You've been burned in love before—maybe several times in the past—and maybe you've come to avoid love and relationships altogether.
When you're single, life is calm and happy. When you're in a relationship, you find yourself struggling and hurting. You can't find the right person for you. None of your dates has worked out.
If you've come out of a difficult relationship, a bitter breakup, or just haven't found the right partner for you, you may have built a wall around your heart. This self-protective instinct may, in fact, keep your partner from showing up.
You wouldn't know if Mr. or Ms. Right showed up, because you've already eliminated them in your mind. Here are some specific warning signs that fear and resistance are walling in your heart.
1. You have endless excuses about why someone isn't right for you.
You focus on the many ways you're incompatible or not right for each other.
2. You make judgments about people without getting to know them.
You evaluate people based on stereotypes or preconceived notions. Your mind tears others down.
3. You compare the person to other people who have hurt you previously.
You believe this person you've met, like the last, is going to cause you pain.
4. You replay the past in your mind over and over.
The past is like the fiery storm in your mind that holds you back and keeps you stuck. It's the nonstop record player.
5. You haven't grieved or let go of a past relationship.
You’re still holding onto the hurt and pain. You're carrying the burden of grief and trapped by the emotional weight.
6. You hold onto anger and resentment at people in your past.
You refuse to forgive them and relish holding onto anger and seeking revenge.
7. You refuse to show your vulnerabilities and share honestly about yourself.
You don't let others get to know the real you. You want to stay hidden and distant.
8. You're avoid dating because you're afraid to take a risk.
It's easier to pass up on opportunities to meet new and different people than to take a risk and become disappointed again.
9. You are afraid to say what you think or feel about someone.
Even if you're interested in someone, you find it too much trouble to take the next step. Fear of failure and your past has you trapped.
10. You think that you don't deserve love and that you'll die alone.
You haven't been shown genuine love before and don't take steps to cultivate love within.
11. You don't believe there's anyone out there for you.
It’s been so long and you’ve met so many people that you don’t feel it’s worth it anymore.
12. You're trying to change your partner into the person you want them to be.
If you're with someone, you can't accept them for who they are. You keep trying to change them.
13. Your heart gets dark and fills with resistance when anyone tries to get close to you.
You get anxious when people try to reach out or show you affection.
14. You want someone who meets every item on your checklist.
If someone doesn't meet every criterion you're looking for in a partner, you're not interested.
15. You expect your partner to complete or save you.
You’re looking for someone to make you feel whole and wanted.
16. You get offended when others try to joke with you or make you smile.
You know that being social leads to friendships and friendships lead to relationships, and that scares you.
17. You feel like a victim in relationships.
You think you don't have any control and are at the mercy of others. You don't think you have much say or influence on what happens.
18. You avoid going out because you don't want to meet new people.
You're afraid new social environments might lead you to anxiety and pain.
19 You avoid Facebook now, because of all the engagement, wedding, and baby photos.
You feel others are trying to torment you with their happiness.
20. You plan vacations to conflict with weddings.
You don't want to be near people who are celebrating their love.
21. You avoid family get-togethers, social events and other activities with couples present.
The thought of being surrounded by happy couples makes you feel even more lonely and inadequate in the world—Bridget Jones at the grown-up couples dinner.
22. You get upset, angry, or irrational when people start conversations about relationships.
Even talking about relationships causes stress and makes you want to retreat.
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Vishnu Subramaniam is a writer, coach, and author of nine self published books, including The Sacred Art of Letting Go: Walk 12 Steps with Spiritual Masters to Let Go of Past Relationships and Find Peace Today. He attended UCLA and worked as an immigration lawyer, but left the legal professional to help people overcome breakups, get out of a rut and build a life they've always wanted.