JET Love

4 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Relationship

You’re in your living room watching a movie, enjoying some wine and relaxing with the person you’ve been dating for five months. He’s fine, sweet and life is good.

A question turns into a disagreement that then evolves into an argument which then morphs into a mudslinging contest. You manage to win by spewing out your snarkiest material towards this guy and as soon as he calls you out on it you reply, “Well that’s just how I am!”

But is it really how you are? And more importantly, do you want to be that way?

Most people don’t consciously set out to ruin their relationships and sometimes it’s not until we are with our mate that an invisible mirror is held up that reveals some of our not so endearing ways. Self-sabotage is real. We do it in many areas of our lives and often, it stems from fear. Here are four ways you may be unknowingly sabotaging potential relationships and how you can rethink before it happens again.

1) He or she doesn’t look how you envisioned.

Everybody has their “type,” or at the least a tiny wish list of what we hope our mate looks like and this is OK, but don’t allow it to dictate your love life. The reality is that Mr. or Mrs. Right may not show up in the package you imagined. She or he may be a few inches shorter, his or her hair may be a little bit longer and his or her voice may not sound like he or she was born to be a famous R&B crooner. Don’t be so blinded by what they are not to the point where you superficially pass up who they are. Try to find the uniqueness in him or her, along with things that make them special and attractive.

2) You compare what you have to those around you.

We’ve all done it, whether we are on a double date with our girl and her husband or scrolling through social media, when we witness a woman doing something that we like for a man we know, and it always sends our brains into “Why doesn’t my man or woman do that?” land. This is never a good place to be. A lot of what we see is all based on our perception, which isn’t always reality. Take an honest inventory of what you have before you go snooping in someone else’s cabinets.

3) Fight or Flight is all you know.

A lot of people experienced divorce as a child or living with a single parent and the rationale is, “If I never saw the example, how can I have a successful relationship?”

The truth is, many of us are doing things we never saw our parents do successfully: traveling the world, working amazing jobs, exploring different hobbies, moving to foreign cities and the list goes on and on. But we research, we learn and we keep at it until it gets easier and we make it happen. The same energy has to be put into our relationships if we want them to work.

4) You’re too scared of being hurt.

It’s impossible to go through life unscathed. Being hurt is never fun, but it’s one of life’s inevitable components. If you find yourself trying to be the one who does the hurting first or always running from the situation before the person has a chance to hurt you, you may need to check this fear and ask yourself if it’s warranted and where it stems from. Don’t make current people pay for the past mistakes committed by others.

There’s no such a thing as a perfect relationship. There will always be misunderstandings and hurt feelings at some point, but if you know in your heart you have a good guy or gal on your hands, nurture and cultivate the relationship to the best of your ability. If you feel something is standing in the way of you making a lasting connection, seeking out a couple’s therapist or advice and counsel from an older couple whom you trust can be an eye-opening step in the right direction. Seeking counseling alone can also leads to a path of understanding yourself and how you deal with those around you. Everyone wants to be loved; here’s to finding any roadblocks that may be interfering with the journey.