1. You’re only bonding over brokenness, you’re laying your dirty laundry on the table of the first date and calling it intimacy.
Proving that you have suffered does not communicate that you are deep and therefore more worthy of love. It just shows that some part of you still needs to drag the past into the immediate present, make an old chapter part of a new story.
2. Your idea of what other people see you as is subconsciously dictating who you’re choosing to be with.
Worse, you’re allowing what you want other people to see you as determine who you date, as though they’re just an accessory to your overall image. Most people do this to a degree, concerning themselves too much with ‘types’ and ‘standards’ as opposed to feelings and interests.
3. You want love, but you don’t want to do the work it takes to get it
And then you’re confusing ‘forcing something that’s wrong to be right and chalking it up to relationships being hard’ with ‘choosing the truth over convenience.’
It requites some grit, but you eventually realize you can either do it while you still have your head up or when you have no other choice but to leave a war zone.
4. You’re believing in strangers who are inevitably just leading you on to see what could be in the relationship… for them.
Never forget that seeking love, initially at least, is a completely self-interested act. Once you’re in genuine love with someone, it becomes selfless (hopefully) but until then, you cannot blame anybody else for your own naïvety.
5. You’re rushing in because you think that real love is immediately realized.
In reality, you should be going about two steps slower than you think is necessary. Even when you’re consumed. Even when it’s almost impossible to slow or stopper whatever it is raging between you and peeling the paint off the walls. Hot, fast and quick will burn out the fastest. Slow, cultivated and intentional will have the foundations to last.
6. You’re using sex to quell your fear of real intimacy, and believing they’re the same thing.
Being physical with one another doesn’t equate to romance if you’re acting out a porn scene for the rush. Physical attention is instantly gratifying, and it’s safe, but it’s ultimately fleeting and mostly meaningless. Don’t follow your ‘buts’ with ‘we’ve been having sex for a year!’ while justifying why it’s so clearly, obviously meant to be. Usually don’t mean a thing honey.
7. You’re being indirect about the one thing that matters most: what you want.
In bed. For the long-term. In five years. In five days. People like to chalk up a lot of failed relationships to ‘timing,’ but more often than that, it’s just ‘not being honest about where your clocks are set to.’
8. You can’t yet identify the emerging patterns of ways you’re consistently contributing to, if not causing, the failure of a relationship.
The best kind of self-reflection is to observe patterns. Doing something once doesn’t define who you are. Doing something consistently (and even subconsciously) does. Identifying those patterns and wanting to immediately dismiss, avoid and ignore your discoveries – even more so.
9. You believe that your fate is already determined, so you’re relying on ‘just knowing’ without acknowledging that getting to the point of being able to ‘know’ sometimes takes a little time, a little effort, a little digging and searching and trying out.
I can’t speak to fate, but I can speak to the fact that so long as you believe things will just ‘happen,’ that you’re ultimately not responsible, that you should just ‘know,’ you’re going to find yourself confused, directionless, and being dishonest for the sake of not being certain.
10. You’re comparing the highlight reel of someone else’s relationship with the background scenes of your own.
You don’t know what you don’t know. It’s not matter of ‘finding out,’ per se, but of making an unknown unknown a known unknown.