Five Limiting Beliefs Examples That Ruin Your Chances Of Finding Love
When it comes to dating, if you have limiting beliefs based on fear, scarcity, abuse, past disappointments and loss, they can depress and stress you out. And put up a complete roadblock to your journey to soulmate love. These limiting belief examples include negative, false and distorted attitudes about men, about yourself, or love and intimate relationships. And the most challenging thing is that these pessimistic beliefs can be secretly lurking in your unconscious!
So let’s look more closely at these core beliefs that are carried from your past into your present (and future) as expectations. Expectations of what’s possible in terms of meeting someone great, expectations for what’s possible for you, expectations about what dating should be like. Because these expectations are often negative and generate fear, they kill off the curiosity, the possibilities or appreciation of what is going on right now, preventing you from seeing any interesting guys who are right in front of you! And when you are with a match, because you are not really present it’s difficult to experience this relationship as it is currently unfolding and not as an extension of previous disappointments and failures.
This heavy baggage from the past gets dragged into your present and leaves you worried and pessimistic about dating. Instead of being open to opportunities that are happening now, you are lost in a swirl of knee-jerk pessimistic, demoralizing self-talk that leads nowhere.
So it is key to identify the limiting beliefs that secretly ruin your dating experience!
I’m going to list the five most common limiting beliefs about love. Read through these below and jot down which ones ring true for you.
Limiting Belief Example #1 There are no good men (how many time have you or your girlfriends said this?).
Other variations on this theme:
- Men are jerks.
- All men are babies.
- All men are cheaters.
- Men are liars.
- All guys let you down in the end
- The good ones are taken.
- All the available men are losers
In fact, simply pay attention to what women say and you will hear a great deal of single man-bashing.
The most prevalent limiting belief example, “There are no good men” stops women from meeting guys who might not fit their usual type, but nonetheless are great matches. It usually surfaces as a dead-end dating pattern I call, “Not-Perfect-I’ll-Pass” where every single contender is perceived as having something wrong or a fatal flaw.
How the Law of Repulsion is a Limiting Belief Example
As Lori Gottlieb describes in her excellent book, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, women can be picky, picky, picky when it comes to their suitors. This means that they practice what I call the Laws of Repulsion. They are on their high horses judging. This guy is too paunchy, this one used the wrong table fork and that one has hands that are too small. Other deal breakers: bad taste in music, a cheesy sense of humor, loves me too much, is too predictable, too bald, too old, too young or even too good-looking. Believe me, I’ve heard it all. One perfectly intelligent and accomplished gal recently told me that she could tell just by hearing a guy’s name that he was the wrong one for her.
This type of Limiting belief truly makes a woman an expert in getting rid of “great guys,” “good guys,” “bad guys” and everything in between. The negative judgments spewing from this self-sabotaging belief are based on superficial characteristics or traits. Now get this: these traits have nothing to do with the qualities that make for a partner who can provide lasting love and happiness. The most important variables that study after study have shown that lead to happy relationships and marriages are the guy’s (and your) character virtues, especially empathy, concern for others and a willingness to grow.
Instead of being nit-picky and acting out of these laws of repulsion it is important to change your perception to notice what is really at the guy’s core in terms of his values and character. In point of fact, you need to go from the habit of contempt to its opposite, the habit of appreciation in order to have fun dating and find love.
Limiting Belief Example #2 I will never have lasting love because something’s wrong with me.
Other variations on this theme include self-limiting beliefs that start with
- Too old.
- Too fat.
- Not attractive to men.
- Too successful.
- Not successful enough.
- A single parent and that gets in the way
- Damaged goods
This limiting belief example tends to create fears of being rejected. A woman might be self-deprecating, where she puts herself down jokingly to guard against the rejection that she knows is coming. She might say: “I’m a great person to fall for; I’ve got six kids and live in a rented shoe. Not really. But I do have teenagers that drive me crazy and our place is so tiny.” Or she may withhold information about her past or lie about her debt.
Some women may push a man away altogether even though the initial courtship has gone well, while others will tolerate only so much closeness and, if the guy starts showing real interest and commitment will react by rejecting him for no apparent reason. On the other hand, I’ve known women who, saddled with this self-sabotaging limiting belief, have put up with a distant and unsatisfying relationship or even one where they were physically or verbally abused.
Limiting Belief Example #3 True love does not exist
Other variations on this theme:
- Men just use women.
- Only weak or needy people stay with each other.
- Relationships are merely tit-for-tat trade-offs, like a business deal.
- Lasting love is a made-up Hollywood and advertising fantasy.
- There are no really happy couples; only ones that have settled.
- The best I can hope for is (fill in the blank).
