The Reasons Why You Self-Sabotage When Dating and How to Stop

By 4 March, 2019 October 13th, 2020 Blog, Dating Tips

Ever wondered the reasons why you or others may self-sabotage when dating and how to stop?

I mean do you meet someone great and then fall down the slippery slope of self-sabotage?

Do you even find yourself saying you won’t self-sabotage again but just end up acting the same way when it comes to dating/relationships and love?

Or maybe you don’t even realise that you are doing it?

It is all too easy to self-sabotage  if you have been hurt in a past relationship where you totally opened yourself up to love.

You may want someone in your life but push them away in a million different ways!

You are not alone and I see this behaviour with many of my clients.

Why do you Self-sabotage?

Self-sabotage is generally an unconscious behaviour and it is your sub-conscious mind keeping you safe from being hurt again. In fact, if you have been hurt in love then your sub-conscious mind sees love as unsafe and will do anything to protect you from the same pain. It can feel particularly frustrating as it appears you have no control over your actions.

Self-sabotage as a term is a little misleading as no-one wants to deliberately cause themselves pain or stop themselves being happy and  having that they want. The truth is this unconscious behaviour occurs to keep you safe. All behaviour, good and bad, has a positive intent, even the ones that frustrate you and cause you pain. While it may not get the result you ultimately want it is getting you what you need – like keeping you safe. Although this instinct can be counter productive in the area of love.

Self-sabotage keeps great people single.

It shows up in so many ways, some very obvious and some not so obvious.

How Self-sabotage Shows up:

  • Self-sabotage can show up  in judgemental behaviour towards yourself and the other person. As well as with high expectations that are difficult to meet. This of course will keep you safe and push the other person away.
  • It can show up in how you treat people you date through your words and your actions.
  • You will see self-sabotage when you act in a way you that know is unacceptable with the aim to still see if the person will still accept you.
  • Drinking too much or using drugs is another sign.
  • Flirting in their company.
  • Saying hurtful things.
  • Being overly critical
  • Not saying what you want
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Being passive aggressive
  • Believing they will leave you and acting in a way to make that happen
  • Not dating is of course the ultimate self-sabotage as well as .resistance to meeting new people

What do you Do to Stop Self-sabotage?

Step 1 – Awareness

Awareness is the first step towards changing self-sabotaging behaviour and it is important for you to recognise why you are acting the way that you are.

It is important to identify what triggers your self-sabotage, it might seem like it comes out of nowhere but this is never the case. When you take the time to look at how you respond to the triggers and what happens you will find your answers. When you are aware of what sets you off you can then put strategies in place to act differently.

It is important to take the time to look at your actions and the reasons behind them. You may want/need some help to do this and at Dare2Date we are able to help you navigate changing your self-sabotaging patterns.

Step 2 – Heal

It is then important to heal the pain and the hurts of the past, otherwise you will continue to bring them forward into each new relationship.

By taking responsibility for how you’ve been sabotaging your past relationships you are then able to take the power seat to make some real changes in your life. Every relationship comes into your life to teach you something, the lesson could as simple as learning to value yourself and have healthy boundaries. If you fail to learn the lesson you will often repeat the experience until you do.

When you come from a healthy emotional state you will attract a healthy relationship into your life. It is an example of like attracting like and self-fulfilling prophecies.

Step 3 – Deal with the Fear

If you have been hurt in love then  the fear can be overwhelming and can affect how you act. You may not be aware of the level of the fear, until you meet someone new. It is important to realise that if you have taken the previous steps of self-awareness and healing the past you don’t need to fear that the same thing will happen again. Instead of focusing on what will go wrong, focus on what is good and how it feels. Also, be rational about the facts rather than getting carried away with fear.

Step 4 – Trust your Intuition

Trust your gut feeling when it comes to a relationship. Subconsciously you may know that the relationship isn’t right for you and that is the reason that you are self-sabotaging. Always listen to that deep gut feeling, your neuroception (sixth sense) as it can actually be keeping you from having your heart broken.


I specialise in working with singles who are stuck in the self-sabotage cycle to break this toxic pattern!  So they are able to create the relationship they have only imagined. Simply book a free discovery call here or call 6q1450 771 382.

Debbie xxoxx

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