1. You’re somehow broken. You think people who haven’t been scarred from life exist. You feel like a back sheep amongst everyone else.
2. You don’t deserve love. Because whatever you did in the past determines how you should be treated today; that you’re not a marvelous human being that deserves the best things in life.
3. You’ll be hurt, just like before. You hold on to the notion that because one shitty person hurt you, everyone will hurt you.
4. Love looks perfect. You don’t understand that love is two imperfect beings coming together and living out a messy relationship, that the messy is beautiful, magical, and wonderful.
5. You won’t be a good partner. Because somehow you missed reading the rulebook on being the perfect partner — like that rulebook ever existed.
6. There are no lessons to be learned from past loves. You see them as a waste of time, something that you wish never happened.
7. You need to be cautious. For you, love needs to look methodical; you can’t take risks and must protect your heart dearly.
8. You need to be married by now. Everyone from your high school is married, and that makes you desperate to find someone ASAP.
9. Dating sucks. You feel like meeting a new person is awkward instead of exciting. You view dating as a hopeless game, not a beautiful endeavor.
10. You must be smaller to deserve love. You believe fully expressing who you are means you’re unlovable, that no one could appreciate the real you.
11. Other people are better than you. When you date, you feel lucky to be dating that person. You think you’re not worthy of their love.
12. Everyone will cheat. Because your father did. Because your ex did. Because, in your world, cheating is inevitable.
13. Changing yourself is necessary. You mold yourself based on who you date; you think you’re not enough as is. You try to become someone you’re not.
14. You’ll lose yourself. You’re scared a relationship means giving up your identity; you’ll enmesh with your partner and stop doing everything you love.
15. Your partner will save you. Because you don’t believe you’re capable of saving yourself.
16. Someone else’s love is enough. You don’t realize that you need to love yourself first.