How People Sabotage Their Chances For A Great Relationship

How People Sabotage Their Chances For A Great Relationship

Love is challenging enough to find without self-defeating behaviors. As such, many women can't find a successful relationship, and they become their own worst enemy. After discussing the issues with over 500 men and women, many were awakened to their own behaviors and how they were subconsciously destroying their chances for love.

Here are the top three ways men and women stop themselves from finding the love they deserve:

1. They put their ex on a pedestal

After a breakup, some people look at their ex as perfect. They look past the challenges/issues that caused the break-up and remember only the good parts of the relationship. Even worse, they don't see their own contributions to how the relationship failed. This rose-colored glasses viewpoint can have a detrimental effect on future relationships for a number of reasons:

  • "No one will ever be like [ex's name here]." Some people compare future romantic interests to the good parts of her past (now defunct) relationship(s). As a result, they search for—and find—all the flaws/missing things in the new partner, and the talk themselves out of discovering someone new—and potentially a good match.
  • No self-reflection or transition past the relationship. By mentally staying in a past relationship, they will limit themselves for the future. They subconsciously stay stagnant in the hopes that the ex might return and meet them where they were... and then they will finally be together.
  • "Nothing like my first love." Even established relationships can be affected by an ex long-past. If they are still holding a candle for a first love—instead of investing in their present with their current partner—they can sabotage their relationship or marriage—creating unnecessary arguments, tension and disconnection, and keeping their spouse emotionally at arm's length.

Bottom line: Take your ex down off the pedestal. If the relationship were so great—and they so perfect—you would still be with them.

2. You try to make the relationship work... all by yourself.

Many people get stuck in thinking that the relationship needs them to "make it work". In many cases, these people get treated well, but their partners aren't actively investing; they are just doing the bare minimum to keep the relationship going. This causes them to wonder what they are doing wrong and why their partner won't put in. Most often, this situation is the result of having their self-esteem locked up in that relationship. They end up [falsely] thinking that if they do even MORE, their partner will wake up and love them... and then they will finally be worthy and worth something to them. This is a self-esteem trap, and it leads to clinginess, insecurity, and, in extreme cases, love addiction.

Bottom line: A relationship takes TWO people to put in and invest. If one is gun-shy—or not on the same page emotionally—there will be a disconnection, which can lead to this kind of cat-and-mouse game. To combat this, you need to have a firm grasp on your value, and your identity... as a person. If you don't know how to be happy with YOU, you won't know how to be happy in a relationship—nor will you recognize the inequity, if it happens.

3. Thinking all men/women are the same (meaning: bad).

With the anger that can accompany some break-ups—or if they've had a number of bad relationships in a row—they might try to convince themselves that all men/women are bad. It's definitely safer that way; meaning with that mentality, they won't need to invest, trust, or develop an intimate relationship with anyone again. But it's not healthy, and it doesn't acknowledge that relationships are made up of two people. Even if they were the worst partner possible, they had their own contributions to what failed—even if their only "contributions" were that they ignored red flags, stayed too long, and/or allowed themselves to be in a disconnected relationship.

For those people who have been in multiple bad relationships: You haven't had "five bad relationships in a row". In reality, you've had ONE bad relationship FIVE TIMES. My advice: Get out of the pattern. Get into you. Change your environment, and you'll change your selection process.

Other people fool themselves and embrace bitterness with statements like, "There's no such thing as love. I just want to be single." But what they are truly saying is, "I've been hurt and I'm not willing to put myself out there to be hurt again." What they need to realize: Not everyone is the same. All relationships are different. The Lesson: Love is great, but they have to love and trust THEMSELVES before someone else can.

Bottom Line: Moving past a bad relationship takes a concerted effort to: accept (what happened and your part in things), forgive (yourself and/others), and change (course, behavior, location). In the end, it becomes a simple choice: Either you choose to live back where you WERE... or you choose to live where you ARE.


Most Helpful Girl

  • "There's no such thing as love. I just want to be single." But what they are truly saying is, "I've been hurt and I'm not willing to put myself out there to be hurt again."

    Hello. Hi. Yes. It's me. Never been in a relationship. Never been romantically involved. Ergo, never had an opportunity to be hurt in a relationship. Still believe romantic love is mainly a chemically induced hormone that is combined with a partners common interests and shared events. Still believe I'd rather be single.

    also the whole "the dude you left at the friendzone is the nice guy" theory. uhhh. No. Not ALL guys are nice also goes hand in hand with the thoery. Not all guys you are friends with are nice. You can be a great friend but a horrible lover. It exists.

