In general, having limiting beliefs does not help you in life. They set you up for failure, they keep you from growing and developing as a person, they keep you stagnant (even locking you in toxic relationships), and they prevent you from trying new opportunities.
It’s essential to become aware of the limiting beliefs you have and to eliminate them to enjoy healthy relationships (and avoid sabotaging them).
You can only start this process when you know what to look for, so here are limiting belief examples you may have about love.
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What Are Limiting Beliefs in a Romantic Relationship?
A limiting belief is any belief, opinion, or thought you have that limits you in some way. When you have these beliefs (and pretty much all of us do since they are often subconscious), you think they are absolute truths, but they aren’t.
They are just an opinion you use as a defense mechanism or coping strategy to “protect” you.
While you believe these limiting beliefs are protecting you from getting hurt, from feeling stress, and from dealing with challenging feelings, in essence, they hold you back from experiencing life to the fullest and becoming who you authentically are.
When you have limiting beliefs in romantic relationships, you have certain beliefs, ideas, or thoughts about yourself in romantic situations, about your partner, and about the relationship. And these limiting beliefs sabotage your relationship or prevent you from getting your feet wet in the dating pool.
7 Examples of Limiting Beliefs That Break Your Relationship
Here are the best (or worst) limiting belief examples you have about love, romance, and relationships and how these hold you back from love.
1. I am not worthy of love.
The other variation of “I’m not worthy of love” is “I don’t deserve love.” I don’t like the word “deserve” because it feels like an entitlement issue, so “worthy” is more accurate and fitting.
Many people don’t believe they are worthy of love because they don’t think they are good enough, and let’s face it, it is easier to shower someone with love and kindness than it is to be kind and love ourselves. Like the saying goes, we are our own worst critics and enemies.
When you don’t think you can accept love from a partner (or kids) in your life, you’ll reject love matches or candidates that are a healthy and good fit. You’ll also pick fights and do things (whether intentionally or unintentionally) to “protect” your heart from breaking when the relationship doesn’t work out. Or you’ll avoid dating and bury yourself in work.
2. A romantic relationship results in a loss of independence and identity.
You may believe that dating and being in a committed relationship means the person owns you and your independence flies out of the window. Even worse, you lose your identity in a relationship and there’s only an “us” and not a “me,” a “you,” and an “us.”
But that isn’t true – unless you let it happen. And this is why it’s essential to have boundaries and teach people – including your would-be boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife – how to treat you.
In healthy, safe, and loving relationships, your partner will encourage you to be independent and to be the you they fell in love with, and they wouldn’t try to change you.
3. All relationships fail and end in heartbreak.
One reason you may jump from one night stand to one night stand is because you believe that no romantic relationship will last. And I get it.
Hollywood is filled with broken relationships and marriages that don’t work out. And you may even feel it closer to home if your parents got divorced or others in your family have relationship after relationship, never finding the right person to stick it out with.
If you don’t settle for less and actually invest in finding the one that’s right for you, and you both fully commit to making your relationship work, yours could make the distance.
4. Being emotionally vulnerable is dangerous.
It’s not easy to be emotionally vulnerable. In fact, it takes quite a lot of courage. And without vulnerability (and building intimacy), you can’t have love, joy, belonging, empathy, creativity, or courage.
As Brené Brown phrases it clearly, “Vulnerability … is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
When you start showing up and putting yourself out there (for the right people, of course, since you shouldn’t be emotionally vulnerable with an unsafe or toxic person), you’ll see how much more love there is and how wonderful it can feel to just be and not hide.
5. The potential love matches I like don’t or wouldn’t like me.
When you don’t believe that another person will like you, you probably don’t feel like you are interesting enough or have anything to offer the person or romantic relationship.
Stick to your guns (aka your strengths, while you work on your shortcomings), and don’t take someone not liking you back personally. That says more about them in any case than it does about you, and it simply means they aren’t the right person for you.
6. I’d just get bored being tied down to someone.
When you believe that you’ll get bored if you are in a relationship, it’s simply a cop out to not be with anyone. But how do you know you’ll get bored?
I had a similar limiting belief until I found my soulmate (my husband). After more than a decade together, I can honestly say that I’m not bored at all. My husband is my person, and we gel together. We balance each other out and keep each other honest, and I’m always interested to hear about his day, no matter how “boring” it may sound to another person.
This is part of what true love is. Showing up, being there, keeping space, and choosing to be interested.
7. I’m not handsome or pretty or smart enough to find love.
Only those successful and rich people find true love, right? What about those who are way more handsome or prettier than you?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you may not be attractive to every person looking to date, and that’s okay. Trust me, you wouldn’t want everyone to like you.
You need to accept yourself and believe that you are worthy, that you are beautiful or handsome, and that you are intelligent. Thinking positively and speaking positive words and phrases to yourself has immense power and makes your life better.
Be secure in who you are, and the right person will love you exactly as you are. You wouldn’t want someone to only love the happy, smiley, successful you; it’s more important to find someone who’ll sit with you in the dark (in times of challenge and failure).
Final Thoughts on the Power of Breaking Limiting Beliefs
Allow me to let you in on a little secret: You have the power to become aware of your limiting beliefs about love and romantic relationships, and you have the power to overcome those limiting beliefs so you can thrive and enjoy safe and healthy relationships.
Don’t let something as simple as a belief (that isn’t fact) destroy your life or cause you to sabotage what could be great relationships. You are worthy of love, so start by loving yourself first.