When a relationship ends, no one wants it to be their fault. We want it to be because all men are jerks, because all the good ones are taken, because dating apps create a sea of endless options making it all to easy to float around without landing anywhere.
Yes, sometimes the fault lies out there. Sometimes it’s unfortunate circumstances you can’t control. But a lot of the time, the problem and solution is completely under your control. Sometimes, as much as you don’t want to admit it, you’re the problem. Now this is usually where people get mad at me, but that doesn’t really do anyone any good. So hear me out instead and read through these signs that maybe it isn’t him, maybe it’s you…
1. You’re too me-focused.
This is probably the biggest area where people sabotage themselves. The fact is, we live in a very narcissistic world (thank you social media!). We focus on our needs, our wants, our image, and it’s hard to see outside of that.
And in this day and age of dm’s and texts, a lot of us have forgotten how to have real life conversations! We ask generic questions instead of deep, meaningful questions that actually pave the way for building a connection. We worry more about coming across a certain way than we do on discovering what the other person is about.
A lot of women (and this is true of men too, but for the sake of this article I’m speaking to women), spend the majority of their time on a date focusing on how the guy feels about her, on how she’s presenting herself, on how he’s responding to her, rather than on forming a genuine connection. She’ll bat her eyes, flash a flirty smile, and say the right things hoping they’ll strike the exact right chord.
We want him to like us not so much because we really like him, but because it’s validating. It means we’re worthy and likable. It means we’re going to be OK.
This is the wrong mindset.
Dating is a discovery process, that’s all! It’s not meant to fill your self-esteem tank and heal your old wounds. When you seek a relationship as means of validation, then you will continuously find yourself alone and wondering what went wrong. When you go into it genuinely wanting to get to know the other person and to see if you’re compatible, then you have an entirely different vibe and suddenly things turn out in your favor.
2. You’re unhappy and expect a relationship to make you happy.
It’s easy to blame your relationship status for your unhappiness. You don’t need to change your life or deal with your issues, you just need to find a man and then everything will be great!
When you expect a man to make you happy, you set yourself up for huge disappointment because he can’t create happiness for you, it’s an internal state. Instead, you’ll end up resenting him for not making you happy. You adopted an idea that having a relationship will be your ticket to happiness … and you have a relationship and aren’t happy, so it must be his fault.
Don’t wait around for a guy to come in and make you happy. Take ownership of your happiness and create that in your life. Happiness isn’t something you extract from a relationship, it’s something you bring into the relationship.
Stewing in your misery and self-loathing until a man swoops in and saves you is just a guaranteed way to stay miserable indefinitely.
3. You end up in the same situations over and over again.
If you think all men are commitment phobic jerks… and one after they next they leave when things get serious … maybe it’s because you’re going after guys who can’t commit.
You may not be doing this consciously, but a part of you is drawn to men that you can’t quite have. If you find you’re only interested in emotionally unavailable guys, and are repulsed by guys who show genuine interest in you, then the problem most likely lies with you.
There is a reason you want what you can’t have, why you go after guys who don’t want you back, and you need to uncover what it is. Trapping a guy who doesn’t want to be pinned down is not the answer, you’ll just end up wasting years chasing shadows.
The subconscious mind is always looking for ways to heal. If history keeps repeating itself and every relationship ends the same way, then you’re probably trying to work through some sort of issue from the past. For example, your father never made you feel good enough so you only go after men who make you feel not good enough in an attempt to win one over and heal from that wound.
Essentially, if every relationship story in your life seems to have the same ending, there isn’t some grand conspiracy happening, you are most likely making the wrong choices over and over, and it’s on you to fix it.
4. You’re way too picky.
There is a difference between having standards and being insanely picky. Being incredibly picky can be a protective measure. If no one is ever good enough, then they can’t reject you because you’ve rejected them first.
A lot of women adopt a mantra of: “I’d rather end up alone than settle,” and use this as a rationalization to reject perfectly good guys for ridiculous reasons. You can’t have it all, and some things just aren’t as important as you think. The fact that he isn’t a spontaneous adventure-seeker isn’t going to matter down the line if you guys settle down and have kids because kids mark the end of spontaneity! If he’s a type-A goal-oriented, career-focused go-getter, he probably isn’t also going to be the sensitive, highly emotionally available, always attuned to your needs type. You can’t expect to find a guy who is a million contradictions rolled into one just because you think you can’t live without this laundry list of qualities.
Try to identify what actually matters in a partner and list maybe five qualities you’d ideally like him to have and three absolute deal-breakers. Be honest and try to determine if you’re writing guys off for legitimate reasons, or as a self-protective measure.
5. You don’t let anyone in.
You may seem like the perfect date on paper- you have your act together, you look good, can carry on a conversation, but something is missing.
Essentially, you aren’t able to get to that place of vulnerability and emotional disclosure necessary to take a relationship to that deeper place. Flirty banter will only take you so far, soon enough you have to get real and get raw.
Having walls up keeps people out. In a relationship you’re inviting someone in, so this doesn’t really work.
In a lot of ways, women set the emotional tone for a relationship. That’s probably because women are more experienced in the realm of emotional disclosure and forming close relationships. He essentially will follow your lead. If you keep yourself at a distance, he won’t bridge that gap. Not necessarily because he doesn’t want to, more often because he doesn’t know how. And then after about five dates, he’ll either fade away or end it, saying it wasn’t really going anywhere.
When you show a little vulnerability, he most likely will as well, and this is how the connection forms. And once a connection takes hold, a guy won’t just vanish because he’s invested now.
Take a look at how you navigate your relationships, how open are you? What fears are you holding onto? And can you see the ways in which they may be holding you back?
6. You don’t love yourself.
Yeah yeah, I know this is cheesy but it’s true so bear with me! You cannot ever experience love from the outside if you don’t feel it from within. If you don’t love yourself you will never be able to trust that someone else can love you.
Now do people who hate themselves end up in relationships? Yes, that can happen, but they’re usually bad relationships.
Loving yourself ties in strongly with respecting yourself. Take care of yourself, eat right, exercise, look your best, do things that make you feel alive, pursue your passions, surround yourself with people who love you, don’t impose limits on yourself, get in touch with what it is you were put on this planet to do and do that thing a lot.
Do whatever it takes to develop a genuine love for who you are. This is what will radically change not only your love life, but your life in general.