Do you notice that your relationships start out with a great connection, but then fall apart before there is exclusivity? Are you always finding fault with the people you date, deselecting them for superficial reasons, and not letting anyone get too close to you? These could be signs that you’re self-sabotaging your chances for love.
Understanding why this keeps happening and what to do about it are the keys to breaking the pattern of self-sabotaging relationships and creating the long-lasting love you desire.
Self-sabotage is a tricky issue because ultimately it is you that is causing the relationship to fall apart, even when it seems like the problem is the other person. Self-sabotaging relationships don’t just blow up on their own – it’s you that keeps lighting the match (even though a part of you wants it to work out).
If you’re stuck in a self-sabotaging cycle you probably know on some level that you’re the cause, yet you feel powerless to stop it.
When you understand the reasons why self-sabotage occurs, you can take steps to change. Knowing you’re stuck in self-sabotage syndrome will make all the difference in whether you can break the cycle and find love that lasts.
If sharing your life with a beloved partner is important to you, take a few minutes to do this self-assessment and see if any of these resonate with you:
11 Reasons Why You’re Self-Sabotaging Your Chances At Love
You Have A Fear Of Intimacy
Allowing yourself to fully show up and be seen by your partner can feel scary at times. What if they reject you or you get hurt again? It’s easy to make yourself believe that it’s just simpler to keep people at a distance in order to keep your heart safe.
Emotional intimacy is the glue that holds any lasting relationship together. If you can’t share your inner thoughts and feelings, then your relationship will always be superficial. Ultimately withholding your inner life from someone you’re dating or in a relationship with is self-sabotage.
You Have An Inner Conflict
Are you afraid that when you commit to someone long-term that you will lose your freedom and independence? Do you believe that love means that you have to sacrifice your needs for the relationship to last?
When you have two beliefs or desires that seem to be the opposite of each other (like freedom vs. relationship), you are stuck in an inner conflict. This internal conflict will self-sabotage any potential relationship because of the inherent dissonance of the two things you need and want. The most difficult part of having an inner conflict that keeps you from the love you desire is that you end up feeling so stuck that you may become ambivalent or cynical about love over time.
You Are Out Of Rapport With Yourself
This is similar to an inner conflict but comes from being disconnected from your inner desires altogether. Being in rapport with yourself is the feeling of being connected to an inner awareness and having empathy for yourself. When you are out of rapport with yourself you aren’t connected to your feeling state or your inner dialogue.
A lack of self-rapport causes you to self-sabotage your relationships because you are unaware of your actual motivation for your behavior. You don’t know what you really need so you are unable to articulate your needs to your partner. This lack of awareness causes you to act out in ways that are detrimental to your relationship, like blaming your partner for your upset, or blowing off an important event, or even worse being unable to take responsibility for your part in a disagreement.
You Suffer From Low Self-Esteem, Lack Of Confidence, Or Insecurity
Projecting your insecurities and lack of belief in yourself onto your partner will self-sabotage your relationship. Most people project some of their internal beliefs onto the world around them. Projecting them onto your romantic partner can cause you to feel overly jealous, to question your partner’s affection for you, or to believe that no one could really love you.
Whether you have low self-esteem, lack confidence, or feel insecure about yourself, your partner is neither the cause of these beliefs nor can they fix them for you. Expecting your partner to fill the void inside of you will sabotage your chances at lasting love.
You Are Afraid Of Conflict
Avoiding conflict is one of the most prevalent self-sabotaging behaviors in all relationships. Conflicts are a natural part of being a human living with other humans. Being able to work through your differences in a healthy way creates a bond and an emotional intimacy that cements the trust and love between the two of you.
Avoiding conflict doesn’t make it go away. It just creates an emotional chasm between the two of you that blocks intimacy and connection. If you are going along to get along you will end up angry and resentful over time because you will at some point, feel so unsatisfied that you will not be able to tolerate the other person. You will be attached to the belief that they have failed you because your needs have gone unmet for so long.
You Are Too Trusting
In a healthy relationship, over time your partner has earned the benefit of the doubt. They have proven themselves to be trustworthy and someone you can open your heart to. You are self-sabotaging your relationships when you give the benefit of the doubt to someone who hasn’t earned it yet.
Don’t give the benefit of the doubt to a stranger just because you find them attractive. The romance stage of relationship floods your brain with feel-good chemicals and clouds your judgment. Ignoring red flags because you really like someone is self-sabotaging behavior.
You Are Too Critical
Conversely, don’t be overly critical of someone who has proven themselves to be trustworthy. Letting little annoyances become big problems is self-sabotaging behavior. Criticizing and judging all the ways in which the two of you are different and ignoring your partner’s strengths creates a wedge between the two of you.
Opposites attract due to built-in species survival so you will be in relationship with someone who thinks differently than you and who has different strategies than you do.
You Have Unrealistic Expectations
Putting unrealistic expectations on yourself, your partner, or the relationship will create nothing but disappointment and sabotage your chances at love.
Your partner is not going to be everything for you or solve all your problems. Nor will they be a perfect person. Your partner will be a normal flawed human being, one that you will have to practice compassion and forgiveness with. Having the unrealistic expectation that you will never have conflict or a misunderstanding sets the bar at a level no person could ever reach.
