We all get in our own way occasionally and some people do it repeatedly, whether it’s procrastinating, drinking, or overeating. Self-sabotaging behavior results from a misguided attempt to rescue ourselves from our own negative feelings.
Here are a few ways in which we self sabotage our relationships :
- Looking for what’s wrong – We tend to get more of what we pay attention to. We live in a world of our own making simply by choosing where we put our focus. Always looking for what’s wrong in a person is a relationship killer. Noticing red flags is healthy early in the relationship, but getting hung up on the other person’s harmless idiosyncrasies can spell trouble. Remember why you like him and try to accept his flaws.
- Expecting your partner to think and act like you – Throughout our development, we form a lot of ideas about what a relationship is supposed to look like, often based on unrealistic standards. It’s crucial that you give the person you are dating room to have their own opinions. When it comes to reconciling your differences you have three solid choices : celebrate them, mitigate them, or obliterate them.
- Reading into everything – Repeat after me : assumptions are own helpful. Assumptions are projections of my own reality. Whether you are reading into the language of a text message, angry that your phone call doesn’t get returned within a day, or over-thinking your last date ad nauseam, do yourself a favour and step away from the rumination. Obsessing over what everything means is one of the most common things that causes unnecessary anxiety at a time when dating is supposed to be fun.
- Playing games – Let’s admit that we have all done this to a certain extent because we want some kind of assurance that the other person is into us. That said, not responding to someone’s phone call or text message for a certain period of time because you want to appear “cool” or you want to retaliate because they took some time getting back to you is not a good idea. Lead by example. Authenticity is everything in a relationship, and that includes at the beginning.
- Expecting too much too soon – Whether it’s time spent together, constant communication throughout the day, or some kind of commitment that you’re exclusive and aren’t going to date other people, you’ve got to accept that everybody moves at their own pace for their own reasons. Sometimes one person is surer than the other and wants things to move faster. I know this can be hard, but the best thing you can do for yourself in a situation like this is try to slow down and manage your anxiety. It’s quite common for a relationship to take some time before getting off the ground.