Practical wisdom about dating, courtship, and relationships to improve your love life.
Women are emotional beings in the best possible way. If you’re like most women, you feel deeply about the man you’re with and take your romantic relationship seriously. When you’re having problems or things don’t work out with the one you love, your heart aches and absorbs your pain and emotions.
Here is a list of 12 things to know if you are still suffering from heartache. If love is still elusive, it simply means you are holding onto one or more of these things. For the ones that ring true to you, doing the inner work in those areas will help you open up to love.
12 Things That Make It Difficult to Let Love In
1. Living in the past
Getting caught up in memories of what could have been, holding onto past hurts and unhealthy emotions, not letting go are all ways of living in the past. Your future is created in the present moments. If you find your mind drifting to the past, gently nudge your focus to the present and you will notice that things are actually okay. Know that this too shall pass.
2. Fear of being hurt
Dates and relationships that don’t work out add up and can make you fearful of being hurt. When you’re afraid of getting hurt again, you attract what you are afraid of which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of letting the sum of your dates and relationships feed your fear, look at each individually and ask, “In what ways did this happen for my greater good?” By learning the lessons you’re meant to learn, the fear of being hurt again will loosen its grip on you.
3. Not being over your ex
Being in love with your ex or wanting him back makes it difficult to let go and move on to the future you’re meant to have. Instead of getting fixated on figuring out why things ended, the reason will reveal itself in the right time and you will understand why your time together was meant for that period in your life. When things don’t work out, it simply means there is someone else who is a better fit for you. Learning how to let go gracefully is a life lesson worth learning.
4. Fear of rejection
When you’ve been rejected, it has more to do with the other person (i.e. who he is, where he’s at in his life, what he needs to grow and evolve, etc.) and not much to do with you. You just happen to be the person who showed up. If you can truly get this, you will see that rejection is not personal. It’s the meaning you give rejection that causes pain. Reflect on the ways you thought you were rejected, then notice the meaning you assigned each act of rejection. For many women, the meaning they’ve assigned is, “I’m not good enough.” If this rings true to you, work on valuing yourself more and knowing your worth. Also, when you completely accept yourself instead of rejecting yourself (i.e. judging yourself negatively, being hard on yourself, trying to be perfect instead of just who you are, etc.), fear of rejection will diminish.
5. Repeating the same patterns
Deeply rooted patterns will cause you to experience relationships that repeat the same unhealthy dynamics with different men. These unhealthy dynamics perpetuate the cycle of pain, disappointment, frustration, and more. Become aware of the way you tend to show up (in your dating life and romantic relationships) and how they contribute to undesired results. Then work on changing those things. For instance, if you’ve felt misunderstood in your relationships, work on expressing yourself clearly and openly.
6. Not finding a man who loves you
Looking for a man’s love instead of loving yourself first causes heartache because when looking for love outside of yourself, you are looking for someone to complete you. And in the process, will place your expectations and hope on a man to make you feel loved and happy. This tremendous pressure will drive a good man away. The only person that can complete you is you. Work on loving yourself and you will no longer worry about finding a man who loves you.
7. Not accepting and loving yourself enough
The love you seek is found within. Much of your heartache comes from teaching others how to treat you by how you treat yourself. Not accepting and loving yourself enough only attracts men who accepts and loves you to a certain degree. To accept and love yourself, reflect on the areas about yourself that you wish were different or that you try to hide from others and don’t want them to know about. These are the areas to work on embracing and loving.
8. Not being able to trust
When men let you down by not keeping their word, doing questionable things, cheating, etc., It can be hard to trust men. Not being able to trust has more to do with trusting yourself to make better decisions and choices. Reflect on the sequence of events that led up to trust being broken. Chances are, when things didn’t feel right, you may have ignored or dismissed those behaviors from your mind rationalizing red flag behavior. Learn to listen to how your body is feeling since that will be a better indicator of what’s really going on. Then use those feelings to make your decisions and choices. The more you practice this, the more you will be able to trust yourself.
9. Not feeling hopeful
Losing hope happens when having bad experiences of love (i.e. having a hard time meeting men, liking a guy who doesn’t feel the same about you, etc.). Thinking that your experience of love is the real meaning of love will cause you to lose hope. The reality is, the real meaning of love is not what you’ve been experiencing. As you do the inner work to become your best self, you will experience love in a different way. You will feel inspired and hopeful.
10. Feeling lonely, insecure or unworthy
Feeling lonely may cause you to date men who aren’t good for you, approach things in a desperate way, and rush into the wrong relationships. In that situation, these aren’t the kind of men who treat you with love, affection and respect. These are the kind of men who sit back while you make most of the effort trying to earn his love. If you’ve been in this situation, you’ve also felt insecure and unworthy. The best thing you can do is to learn to love being alone. In doing so, you will be more selective about who you spend your time with and less likely to settle for less than you deserve.
11. Punishing yourself
If you’re feeling angry at yourself, guilty for how things ended, or having a hard time forgiving yourself, thoughts of, “If only I was more…” or “I should have been…” may come to mind. These ways of punishing yourself perpetuates heartache. Instead, forgive and be kind to yourself. Understand that you have done the best you could at that time in your life. You would not have purposely chosen to do things in a less than best way.
12. Needing time to heal
Heartache takes time to heal. Yet, if you’re like many women, you may be distracting yourself by working, staying busy, meeting new people, or dating. Distractions cause us to resist what is, and what we resists, persists. The most important thing to do is to take the time to heal your heart. Here are seven ways to do so.
Heartache truly brings unexpected gifts of beautiful lessons to learn, and personal and spiritual growth that leads to true and lasting love. If you haven’t been completely open to love, what will you start doing to open up to love?
Related article: How to Transcend Heartache
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Copyright Love for Successful Women, 2020.