You (or your partner) might not even know.
After the last soul-sucking relationship I had, I definitely gave up on romance for a while (without even being aware of it).
“Have you ever wondered: why is dating so difficult? Or feel like no matter how hard you try, you cannot seem to get lucky in love? If you have had bad experiences trying to pursue romantic relationships, it may feel like the best thing to do is to throw the towel in, give up on love, and save yourself the heartache.
Dating can be a scary experience; being vulnerable is not always something that sits well with us as humans and we can be avoidant when it comes to finding a romantic partner.” ~ Psych2Go
To help you explore further, here are a few signs you might’ve given up on love unintentionally:
1. If a date doesn’t go well or to plan, you shut down.
You have crazy high expectations for a possible (or current) heartthrob and often find yourself disappointed. And then when you realize the connection you’d been so ready for is not there right away, you beat yourself up.
“I’ll never find love.” “I’ll be alone forever.”
Rather than giving it a chance to grow, you squash your emotions.
2. You avoid meeting new people.
You say things like:
“I know how it’s gonna go.” “It’s never going to work out.”
But you’ve closed off the opportunity before it even had a chance. Opening up to someone is always scary, but the day you stop wanting to try in any capacity might indicate the day you’ve given up on love.
3. You feel jealous when you’re around or see other couples.
The third wheel life: you feel yourself drifting further and further away from friends and family members who are in relationships. Whether you’re cognizant of it or not, being around romance might be too much for you to handle.
4. “Everybody is playing games.”
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of gaslighting, game-playing, ghosting, or anything like that, you’re probably pretty skeptical. These negative experiences might’ve caused you to build a fortress around your emotions and heart. It might feel easier to label everyone as a “game-player” than it is to expose yourself to the pain.
5. You’re considering settling down with someone you don’t truly love.
If you’re at the point where you’re willing to settle for Mr. or Mrs. “good enough,” it might be a result of you losing faith in the prospect of love. It’s one thing to love and accept people for their flaws/shortcomings; it’s another thing entirely to consciously partner up with someone you don’t feel for.
6. You think you’re unable to love someone deeply and truly.
You might question if your previous relationships were “real love.” You might start to doubt the essence of love, in general. When you go down this path, if the love was real, you wonder why that wasn’t enough. Or why you weren’t enough. And then you spiral downward into a mindset of “maybe love is not a possibility for me.”
All of these signs are possible indicators of someone who is emotionally unavailable, but it doesn’t mean there is no hope. And it definitely doesn’t mean there is something wrong. Sometimes it’s important for us to heal and be alone before we enter into a new relationship.
For me, number six was where I was for a long time. I can see it now that I’m on the other side, but it was subtle. I wasn’t a man-hater or the crying-in-my-room-to-Netflix type. I just “didn’t care.” I didn’t want to find love. I wanted everything else life had to offer. I still dated and had fun, but it was skin-deep. Nobody was entering the fortress of my heart.
(Well, until I met the man who flipped my world upside-down.)