I Don’t Want To Be Single But I Keep Ruining My Chances Of Finding Love

I’ve been flying solo for two years now and while I don’t hate being single, being alone for so long does kinda suck. I constantly find myself in an internal battle between what I want and what I won’t let myself have because of the pain I’ve encountered in the past. I’m pretty sure that’s why I sabotage all my potential relationships.

I associate love with pain. Because I’ve only ever had one serious boyfriend, I had no prior romantic experience to compare my relationship to. I confused manipulation with passion and let him take advantage of me. Now I can’t think about falling in love again without reliving the hurt that accompanied those feelings. The idea of being in a relationship doesn’t seem as tempting when you equate adoration with heartache.

I get scared when someone tries to get close to me. My friends have told me that I have invisible stun guns and zap anyone if they get too close. Even though they’re joking, I can’t say that I disagree with them. Another failed relationship devastates me so much that when someone wants to take the next step, I shut them out. I make up excuses about why it won’t work to make myself feel better about cutting off a good thing.

I stopped giving people the benefit of the doubt. Eventually, I started to believe that no one was genuine and everyone was out to screw me over. I assume the worst from the get-go, which can sometimes lead me to become defensive, confrontational, and downright bitchy. If someone made even the slightest mistake, I’d presume they were out to get me and would ax the situation before it even had the chance to flourish.

When I do try to date, I attract emotionally unavailable men. I inevitably appeal to men who are just as psychologically wrecked as I am. I certainly do have a type: tall, dark and handsome with a neon sign reading “a-hole” plastered across their forehead. Subconsciously I know I do this because it’s safe. If I become involved with someone who puts up a wall then the connection never needs to go to the next level and I won’t be in a position to be let down. The problem is that I deprive myself of the affection I know I crave, which eventually leaves me hurting anyway.

Being so young, I’m afraid we’ll both hold each other back. These days, people in their twenties have bigger fish to fry than settling down into a serious relationship and starting a family. Dating guys who are just as young as I am scares me into believing that we’ll hold each other back from accomplishing our dreams because we’re too preoccupied with each other.

I pretend to be emotionless so guys think they can’t hurt me. Rihanna first released “Needed Me” in 2016 and every girl since then has strived to be a savage. Especially me. I often pride myself on not having feelings and therefore never giving a man the power to bring me down. I only pretend to be this way so men don’t think they’re able to get one over on me. The issue here is that dating involves allowing yourself to be vulnerable at times. Because I’m not willing to do this, no one is willing to open up to me in return. Ultimately, this causes me to form frigid, impersonal arrangements that leave both parties drained and unfulfilled.

I don’t want to give my whole self away fearing that it will be used against me. Before my breakup, I loved ferociously, wore my heart on my sleeve, and gave everything I had when it came to making my relationship work. Somewhere deep inside, that girl still exists, only this time she’s proceeding with a lot more caution. I know what I’m capable of bringing to the table but I won’t allow myself to fully open up and form real, meaningful connections.

I don’t like feeling rushed. What I find extremely weird about dating is that people, especially guys, never have a gray area. They either want nothing to do with you or they want to marry you within the next week. I’m someone who analyzes all sides of a situation and needs to walk before they run. If I feel the relationship is moving too fast, I’ll instantly become defensive instead of asking to slow things down.

I play too many games. In my prior relationship, it always felt like there was a power struggle between the two of us to see who had the upper hand. Since I always allowed myself to be upfront and honest about how I felt, I would constantly lose these battles and have my affections taken for granted. Now when I’m talking to someone, I play a calculated game of chess with my feelings, actions, and responses. I’ll wait to text back, ignore them for days at a time, or hold back from sharing my actual thoughts and desires. This brings me to believe that I won’t be able to give my significant other what they need in terms of emotional support due to my lack of believing their pursuits are sincere. Ugh.

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