It’s sad but true: sometimes love just isn’t enough to keep people together. Even if your partner feels for you, he might self-sabotage his own happiness. The question is why? It’s frustrating because your relationship could be happy if your partner could just let go of his problems and join the party.
While dealing with a self-saboteur can be frustrating, it’s important to realize that there are many different reasons for the behavior, but they have one thing in common: these are his issues he’s got to deal with and you shouldn’t take it personally.
Often, relationship sabotage comes from people’s deep beliefs about relationships, such as that all men are bad or all women want to trap men by dating them. These can come from past life experiences that left you wounded and afraid to love again. However, before you point the finger at your partner, there might be things you’re doing to sabotage the relationship!
Self-sabotage can be a sneaky business. All is not lost, though. By confronting and dealing with your issues, you can get back on track to a happier, healthier relationship. Interested? Here are some common reasons why men sabotage their relationships and 10 reasons why it might be you without even realizing it.
20Men Self-Sabotage: They’re Teased By Their Friends For Choosing Love
If a guy has friends who mock or tease him for wanting to be in love, this can start to get to him. It might seem ridiculous but our friends can influence us when it comes to our dating lives, sometimes more than we realize. If a man’s friends are all single and loving life while ridiculing love, he might be influenced by these choices. So, when he starts feeling things for a woman, he might end up sabotaging himself because of how his friends give him a hard time. But his friends can influence him in other ways. For example, if he loves partying with his friends, he might choose to do this on weekends instead of spending time with his romantic partner. Over time, this can make his partner feel neglected and ignored, which doesn’t bode well for the future of their relationship.
An article in Psychology Today points out how it’s important to realize that our romantic relationships don’t exist in a social void.
How our friends and family members feel about who we’re dating can influence how we feel about the relationship.
The article continues, saying that we feel more connected to partners to the extent that others approve of them. Of course, we make the final choice in whether or not to date someone. But if a guy’s letting his friends determine how he feels about relationships because he’s not very independent, this can cause him to have a string of unhappy relationships and missed opportunities.
19It’s On Us: We Listen To Our Friends Instead Of Taking Our Own Advice
Friends are fantastic and we all need loyal, supportive friends to whom we can turn when we have problems. However, it’s tricky to talk to them about all our relationship problems because we might blindly follow their advice and it might not be the best for us. It’s important to focus on what we need in relationships and take our own advice because we’re the only person who can decide what’s best for us and our future.
For example, if our boyfriend went out with another girl, our best friend might advise us to stay with him and work things out because that’s what she would do. The only problem is that she’s not in our situation. If she has gone through a similar situation in the past, her words might hold more weight but they might still not be the right advice for us and our specific situation.
Following our friends’ advice can sometimes cause us to stay in relationships that are unhealthy for us, or cause us to leave relationships that are good for us. It’s, therefore, better to take time to listen to our inner selves instead of letting other people’s views become more important than our own.
18Men Self-Sabotage: They Have Polarized Thinking
If a guy has what’s known as polarized thinking, this can get in the way of his relationships – and it happens even before he meets anyone worth dating! Polarized thinking is when a guy has set views about himself that are either black or white, with no room for anything in the middle. As explained on The Good Men Project,
“One of the ways people sabotage themselves is to get caught up in the belief that life is binary; you’re good or you’re bad. You’re born naturally skilled with women or you’re not. You’re a nerd or a jock. You’re either perfect or you’re a failure.”
If a guy has the belief that he’s a nerd or failure when it comes to women, this will result in him having self-esteem issues that will get in the way of his relationships. He might not believe that he can get or keep the woman he’s interested in, which will cause problems – and they won’t go away, even after he gets to date her. It all boils down to self-love. If you don’t love yourself, there’s no way you can love other people because you won’t feel like you deserve the love that has entered your life.
