a reminder that you deserve more.
5. You do the same things over and over.
Human behavior is quite repetitive. Scarily so. It’s hard to move out of your comfort zone. It’s why people often repeat emotionally and physically abusive relationships. It’s a dysfunction that becomes functional.
The same applies to your relationships. Falling for the bad boy/girl, emotionally unavailable one, being a poor communicator of our needs in a relationship is a hard cycle to break. Some of this can be blamed on us mirroring the relationships of your parents, families, and others.
You aren’t taught how to have a relationship. We often learn from failure, heartbreak, infidelity, and the myriad of other things that happen once you have a relationship. Pay close attention to your relationship patterns.
-Do you tend to self-sabotage when you start to feel vulnerable?
-Do you lash out at your partner needlessly to test the limits of their love?
-Do you try to be too controlling to protect yourself from being hurt?
-Do you tend to go into a self-protective mode of keeping your feelings inside and letting them build up as opposed to having the communication with your partner about your needs, fears, and concerns?
Take stock of your relationship history. Be honest in your assessment of what you have done well and where you need to improve. And do the most important thing you can do to change your future relationships. Change behavior that has negatively affected past relationships. It’s ok to recognize where you need to change because we all have our emotional baggage. And if this involves getting extra help or counseling, that is ok too.
6. You close yourself off before things have a chance to develop.
In an age of everything being readily available to us, it has created a phenomenon where you may think everything should come quickly, and this includes love. But, love is the opposite.
Love takes time, patience, and effort. Love is a series of small things leading to a more significant feeling. There is repeated failure and let down along the way. If you have ever loved someone deeply, you probably realize this is the case.
The infatuation or early periods of a relationship feel great. However, what builds a great bond of love that endures is the willingness to grow, keep going when you want to give up, and being there through the difficult times too. Don’t think love will happen instantaneously. It’s two people refusing to give up on one another, being aware of each other’s imperfections, but not allowing these to overshadow the good qualities of the other person.
7. You play games.
In dating, there is some give and take when you are cultivating a relationship. People on both sides respect it when they have to earn someone’s love, trust, and respect. And this is a good thing.
But, when you pass the initial phases of infatuation, and you develop feelings for someone, there is something different which happens. You stop playing games. You become real, honest, and candid with the other person because you realize this won’t hurt the relationship, but instead enable the relationship to grow.
A relationship built on trust will help you develop a stronger bond with one another. When you aren’t playing games, there is a different realization that happens. Your relationship moves to the next level. If you are dating and looking for someone compatible, practice being authentic and honest. You will be surprised at how it helps to weed out people who aren’t a good fit for you.
8. You are not willing to walk away even when a person isn’t a good option for you.
It’s hard at times to be single, so sometimes you may hold onto things that aren’t good for you to alleviate a feeling of loneliness.
Having someone who cares, even if it is not at the level we need, brings a little comfort, but it’s temporary and unsustainable. But, to find someone who truly loves you, you have to eliminate those relationships which aren’t real, so the door is open for one that is a real one for you. It seems counterintuitive, but if your focus is mixed and distracted on someone who is half-there for you, it’s difficult to be open to someone who can fully be there for you.
Love is available to you. But, it’s easy to get stuck in situations or repeat scenarios in your life that keep you from the love you deserve. The good news is if you understand how to change your relationship habits, and stop subconsciously doing the things which may block you, it will open you up to a relationship that is meant for you.