In fact, this particular limiting belief creates cynicism and hopelessness about true, caring, passionate and fulfilling love. When a man acts loving this woman wonders, “What is he after?” “Does he need a trophy woman to look good?” “Does he need help to get a new job?” Loving acts are seen as barter chips to get something in return. But if a man feels only that cynicism, he will walk away.
Limiting Belief Example #4 Love is too difficult.
Other variations on this theme:
- The price for love is too high
- It’s too painful.
- It could be angry, explosive, dangerous
- I’m too hard for a man to handle.
- I’ll have to tip toe around in my relationship.
- I’ll never get what I really want.
- I’ve seen what people go through and they end up miserable anyway.
- Love is suffering
- You can never recover from a break-up
This limiting belief example tends to fuel fears of being damaged or damaging your partner. It is common when there has been anger and verbal or physical abuse in your upbringing or if you have an explosive temper yourself. The fear is that it is really not safe to be in a close intimate relationship—for you and/or for your partner. In fact, sometimes this fear is unconscious and you can’t really understand why people would make remarks like “I have to walk on eggshells around you.” On the other hand, you are painfully aware that somehow or other you manage to break free of any relationship with a future in it.
How Lisa Overcame Her Limiting Belief About Love
Lisa came for love mentoring after a long history of relationships that lasted only three or four months, which puzzled her. She grew up with a verbally abusive single mother who could turn on a dime from being caring and nice to judgmental, harsh and punitive to the point of slapping her. Yet Lisa defended her mother’s love for her and tried to make her proud when she entered graduate school to study philosophy.
During her coaching Lisa realized that she picked very passive, conflict-avoiding guys who were the opposite of her volatile mother. In fact, like her mom, Lisa would find fault with her boyfriends and “somehow” drive them away. She discovered that her particular limiting belief example was that love is too dangerous. She got in touch with her pessimism and talked about how hopeless she felt about “being too hard to handle.” Most importantly, she learned how to control her anger.
Then, her coach asked her to start making affirmations and to create the Love Intention, “I am in a loving relationship with a great man who appreciates me and helps me get over my fears.” In fact, Lisa started a dating program of three, an empowering dating strategy where you see three men casually at the same time. This helped her meet more solid guys who were not afraid of her. Now, she is having a great romance with one she describes as a “strong loving man.”
Limiting Belief Example #5 This is not it
Other variations on this theme:
- It’s not perfect.
- He’s not a prince.
- He’s not my soul mate.
- He doesn’t look like my type, which is (fill in the blank)
- He’s not good enough.
- There’s not enough chemistry
- This does not match the image I had.
- I am not willing to settle for less than my perfect match.
- This is not what I expected love to be like (look like) (feel like).
No doubt, this limiting belief example tends to create fears of settling for someone who is not perfect. You have a fantasy, a picture, a Technicolor version of the ideal relationship that is cobbled together based on childhood images, maybe fairy tales, romance movies and the like. Yet, the reality of what is happening now in your dating life does not match that fairy tale picture. He may not be the perfect prince, but he could grow to be an amazing partner for you.
How Leann Overcame Limiting Belief Example #5: He’s Not Perfect
Twenty-nine-year-old LeAnn was a statuesque dancer and former model. She had dated many men before she came for love coaching. Her complaint: each of the guys had some kind of flaw that made him less desirable. This one was too rich and full of himself; the next was too sensitive and overly attentive. Her limiting belief example was “The relationship is not perfect.”
As her coach worked on LeAnn’s beliefs and co-created a vision of a happy fulfilling love relationship, she let go of her perfectionism. She was then able to be in the here-and-now with the guys she was dating instead of always being in her head, sitting in judgment. LeAnn learned to relax and just appreciate her dates. She is now in a committed relationship with a guy she really loves (even though he’s not perfect.)
Just like Lisa and LeAnn, you can overcome your limiting beliefs! Start by discussing what you have discovered with one of my amazing coaches in a gift session. You can discuss the five most common limiting belief examples above and which ones are sabotaging your dating. And you will find surprising openings and possibilities for finding love that meets the calling of your heart. You deserve it!
RELATED POST: HOW TO RECOVER FROM DATING BURNOUT
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As a relationship expert, I've helped thousands of women get the love they want - even when it seemed impossible. I’m Dr. Diana Kirschner. You might know me from my PBS Special, seen me on Oprah, or have read one of my bestselling books.
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Dr. Diana Kirschner
Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a relationship advice expert, frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show and the creator of a globally available dating coach and Love Mentor® program. Dr. Diana is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed best-selling relationship and dating book, “Love in 90 Days”. Love in 90 Days was the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter.
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