Do you have a roadblock to love?
I hear you — dating is harsh. After a few rejections, you might start asking “What’s wrong with me?” But, honestly, there’s probably nothing more wrong with you than anyone else. There’s something wrong with all of us! That doesn’t necessarily prevent us having successful relationships.
Saying this, there are some areas that make finding love harder. There’s no harm in taking an honest look at yourself and assessing what’s going on. You might uncover roadblocks you hadn’t noticed before:
6 Roadblocks to Love
1. Are you open?
When you’re open to meeting new people and considering a relationship you come across differently. Being open means expanding that restrictive list of requirements a person needs to be your partner. It doesn’t mean lowering your standards, but it does mean giving people a fair chance. Often we judge people way too quickly. “They’re too short” “Too old!” “Not my type.” When we have rigid lists, we close ourselves off to possibilities.
At 39, when I started dating again after divorce, the number of younger men who asked me out was a big surprise. I’d always gone out with men my own age or older so I needed to decide if I was open to dating younger men. I had to get my head around the cougar-myth (and lots of other myths around age gaps). I’m very glad I decided to be open to it though, because I’m now engaged to a wonderful man who is 11 and a half years younger!
2. Do you believe in love?
It’s not surprising that a lot of people struggle to believe in love. Relationships fail all the time. People get hurt by the ones who claimed to love them. Love dies. Perhaps your parents had a messy divorce. Maybe your heart was badly broken. Maybe you’ve become cynical about all this “lovey dovey” crap that pads out Netflix and fills our movie screens.
Whatever the reason, if you don’t believe love is possible it’s going to be hard to find. Evan Marc Katz, dating coach and author of Believe in Love, says:
“It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: you don’t believe in love, so you don’t fall in love.”
3. Are you needing to heal and forgive?
If you’ve recently had a break up and are now struggling in the dating world, it might be that you need more time to heal.
If you find yourself thinking, “All men/women are assholes” – you need more time to heal.
If you’re scared to let your walls down in case you get hurt again, you might not be ready to date.
Singleness can be an important time of focusing on yourself, working out what you want, and moving forward in forgiveness.
Forgiveness, by the way, doesn’t mean you’re letting them get away with it or saying it was okay. Forgiveness is for your sake. “There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed,” says Karen Swartz, M.D. Holding on to anger and hurt affects your physical and mental health.
Forgiveness is letting go of the bitterness and anger that eats you up and keeps you in pain. When you forgive, you’re doing it for yourself — you don’t even have to let them know you’ve forgiven them. “What you have to decide is are you moving on? Where are you going to put your energies?” says Karen. “Move past defining yourself as someone who has been wronged.”
4. How’s your Emotional Intelligence? Are you self aware?
Many of people struggle in dating because they’re not self aware.
- You don’t understand your own emotions enough.
- You don’t know your own worth.
- Or your confidence is low.
When you work on self awareness, other’s notice and your relationships improve.
When my marriage ended, my self confidence was particularly low. It wasn’t until a friend said to me, “You need to be your own best friend,” that I started to see I wasn’t treating myself well. Once I started working on my self worth and confidence I found my relationships improved too. Self awareness is attractive!
5. Is your body language telling everyone you’re not interested?
Next time you’re around someone you like, notice how you’re standing. Are you facing them, open posture, smiling, relaxed? Or are your arms folded, body turned away, cold looking?
AJ Harbinger, relationship development expert at The Art of Charm, says, “A common mistake that men make is to downplay the significance of body language and dating. This is a massive error as body language is one of the most powerful tools you can have when it comes to dating.”(Women make this mistake too, of course.)
People pick up on subtle signs that someone likes them. If your body language is frosty, disinterested, or unfriendly they won’t make a move.
6. Do you actually need and want a partner?
Single is, in some ways, better than being in a relationship. Are you happily single but feel pressured to couple-up? Maybe it’s what you always imagined you’d do — get married, have kids, etc. Or others expect you to. But, right now, do you really want it?
There are four ways to be:
- In a relationship and happy
- In a relationship and unhappy
- Single and unhappy
- Single and happy
If you’re in the last category — enjoying your freedom, flexibility, and single experience — maybe you don’t need a partner?
Finding love isn’t easy. There may be some “love roadblocks” for you to work on — but, most likely, there is nothing more wrong with you than anyone else.