Why You Self-Sabotage Your Relationships (And How To Stop)

Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and sabotage our chances of getting what we really want. Relationships, careers, fitness…we can derail ourselves in all areas of life. It’s a hard reality to confront … when there’s no one to blame.

I’ve been writing about relationships for years and can’t help but notice patterns in where women go wrong. It’s not anyone’s fault. No one sets out with bad intentions, trying to sabotage their relationship. Usually, all a woman wants is to keep her relationship strong and happy. She wants it to last, but oftentimes she still ends up doing things that can push a guy away and ruin a relationship.

One area where people go wrong is in not working on themselves and letting less-than-ideal character traits go unchecked. I think that on the one hand, we’d like to believe that this is the way we are and the person we’re with should just take it or leave it, on the other hand, we realize that isn’t really the healthiest attitude, especially when it comes to negative tendencies like being insecure, clingy, needy, jealous, vengeful, hostile and on and on.

Yeah, being this way might be “yourself,” but it’s the worst of you.  Why not make an effort to refine those weak spots and be your best self? This is how you win.

Let’s look at some common areas where a lot of women go wrong in relationships and how to resolve them:

1. You choose partners who can’t give you what you want.

You will never get what you want if you keep settling for what you don’t want.

Maybe you’re only drawn to emotionally unavailable people who just don’t treat you right

Going for partners like this is a form of self-sabotage. It can happen when deep down you feel unworthy, you feel not good enough. And these feelings are usually rooted in childhood pain and trauma.

So deep down you have these beliefs about yourself, and then you go out into the world and try to date and try to find a partner but you only seem drawn to the ones who don’t want you. And this is because the subconscious mind is always looking to prove itself right. If you believe you are unworthy, you will be drawn to partners who make you feel that way.

When someone does show genuine interest, you may be put off because this doesn’t align with how you see yourself. You don’t truly like yourself and you, again this is subconscious, believe anyone who does like or love you must be fatally flawed.

2. You don’t understand your triggers.

Don’t let your emotions run the show, you have to look at why you’re reacting the way you are in certain situations. When we have an intense, reflexive emotional response, it’s usually the result of a core wound being touched upon or activated.

Try to identify what it is, especially when you have a strong reaction to something pretty trivial.

Trace it back to your childhood- what were your unmet needs? And how might these needs be showing up in your adult relationships?

Whatever unmet needs you had in childhood are bound to get touched upon in a relationship and a lot of the time, that’s what you’re reacting to.

3. You commit too soon.

If you latch onto someone forcefully and commit yourself too soon, it’s usually a sign that you’re using this person as a means to fill an emotional void.

Healthy relationships build slowly and evolve organically. There isn’t a need to force things to move in a certain direction.

When you feel an intense pull toward someone or are consumed with trying to win them over and prove yourself to them, it signals you have self-esteem issues you need to work through. Maybe you see this person as a chance to save you from something.

And the other person will most likely be put off by this. First, it doesn’t feel earned, and second, we can all sense when someone is trying to get something out of us and it doesn’t feel good.

You also may come across as too desperate and needy and this is a universal turn-off.

4. You’re too scared.

A lot of people are operating from a place of fear, they stay in bad relationships fearing they won’t find better… or they are consumed with fears of ending up alone.

When you come from a place of worry and anxiety, you’re basically saying “I don’t trust that things will work out for me so I’m going to question everything until I prove myself right.”

When you operate from fear and engage with negative, fearful thoughts, you perpetuate the very reality that you’re afraid of. It’s hard to connect when you’re in this worried state, it’s hard to be vulnerable and drop your guard when deep down you believe nothing is ever going to work out in your favor. This, in turn, will push away the very thing you want the most.

You have to get to the heart of the fear- where is it coming from? What is the root? And challenge the fears. Maybe you think you won’t find anyone… is that true? Can you know with 100% certainty that’s true? No, you can’t. So stop engaging with a thought that keeps you stuck where you don’t want to be.

Notice your thoughts throughout the day and ask yourself: Does this thought serve me well? Does this take me where I want to go? If the answer is no, then stop engaging with the thought!

5. You are the victim.

Look, it happens to the best of us. We fall into the victim mentality and it’s hard to get out of it.

It doesn’t feel good, but in a way, it does feel easier to blame outside circumstances for our misfortune… to relinquish any personal blame and responsibility.

And I’m not saying greater forces aren’t at play… but it doesn’t serve you to dwell on that which is outside your control.

You need to take responsibility. Take responsibility for yourself, for your life, for your actions and reactions.

Yes, I know life isn’t fair. And it’s more unfair to some than others. But wallowing in this doesn’t serve you, it stunts you.

You have to look at yourself in the mirror and ask: How am I contributing to my misfortune? And how can I turn it around?

How are you keeping yourself stuck and what can you do today to break free?

Create a vision of the life and relationship you want and make a plan with small, achievable action steps for how you will get there.

Sabrina Bendory is a writer and entrepreneur. She is the author of You’re Overthinking It, a definitive book on dating and self-love.

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