Ways you sabotage your relationships 🫣

dating healing innerwork relationshipcoach relationships May 22, 2022

Hi, friend welcome to another blog to help you heal the relationship with yourself, take the drama, anxiety and stress out of dating and put you on the path to manifesting the relationship you want.

And on that note, I created a new FREE ebook for you called Heal-Love-Manifest and you can download your copy here.

Today I am tackling the very painful and frustrating topic of self-sabotage. Because it's something that holds many of you back from being in the relationship you desire and living the life you want.

AND oftentimes the frustrating thing is we have no idea how we are doing it because it can come in the form of very behaviours we just do, believable excuses and stories that we fully buy into.

So grab a cuppa and let's dive in.

What self-sabotage really is

Self-sabotage is an attempt to self protect. It is a deep need from your unconscious to create safety.

When you repeatedly sabotage relationships or close yourself off from dating even though deep down you want a relationship. You are unconsciously trying to protect yourself from being hurt.

Your unconscious pretty much operates on the idea of getting out first before there is any chance of abandonment or rejection. And that's why you behave in a way that ultimately drives away the thing you want - which in the case of what we're chatting about today is a wonderful partner and a healthy thriving relationship.

Why does it happen?

⁣Well, it’s not like you woke up one morning and made a conscious decision to make life as stressful, complicated & confusing as possible by saying you want something but then behaving in a way that pushes it away. 

Self-sabotaging patterns develop over the years in subtle ways.

And your unconscious believes it's doing you a favour by being on high alert for things that feel unfamiliar or uncertain because those are seen as threats to your safety. And it really believes all the FEAR and DOUBT that's historically been imprinted. 

So we can't be too mad with that part of us. The intentions are good but just very misguided and operating from out of date programs.

The result for you

The result is you end up fighting against yourself. Because your unconscious beliefs don't align with what you consciously desire.

And every time you try to change you end up back at square one. 

 Look familiar?

You're not alone Carry Bradshaw in Sex in the City was quite the saboteur!

I love SATC and I've been watching the re-runs and it's so interesting to watch it through the lens of being a dating and relationship coach and seeing how much CB sabotaged.

One example of this was with her and Aidan the first time around.

After spending years looking for someone to treat her well she meets Aidan. But then she begins to sabotage the relationship with Aidan because she starts to get nervous that he’s “too perfect.” She's on high alert anticipating something in their relationship will go wrong, so out of doubt and fear she starts to push him away.

I would also like to mention here that when we aren't used to somebody being emotionally available and there for us. Oftentimes initially we don't have the capacity to receive what we've asked for. I experienced this with my partner.

But luckily I had enough self-awareness and was able to work through it to expand what I could receive.

But when you don't you can easily self-sabotage because you feel uncomfortable and you assume this is a bad thing. But all it is, in reality, is an unfamiliar feeling to your subconscious and it's freaking out. Because remember UNFAMILIAR = UNSAFE even when it isn't.

So you do what Carrie did and begin to find fault and reject. Anyway, Carrie did call herself out on her BS and began opening up to Aidan eventually. (And as you know it worked until it didn't!) So if she and I can do it so can you.

How sabotage shows up IRL

As mentioned self-sabotage is sneaky. It can show up in all kinds of ways in all kinds of formats!! So let me list some of the most common ways I see women sabotaging themselves in dating and relationships.

You're relationship why is unhealthy you're looking for a man to 'complete you' or ‘rescue you or make you happy.

Erm no. These are incredibly awful notions!

No man will resolve all your problems. And it isn’t his responsibility. You don’t need to be rescued. You are your own responsibility. So if you feel you need rescuing you need to rescue yourself.

And when it comes to happiness. Yes, a partner should add to your happiness but they can't be the entire source of your happiness. You are responsible for that. And the truth is you get a temporary lift in happiness at the start of a relationship but overall your baseline happiness levels don't alter dramatically long-term. Whatever you feel out of a relationship you will feel in the relationship. You can’t run from yourself, so whatever void it is that you are wanting a man to plug you need to find a way to do it for yourself.

If this is you then don’t worry you can shift things. But you have emotional issues that need dealing with so don’t ignore those. It’s time to face them. The more sorted you are and the happier you are single, the more attractive and magnetic you are to potential partners.

You fast forward the relationship and push too hard, too soon for commitment.

SLOW YOUR ROLL. Getting to know someone and building a relationship takes time. So remove your self-imposed timeline and let things naturally take their course.

