1. “There are no good men/women left.”
We start our list with a classic. The people who say that there are no good men left are often characterized as bitter and the people who say that there are no good women left often lean on methods of manipulation. These types of people are often stereotyped because they all do and say the same things.
Even when given examples of successful relationships spanning several years, the people who believe this thought believe that the relationship is a con and that the couple are secretly having the same problems as “everyone.”
The reason this belief is so prevalent is because when you look at the experiences of those who say this cliché, they really had gone through many painful experiences. Name a form of abuse, they’ve probably experienced it.
2. “Being with unavailable people is familiar and therefore safe.”
Humans fear the unknown. If you put people who are familiar with calamity in a situation that is safe, it will never feel safe because calamity is what is familiar. And whatever is familiar is safe. It is this programming that keep people stuck in patterns throughout their lives.
People with this belief may even justify their decisions by saying things like,
“I didn’t feel a spark.”
“I should be with this person, even though they have a fear of commitment.”
“Even though they self-medicate, I should try to be with this person.”
And when they inevitably get frustrated by the person who is failing to give them what they want, they try to make a spark by creating conflict or by trying to change the other person.
3. “I can change them.”
People believe this because they wanted to change the caregivers of their formative years. Obviously they couldn’t because they were just children, so they had to suck it up. Now they’re adults and they need to make unsafe, unavailable people into what they want. They may even try to make safe, available people into being as miserable as they are.
Ultimately, you can’t change people. Moreover, it’s unkind to even try. Who gives you the authority to dictate how someone should be? Who gave anyone the permission to tell you how to be?
Even if someone has a problem that is impeding them from a happier, healthier life, are you deciding to help for their sake or for your own? Trying to change people is not that different from trying to use people. People are not devices to make you feel better about yourself and your life.
4. “Rejection is bad.”
I once asked a woman out to lunch but she didn’t return my calls to figure out what time to meet up. For whatever reason she didn’t want to meet with me so I left her alone.
I quite literally just found out from a mutual friend of ours that the same woman was talking of distancing herself from my friend simply because they had a recent disagreement.
In this scenario, it’s clear to see that rejection isn’t that bad. Sometimes it’s a blessing in disguise. I could’ve pushed to get things my way but now I can see that I was right to let it be. But when you believe the blanket statement that rejection is bad, it is because of being rejected in the past.
As a result, there is a craving for acceptance. But even being accepted can sometimes be a regret. I’m sure the people on the Titanic would’ve traded places with those who failed to make the maiden and only voyage.
People who fear rejection are people who were rejected as children and are currently rejecting themselves. If they were to get rejected again, it only twists a knife in the unhealed wound.
5. “People are either good or bad.”
This is an example of black and white thinking which is a cognitive distortion. No one in the world is entirely good or bad, and to think otherwise is to be naïve to the nature of mankind.
Therefore, when one is in a relationship and their partner does something they don’t like, someone who gives into the notion that people are either good or bad will throw the baby out with the bathwater. They will feel utterly betrayed because their partner has a difference in opinion or personality.
6. “I have to be with someone.”/”I have to be alone.”
On the one hand, you have the folks that are anxiously attached, and on the other hand, you have the people who are avoidant-attached. You also have the individuals who do a bit of both, the anxious-avoidant.
If you have the anxious attachment style, you need a relationship in order to feel whole and will do whatever it takes to get your guy or gal. If you suffer from the avoidant attachment style, relationships have been seen to cause great pain. But because relationships are a natural and unavoidable part of life, you will do your best to get what you need from people but to also keep yourself safe from any potential pain.
And if you find yourself in the anxious-avoidant attachment style, you will pine for love where you cannot get it and push it away when it makes itself available to you. It’s obvious that not everyone who rejects you made the right choice just as you shouldn’t be with someone just because they like you. But there will be people that you should’ve avoided and there will be people that deserved a chance.
Ultimately, these aren’t all the beliefs that block people from finding love but these are the very common ones. But what they all have in common is that they are distorted or immature perspectives that were caused by pain from early relationships.
The solution to these is to adopt a practice of self-love where you learn that you are an inherently incredible person. By doing this, you realize that the thoughts of judgment towards others are unfair because these are thoughts that you could levy on yourself and that others could levy on you. But because you know you are good, you do not entertain anything that isn’t affirming or helpful.
You will also realize that the need to protect yourself is unnecessary. People may have taken their negative emotions and attacked you with it in the past, but no one is doing that now. As a matter of fact, it was you who was attacking you. This is why rejection was fearful and why some of us need to get love to feel safe or to stay away from relationships if they become smothering.
So if you see yourself in any of the beliefs mentioned above, that’s okay. Accept that and then make the decision to treat yourself better. Your future self will thank you for it.