A healthy and successful relationship are hashtag goals. If you’re active on any social media platform, it’s almost impossible to escape the infamous #relationshipgoals. We all have a list, whether we’re willing to admit it or not. We want a clean bill of health, great career, plenty coins, good friends and a loving partner by our side and in our Instagram posts. For many of us, it just never seems to work out.
We want a relationship but can’t make it past the dating phase. There may be a few reasons for this that you’ve been ignoring. You may feel strongly about your desire to be in a committed relationship but there could be areas in your life that prove quite the opposite.
Let’s take a look at them:
You have the Savior Complex
You always seem to attract those who are in need. You have a desire to save the person you’re dating: you help them search for jobs, get back into school, repair broken relationships, overcome an addiction or depression. When you do this, you often sacrifice your own unaddressed needs. Ask yourself the hard questions: Are your motives for wanting to help purely at heart? Are you helping because you truly feel led to, or are you helping because you want your partner to be dependent upon you?
Maybe you’ve convinced yourself they won’t leave if they are dependent on you. These situations always have a way of backfiring. Don't create a scenario where you’re being used to help someone get to next levels without you.
You ignore red flags
Often the writing is on the wall, but we choose to ignore it. Your partner is moving too fast, showering you with gifts, already in love with you and the next thing you know — you’ve cut off friends and given this person a key to your place. Whew, chile! You tell yourself it’s okay because sometimes “love” just happens that way. However, once the honeymoon phase is over, you might discover your partner has been seeing others and giving them the same treatment. They’ve either become bored with you and move on, or they proceed to lock you in with more abusive behavior disguised as passion or deep care.
Do you find yourself in these situations often? Do you ignore your intuition in hopes of falling in love? If so, it may be time for some self-reflecting to get to the root of why you are continuing this destructive behavior.
You have unrealistic expectations
Let’s be clear, there nothing wrong with wanting the best from your partner. However, it’s unreasonable to set expectations for your partner they never said they could or want to meet. You want your partner to act, dress and speak a certain way. You want them to say “I love you” right away, you want them to give you all their free time, prove their love to you, post you on social media and the list goes on. These demands are not only high but unrealistic, and can be rooted in your own insecurity. Unrealistic expectations are unhealthy and can be damaging to relationships. You don’t need sky-high expectations to feel secure. If you’re not careful, this can cause you to fall in love with someone’s potential rather than the person. You fall in love with who you want them to be instead of who they are.
Ask yourself why you feel the need to set these unrealistic expectations. Do they make you look better to your peers or feel better as a person? There could a deeper issue at hand, one that would be wise to examine and deal with.
You don’t know how to be alone
Sometimes, we can become so attached to others that we lose our sense of self. This turns into a fear of being alone. Your love life becomes a revolving door, where partners enter and exit quickly. No one loves a clingy person and often you end up running your partner off. You end up trying, with no success, to be accepted — thinking this will make your partner want to spend more time with you. You push too hard, call or text too much and boundaries get ignored. This type of behavior can become unbearable to your partner and most will make a quick exit.
What creates this discomfort or fear of being alone in you? Do you have a fear of abandonment? You can’t expect anyone to want to be alone with you if you don’t like to be alone with yourself.
You spend too much time looking for love
Do you find yourself constantly joining dating websites, reading books on how to find love, or asking your friends to hook you up? You invest a lot of time searching for love rather than falling in love with yourself. How do we truly know how to love our partners if we don’t know how to love ourselves?
Don’t fall into the unhealthy cycle of searching for love in someone else before you find it within yourself. When you haven’t done the work on yourself or dealt with your hidden issues, you leave room for unhealthy relationships to manifest.
READY, SET, GO!
The key is not to rush your process, because your process is all yours to work through. You must be sensitive and attentive to those areas in your life that need pruning, purging and healing. This doesn’t happen overnight and may come with pain. Your process will require patience, but your heart and soul are worth it.
Continue to do this and with time, you’ll fall in love with yourself. When love does come, it will feel familiar because you were already giving it to yourself. Your partner will only grow the love you have sown.
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