1. You tell yourself you aren’t ready to fall in love right now
At first this is a fair excuse – you want to get your own ducks in a row before you line them up alongside someone else’s. You need to work on yourself and you deserve your own love and attention. This seems healthy. This seems natural. Alone time is good time, right?
2. You decide your own barriers to love
Here’s the problem with too much alone time: It leaves a lot of space to dwell on your flaws. You don’t feel pretty enough, so you stop dressing up. You don’t feel funny enough so you stop going out to parties. You don’t feel confident enough so you hide away inside your apartment and decide that once you’re done the eternal work-in-progress that is you, you will emerge. But a different you. A better you. Not the half-rate version you are now.
3. You leave the whole process up to fate
You decide that when the timing is right, it will happen. Rather than actively searching for love, you wait for the Universe to give you permission to attain it. You wait for some ethereal sign that screams “You are worthy of love now! Here you go!” You fail to realize that the sign you are looking for has to come from inside of you. So you wait. And you wait. And you wait.
4. You give until you have nothing left
You’re not at your personal best, so it seems easier to take care of others than yourself. And that is what you do. You give yourself to relationships and forget to take anything back. You give because it feels good to remember that you have something to offer. You give because if someone else is benefiting from what you are then it must mean you are something worthwhile. And in the process you forget about what you need altogether. You forget not to give yourself away in the process.
5. You put your self-esteem in other people’s hands
You decide that your worth is dependent on how worthy you are to others – How much you can give them or impress them or influence them or attract them. You decide that you will deem yourself worthy of love when someone else does first. On the days when you are recognized, you’re worthy. On the days when you are not, you hide out. You second-guess yourself. You wonder what it is about you that anyone finds worthy at all and you fail to come up with an answer.
6. You fail to love yourself the way you want to be loved
You want to be told you’re incredible but you tell yourself you’re dull. You want to be told you are beautiful but you tell yourself you’re ugly. You want to be told you have the right to be loved and cherished and admired but you fail to admire yourself. You fail to celebrate yourself. You deny yourself the very sort of love that you deserve and then you wonder why the love that you attract is so degrading. You teach other people how to treat you but you never teach yourself the same thing. You never stand up to your mind.
7. The cycle wears on
And on. And on.
You love the wrong person and the wrong person loves you back. You hate on yourself and yourself hates you back. You spend years cycling through the motions, wondering why you cannot be a person who attracts better, does better, feels better – All the while so unsure of how you got here, to this place, where you forgot that you were worthy of love.