In the years that followed, I became hardened and my once open heart was now unable to feel anything for any man I dated. One by one they would fall hard for me, but I would feel nothing. There were a few guys who managed to stir something inside of me, and I would inexplicably fall hard and fast. My stomach would be in knots waiting for the next text, I would endlessly analyze everything he did to determine whether or not he liked me, I would constantly plan and plot what I would say and do to win him over. But
nothing ever came from those “relationships”—save for me being left devastated—because the only guys who could get me to feel anything were the emotionally unavailable ones.
My objective mind couldn’t see this, though, because my attraction to these guys was rooted in my subconscious. My last relationship had instilled a belief in me that I was unworthy of love, that I would never get the guy I wanted, that no man would love the real me … so I sought out guys who weren’t in a place to love anyone, really, and was proven right time and time again. That’s the thing about the subconscious, it always seeks validation, even if it’s in the form of a painful reality.
What happened to me is something that happens to many women after a toxic relationship and crushing breakup: I internalized faulty beliefs about myself and never challenged them.
Almost a decade after the relationship that broke me, I realized just how deep the scars were. I realized I had adopted a set of beliefs about myself that was sabotaging my efforts to find the love I’d always wanted. So I decided to dig deep into the darkness to purge these beliefs. I looked at that relationship through an objective lens and realized the way it had unfolded had absolutely nothing to do with who I really am.
At the time, I thought he’d left me because I wasn’t good enough … because I was unlovable … because I was unworthy. I also stopped trusting my own judgment. I had stayed with him even though he was clearly bad for me. I had trusted him based on the few words of assurance he would provide when I was feeling insecure and ignored all the glaring red flags. How could I trust myself not to make the same mistake again? As a result, I became a woman who believed she couldn’t trust her instincts, who couldn’t trust men, who couldn’t open up and be vulnerable and let anyone else in.
As I’ve written about before, good relationships bring all your unresolved issues to the surface. Even though I had done a lot of internal work before I started dating my husband, there was a lot more that needed to be done. It started with realizing that this relationship is the complete opposite of the last one, and I am a completely different person now, so it is absurd to think I would repeat the same mistakes.
The subconscious doesn’t operate from a place of reason and logic, it operates from a place of emotion. What I needed to internalize was that even though certain things felt real (like that he was going to just leave me out of the blue one day, and I needed to be on guard at all times lest I miss some warning sign), they were not reality. Feelings aren’t facts, and when you look at a situation objectively, you often see just how silly and unfounded your beliefs truly are.
Once I realized what was happening, I was able to challenge some of those old faulty beliefs and replace them with newer, happier truths. I was able to finally relax and let love in. My guy noticed the change immediately, and our relationship improved drastically.
Solution: If you’ve been hurt in the past, try to see if you can identify any old wounds you’re still carrying around with you. Think about how you interpreted the situation at the time and see if you can spot any faulty beliefs about yourself that may have developed. Then do whatever you need to in order to correct those. It isn’t always easy but is so worth it.
Are you the one who haven’t found love yet? Could you relate to the reasons?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Written by: Sabrina Alexis Originally appeared on: Thought Catalog Republished with permission.