17It’s On Us: We Give Up Too Much Of Ourselves
Every relationship requires compromise. If we think of this compromise as being something that we lose, it can make us sabotage our relationships. As mentioned on Body and Soul, “While sometimes compromises mean one person has to give something up, or extend oneself for the greater good of the relationship, try to also compromise in a positive way, rather than always sacrificing.”
It’s also important to understand that compromises should never be one-sided. If we’re always compromising, such as by putting our partner’s needs ahead of our own, we’re giving up too much of ourselves. We’re not getting back what we put into the relationship, which makes it unhealthy and makes us demote our needs and wants. No relationship should cause us to neglect ourselves.
Another way in which we might give too much to the relationship is if we give up our lives in order to make the relationship successful. For example, if we stop seeing our male friends because our partner doesn’t want us to have male friends and we want to keep our partner happy. Giving up too much of ourselves to make our partner happy just means that we end up dissatisfied with the relationship because we’re sacrificing what’s important to us.
16Men Self-Sabotage: They Jump In Too Fast
Diving headfirst into a relationship can trip people up. There’s a reason why it’s always said that it’s good to take things slow in the early stages of dating: it’s easy to get caught up in the high of a relationship without really knowing if the person’s right for you or if the relationship’s really what you want.
A guy who moves quickly after meeting you might seem really interested in dating you, but he could very well end up sabotaging himself with this behavior. He might get ahead of himself, thinking that he’s found the perfect relationship. By moving too fast and having a whirlwind romance, a guy might also be looking for validation.
He might be desperate for someone to like him, which causes him to want to risk it all and jump into a relationship without first testing the water.
This can put pressure on him and it also pushes the relationship forward to something much more serious than it’s ready to be. It’s a bit like trying to make a flower bloom when it still has to grow a bud. That pressure will start to bring stress to the relationship, and it won’t give you positive results. In fact, the relationship will end as quickly as it started.
15It’s On Us: We Let Him Take The Lead
Who directs the relationship and where it goes? If our partner is the one who seems to be leading the relationship towards certain goals, that’s a problem. Both parties need to know what they want out of the relationship and where they want to go in their own lives. If we allow our partners to determine the future of the relationship, that basically means we’re just going to go along with their decisions.
Hello, whatever happened to relationships being mutual? It’s dangerous to blindly follow someone else because we might end up putting our relationship goals on the back-burner in favor of what our partners want to do.
It’s also healthy to step away from the relationship every now and then and do what’s important to you. This could include chasing your personal goals and dreams. If our partners are always in charge, we’re basically making our relationship and their wants our whole lives. But, it’s important to remember that our goals and lives are still important when we get a partner. They shouldn’t be replaced by our partner, but rather work with our relationship in a healthy way. If we throw everything aside to follow our partner, that’s no recipe for happiness.
14Men Self-Sabotage: They Compare Themselves To Other Men
The guy you’re dating might be a catch, but he can sabotage himself by constantly comparing himself to other men. He might compare himself when it comes to how buff (or not) he is, or when it comes to his life. Do other men have more status than him? Do other men make more money than him? Are other guys better looking than him?
This way of thinking could sabotage his relationships because he’ll always wonder if his woman is really happy with him.
It can even become something more extreme, such as if the guy has low self-confidence. He might assume that his girlfriends are always going to leave him for men he views as being better boyfriends. This can cause him to become jealous and possessive, and push people away.
It’s sad because comparing oneself to others can always make you feel short – there’ll always be someone who’s more attractive, smarter, and more successful than you. But, it’s worth remembering that life isn’t supposed to be a competition. By thinking that you’re not good enough, you focus on what you’re lacking and totally ignore what you have to offer someone. This can lead to lots of unhappy relationships.
13It’s On Us: We Focus Too Much On The Future
When we start dating someone new, it’s easy to start thinking about the future. We might have questions such as, will they commit to us? When will they make the relationship official? Will they love us? While it’s natural to want to see into the future of the relationship and suss out if our partners are in it for the long haul, it’s unhealthy to focus so much on the future that we ignore what’s happening right now.
