Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 08-14-2017 Comments: 0
Have you ever questioned your ability to find a loving, healthy relationship? If so, you know there are roadblocks we create for ourselves when it comes to loving another person. It’s hard enough to meet someone special, but we also contend with our own limiting beliefs about love.
I was struck by this fact watching the brilliant TV series “Insecure” and “Master of None,” whose characters tackle the complex subject of dating and forming romantic relationships with poignant accuracy. Cultivating long-term relationships seems so difficult. People are quick to dismiss each other, and in many cases don’t treat each other kindly. We all put on armor when we get intimate, as though it’s a weakness to fall in love.
The truth is, it takes courage to fall in love, to admit your own vulnerability.
Our reality is shaped by our beliefs. And far too often, we look for evidence that confirms our suspicions that love is hard to come by, that we don’t measure up. For example, a date you connect with suddenly stops responding to your texts, or an old boyfriend emerges and wants to rekindle the flame, only to disappear just as quickly and mysteriously. When heart-breaking things happen, it’s easy to look at each new date and wonder if there’s something wrong with you, if you’re not capable of being loved.
It’s human nature to assume that our experiences will repeat themselves. But you can shift your mindset. You can alter your beliefs to make way for more love, for new, healthy relationships. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. Let’s examine three core love roadblocks.
I’m not enough; I don’t deserve a lasting relationship.
Women are especially guilty of feeling like we’re not “enough.” When you have feelings of insecurity, do you compensate by acting like you don’t really “need” a partner? Or do you accept a boyfriend’s bad behavior and disrespect because you don’t “deserve” better?
If this sounds like you, I ask you to explore this belief. Why aren’t you enough? Who do you need to be to feel worthy? Do you need to be more beautiful, successful, charismatic? Do you need to appear flawless? What are you picturing?
Then ask yourself: what would happen if I no longer held this irrational belief about myself? What if I don’t need to be perfect, and am still lovable?
Yes, it can be scary to let go of the belief that you don’t deserve love because you’re lacking in some way, but you have the choice. Remember: just because you think it doesn’t make it true. (It’s an opinion, after all!)
You can reframe your thinking by telling yourself: “I’m a valuable human being who is capable of giving and receiving love. I’m worthy of love exactly as I am.” Keep repeating it, even if you don’t believe it at first. Once you get in the habit, it will help shift your thinking. You won’t take the actions of others so personally. You will come to accept feeling lovable as your new belief and let the negative thoughts pass. And you will also begin to attract more quality relationships.
I lose my independence in a relationship.
I’m guilty of this limiting belief; I avoided long-term relationships for a long time because I felt they would derail me, that they would compromise the life I’d built for myself.
Here’s the truth: it is possible to be independent in a relationship, but you also have to be willing to be interdependent. Two people living together create an existence in a union; you are no longer making all of your own decisions and living life only on your terms. This is a scary thought for some.
The beauty of this is that you are both contributing to the relationship. You each have a hand in shaping it, and that requires each of you to bring your independence, your own point of view and way of doing things, into the relationship. In any healthy relationship, there is a push/pull, a power dynamic that each of you has to work on to create a balance. Relationships require mutual respect and communication, so that each person has a stake in creating a life together. In this important way, independence in a relationship is necessary.
So the next time you avoid pursuing a relationship, ask: Does this person give you joy? Does he accept you for who you are? What are you afraid of losing? Take the relationship one step at a time, and be fully present. Be willing to communicate your needs, and to compromise.
There’s only one “soul mate” for me.
I used to believe this. That is, until I got my heart broken by a man I thought was my soul mate – and I wanted to fall in love again!
The idea of having only one true love is outdated thinking. While it would be nice to meet someone you could consider your “other half,” the truth is we have many people with whom we could cultivate a very happy relationship. Keep an open heart and mind, because if you’re idealizing a potential partner, comparing everyone else to this image, you’ll have a hard time letting in the right person for you.
One way to shift from the mindset of scarce (only one person out there!) to plenty (of course I can find someone amazing, compatible, exciting to partner with!) – is to start dating people outside of your type. Accept dates with guys who have different backgrounds, careers, family histories, and life stories that are different from the guys you normally date. Ask questions and engage. When you meet a variety of people, it exposes you to different possibilities, some you might not have considered.
One thing I do know about love is it is often unexpected. So embrace the unknown, put yourself out there, and know that you are worthy of a lasting relationship.