Are you single, and wanting a relationship so badly, but find it hard to let go of your fears?

Maybe you’ve been burnt, or hurt in a past relationship, and it’s tainted the thought of finding someone new. You know you’re ready, you don’t want to stay single forever. You want it, but how do you overcome the feelings of anxiety & being scared of what a potential new relationship may bring?

Dating and finding someone special is something many of us want, however we know it can be a challenge. Relationships bring so much joy, but can also be hard work.

Relationship fears single looking for love sabotage

You might be finding yourself more than ready to find a partner in crime, give lots of love and affection, and ready to plan your future. You may have even met someone already, and you’re falling for them. They seem too good to be true! You truly want to embrace all of those romantic feelings – you think…..”bye bye single days!” But at the same time you fear being too vulnerable and liking them way too much. What if they don’t like you back? The worry sets in, and over time it gets worse.

If and when they say or do something that really hurts you, you find yourself deeply wounded. This whole experience reminds you of all the times in the past where you’ve been hurt, abandoned, or betrayed by someone you loved. To protect yourself from getting hurt this time, you distance yourself. You become cold and aloof, or you stop talking to them all together without any explanation because bringing up your past to this new unsuspecting person will make you seem insecure, needy, and out of control. At the same time, your distancing jeopardises your chances of forming what could be a meaningful relationship. You then realise that this happens time and time again – that you engage in a vicious cycle of self-sabotage. You’re single again.

How to Break the Cycle

90% percent of our current pain is related to our past, and only 10% is linked to the present experience*.
Sabotaging your chances of a relationship can include:

  • Running away
  • Starting unnecessary fights
  • Doing nothing
  • Being defensive
  • Holding grudges
  • Denying your feelings
  • Having high expectations
  • Avoiding the person all together

What you resist not only persists but will grow in size**. In other words, if you choose avoidance your fears will be bigger and stronger next time in the same scenario.

Healthy Steps to Overcome Your Self-Sabotage

  • Identify the situations that trigger your painful past experiences
  • Become more aware of your behaviour in these situations
  • Distinguish between the past and the present
  • Learn to share your experiences with someone you trust, and your new partner (they are not a mind reader!)
  • Try not to continue to bring up the past all the time – it’s good to leave past relationships in the past
  • Don’t avoid communicating with your partner – this is so important keep communication lines open!
  • Speak nicely to yourself, and don’t put yourself down
  • Try not to take things personally
  • Remember, our pains from the past CAN be overcome

It’s important for you to take some time to reflect on your relationships fears, and the ways you may be sabotaging your relationship. Try to minimise these behaviours with the people around you, particularly your new love interest. This process can be difficult given that you’ve probably been doing this for long time to protect yourself.

If you feel like you need some additional support through these changes, and guidance on how to manage yourself in new relationships, talking with a professional Psychologist can help you work through these challenges.

Written by Rebecca Deane – Principal Clinical Psychologist –
*(Gray, 1993)
**(Carl Jung)