We should be enjoying the early stages of our relationship because they’re fun and involve getting to know our partners. If we try to rush through them to answer our questions about the future, we risk missing out on opportunities to bond with our partners.
Focusing too much on the future can also cause us to feel anxious, which not only makes it difficult to enjoy the present but can sabotage our relationships. We might start to become clingy because we want our partners to commit to us, which will bring tense energy to the relationship, causing it to crash. Although it’s always a good thing to know that our partners are on the same page as us and to know where the relationship is headed, there’s more fun in the journey than the destination.
12Men Self-Sabotage: They Don’t Follow Through
If you’re dating someone who doesn’t keep his word, this can cause a huge problem in your relationship. You feel like you’re not being heard or appreciated. For example, if you ask your boyfriend to help you with something and he promises to come help you but then he doesn’t because something else comes up. In the early stages of dating, a guy who doesn’t keep his word might say he’ll call you or see you the next day, but then not get in touch with you.
Guys who act flaky sabotage their own relationships because they push their partners away with their empty promises and lack of follow through. Over time, this can cause resentment on the part of their partners as well as fighting in their relationship.
A guy who can’t commit to his word is just sabotaging his own happiness because people won’t wait around forever waiting for him to step up to the plate. In fact, a guy who doesn’t follow through is not someone who makes you feel you can trust him. After a while, you’ll also start thinking that you can’t trust his feelings for you because you might think that if he really liked you, he’d be honoring his word.
11It’s On Us: We Don’t Listen To Our Gut
Our intuition can guide us a lot in life and our relationships, but we might tune out those feelings. Intuition can try to get your attention by giving you physical symptoms, such as an accelerated heart rate, or by giving you emotional symptoms. You might feel that something’s just not right about a situation and it’s making you feel tense.
For example, if our gut is telling us that our partners aren’t good for us but we try to ignore that inner voice and stay with our partners. This can lead to relationship unhappiness while also making us sick.
If we ignore what our intuition is trying to tell us, this can lead us to feel anxious. For example, if we suspect our partner of seeing other women but we force ourselves to ignore the intuition we have about the situation. Over time, we’ll battle to fight the feeling that something is wrong, and this can make us feel depressed or anxious.
It’s just not worth our health or sanity! By focusing on our intuition, we can make the best choices for our relationships and avoid wasting time on people who we know in our heart of hearts are wrong for us.
10Men Self-Sabotage: They Think Relationships Are Negative
When you enter into relationships with people, you might not realize that they’re carrying baggage in the form of how they view relationships. This baggage might be good baggage, such as if they believe that relationships are about finding someone to share their life with. In this case, their baggage will be filled with all the good things they’ve learned from relationships and they will be focused on nurturing relationships.
But sometimes the baggage people are carrying is unhealthy. Someone might have baggage that’s negative, such as if it’s filled with beliefs that relationships are a way for women to trap men.
Having these beliefs can get in the way of relationships because they will influence the person’s behavior.
A guy who thinks relationships are negative might be defensive or expect the relationship to fail. He might come across as cynical about love, which means the relationship won’t be able to progress naturally and in a healthy way.
We’re a product of our beliefs, so if they’re negative when it comes to relationships, they will cause the relationships to be negative. You can’t have a positive relationship if you have negative thoughts about it. As with anything in life, our thoughts are the most powerful thing: they can either uplift us or sabotage us.
9It’s On Us: We Try To Be The Chilled Girlfriend Instead Of Being Real
We might hear that men want women who are mellow and low-maintenance, so we try to be those things in order to keep men interested in us. But what if we’re not the chilled, easygoing girlfriend? That doesn’t have to be a bad thing! In fact, many men will tell you that they want women to be real instead of being the happy-go-lucky woman who never brings drama their way.
The problem is that we try to ignore our real feelings and thoughts so as not to turn-off the men we are dating. In doing so, we actually ignore our individuality and real selves. We should be loved for who we really are, not for trying to be something we’re not. If we don’t believe that, we’re getting into relationships that are doomed to fail because we’re not being ourselves. We’re trying to make a fake relationship work and we’re wasting our time as well as our partner’s time – he’s dating someone who doesn’t even exist!
