There aren't that many coincidences in life, and if your past relationships haven't worked out that well, it's probably something you're doing.
After a lot of intense reflection, I can accept the fact that I’m the one responsible for most of my dating failures. It's really hard to even type it, but it’s the truth. I used to believe I was actually a very mature and emotionally smart person who just happened to have really bad luck with love, but failure after failure, I can’t ignore that a certain pattern starts emerging that makes me think about the nature of these relationship disappointments. That’s actually the thing: it’s so easy to blame life or other people for the crappy things that occur in our life that we fail to make ourselves accountable for our actions, when in reality it’s most likely we’re the ones getting ourselves in those situations.
Basically, all the signs listed below come out of my own experience, and since sometimes it’s easier to reflect on our own experiences when we can relate to others', I decided to swallow my pride in the hopes it helps you avoid making those same mistakes.
You’re so obsessed with someone that you don’t see other opportunities.
Oh boy, this is a huge facepalm, but I also guess it's quite normal. For the past couple of years, this has been a stumbling block in my life. Not to give too many details, I hooked up with a guy I really, really liked every once in a while for years, until I grew so obsessed with him that I closed myself to other chances. Of course, at some point, I realized I'd missed really great opportunities, and nothing had really changed with this guy. It’s so easy to get hung up on someone and not even see that they don’t really want anything serious with you.
Most of your relationships ended for the same reason.
This is perhaps the clearest sign you’re not doing things right, and all those failures were caused by you. It’s simple math: if there’s an evident pattern, you’re the only common denominator in the equation. It’s impossible to blame coincidence or fate here. But don't panic, this doesn't mean you’re a toxic person who will never find true love. If things didn’t work, it’s for a reason, just take this realization as a moment to reflect on what was behind these break ups, and what you can do to avoid doing it again. Failing is only a way to improve, so relax.
You give failed relationships a second opportunity.
Emotions can be the worst manipulators ever, and love and affection can really be the worst of all. I had this idea that people can change, and with a little bit of effort, things can really work out for the best. Spoiler alert, I’m pretty sure that it was even worse than the first time. My advice here would be to really think about what caused the break up, and whether the relationship and how you felt about them is really worth putting yourself in that vulnerable position again. Why go back to something that didn’t work when you can try new things?
You don’t diversify your social circles.
This one is courtesy of my mom, who's always telling me I need to get out there and meet new people. Yes, if you’re always hanging out in the same circles, you won’t have that many options. To be honest, it’s not that I’m desperately looking for someone to be in a relationship with; I’m more of a hopeless romantic who likes the idea of finding love in random places, but I also know that'll never happen, if you’re always seeing the same people and hanging out in the same places all the time, right?
You fall hard and fast.
Perhaps what I just said about being a hopeless romantic should be the heading of this section. Falling in love is a process that takes time, so you might be really fascinated and infatuated with someone, but falling that fast, or actually believing that you’ve fallen that fast, is genuinely a red flag. There’s no such thing as love at first sight, so if you believe in something like that, it’s quite probable that the relationship will fail, since you’ll both be in different places. Not a great idea.
You’re not open to new experiences.
This goes in the same category as the diversification of our social circles. We really have to be more open to new things, new places, new activities, and new people. Seriously, no matter how scary it may sound to get out of your comfort zone, I promise it’s the most rewarding thing you’ll ever experience. This applies to everything, not only relationships: leave behind all that hasn’t really worked for you in the love department and look for new experiences.
You’re not honest about what you want.
Besides not telling the other person what to expect from the relationship and where you want to go, this is also not being honest with yourself. For instance, I knew that the guy I was telling you about before didn’t want anything serious, and I accepted it, even though I did want the relationship to go further. This caused me a lot of pain, but I still wouldn’t let go because I thought he might change his mind. Neither of us really did because when you’re sure about something, nothing will change how you feel.
Most of these patterns have to do with a stubbornness that doesn’t let us explore new alternatives, so we stick to the things we already know, even when we know it’s not really going to work out. Call it having a "type," a set idea of what we expect in a relationship, or even our own attitudes. I’m convinced that if we don’t allow ourselves to change and grow, we’ll never be really able to have a healthy and loving relationship.
You might want to read these:
Images by @sarahholt_