“You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.” Lisa Kleypas understood the power of looking inward to solve external problems. Often, when we struggle to find love, we look to the people with whom we have tried to make it work. It is natural to blame others for our pain and frustration. However, it is not productive.
“Intelligence is sexy” t-shirt?!
Is it possible that some of your own behaviors are standing between you and true love?
Here are eight common mindsets that could prevent you from finding a happy relationship:
1. You don’t trust easily.
This often begins as a survival skill. After being hurt, it is normal to build up a wall. However, the same wall that keep out the pain could also keep people out who have good intentions. Take a leap of faith. Trust someone with a small secret, and see what happens. You don’t have to jump in all at once. Just don’t be afraid to test the waters.
2. You are afraid of changing who you are.
Good news – if you are in a healthy relationship, you won’t have to! Don’t hide your quirks when you are looking for love. Embrace them. The right person will love you for who you truly are. This includes your oddities, your unusual hobbies, and even your flaws.
3. You make the same mistakes over and over.
Look to your past relationships. Did they all end the same way? If so, you may need to work on yourself before getting back out there. If you don’t fix the ongoing problem, you are only setting your next relationship up to crash and burn in the same way.
4. You’re hung up on someone who is uninterested or unavailable.
It’s easy to imagine a fantasy love with someone if you know it would never happen. There is a good chance that if the two of you were together, things would play out much differently. If you compare everyone you meet to a fantasy, they will always come up short. Let go of the dream, and pursue someone you might have a real future with.
When Love Is Not Enough
5. You struggle with your self-esteem.
It is easy to believe the right relationship would fix this problem. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works. You need to love yourself before you can build a healthy relationship with someone else. Put your relationship with yourself first for awhile. It’s the one that truly matters.
6. You stick to your “deal breakers.”
I am a proud Penn State graduate. My husband is a Michigan fan. I know lots of couples who have similar mismatches on the surface, but managed to find a deep and fulfilling love together. Don’t let someone’s unattractive hands or penchant for double dipping blind you from their good heart.
7. You are jaded.
If too many broken relationships have left you bitter, you might not be giving love a fair chance. This does not only apply to your past break-ups. You may be a child of divorce or the victim of a toxic friendship. Most likely, you need to work through the pain of the past before you can embrace a healthy relationship in the present.
8. Your standards are not realistic.
“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly,” wrote Sam Keen. If you hold your romantic prospects to an impossible standard, you will never be pleased. You are also not giving them a chance to be vulnerable with you. To make a relationship work, you need to give one another the freedom to be flawed.
“Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love…but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love,” wrote Mandy Hale. Seek love in the world, but also look inward. Build your relationship with yourself. Become the kind of person people fall in love with. Then, open up your heart to others.