It takes strength for us to be who we are, but it’s so much more rewarding because it means that when we’re loved, we’re loved for all our qualities and faults. That’s so much more empowering and satisfying.
8Men Self-Sabotage: They’re Confused About What They Want
A guy who’s not sure about what he wants is like a captain who doesn’t know where his ship’s headed. He’s the guy who’ll tell you he wants to “casually date” but then give you signs that he’s interested in being official with you. It’s frustrating to date someone who doesn’t really know what he wants in a relationship because he’s the classic self-saboteur.
He wants to be in a relationship, but then he acts like doesn’t. Or, deep down he doesn’t really want to commit to a partner, but he acts like he does. What the heck?
People who are so confused about dating should remain single until they know what they want because it’s not fair to their partners to go through that rollercoaster ride again and again.
One of the worst things you can do when dating a confused guy is waiting around for him to make up his mind. Chances are, his confusion might not be easily sorted out, meaning that you’ll waste your time on someone who’s not worth it. A guy who self-sabotages himself because he’s so confused really needs some time to figure himself out, so walking away can actually be the best thing for him.
7It’s On Us: We Try To Fix Them
When a man seems unable to commit, instead of walking away from him we might stay in the relationship and think that we can change the guy. Perhaps we think that over time, he’ll realize just how much we love him and therefore be more open to committing. Or we think that by sorting out a guy’s psychological issues, we can teach him how to love.
Trying to fix people never works – people have to want to change and nothing we do can make them change. While being a rescuer in the relationship won’t help us get the partner we want because he’s not a WIP, it also makes us hurt ourselves.
We spend so much time and energy on trying to fix our partners that we don’t realize this is taking all of our resources away from ourselves and our lives. The result? The relationship becomes toxic, draining us of energy and keeping us stuck in a relationship that’s unbalanced because we’re doing all the work. Although our intentions are good because we want to help people and have good relationships, we sabotage ourselves because we don’t end up feeling happy. It’s impossible to feel good about trying to change someone. It’s not worth the pain.
6Men Self-Sabotage: They Don’t Express Themselves
Men can sabotage relationships by not expressing their feelings. While not being able to communicate verbally is one thing, some men manage to express themselves through their actions. As described on Bolde, men can show that they’re interested in you in non-verbal ways, such as how they kiss you and listen to what you have to say. But some guys don’t even do that!
They leave you completely in the dark about what they’re thinking and feeling, which can make you wonder if they’re just mysterious or not investing in your relationship at all. They might not even express much of their feelings in other areas of their life.
For example, when they’re upset, they might not tell you why or talk about their feelings, which leaves you with lots of unanswered questions.
Sooner or later, you’re likely to walk away from this guy because he doesn’t show who he really is and that’s no foundation for a relationship. A healthy relationship is one in which both parties share who they are with, and learn about, each other. It’s impossible to learn about who a guy is if he’s not willing to open up. He’s just sabotaging his own chances at happiness.
5It’s On Us: We Make Excuses For Their Bad Behavior
When the guy we’re dating cancels our date for the third time, we try to tell ourselves that he’s just busy. When he takes his bad mood out on us, we tell ourselves he’s just going through a tough time at work and we should be more supportive. Our friends might express concern for why we’re always making excuses for him, and we might even use the biggest excuse of all, “But I love him.”
Making excuses for a guy’s bad behavior is an easy way to sabotage ourselves and our relationship. It means we’re neglecting our needs and wants, choosing to believe in someone who’s hurting us all the time. What for? We might think we’re making these excuses for the good of the relationship and to show the guy we’re really in love with him, but in reality, we’re just coming across as a doormat people can take advantage of.
