Are You Self-Sabotaging Your Relationships?

30/04/2016 6:26 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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young woman thowing a bucket of water at her partner, in the living room

As a child, we were told when we were doing something wrong. We were told by our parents (usually in very clear terms) when we were out of line, and eventually we become consciously aware of what behaviour was unacceptable.

However, as we grow older, this responsibility becomes our own and there is no Fairy Godmother to kick our bum and remind us that we have a few little issues we need to work out. Self sabotage is one of those things we do without even realising it. It is only later that it becomes an "ah ha" moment and that generally occurs after we have scared away a good egg and been left a little broken hearted.

Sure, we can date the wrong people constantly, but there does come a point where we have to stop and take a long, hard look at ourselves. If you aren't sure if you are self-sabotaging your relationship, here's five signs that indicate you might be your own worst enemy.

1: You've developed a pattern of breakups.

You know when you are dating someone really amazing and everything is going really well, and then, all of a sudden, they seem to be heading for the hills and you're wondering what the heck went wrong?

You thought you did everything by the book, yet when the next one comes along the same thing happens again. So naturally, out of self-preservation or perhaps lack of knowledge, you will start to blame them instead of concluding that maybe you are contributing in some way. At the end of the day, we become the common factor in our string of broken relationships and it is up to us who we want to invite into our lives and what we do that contributes to making them want to stay.

2: You haven't dealt with your past.

People who self sabotage tend to keep bringing the same issues into every relationship and releasing them on their unsuspecting dates. They do this by a) placing high and unrealistic expectations on them, b) being too needy and insecure or c) putting up walls and keeping them out in fear of being hurt. Most of the time we aren't even aware that we are letting our past control our present, however once you start to live and date more consciously, you give yourself a better chance at the future.

3: The same problems keep arising.

The best way to tell if you self sabotage is to write down a short timeline of each romantic relationship you have had. Do you see a pattern emerging? Do they all start to back off or run away at a certain point? If you were to ask each one of them why it didn't work out, would they give you the same answer?

It's not easy admitting our problems or coming face to face with the truth, but identifying the underlying issues means that you can then arm yourself with the tools to improve future relationships.

4: There is little progress and a whole lot of drama.

Being overly dramatic, creating unnecessarily conflict or trying to get a reaction out of your boyfriend or girlfriend are sure signs of self sabotage. This is usually an indication that you have a fear of being hurt, are insecure within yourself or have not realised that you have deeper problems that can even stem back to your parents' marriage. A healthy relationship has both peace and progress and whilst conflict is present it is minimal and always resolved.

5: Your relationships are inconsistent and confusing.

This is generally because you have a lot of anxieties, bad habits or insecurities that you haven't dealt with, which basically means that the people you date don't know where they stand with you. If your behaviour is all over the shop, eventually your partner will feel like they don't have a place, or they will get the wrong message and do a runner. Getting to the core of who you are will not only bring clarity to why you do certain things but it will also give you a place to start working out your problems.

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