    Advice to both women and men. If you like someone. Go for it. If you dont like someone. Dont go for it. The more complicated you make it, the more complicated it becomes. Like someone from the inside out first, not the outside in first.

    In the end, remember your partner is a human, not a barbie doll or ken doll. That means, they make mistakes and they wake up with bed hair, and fart in their sleep. Keep realistic expectations. Remember relationships start out fun, and that they can get serious. But only if both partners feel that it is serious. Dont sweat it. Shit happens.

    • "If you like someone. Go for it. If you dont like someone. Dont go for it. The more complicated you make it, the more complicated it becomes. Like someone from the inside out first, not the outside in first." Says the person that's never been in a relationship... uhhhhg

    • Its possible to learn from other peoples mistakes my friend.

Most Helpful Guy

  • This is very insightful, thanks for taking the time to write this piece.

    I'm still struggling with some lingering feelings from an ex a year ago. Unfortunately the damage from that broken relationship wasn't just psychological (I'm 95% sure she gave me HPV). For a while I was doing much better but something hit me really hard last evening. I had several nightmares and very dark thoughts.

    I come to realize that I can't fix this on my own. I need close friends, faith and God if I'm going to move on.

    • I love how you say we need God. I think everyone on here needs God!!! ;-)

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What Girls Said 9

  • Well I like these guy friend mike ottis of mine and we have talked on the phone a lot. we both agreed to just be friends in till me and him can, hang out , then we well decided from there to take it to the next level the dating part or not , that way no one gets hurt. so I know these well work.

  • I agree with all of that and it's rational as well as true. I will be honest: I thought I was expecting something like "Not giving someone a chance when they're not your type". I was ready to vehemently disagree.

  • I just need a man who love me back. Is that too much to ask? 😒😞

  • people can be really cruel. maybe it's jealousy and insecurity

  • Another one to add is if you start as a friends with benefits apparently there's some unwritten rule that it will be where you remain. It's a punishment for living in a post-puritanical society I assume.

  • in #2, I don't think both need to put conscious effort at the first place to make relt'p work.. if two are meant for each other, it will just work naturally for them without any effort on it.. or if there's effort, its subconscious, without knowing that their putting effort together..

    • Nyce thought but ummmm... no

    • What? That's not even remotely true. Not by a long shot.

    • Although I don't have much experience, my current relationship is showing that when 2 people put in effort, it's easier than 1 person.

      In previous attempts at relationships, I have to contact her regularly and come up with conversation topics. Certain topics don't give good responses, I have to learn what gets her talking. To learn when she's not free, when she's moody and not willing to talk. To take effort to get her to open up, and when it goes out of her comfort zone, she clamps up.

      But in my current relationship, both of us make sure we lay ourselves bare. We take effort to say what we feel, clarify misunderstandings, and say good things about each other. We check in with each other multiple times in a day, we tell each other that we're busy when one of us is trying to reach the other, we make each other feel appreciated and special with kind words and attention. That's effort on both ends. And it's made the relationship so smooth-sailing that it seems effortless, ironically.

  • I've been hurt by a married guy and I'll never put myself out there again.

  • If this :"There's no such thing as love. I just want to be single."

    Means this: But what they are truly saying is, "I've been hurt and I'm not willing to put myself out there to be hurt again."

    Then when I say: "Theres no such thing as respect in relationships bc people are sexist', I think gender roles and just so stories -that magically explain all Women and all men based on some hypothetical guy in a cave 20,000 years ago- are bullshit. People who promote them -especially even when they can't recognize they are doing it bc they call it 'nature' -are mindless. Id rather be single" ?

    What am I 'really' saying?

  • Watched the "all men are the same" video. I've actually recently attempted what you suggested i. e give the "nice" guy who you previously friend zoned a chance instead. I got no better result than when I have been involved with stereotypical arseholes.

    A long term male friend of mine, who you would generally describe as nice, geeky and not very good looking expressed an interest in me. I gave him a chance, ended up having feelings for him, but he used me for sex. They are all the same.

    • I'm sorry for the way that those guys have treated you and used you just for sex. Your last sentence struck me "They are all the same"... just wanted to say that i met a girl years ago and i feel in love with her instantly, eventually our love for each other grew and we married shortly after... its been amazing ever since and i always treat her with the utmost love and RESPECT and she does the same, just know really genuine guys/girls do exist, unfortunately we have to go through the junk to get there.

