15 Negative Thoughts To Avoid If You're Trying To Find A Lasting Relationship
If you're looking for love (like most of us are), you might want to think twice before taking yourself down or putting excess negativity and strain on a relationship. If you're trying to find a real relationship, you'll want to be more positive in your approach. Meaning: you'll need to be more positive around your SO, especially if it's new, and you'll want to be more open-minded to love and be authentic, where you know just how much you're worth. If you start bringing in fear, doubt, reservation, and a fake character, you're likely to miss out on something that could be amazing down the road.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on finding happiness in their relationships, and that mostly comes from being yourself and letting your SO be genuine, as well. Of course, when you're being authentic, you're bound to express the good and the bad in terms of thoughts and emotions, so your partner better be prepared to take it all in. (And visa versa, here.) Yet, if you're always bitter or pissed AF, it might be too much to handle, especially if you're known to hold grudges or let things linger too long.
Plus, it's not just negative thoughts around a new partner you should consider, but also the negative thoughts that you might have that could prevent you from putting yourself out there in the first place. If there's too much pressure and doubt, you won't give yourself a fair chance in finding love and matching with someone. The gist? Know when to keep negative feelings to yourself and when to change those bad thoughts to positive ones, for better mental health. Here are 15 negative thoughts to avoid if you're looking to build a stable relationship for the future.
1. "I need someone to be complete."
You need to love yourself and feel whole as is if you want to open up to someone else, explains Dr. Natalie Feinblatt, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, over email with Bustle. "You are already complete! Two halves creating a whole is not the foundation for a lasting healthy relationship. Two whole people coming together to make one awesome couple IS that foundation," Feinblatt explains.
2. "I don't want to miss the one."
"This thought creates an expectation of perfection, that there is one perfect person out there for you. Also it puts a lot of pressure on you to find & secure this person," says Feinblatt. "It can also make people pick partners who fall short of their needs/wants because they are too scared to let go of someone who might be "The One," Feinblatt adds. Instead, go in with openness and see how things progress without all the stress.
3. "It's not going to work out."
Don't set yourself up for disappointment without even getting to know your date, first. Going into a new relationship thinking that it's going to end up being like the last (which was clearly a failure) gives that new relationship a ticking time bomb. Instead, feel it out and be hopeful.
4. "He's not like my ex."
Never compare your relationship or your SO to an ex-boyfriend. Just don't do it. They are different people, and things clearly didn't work out for you two, anyway. "If you compare the relationship you are currently in with one that didn’t work out in the past, then you could be setting up your relationship up to fail. Enjoy the magic and joy of your relationship. Give your partner a fair chance and an open heart," says life coach Zakiyya Rosebelle and author of the book “Laugh, Love, Lick Chocolate Frosting!”over email with Bustle.
5. "He's not my type."
Defining your ideal partner based on assumptions or specific preferences may limit your potential for happiness. "You could be surprised by the kind of person you end up falling in love with. He or she could turn out to be the most caring and wonderful partner," says Rosebelle. Give yourself a chance to get to know someone knew and realize a "type" doesn't really exist, here.
6. "You're going to cheat on me."
If you’ve been cheated on in the past, you may develop a suspicion that all people cheat, explains Kareem C. Puranda NCC, LPC, LCAS, Self-Talk Counseling & Consulting, PLLC, over email with Bustle. "This creates anxiety, which leads to behaviors that will stress and strain everyone involved. Avoid distrust, lack of communication and fear of commitment," Puranda says.
7. "I'm going to screw this relationship up."
If it's the right person, then being your real self should never mess it up. It simply means it wasn't going to work out because you're just not compatible. "Breakdowns, when they happen, are context for new creation. If the relationship is not destined to go forward, that will become clear. Don’t repress your true and authentic self, because that will only come out later anyway. Be free. Be bold. Make moves," says couples mediator, John C.. Hoelle, over email with Bustle.
8. "You're out of my league."
You might mess up a relationship that has the potential to be great if you’re constantly doubting your own worth. "An honest partner will leave you due to your lack of self-esteem. It also calls into question their judgement in being with you in the first place," says Julie Wadley, certified relationship coach and owner of a boutique matchmaking and coaching company, over email with Bustle. What's more, "a dishonest partner will see this as an opportunity to walk all over you," Wadley adds.
9. "I can change them."
You can't change people; instead, while you might be able to create some improvements in certain areas, like communication, you should accept your SO for his or her core values. (They're not going anywhere.) "No one wants to be a pet project. You will find that all of the work that you put into making them the person you want them to be will be reaped by the next person who accepts them as they are," says Wadley. And, on the other hand, you get frustrated beyond reason when they refuse to change. No one wins.
10. "You're using me."
It’s difficult to get to know the real someone if you’re constantly thinking that you're being used for your money, influence, or access, as you're likely to put up emotional walls to protect yourself and prevent a real connection, explains Wadley. "Putting up emotional walls protects you from getting hurt, but it also protects you from getting love," Wadley says.
11. "If you loved me, you would..."
Don't expect too much from people. Of course, you should expect respect and compassion when due, but if you're too uptight and critical when it's not necessary, or you put too much pressure on someone to be there for your every need, you're going to ruin things. "Taking things personally is the death knell of any relationship. Just because your loved one doesn't react the way you think they should or does things that you wouldn't do doesn't mean that they don't love you. Interpreting it that way will sink the relationship," explains Mitzi Bockmann, Certified Life Coach for Women, over email with Bustle.
12. "I wonder what their ex is like."
Never wonder about the other's ex. It's not important. "There is no point in dwelling on this. While it is human nature to be curious about who our partners have dated before, and even compare ourselves to them, it accomplishes nothing productive and only wastes your time. Their ex is their ex for a reason -- it didn't work out! Forget about the past because it's not at all relevant today," explains Sasha Bracha Bregman, a matchmaker and relationship expert in NYC, co-founder of Elite & Discreet, over email with Bustle.
13. "Maybe I'm just meant to be single."
This might be the case, if you'd be happier, but don't think this is your destiny without trying. "Ever heard the phrase, 'It happens when you least expect it?' If things aren't happening for you the way you've been trying, take a break. Work on yourself. Reconsider how you've been meeting people up until now," says Bracha Bregman. "If you know you want to be with someone long term, set that intention and seek some counsel- life has all kinds of ways of helping you get where you need to be; reach out and grab them," Bracha Bregman says.
14. "Are they seeing other people on the side?"
While you shouldn't go on a first or second date and bring up long term commitment (if the other person does it too early, it could be a red flag), you should make your values and intentions 'gently' known post third-date. "Just be real, say something like 'I'm digging the connection we have, I'm looking forward to seeing where we can take it.' You'll know pretty soon if the other person is on the same page as you or not," says Bracha Bregman. "Don't waste time by wondering where y'all are at- but don't freak them out by trying to clarify too soon. By the 5th date, it should be established if you are entering a monogamous relationship or are still 'just seeing each other,'" Bracha Bregman says.
15. "Monogamy and commitments just don't work."
"This has become a trendy thing to say and I totally disagree. Of course monogamy and commitment work, if that's a value you and your partner both share," says Bracha Bregman. Going into a relationship with a negative mindset will make the other person think you in fact do not want to be monogamous and they won't view you as a potential long term partner. "Intentions are super important to set out initially. If you're looking for a long term relationship, set that as an intention and forget about pseudo trends and fads in the dating world. Just be honest and authentic; trust me we need more of it in the world," says Bracha Bregman.
If you're thinking this negative thoughts when hitting the dating scene, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, be open to new relationships and trust that you'll find the right person at the right time, one who accepts the real you.