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21 Ways You’re Unconsciously Keeping Yourself From The Love You Deserve


By Marisa Donnelly

Love is hard to find, and sometimes even harder to hold. Whether we’re in the dating phases, or just stepping out after healing from a terrible breakup, we’re hesitant when it comes to letting people in. Sometimes we shy away or hold back out of fear. Other times we put up walls, terrified that if we put them down, we’ll get hurt again. But every barrier we create between ourselves and the love we deserve, pushes us farther and farther away from true happiness.

How often have you found yourself searching for the one, but to no avail? How many times have you reached out to someone, swiped right on a dating app, went on a date, texted him or her first, and then balked for fear of commitment? Ran because you weren’t sure if they were right? Didn’t answer because you didn’t want to seem too eager, too open, too vulnerable?

The fears in our minds, the ‘rules’ we put on ourselves about what’s ‘right’ or ‘smart’ in relationships, the unrealistic expectations —all these things only hold us back from finding our ‘one.’ Here are 21 ways you might be (unintentionally) keeping yourself from the love you deserve. Whether you recognize these behaviors or not, hopefully this list will encourage you in knowing that you are worthy, and will find your special person when you choose to (finally) let love fully in.

  1. You keep telling yourself that you’re not good enough.
  2. You think that everyone you meet is just like your ex.
  3. You’re too terrified of getting hurt to fully let people in.
  4. There’s a part of you that’s always guarded, even when you’re in a relationship.
  5. You’re convinced that there’s a ‘Mr./Miss Right’ out there and you aren’t willing to accept that imperfection is the reality of being human.
  6. You’re hesitant to trust others, so you change the subject when it gets too deep, even though you crave a deeper connection.
  7. You let things get in the way of your happiness instead of realizing that life is going to throw crappy things at you, and you’re strong enough to get through them.
  8. You compare your relationships to others.
  9. You are too quick to see others’ imperfections.
  10. You are scared to love too deeply, so you hold back.
  11. You have this idea about what love should look like in your head, and it affects how you perceive relationships.
  12. Your mind is filled with negativity regarding love.
  13. When it comes to putting yourself out there, going on dates, or initiating conversation, you are hesitant.
  14. You back away when you feel someone is getting too close.
  15. You like to find all the reasons why something/someone won’t work in your life instead of how it/they will.
  16. You are in a rush to fall in love.
  17. You overthink instead of letting things and emotions happen as they happen.
  18. When you find someone you’re really interested in, you don’t give yourself (or the other person) the time to really invest your emotions.
  19. You feel like there’s this timeline to finding love and sometimes rush into commitments you aren’t quite ready for.
  20. You hold onto people from your past because you’re scared you won’t be able to find someone else.
  21. You tell yourself you don’t deserve real love, or that it’s not real.

Marisa Donnelly Marisa Donnelly is a Midwest-born, West Coast-based writer / poet / essayist / editor and social media influencer. She is the author of the poetry collection, Somewhere On A Highway, and the founder of Be A Light.

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