Have you ever wondered why you never seem to be able to hold down a relationship for long before it all comes crashing down around you?
Do you constantly hook up with the man/woman of your dreams that meets all your specifications and ticks all the right boxes, but find you have lost them after just a matter of weeks?
Do you know that the problem with your relationships may not be out of issues with your partner or their unsuitability – but your own problems with yourself?
Many of us are so allergic to happiness or good fortune that when it is handed to us on a silver of gold, we do everything in our power to wreck and sabotage our own happiness.
According to certified couples’ counsellor Annabelle Knight, many of us can be guilty of self-sabotaging our relationships. But often, we might not even know we’re doing it.
Here are six key signs.
1. You avoid pain
This is when you allow yourself to get to a certain point in a relationship before pulling back. Maybe you’ve seen too many sad movies or really took to heart the saying ‘love hurts’… whatever the reason, avoiding pain is the outcome. This can manifest in a number of ways, from creating ‘bottom line’ issues out of nothing, to convincing yourself that this person isn’t the one so you should move on.
2. You live in a fantasy land
So many people manage to avoid falling for someone because they adhere to a strict code. This is a list of ‘must haves,’ usually created in a much younger, more immature psychological state that leads that person to sabotage any and all future relationships – based on the skewed notion that the person they’re with isn’t worthy of their affection. Fantasy land behaviour often occurs within the first six months of a relationship and offers a sense of control and power that might have to be relinquished if you allow yourself to be vulnerable with another person.
3. You listen to your inner critic
We all have one, you know that little voice that niggles away at you telling you to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Yup, that’s the one. Well it’s our inner critic that, more often than not, is responsible for self-sabotaging our relationships. Convincing ourselves that we’re ‘not worthy’ or that ‘it’ll all end in tears anyway so what’s the point?’ is the main reason a lot of relationships can fail. We don’t allow ourselves the chance at happiness because deep down we don’t feel we deserve it.
4. You can’t back down
Some people would rather be right, than be in a relationship. Most couples argue, it’s a healthy way to vent our issues and if done correctly (yes there is a right way to argue) can lead to a stronger, healthier partnership. However, its when we let ego get in the way that we self sabotage. The need to be right, rather than to compromise is one of the biggest relationship killers and can occur during any stage in a relationship.
5. You care too much about what other people think
For some people, the opinions of others far outweigh that of their partners. This can be hugely damaging to a relationship. If you’ve ever ignored your partner to reply to a non-urgent text, cancelled plans with them for frivolous plans with friends or feel the need to tend to other people’s needs rather than theirs on a regular basis, then you may be guilty of this.
6. You forget that you’re not the same
Expecting your partner to think, feel and act in the same way as you do is another form of self sabotage. Rigid thinking is an unhealthy way to live and can cause great stress and upset to your relationship. Accepting and appreciating that your partner’s experiences, understandings and ultimately the way in which they identify the world are different is the only way you can truly co-exist happily with one another.
A relationship is not meant to be a battlefield of the winner takes it all – or a place of survival of the strongest where the “best man wins”. A relationship is a place of compromise; of giving and taking and sometimes we have to bite out tongues, lock up our ego and suppress that urge and need to be right all the time.
In a relationship, it takes two people willing to give up a bit of themself in order to be able to accommodate the needs of the other person. But when one partner is unable to do this, the relationship will not survive long. The duration of and the peace in a relationship should be of more importance and take higher priority than a partner being right or justified.
*Based on an article in CosmopolitanUK