You Are Holding Onto Anger And Resentment
There is a famous Buddha quote that says, “Holding onto anger and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” When you carry around resentment towards your partner you are poisoning the relationship and self-sabotaging the opportunity for love to grow and flourish.
Anger and resentment are often present because you are sacrificing what you want or need in order to keep the peace to make your partner happy. Or you have the unrealistic expectation that your partner comes with mindreading powers and should just know what you need, and you resent having to speak up and ask them for it. You can’t sacrifice your needs and have a healthy thriving relationship.
You Are Avoiding Rejection
An easy way to avoid rejection is to never allow someone close to you so you never risk your heart. This is also a great way to self-sabotage your chances at love. The pursuit of your beloved will always lead to some level of rejection because not everyone you desire will desire you back.
If you strike first and reject others before they can reject you, you won’t get hurt, but you also won’t experience sharing your life with your soulmate.
Your Subconscious Programming Is Sabotaging You
Ultimately, self-sabotage comes from deep-seated beliefs about love and relationship that are in conflict with your desire for soul-satisfying long-lasting love. You learned about love in your family of origin and the beliefs, strategies, and emotional patterns you developed are still with you today.
This subconscious program is the driving force behind your self-sabotaging behavior. It drives you to be drawn to the same types of situations over and over again until you break the cycle and learn new strategies that open the door to the love you want.
How To Stop Self-Sabotaging Relationships
Take Responsibility For Your Situation
You can only stop self-sabotage when you realize that you are the source of the problem and therefore you are also the source of the solution. By taking responsibility for your patterns and your behavior, you put the power of changing it in your hands. You are the common denominator in all of your relationships.
You can’t change a problem that is outside of you. If the problem is men, women, your age, the city you live in, or how your parents treated you, then you will always feel like a victim. When you accept that you are the source of your self-sabotage, then you can begin the process of changing it.
Learn To Love And Accept Yourself
Every human being is flawed, it is part of the human condition. Start today to accept and appreciate your limitations and flaws. Love and accept all the parts of you, the good, the bad, and the ugly. This may seem difficult at first because you may dislike certain aspects of yourself, but these shadow parts of you are included in creating your uniqueness and make you special.
Pick one aspect of yourself that you don’t like and begin a practice of appreciation. That part of you is trying to get you something you need. It just doesn’t have a good strategy for the desired result. Love your flaws and you’ll begin to create room for transformation.
Affirm Your New Truth
Your inner dialog is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. See if you can notice how often you criticize, judge, or are unkind to yourself. Begin a new inner dialogue that is loving, accepting, and kind instead (even when you make mistakes or just outright blow it).
You are affirming your reality every day with how you converse with yourself in your own mind. Are you self-critical or do you beat yourself up for a simple mistake? Change your inner dialog by starting a daily affirmation practice and you’ll begin to see shifts rather quickly.
Take Yourself On Inner Child Dates
Being disconnected from your inner child is the source of self-sabotage. By ignoring the child inside of you, you cause that little kid to act out to get your attention. These outbursts sabotage your relationships.
Reconnect with your inner child by taking her/him out on regular playdates. You’ll begin to develop rapport with yourself and break the cycle of self-sabotaging behavior. By reparenting yourself you get the opportunity to release the disappointments of your childhood and heal your heart.
Speak Your Emotional Truth
Don’t be afraid to share your emotions with those who are closest to you. The way to create intimacy and connection with another person is to share how you feel. Biting your tongue will only create more self-sabotaging behavior.
If you want to be loved and accepted as who you really are, then you need to show up authentically in your relationships. Don’t be an emotional volcano who only shares their emotions when they can’t hold them in any longer. Having emotional outbursts is not what we mean by sharing how you feel. Instead, do not let things pile up and clean up emotional messes as they arise.
Start Fresh Every Day
Changing your behavior is not a straight progressive line toward your goal. Some days you will do better and other days you will fail miserably. Commit to starting each day fresh, like the mistakes of the previous day had not occurred. Develop a short memory of your failures and instead focus on your successes.
Small consistent acts will create a profound transformation over time. It’s much better than trying to change everything all at once and feeling like a failure when you don’t succeed.
Ask For Help
Reconnecting with your inner child, coming into rapport with yourself, and healing emotional wounds isn’t always comfortable or easy. Seek guidance from a professional to speed up your progress. Your future does not have to look like your past. You can make profound changes in your life, but you can’t always do it on your own.
Love operates under the same universal laws as everything else. You wouldn’t expect to have a career just magically fall in your lap one day when it was meant to be. If you want great love in your life, perhaps it’s time to take action and get help from us.
We have been helping clients for over a decade release their self-sabotaging behaviors so they can date for their soulmate and share their life with a beloved partner. If you don’t want just another boyfriend or girlfriend, sign up for a complimentary Soulmate Strategy Session. You can check us out while we give you insight into your situation and guide you towards changing your lifelong patterns.
Orna and Matthew Walters are Soulmate Coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER. They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.