Self-sabotage in love, how to avoid it?

Some people think that love is synonymous with suffering. This leads them to self-sabotage or boycott their love affair.

Self-sabotage in love, how to avoid it?

Latest update: June 12, 2022

Self-sabotage in love occurs when a behavior that complicates the relationship. You don’t want to end or damage the bond, quite the opposite: you want it to thrive. However, many times one acts unknowingly against it.

Another form of self-sabotage in love is when one begins look for or invent reasons to devalue the relationship or find defects that do not exist. You feel love for your partner and you want the best for the relationship, but you also harbor ideas of rejection or discomfort.

“Self-sabotage makes us believe that it is better to end the relationship and not make any changes to stay in the comfort zone and not lose control.”

-Silvia Sanz-

However, the relationship never reaches a certain level of commitment and this causes sadness. How does this happen? How can you avoid this?

Self-sabotage in love prevents us from evolving as a couple towards a more stable bond.

Self-sabotage in love

Self-sabotage in love occurs when a relationship is good, the other person gives the best of himself, but despite this behaviors that generate distance or conflict are adopted.

This way you boycott your own well-being and happiness, as well as those of your partner. Even if you want to achieve the exact opposite, you end up deteriorating the relationship.

This is because self-sabotage acts as a defense mechanism. Defend yourself from what? Do not leave the comfort zone. Love is a wonderfully disturbing presence, and many people feel comfortable in the absence of change.

At the bottom is fear and insecurity. In love there is always a percentage of pain, because among human beings nothing is perfect. The other is missing something or not always corresponding to our ideals. It is also possible to be afraid of being left behind or appreciated enough.

After that, unconsciously we defend ourselves from the possibility of suffering, changing and demanding ourselves too much. There is an ambiguous desire: on the one hand, you want the relationship to grow and strengthen wholeheartedly; on the other hand, one is afraid that it will not happen. Risk and uncertainty seem excessive and self-sabotage in love comes to the rescue to protect oneself.

Other causes

To understand self-sabotage in love and to overcome it, it is important to look at its causes. As expected, the main cause is fear, which is expressed as a feeling of threat and translates into defensive behavior.

In these cases, it is common to feel happiness and anxiety at the same time. Other possible reasons for self-sabotage in love are:

  • Anxiety about the uncertainty about the future.
  • Feeling we have ‘Run out of gas’ emotionally.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Discomfort at the news.
  • Desire for self-punishmentdue to unconscious feelings of guilt.
The main disadvantage of people who self-sabotage in love is that they do not accept that they are afraid.

How to solve self-sabotage in love?

When self-sabotage is present in love, enjoying the relationship is impossible, even if that is what you want.

Suddenly, the person feels more vulnerable and this causes the seed of worry to grow inside which becomes fear. The problem is, he doesn’t admit to being scared.

To resolve this situation, the first step is to admit and tolerate the feeling of vulnerability and fear. No reasonable person wants to suffer, so it’s normal to feel a little apprehensive. The important thing is not to allow this to take over and lead to sabotage the relationship.

This behavior is very common in people who they had an emotionally deficient childhood, they grew up in a dysfunctional family or having had previous negative love experiences that marked them. In any case, the way out is not to deny love, but to resolve and work on this past.


Love enriches and it is true that it causes a margin of pain, but it contributes much more to growth. We are able to feel pain and process it.

If we haven’t been able to do that yet, it’s probably because we haven’t found the right way to do it. Either way, being deprived of a partner causes suffering. If the fear is excessive, a therapist can help.

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