Pushing things along too fast can sabotage something that could have blossomed. People don't necessarily fall in love at the same time. Often, one person is in love and already deeply committed before the other person has made up their mind. AND THAT’S OK. We’re human and we don’t all process & work the same.

If you are feeling the urge to push ask “what am I scared is going to happen if I don’t get this next level of commitment right now?” normally it’s something around them disappearing etc.

Your work is learning to ground into your personal power and manage your insecurities so you can lean back and let things run their natural course.

 You undervalue yourself.

Undervaluing your worth means being super critical, putting yourself down, and not being able to accept a compliment.

You aim low low when it comes to your choice of men - going for guys who don't deserve you and who treat you poorly. And you take it because you have a story that this is all you deserve. That there is no one better.

Undervaluing yourself also means you are too scared to ask for what you want. Or to speak up for yourself and take up space. You put up with crap and would never dream of saying “ what you did was not acceptable” If you behave like a doormat, expect to be treated like one. People treat you how you teach them to treat you.

 You choose emotionally unavailable men.

Married men, men with exes who haven't let go (or they won't let go), men who are distant, men who are commitment-phobes, men who have addiction problems, men who are great sex but always go radio silent for days, weeks maybe even months all of these men have something in common.

They will not make a good, loving partner because they don't have the capacity to. And there is nothing you can do to change this. This is not a rom-com. He has to do the work and change this himself.

But in my experience choosing and attracting emotionally unavailable guys is telling us something about ourselves. Oftentimes reflecting something in our unconscious that we need to look at, heal and reshape.

  • It could be that you aren’t fully emotionally available
  • It could be you have a fear of intimacy so this is the perfect partner. Someone who isn’t available will only ever go so far with the level of intimacy.
  • It could be you are attracting these guys based on your core self-beliefs to recreate familiar feelings. Because we are hardwired to recreate the familiar and we will keep repeating the same thing no matter how painful until we consciously break the pattern. For example, if believe you aren’t enough you will attract guys/experiences that reinforce this belief. So if you have this pattern it’s time to take an honest look at what is it in you that could be attracting these guys.

And this may seem obvious if you want a healthy, happy, long-term relationship you need to choose someone who is single, also wants a relationship and has the ability to love you the way you want to be loved.

And my friend if you have this pattern you already know how to spot the emotionally unavailable guy. So it is up to you to start saying NO THANKS.


You're insecure and jealous.

HARD TRUTH: The more insecure and jealous you are in relationships the bigger the chance you are going to attract the outcome you fear the most.

Your partner leaving you.

And the truth is your jealously won’t stop someone from cheating or leaving but left unmanaged and wreaking havoc it could be the catalyst. Being in a relationship with someone who is constantly causing drama and needing reassurance isn’t fun for anyone including you. Relationships need trust to survive and thrive. Relationships need to have 2 people who can manage their triggers and emotional states for them to feel good.

If you know this is you then you have some work to do on yourself to heal the wounds that are creating this hell for you. You deserve to be happy and to enjoy inner peace.

You're secretly scared of intimacy.

Often, the thing you want the most is the thing you're terrified of getting. And you might not even realise how powerful this fear is.

Many women I know crave relationships but subconsciously sabotage them because the fear of getting what they want and then losing it is worse than not having had a relationship at all. And often these fears often come from childhood and past experiences.

So what happens is you get so far with someone and then your subconscious alarm bells go bananas -- and before you know it you start arguments, start to close down and be cold, suddenly seem aloof and uncaring even though you're not.

You are deliberately doing something that guarantees the relationship will end. Because to your subconscious, this is the best way to protect from future pain.

If this resonates I encourage you to spend time reflecting on your family love imprint and past experiences to identify where this fear stems from. And be vigilant when you see yourself start behaving erratically, question why.


You keep trying to fix him / change him

You have to date the reality of a guy, not the potential. Because while people might change little things – become better dressers, more punctual, neater, –  core personality traits DON’T CHANGE

When you first date someone, if what is there is not what you want or you focus on how they'd be if only they did X, Y or Z. Then walk away. Because when you are in a relationship if you're constantly criticising and trying to change him, the message you are sending is’ I don't like who you are'. This, to put it bluntly, does not make people feel good about themselves, so either someone won’t stick around or you will both be stuck in a relationship that feels awful.

Accept someone for who they are or move on.

