There comes a time when adulthood beckons and we are ready to get into a serious, healthy relationship. This is often when things get interesting. The relationship is going well, but you start thinking about all your failed relationships. You’re not used to been happy in a relationship, and you’re not even sure how to respond and act. So you disconnect and distance yourself from your partner. Maybe you begin picking fights with them or start flirting with someone else or start texting your ex. Or worse, maybe in spite of your relationship been fulfilling, you go and cheat. This is called self-sabotage.

It’s as if you’re trying to get to a place of homeostasis – the point at which you will fell most comfortable. It’s as if you expect it to fall apart anyway, so you simply try to be in control of your own fate and create the inevitable, by beating the wreckage to the punch.

Self-sabotages often don’t even know their actions are hurting them and actually taking them further away from what they want. They blame others for it or just write it up to their own shortcomings, or even claim it’s just “their personality” but the truth is that deep down there’s really something more going on.

Self-sabotage in relationships happens for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it protects you from feeling vulnerable, because the relationship may not work out, a breakup might happen. The second reason is that you may just not like yourself. Self-loathing can lead to behaviors that reinforce how worthless – in your mind – you actually are. Typically at a subconscious level, you are gathering evidence to show yourself that you’re not worthy of anything good and to undermine the thought that anyone could really love you unconditionally.

So what’s the remedy?

Name It

Look at your past relationships and ask yourself ‘What was I actually avoiding?’ ‘Is it that I am scared to trust someone on an intimate level? Or am I afraid of the uncertainty of something new?’

List your needs

What do you really want? Validations, intimacy, freedom, human connection, dig deep and ask yourself the bigger questions.

List your fears

Ask yourself, what might happen if you get the things you need? Maybe you have been rejected in the past or maybe you have past childhood traumas that are coming up. Getting clear on what it is that your exactly afraid of can actually help you heal them and get you closer to what you really want.

Take Action

It’s time to lean into the uncertainty of what you want. Instead of isolating yourself, ask the new person you like out. You will feel scared but you are actually been brave and by following these simple steps you can put a stop to this behavior.