    • Show All
    • Oh nvm anons can't tag. Dumb g@g needs to change that

    • Hmm my comment does sound like crap. Based on what you said, you sound like an intelligent and attractive female so props to you. That guy was obviously not a true friend. An actual guy friend would treat you like his sister or well there are a couple different scenarios. They could have feelings for you but not want to ruin their friendship with you so would opt out of the relationship. Or they would want to marry you and seal the deal. It just depends on the character of the guy. I used to be more sympathetic towards woman... mostly because I find that women are quite frequently preyed on by men... but today I am just whatever. I however will say that not all men are the same. I feel bad for what happened to you but you should not let it discourage you or let it skew your views.

What Guys Said 7

  • I don't see why women need to be included in such articles. They usually have it so easy. They can just sit around doing nothing, and STILL be served dates/relationships on a platter because according to some 'rule', men are supposed to initiate.

    • Then how about you quit being a whiny pussy and initiate? You said it right. MEN are supposed to initiate. You might be older than me by 5 years but your attitude and your appearance scream juvenile boy all over. You clearly know nothing about women. Women aren't just handed dates. They have to choose wisely who they let into their lives and they need to have a decent personality or appeal other than looks if they want to avoid just being used for sex. Too many women are fooled into thinking they're with a good guy and realize otherwise only after it's too late and they're already emotionally and physically invested in that person. It sounds a lot worse than being a man. I love being a man. I can choose whoever I want to pursue and be with and at the very worst be rejected. Whooptie fucking do. You need to grow up dude.

    • @SBrandon

      I'm under no obligation to initiate. And I'm NOT whining about MY life. I just thought it's pretty unnecessary to include women in articles like this.

      I just meant that statement about men initiating as sarcasm. That's the reason I quoted the word 'rule'. Whatever happened to gender equality?

      Anyway... I'm not the kind of person to whine or complain about MY life. But I'm entitled to provide my opinion. Nothing more to it.

  • ''Other people fool themselves and embrace bitterness with statements like, "There's no such thing as love. I just want to be single." ''

    So, I guess my asexuality is a 'myth' then? Okie Dokie...

    • I dont see how this applies to asexuality. Care to elaborate?

    • I don't know how to explain that to you without sounding like an asshole xD, just google the definition of asexual and read my post again, will make a lot more sense then

  • Good point! Most people need time to re-evaluate before trying to jump into a new relationship after a breakup. You have to be honest with yourself. A person knows if they have gotten over the last person. If you have not, take some time to heal before carrying the baggage into another partnership.

  • When you try to make the relationship work... all by yourself, you're forgetting someone very important! Jesus!!! Jesus is the one who will help you throughout your relationship! So far, I have a best friend, we're Christians and our "best friends" relationship has been perfect because we honor God with everything we do. He hasn't forsaken us and we haven't forsaken Him. If God allows our relationship to go even deeper, like to a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, it will take a huge miracle. But if He doesn't allow it to happen, that's ok. We will still be "best friends in the whole world," no matter what happens. If you look to God, accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, ask Him for help in running your relationship, you are in for a perfect relationship!

    • It still takes both people relying on Jesus. Both people making the effort to have faith in Him and what He says. Jesus isn't a magic relationship spell.

    • Exactly. In fact, we are both waiting on God to make the decision if we should make our relationship even deeper. All we need to do is keep praying.

  • "People fool themselves and embrace bitterness with statements like, "There's no such thing as love. I just want to be single." But what they are truly saying is, "I've been hurt and I'm not willing to put myself out there to be hurt again." "
    True, and I'm one of those that believes love doesn't exist, and that's because I've believed in love all my life and I haven't felt it not even once. In 5 relationships I've been, and I've felt 0 love. I've been looking for love and found nothing, well, I did find something, pain. I'm tired, and I feel stupid believing in something that I just can't feel.
    I just feel like a kid believing in Santa. Yeah, when you're young you believe in it and think it's awesome and all that, but when you grow up and see the world, you realize that it's impossible that someone like Santa Claus could exist.
    Inexperience made me believe in love; experience has made me realize it's not true.

    • Dude you're 19, there's a good chance the girls youve dated weren't even ready for the actual concept of love or you just didn't connect with them. Its a numbers game and you struck out 5 times so far but that doesn't mean the next one you won't connect on a more meaningful level. Shutting yourself off like that is going to lead to a lot of loneliness in the future.

  • Masterpiece.

  • I agree with number one, but here's another thing. If they are talking about the ex negatively then they still aren't over them. They still have unresolved feelings and anything they say negative about the ex who hurt them is out of jealousy and bitterness.

    I dated a girl who was so hung up on her on and off ex of 6 years and when she ditched me, she went straight back to him which felt like shit.

    I think that dating someone on and off, especially between other relationships is very unhealthy because the person will NEVER get over that ex and use and hurt others in the process. I've been on the receiving end of being rebounded and let me tell you, it fucking sucks.


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