Being overly needy or possessive (Don't confuse having needs and being needy)

If you constantly want reassurance, create dramas, want your guys to jump through hoops to prove their love and have a tendency to get very worked up over small things, and make a fuss over every little thing he does that's not to your liking, you may struggle to have long-lasting relationships.

If this is you in dating & relationships I encourage you to do inner child work. Because there is likely some childhood patterning that is creating these behaviours. And once addressed you will be able to be a more powerful and grounded version of yourself and dial down the stuff that’s sabotaging you and make dating and relationships feel so much better for you and your partner.

If this is you in dating & relationships I encourage you to:

  • Identify your clingy behaviours
  • Set boundaries with yourself (eg if you text 100’s times a day consider setting a boundary to reduce this)
  • Learn your attachment style and how to work with it
  • Pinpoint where this behaviour stems from - I suggest doing inner child work
  • Fill your own life up instead of focusing on your partners all the time
  • Take things slowly in a new relationship - pushing too hard will push them away.

Taking these steps you will be a more powerful and grounded version of yourself. Have turned the dial down the stuff that’s sabotaging you. And make dating and relationships feel so much better for you and your partner.

 Not needing him

Men need to be needed. And I know you might be rolling your eyes but hear me out.

We all have masculine and feminine energy. And for the majority of peeps, they feel best when they are allowed to mainly function in their dominant and natural energy state. And for most men, this dominant energy is masculine.

So when you are functioning highly in your masculine energy and telling him “I can do everything myself” he can’t thrive in his masculine energy and this can lead to a loss of attraction. Because for a relationship to thrive there needs to be between the masculine and feminine energies.

I will go more in-depth on this topic in a future blog.

But to conclude even if you can do everything yourself, make sure they know they can contribute something and be of use to you.

And this is not disempowering you in any way. You are actually just allowing the natural dynamics of the masculine and feminine energy to flow and create the polarisation you need for a relationship to feel its best.

How to break the pattern of sabotaging your relationships

To stop a self-sabotaging pattern in any area of life we first need to look at what imprints we have from our past. And specifically what imprint we have around relationships and love that came from our family and childhood.

Some questions you can begin reflecting on are:

  • How has my family of origin influenced my experience of love?
  • How was my relationship with my primary caregivers?
  • How did they express love?
  • Who did I need to be to feel loved?
  • How is this still playing out in my reality today?
  • When you reflect on your dating and relationship history can you see any connection between your experience and your imprint and the partners you chose and how the relationships operated?

Dr Bruce Lipton says that our programming begins as early as the 3rd stage of pregnancy! Can you believe it?? I was pretty gobsmacked when I read that!

 As a result of this imprint, you carry... 

  • A very specific NARRATIVE around what you need to do to gain APPROVAL (love +acceptance+ safety+security.)
  • A particular narrative about what to do to ⁣⁣AVOID REJECTION and PAIN.
  • Beliefs (oftentimes negative and limiting) about your worthiness, deservingness and how loveable you think you are.

And as a collective, they influence...

  • How you experience love and relationships
  • What you allow and choose to be available for when dating and in relationships.
    • (For example, if you settle for crumbs and crap then this is a direct reflection of the belief you hold about your worth. And the programming you have about how relationships work.) 

So to surmise the work for you...

✅Uncover the hidden beliefs that are creating massive internal resistance to being in the relationship you consciously want

✅Make a commitment to doing the work to overcome them

✅Undo old beliefs about how & love and relationships work & learn new ones that support healthy love

✅Gain tools to navigate dating & relationships differently

✅Practice a new of being in life every day.

If you don't do this work you will remain in the same love loop. Even if it’s a shit show.⁠ But things can be different. I met my person when I did this and began showing up differently in dating.

So if you follow the path I did you will experience a shift. From how you feel to the people you attract. IT WILL ALL SHIFT.

Hope this was insightful. Let me know what you learned below.

Chat soon
Live - Love -Thrive


About the author

Hello you! I'm Sarah. I am the creator of The Secure and Confident Dater Program and the Foundational Love Blueprint. I am a qualified Dating and Relationship and Life Coach.

I live in London and I'm in a long-distance relationship with a wonderful guy in NYC!

You can find me at home or in coffee shops creating content for you across my various platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube), searching for vintage/retro gems!

 I created this blog to share with you my journey to thriving more than ever in my 40s. I want to give you everything I’ve learnt so you can learn how to become the most fun, happy confident version of yourself and live a life you love.

You can expect posts on dating, relationships, self-love, mind management, style & general life musings!

You can find out more about me & my work as a coach HERE.