“Love stinks!” Gretchen declared to her friends over drinks after work one evening. She has begun to tell other people that she’s “given up on a relationship” because she’s pretty sure that the kind of love and connection she used to envision herself having is just not possible.
Gretchen has had more than her share of heartbreak. She thought she’d found “the one,” but he turned out to be a lying creep. Since that time, she realized that the guys who asked her out on dates only wanted one thing…sex and without a commitment.
Because of these experiences, Gretchen has become cynical, hardened herself and thrown away her dream of being in a happy and healthy relationship. She pretends to be absolutely okay with being single for the rest of her life but, she’s really not.
In fact, Gretchen is afraid of being alone forever. She is grateful for her friends and family, but deep down inside, she wants to know what it feels like to share love, passion and connection with someone who’s right for her.
Have you hardened your heart? Have you given up on love because you’ve been hurt before?
It can be scary to step back into dating again after a breakup, divorce or another bad relationship experience. You worry that you’ll be hurt and disappointed again. You don’t want to feel that kind of emotional pain.
But, you also might not want to be alone. A part of you may still hold out some hope that you CAN attract the perfect partner for you and that the kind of love you truly want IS possible.
Unfortunately, your hopeful side may frequently get drowned out by your hurt and cynical side. The disappointing experiences may seem to outweigh those that keep your dream alive. Whether it’s a string of dates with those who are absolutely NOT what you want or difficulty getting dates in the first place, if you’re not feeling the kind of love you crave, it can be dis-heartening.
It can feel like you’re blocked and can’t get anywhere near the love you want.
If you’re not in the kind of love relationship you want, there is probably a barrier preventing you from attracting it. If you’re blocked, you might be tempted to look outside at everything (and everyone) who– you believe– is keeping away the love you want.
While other people and situations can impact your ability to attract a love relationship, you’re missing a big piece of the potential solution if you don’t also look at your own self. It’s highly likely that YOU are the biggest reason why you aren’t already in the close and connected love relationship you desire.
This might be frustrating to hear, but it’s actually key to breaking down your barriers to love and opening up to the passion and happiness you’ve dreamed of.
Do you recognize any of these barriers in yourself?
Love Barrier #1: Critical and negative beliefs.
Almost all of us have a habit of being critical and judgmental– about ourselves and other people too. We go through our days with a stream of put downs active in our minds about how we look, act, what we are capable or not. We compare ourselves to others and sometimes we come out “ahead” and other times we come out lacking.
Get quiet and observe your thoughts periodically throughout the day and you’ll probably notice a lot of negative and critical messages. You might see your thoughts as no big deal and only temporary, but they actually ARE a big deal. The thoughts you repeat over and over again become beliefs which lead you to act in particular ways.
Some of this comes through in how you talk, your body language and your actions. Your negative thoughts about yourself can make a strong outward impression. Can you see the message you might be unintentionally sending out to the world– including to a potential partner?
Be real with yourself AND stop the self-hatred. Start to question your thoughts and beliefs and create space to appreciate who and what you are.
Love Barrier #2: Holding on to old emotional wounds.
It’s the rare person who has not experienced some form of emotional pain or another. It might have been in a love relationship, during childhood or in some other way. People hurt to varying degrees, but everybody does hurt.
What makes the difference between being blocked or open to love is what you do with your hurt.
There are two ways that people tend to handle their emotional wounds: 1) The pain gets shoved down and the person tries to pretend it isn’t there or 2) The pain gets run on a continuous loop where the person dredges it up and re-lives the painful experiences which keeps the past feeling overwhelming and raw.
There is no room for healing and moving forward with both of these reactions. And, it’s nearly impossible to attract love that someone might be interested in giving when the painful past has taken center stage.
Healing your old emotional wounds can take time and you can start right now.
Regularly check in with yourself and listen to how you feel and what you need. Instead of re-hashing upsets from the past, acknowledge how you’re feeling and let the emotion move through. It can more easily release and let go which frees you up to attract your perfect match.
Love Barrier #3: Boxing yourself in.
We’ve all got a comfort zone– that array of activities, behaviors and groups of people that we are accustomed to and most at ease with. Sometimes, your comfort zone can essentially box you in to a life that feels alone and loveless.
Notice it when you are reacting to people and situations in the “same old, same old” way and stop yourself. Get curious about what’s motivating your reaction and invite yourself to try something new.
The effects of taking wise risks and stepping outside of your box and comfort zone are more space and more freedom. This is the place where love can flow easily to you and thrive.