1. Am I uncomfortable letting people into my life?
Some people will always prefer some solitude, and others will thrive with company. That’s totally okay and dependent on how you energize. But if you are consistently attracted to people who are not REALLY an option, is it saying maybe you don’t want (or aren’t ready) for someone to enter your life? You might be choosing people who you know will keep you at a safe distance. That way, you’ll never have to open up space in your actual life for them.
2. Was there a relationship (platonic or romantic) where this pattern was first established?
We’ve all had that Big heartbreak. It’s the one that shapes and informs a lot of how we proceed in romantic pursuits. But it’s not JUST that asshole who destroyed you that could be influencing your dating style. You could also have had a familial or other platonic relationship trauma that is seeping into how you date. I hate to be all Freudian, but looking at history with parental figures is often very telling. Were they around? Do you feel like you’re constantly trying to prove something? Maybe there’s a relationship of yours that needs fixing before you can find love in other places.
3. How do I typically react when someone pursues me vs. being the one who does the pursuing?
Do you like “the chase” but freak out when the shoe is on the other foot? When healthy options present themselves (i.e. someone who is showing genuine interest in you), do you bolt? Maybe you’re more interested in the game aspect of dating than actually being with someone.
4. Am I distracting myself from a bigger problem in my life?
I’ve definitely been guilty of this one. When I was getting ready to graduate college, I became infatuated with a guy who only saw me as a friend. By pouring all my time into being heartbroken over his lack of interest, I was avoiding my REAL fears – like moving out, applying my degree to the work force, etc. Maybe your crush is really just a giant distraction method.
5. Do I see my own value?
This is the tough one. This is the one that requires you to honestly ask yourself, “do I think I deserve love?” Self-love is a process that is always continuing, so it’s not like you can reach a certain place and BAM, you’re good for life. But you might be subconsciously choosing people who don’t like you because YOU don’t like you.