Love Avoidance: The Hidden Block to Finding a Lasting Relationship
Updated: May 2
If you are single and not exactly happy about it, I have a very important question for you- is it possible that although you want to find love desperately, at a conscious level... might you be subconsciously pushing it away? Is it possible that the idea of being loved is actually painful to you??
Love is an essential part of our lives, and it can bring us a great deal of joy, happiness, and fulfillment. However, for some people, the idea of love can be a source of anxiety and discomfort. This feeling of love avoidance is a much more common experience than you may realize and it affects many women. In my book, I reference Dr. Gay Hendrick's concept that says, if you are still single, you are unconsciously MORE committed to being single than to being in relationship. It sounds so strange when you first hear it, right? I mean if you are tired of nights home alone and cooking for one, tired of showing up to parties as the only single person in the room, never having your plus one, exhausted at even the idea of going online to date, I'm sure you are pretty darn convinced that you would much rather be in a relationship than alone.
But here's the problem, by now you have most likely done A LOT of things to try and change you single status, but you are still single so now what? Chances are most of the things you have done are external things to try and meet new people. Or maybe you even have done a lot of internal work on yourself to try and love yourself more. But you still are not attracting in that love you so deeply desire. And while there could be several subconscious reasons for this, the only one I am asking you to take a minute to ponder today is -
Does it cause pain in your heart to feel deeply loved by another?
Take a second to close your eyes and feel into your body to see what you can discover. Recall a time someone did or said something very loving to you, even a friend or relative. Were you able to truly take it in? Or did it make you feel uncomfortable in anyway?
I know when I first had this realization for myself it dawned on me that when people told me they loved me, I would get a little chocked up and part of me actually wanted to cry. There was something uncomfortable bordering on painful about it. A previous boyfriend of mine told me after we broke up that he purposefully held back from telling me how much he loved me because he sensed that it might push me away. "You were quirky like that," he said to me in a kind way during this post break up dissection conversation. It hit me hard when he said that. But instead of going into a shame spiral about it, I did what I do these days when things like this are brought to my conscious awareness, I chose to just let myself get curious about it and why I might have been doing that. I actually began to feel some relief realizing that I had this pattern because it explained why relationships had not been working out for me and I realized I had power to do something about it.
The experience of being deeply loved, seen and cherished can feel painful to anyone who unconsciously does not feel deserving of love or who does not feel safe with being loved at that level. There are several reasons why someone may develop a pattern of love avoidance. For some individuals, the fear of intimacy may stem from a traumatic childhood experience or a past romantic relationship that ended badly. Others may have grown up in an environment where emotional distance was the norm, leading them to develop a preference for emotional detachment. Being with an emotionally unavailable partner may feel familiar, comforting and/or may be what the mind associates with the experience of love. Any experience beyond that in terms of intimacy can actually feel threatening to one's central nervous system at a very deep level, causing an individual to avoid emotional closeness and intimacy in romantic relationships. Confounding it all, people who feel love avoidant may also struggle with feelings of guilt or shame for their inability to connect with others emotionally.
Fortunately, there are ways to overcome love avoidance and develop healthier, more meaningful relationships with others. The most effective tool I have found for removing hidden blocks is using EFT tapping to clear them. Once you clear any and all associations you have between love and pain, you will no longer avoid love. Your walls will come down naturally when your nervous system is not feeling the need to protect you from pain. You will experience true emotional freedom and then watch how quickly you become a magnet to attract in that lasting love relationship of your hearts desire!