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5 signs that bitterness is stopping you from finding love

by Eharmony Editorial Team - February 2, 2010

Relationship failures can be damaging but they shouldn’t stifle your chances of finding love and future happiness. Keep resentment in check with these top tips.

If you are terminally single or have been badly burnt by a previous relationship it’s easy to drown yourself in negativity. But to find love, you need to be open and positive.  ‘Research has shown that there is great value to being optimistic,’ says eHarmony scientist Gian Gonzaga. ‘Optimists are more likely to continue trying to complete a difficult task, more likely to have successful outcomes in life (marriage, career), and ever more likely to be physically healthy’, he insists.

Just as optimism is empowering, resentment can be crippling. You can’t expect to find love if you’re not open to the possibilities. The following are five signs that your bitterness is damaging your chances for romance and the best ways to banish negativity from your thoughts.

1. You write people off too quickly

Do you fixate on the flaws of all your previous dates or partners and assume that future ones will all be the same? Do you make snap judgements about people before you’ve even met them? Consign relationship failures to the past and stifle your inner critic. To find love you need to be open-minded and look for the positive in people. You need to believe that there are good people out there and that you deserve to meet them.

2. You prevent people from getting close to you

Do you put up a barrier that nobody can get past? Do you rebuff people if they start asking you questions about your past? While it’s not advisable to spill your life story on your first date and you shouldn’t have to talk about things that make you uncomfortable, you need to be able to share a little in order for people to get to know you. If you are too closed, it’ll be hard for a date to establish a connection with you. Try to relax and sharing will come more naturally.

3. You lack self-esteem

If people show interest in you, do you find yourself questioning what’s wrong with them or claiming they’re not good enough for you? For a successful relationship you need to have a balanced attitude towards yourself, let alone anyone else.

If you’re suffering from low self-esteem, concentrate on what you think are your strengths and let them boost your confidence. Thinking people are not worthy of you, however, is equally damaging so don’t let yourself get above your station! The next time someone shows interest in you, try and get to know them a little, and vice versa, so you can establish whether there’s a spark. But if the person isn’t interested in another date, don’t shroud yourself in bitterness again. Realise that finding love can take time and be optimistic about who could be next.

4. You’re cynical of other people’s relationships

Do you find yourself looking for flaws in other people’s relationships? Are you secretly cheered by their romantic failures? This smacks of bitterness. By believing that all relationships are doomed, you’ll close yourself off to any possibilities for finding love.  Bitterness is a very passive emotion and negative people are difficult to find attractive. Until you purge yourself of your cynicism you won’t be able to move forward. Focus on the positive sides of a relationship to overcome your fears.

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5. You’d rather be proved right than be happy

Are you so stubborn in your bitterness that you’d rather be proven right (i.e. that all relationships are guaranteed to fail) than find love? Your resentment has become extreme. You’ll need to work hard to embrace the fact that a relationship can be good and that you deserve to be happy. Then put yourself out there, accepting that it might take a while and many dates to meet the right person. Bitterness isn’t incurable. But getting over a bad bout of it requires a little effort, an attitude shift and opening yourself up to the fact that not all relationships are doomed. Achieve this and you’ll reap the rewards.

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