Most relationships fail, and nearly half of American adults are unmarried. Why can’t we find love, and why don’t relationships last? Paradoxically, as much as we want love, we also fear it. Fear of not being loved is the greatest reason we don’t find love and sabotage it in our relationships. In other words, we can create our worst fear by trying to avoid it. To people who pursue love but attract distancers, this may sound ridiculous. We’d all like to blame our partner or bad luck, but that’s only half the story.
There are hidden reasons we thwart love. Our fears aren’t usually conscious. They include fear of physical or emotional abandonment (not being loved) that includes fear of rejection and fear of remaining unloved and alone. Toxic shame is the main culprit that feeds these fears that sabotage love. It takes many forms.
Shame Thwarts Love
Shame fosters the belief that we’re unlovable and unworthy of connection. Our beliefs motivate our feelings and behavior. They’re like the operating system in our mind-ware. Unfortunately, many negative beliefs run in the background and, like viruses, derail our conscious intentions. Shame-based ideas that we’re undeserving of good, happiness, and love can sabotage our desires and block or push love away. Bottom line: We won’t believe we’re acceptable to others if we don’t accept ourselves. However, we can change our beliefs.