Dating

3 Ways Your Past Experiences Are Keeping Love Away Now

How would you show up to life if you knew you were a magnet to the possibility of great love?

Imagine it for a minute…

You walk into a room with your head held high, shoulders back, a bright smile on your face, a spring in your step.

You lean into conversations, curious and engaged. Your laughter is authentic and contagious.

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You don’t feel compelled to hide your feelings from anyone.

The people in your life enjoy spending time with you because of your confident, easy vibe. You feel wanted, desired, and loved.

If you’re a woman, men flirt with you and pay you sincere compliments. If you’re a man, women gravitate toward you, listening intently, with a sparkle in their eyes that communicates interest and attraction.

You have a crystal clear vision of the kind of person you want to fall in love with, and each day has an undercurrent of optimism and joy, knowing it’s just a matter of time before your vision becomes a reality.

When you do finally meet The One, you’re ready. You have no fear. You trust yourself to make wise choices. You create the kind of love your heart has always known was there, just waiting for you to arrive.

Feels empowering, doesn’t it?

So why not live here all the time?

Why is it so difficult to conjure up the confidence and optimism that can help us get what we crave so much in our love lives?

The Source Of Your Ambivalence And Fear

Right now, you probably feel pretty disempowered. Hopeless, even.

You think you want love in your life, but in reality, you’re either not ready for, or not aligned with, the possibility of having a close, committed relationship in your life.

There’s something inside you that resists that imagined scenario of you showing up so open and attractive to others.

What if you actually did bring someone in? Someone who might cause you to give so much of yourself that you might lose yourself in their life? Or someone who might hurt you in ways similar to how you’ve been hurt in the past?

Loving couple at sunset

Disappointments and heartbreaks in our past relationships have a way of leaving us fatigued and apathetic. As much as you may want love, there could be a part of you that isn’t so enthusiastic.

It’s understandable, especially if you were betrayed by a lover, or fell in love deeply with someone who couldn’t commit to you.

Maybe you were ghosted one too many times and it’s made you jaded against dating altogether.

Or you’ve been married or in a long-term relationship that took up too much of your emotional energy before it all fell apart.

You were duped, cheated on, and lied to.

At this point, you may not be 100% sure that you even want a relationship. You don’t want to risk getting pulled into a relationship that isn’t going to be right for you.

No matter how much you think you want to find your soul mate and experience a great and fulfilling love, there are parts of you that might be shutting you down from that possibility. Maybe you realize this, or maybe this is all news to you.

The important thing to consider is this: even if you were to find great love, chances are good that you might unconsciously sabotage that relationship before it even had a chance.

Here’s how that could happen…

3 Ways Your Past Experiences Are Keeping Love Away Now

When we’re incomplete with our past—still walking around with a wounded worldview of how someone hurt us or how we were duped by a lover—it causes us to be compelled to protect ourselves in ways that push love away.

When love passes us by once again, we tell ourselves that we were right after all, that love is risky, and we contract even further into ourselves. We become guarded, jaded, and defensive. It hardens us.

We aren’t magnetic to love; we are repellent to love.

Here’s the key: we don’t know we’re repelling love. We think we’re doing what we’re doing because it makes perfect sense, given our past circumstances.

If you’re struggling to create a great relationship, this is something you MUST face about yourself.

The first step is recognizing these 3 love-blocking behaviors within yourself:

1 You unconsciously do things to protect yourself from getting hurt again.

Maybe your past break-ups were hurtful, humiliating, and rocked your world. You want to know you’ve learned from your past mistakes so you don’t repeat them and end up in the same painful place you were before.

When you meet someone new and feel a connection, you may feel a hesitation to get too close too fast. You hesitate when they talk about future plans because you’re just not sure yet, but you don’t want to admit it. You feel a welling up of anxiety when things get too hot and heavy, and it causes you to hold back expressing yourself. Instead of matching your new lover’s excitement, you withdraw within yourself.

You secretly start criticizing the person, looking for ways they aren’t good enough for you.

Couple looking out at the ocean waves

Meanwhile, your new partner is confused. They pull away, too, or begin to lose interest. You’ve just cut the new relationship down without really giving it a chance.

2 You don’t trust yourself to allow anyone to get close.

You trusted the lover who ended up betraying you, lying to you, or telling you they weren’t in love with you, after all. You fell for a narcissist, a cheat, a deadbeat, or someone who took advantage of you in some way.

Now, you don’t trust yourself not to make the same mistake. You’re suspicious of people if they want to get close. What’s their agenda, you wonder? Are they for real or are they faking it?

Now, it’s not so much that you don’t trust potential partners, it’s that you don’t trust your own ability to be discerning or set appropriate boundaries.

Your uncertainty causes you to come across as guarded and maybe defensive. This can be a turnoff to potential partners, and ruin your chances at real love with someone who could be right for you.

3 You relate to life inside a very limited perspective of who you are and what’s possible.

Do you tell yourself that you’re too old to find the love of your life, so you’re okay just focusing on your career/kids/health for now?

That you’re too busy with your career to get serious with anyone right now?

That you’re OK with just a friends-with-benefits arrangement?

If you have your own I’m-okay-with-just-this-for-now statement for love, you may be limiting what you can actually attain. This happens because you’ve been so hurt or deprived of genuine love in the past, it pains you to even consider that you can have a transformative, soulful love.

It’s like a beggar who has been destitute for so long that a soft bed and a warm meal is all he hopes for. The idea of someday owning a big house with a large garden and having a million dollars in the bank is completely off his radar. And because of that, he won’t even bother taking any steps toward that impossible (to him) vision.

Unless you can imagine it, you won’t take any action to make it a reality, and the chances of it happening are very small.

When you’re stuck within the emotional confines of your past painful experiences, it can feel overwhelmingly difficult to change the way you show up to life. You may not even know where to begin.

But there is GOOD NEWS. It is possible to break free from your past.

You CAN let go of all your hidden defenses, mistrust, and fear and be the magnet for love that you wish you could be.

Let Go Of Your Past And Step Into A World Of Possibility In Love

You must make amends with your past in order to move forward in life to create a healthy, happy relationship with someone new who’s right for you.

This can be challenging, particularly if you’re harboring a lot of strong feelings toward your Ex and about what happened between you.

Couple dancing forehead to forehead

That’s why it’s imperative to surround yourself with support and advice that will get you thinking in a whole new way, help you stay on track, and keep you from slipping into negative patterns.

This new mindset shift is what’s going to finally make you magnetic to happy, healthy love, propelling you into the arms of the partner you’ve been longing for.

And that’s where Flourish comes in—a community of experts dedicated to helping you create phenomenal relationships in every area of your life so you can finally experience the love and joy you’ve been missing. I’m thrilled to be one of Flourish’s experts.

When you subscribe to Flourish’s FREE dating and relationship advice newsletter, you’ll get access to my articles (such as this one), along with hand-picked advice from coaches and therapists who dedicate their lives to the field of dating and relationships. You’ll learn:

  • Exactly how you’ve been getting in your own way and blocking love from entering your life—plus how to unravel the emotional ties that are binding you to the past
  • The #1 reason behind all relationship failure—and how you can heal yourself AND your relationship at the same time
  • What it means to really love yourself first—including a specific process for developing self love that leads to true love with the right partner
  • How to develop your sexuality while you’re still single so that when love comes along, you’re more than ready
  • The surprisingly common mistakes smart women make in dating that keep them single and stuck

It’s time to let go of what’s been anchoring you in your old hurts and get into alignment with the future of love that you desire and deserve.

Lots of love and bye for now,

Katherine Woodward Thomas

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