Self-sabotage in love, how to avoid it?

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Joe Dispenza

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Self-sabotage in love, how to avoid it?

Some people think that love is synonymous with suffering. This leads them to self-sabotage, or to boycott their love affairs.

Last update: June 12, 2022

Self-sabotage in love occurs when you engage in conduct that hinders the relationship. You don't want to end or damage the bond, quite the opposite: you want it to thrive. However, many times one unknowingly acts against the same.

Another form of self-sabotage in love is when one begins to seek or invent reasons to devalue the relationship or find flaws that don't exist. You feel love for your partner and want the best for the relationship, but you also harbor ideas of rejection or discomfort.

"Self-sabotage makes us believe that it is better to terminate the relationship and not make any changes so as to remain in the comfort zone and not lose control."

-Silvia Sanz-

Nonetheless, the relationship never reaches a certain level of commitment and this causes sadness. How come this happens? How can you avoid it?

Self-sabotage in love prevents you from evolving as a couple towards a more stable bond.

Self-sabotage in love

Self-sabotage in love occurs when a relationship is good, the other person gives the best of himself, but despite this behaviors are adopted that generate distance or conflict.

In this way you boycott your own well-being and happiness, as well as those of your partner. Even if you want to get the exact opposite, you end up deteriorating the relationship.

This happens because self-sabotage acts as a defense mechanism. Defend yourself from what? Don't leave the comfort zone. Love is a wonderfully disturbing presence, and many people feel comfortable in the absence of change.

Underlying it is fear and insecurity. In love there is always a percentage of pain, because among human beings nothing is perfect. The other is lacking in something or does not always correspond to our ideals. It is also possible to fear being left behind or appreciated enough.

Following this, unconsciously we defend ourselves from the possibility of suffering, changing and demanding too much of ourselves. There is an ambiguous desire: on the one hand, you want with all your heart for the relationship to grow and strengthen; on the other hand, one is terrified that it won't happen. The risk and uncertainty seem excessive and self-sabotage in love comes to the rescue to protect themselves.

Other causes

To understand self-sabotage in love and overcome it, it is important to look at its causes. As anticipated, the main cause is fear, which is expressed as a feeling of threat and results in defensive behavior.

In these cases, it is common to feel happiness and anxiety at the same time. Other possible reasons for self-sabotage in love are as follows:

  • Anxiety due to uncertainty about the future.
  • Feeling of lack of control over the situation.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Discomfort in the presence of novelty.
  • Desire for self-punishment, due to unconscious feelings of guilt.
The main disadvantage of people who self-sabotage in love is that they don't accept being afraid.

How to solve self-sabotage in love?

When self-sabotage is present in love, enjoying the relationship is impossible, even if that's what you want.

Suddenly, the person feels more vulnerable and this causes the seed of worry to grow within him that turns into fear. The problem is, he doesn't admit to being afraid.

To resolve this situation, the first step is to admit and tolerate the feeling of vulnerability and fear. No reasonable person wants to suffer, so it is normal to feel a little apprehensive. The important thing is not to allow this to take over and lead to sabotaging the relationship.

Such conduct is very common in people who they had a childhood with emotional shortages, they grew up in a dysfunctional family or have had previous negative love experiences that marked them. In all cases, the way out is not to deny love, but to resolve and work on that past.


Love enriches and it is true that it causes a margin of pain, but it contributes much more to growth. We are able to feel pain and process it.

If we have not succeeded so far, perhaps it is because we have not found the right way to do it. Either way, depriving yourself of a partner causes suffering. If the fear is excessive, a psychotherapist can help.

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