Putting our needs last doesn’t work! It just causes us to sacrifice and lose ourselves. Even worse, it’s all happening for an unhealthy relationship, which isn’t even worth our time. Just because we love our partners, it doesn’t mean they should get away with things that don’t meet our standards or bring us down. We matter and should show ourselves some of the love we’re so willing to show others.
4Men Self-Sabotage: They’re Afraid To Commit
Here’s the age-old question: is fear of commitment a real thing? We hear this a lot from guys in the dating scene and wonder if they’re just using the excuse of being afraid of commitment because they don’t want to date us. According to an article in the Independent, a fear of commitment is real, and it usually stems from troubled relationships the people had with their parents when they were children. If the bond between parent and child is disrupted, then that can cause commitment problems for the child when he grows up and becomes an adult.
Typical signs that you’re dealing with a guy who’s afraid of commitment include an inability to make future plans and how he seems to battle with maintaining the relationship when you’re not together.
For instance, he might seem super-interested in you when you’re together but then not text you when you’re apart, leaving you wondering why he’s giving you mixed messages. Just because a fear of commitment is seen as a legit issue by some experts, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be worked through. But, before you go ahead and try to fix your man, understand that he’s got to want to work through his emotional baggage.
3It’s On Us: We Think All Men Are Going To Hurt Us
Going through difficult relationships isn’t easy and the heartache we experience doesn’t vanish the minute those relationships end. Often, we can carry forward the negativity, such as by thinking other men are going to treat us in the same bad way that previous men did. Some women end up becoming highly cynical of love and men, making generalized statements such as, “All men are liars” or “All men end up hurting their partners.”
Having these strong views can hurt us more than the men we are telling them to. Although they can make us feel that we’re protecting our hearts against future heartbreak, they’re really just blocking our path to true love. How can we welcome a great love into our lives if we’re expecting it to be bad for us? If we date men and constantly wait for them to show us their true colors, we’re missing out on the fact that they might actually be great people!
The only person these beliefs hurt is ourselves because they make us miss out on relationships that prove there are still good people out there. And there really are! We might not be seeing them because we’re still looking at the world through the lens of how our exes treated us.
2Men Self-Sabotage: They’re Afraid Of Losing Themselves To Love
This is an interesting one because it’s often the reason why people seem afraid of commitment, only they’re not really afraid to commit, they’re afraid that they’re going to lose important things by falling in love. For example, they might fear that they’re going to change or not have time for the things they used to enjoy once they get a partner.
The thing to remember is that love does come with a price. There will be things that will change in your life when you let love through the door.
An example is your connection to your other loved ones. Research conducted by the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University has found that men and women both tend to lose an average of two friends when they start a new relationship.
The person who’s afraid to love might fear losing more than friends, such as their identity. But interestingly, this fear could really be a form of self-rejection. According to an article in the Huffington Post, a person who fears losing themselves in a relationship might end up ignoring their own feelings and needs in the relationship, choosing to reject who they are in favor of loving someone else. The fear of doing these things in a relationship is really what causes these people to avoid relationships, not the relationships themselves!
1It’s On Us: We Try Too Hard
There’s playing hard to get and then there’s playing hard. This is when we make a serious effort when dating someone to show him that we’re interested in him. We don’t want to play games, but instead be honest and real. Although those are good qualities, they can sabotage our relationships because we might come across as desperate by giving away too much of ourselves too quickly.
As much as we want to show the guy how much we like him, we shouldn’t overdo it. We should make some effort, but not go overboard. It’s healthier to pace ourselves and wait for him to show some interest so that we both give and take in the same way. After all, it’s awkward if we’re going the extra mile and they’re not even meeting us halfway.
Sometimes, we try too hard to impress the guy we’re dating because we’re really afraid that we’ll lose him. We think that we have to jump through hoops to keep him interested, but the opposite tends to happen – he loses interest. By making lots of effort, we’re really sending the message that we don’t believe we’re valuable as we are. We think that we have to be loved for what we do, which is ridiculous! Worst of all, it can push people away because they’ll wonder why we’re trying so hard. It comes across as having a hidden agenda.