Travel and change as much as you want, but you are the common denominator in all of your relationships. That may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. If you’re tired of wondering why it’s so hard for you to get or stay in a relationship, check the list below to make sure you’re not sabotaging yourself.
Here are 12 toxic thoughts that may be keeping you single:
1. “Chivalry is dead, All the good ones are taken”
From time to time, it’s fun to commiserate with single friends and blame the rest of the world for our bad luck. But if blaming everyone else for your problems is a constant habit, this can be a huge red flag to potential partners, indicating you tend to play the victim and avoid personal responsibility.
2. “I don’t want to scare them off”
Some people love playing hard-to-get, thinking it builds tension and adds to the romance. To be honest, acting aloof rarely works. Putting yourself out there to show interest in someone takes guts, and you can’t expect everyone to take your playful lack of interest as encouragement to keep going. Forget all the “rules” you’ve heard about how long to wait before texting back. Be courageous enough to show you want someone. It’s way sexier.
3. “I’m damaged goods”
Our past will always affect us whether we like it or not. Nobody worth dating expects perfection out of you. But you also can’t blame all of your own shortcomings on people or events from your past. You have the chance to make new, better decisions every day. Don’t lose faith that there are mature and loving people out there who can forgive your weirdness and help you heal.
4. “You never pay attention to me”
Clinginess and whining for attention can be endearing once in a while, but it spoils fast. If you have a hard time paying attention to your partner’s needs and instead demand to be showered with affection, a relationship probably isn’t a good idea for you right now. The best partners can stand on their own two feet. You don’t need to play hard-to-get, and it’s good to express your true emotions. But don’t depend on your partner for 100% of your emotional needs— that’s an intimidating burden for any one person to bear.
5. “That’s it, you’re getting the silent treatment”
Everyone has moments where they act a little out of line, and it can be tempting to play games like giving your partner the cold shoulder after they’ve hurt your feelings. But if that’s your go-to move and you genuinely don’t know how to start meaningful conversations with your boyfriend or girlfriend, your relationship’s days are numbered. Resentment destroys any chance of connection. You can be petty, or you can be happy.
6. “At least the sex is great”
Sex IS great. Nobody’s arguing how good sex is. But if sex is usually your primary concern and the only thing keeping you interested, your relationships will always end up becoming lopsided and pretty shallow. Most people can quickly tell when sex is all you want from them. Real, lasting relationships include the whole person, on and off the mattress. (Side note: I’m assuming you’re reading this article because you want a long-term, committed relationship. There’s nothing wrong with playing the field if short flings and sex are all you’re interested in right now!)
7. “That’s it, you’re getting a piece of my mind”
The people we love know how to press our buttons better than anyone else. When you care about someone, everything they say and do carries so much more emotional weight. But your romantic partner still deserves the same respect as your coworkers, your friends, or your parents. Dating someone doesn’t give you the right to tell them off or scold them whenever you feel like it. Before you fly off the handle, ask yourself if you would be this upset if a stranger said the same thing.
8. “At least they’re hot”
A cute face doesn’t equal a quality person. If you care more about how a person looks or what others think of who you’re dating, odds are neither of you will get much out of being with each other. Don’t make compromises because of appearance and status. Physical attraction is important, and so is being proud of who you’re with. But if you can’t be emotionally vulnerable with each other and take a genuine interest in each others’ lives, you’re basically signing up for a complete waste of time.
9. “At least they’re rich”
Expecting your partner’s money to be your money from the get-go is a huge red flag (and turn-off). The best partner is a self-sufficient partner. People can usually feel when you come into a relationship to get specific things out of it, and it comes across as very manipulative. It’s much more attractive to have your life together and not depend on your partner’s help financially. Every financial gift after that becomes that much more special.
10. “I’m nobody if I’m not with somebody”
This is a big one. Thousands of people love to beat themselves over the head with this idea. Stop diving headfirst into a relationship just because you both hate being alone and are dying to be able to tell everyone you’re back in a relationship. If you don’t love yourself enough to know you’re worthwhile all on your own, you don’t have enough love to be a rock for someone else.
11. “I’m the perfect partner”
You may have been in plenty of relationships before, but that doesn’t make you a licensed professional significant other. You will most likely not be getting a trophy every time you do something romantic. If you’re doing something just because that’s what everyone says a good boyfriend/girlfriend should do, it doesn’t really mean anything anymore.
12. “I’m fine. No really, I’m fine.”
It’s easy to assume that saying what’s really on your mind will make your girlfriend/boyfriend unhappy, or even push them to leave. It’s normal to want to avoid confrontation and keep up appearances in relationships. The goal in more serious dating is to have fun but also look for someone you can stay with for as long as possible, through thick and thin. Always lying about how you’re feeling makes that impossible.
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About The Author: Faith Yeon writes online content for websites specializing in mental health and social commentary. She sets herself apart with her ability to approach otherwise taboo or intimidating topics with a conversational and relaxed tone. Faith’s favorite TV shows are The Path and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Her motto is: “That which does not kill you gives you anxiety and fun stories to tell at parties.”