Have you ever found yourself ignoring the red flags in a relationship, only to regret it later on? Or find yourself trying to make something work that probably isn’t (or wasn’t) meant to be.
I’ve been there before and referred to this act as self-abandonment: being so invested in making the relationship work that our own well-being and instincts are abandoned. The lack of self-awareness of this habit can make us find ourselves stuck in a cycle of toxic relationships.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the nuances of self-abandonment when it comes to dating and how it manifests itself in unhealthy relationships. The goal is to understand why we ignore red flags and how our triggers can help us navigate potential problems before they become major ones!
Why Do We Abandon Our Needs?
Dating is a vulnerable experience for any person, and sometimes we find it easier to put our own needs aside in order to make ourselves look more appealing.
We may abandon our voice and try to morph ourselves into what the other person wants in order to look better in their eyes, or maybe we hold back in fear that we may be seen as too much or demanding.
Denying our own needs may have started as learned behavior from when we were younger. If we grew up in a home where “children are to be seen not heard,” we may have been conditioned to believe that our needs should not be expressed or are not important.
Either way, self-abandonment can be a self-sabotaging behavior, as the fear of rejection can make us lose ourselves rather than stay true to our wants and needs. Although seeking acceptance can make sense on some level, ultimately, the only way a partner can make us happy and meet our needs is by us being able to communicate our true authentic needs and priorities.
As adults, we have the power to make new choices instead of defaulting to our childhood conditioning. We now have a choice to choose differently.
What Keeps Us in Self-Abandonment: Fear, Comparison and Low Self-Worth
It’s easy to fall into a cycle of self-abandonment, where we allow fear, comparisons, and low self-worth to make us feel like we’re not worthy of our own care and compassion.
Unfortunately, this cycle can lead to feelings of learned helplessness: being stuck in a powerless position with no way out. It’s important to remember that you are in control of your own destiny, even if it doesn’t feel like it at times. You DO have a choice in what you want to believe about the situation. It can either tear you down or teach you lessons to move you forward.
When you’re willing to accept responsibility for your thoughts and actions, it opens up a world of possibilities. However, when you turn away from challenging emotions and don’t face your unhelpful behaviors, they only become more entrenched. By facing them courageously and making new choices, it is possible to experience growth and a new positive outcome.
The key is to take small steps toward loving yourself more through speaking kindly to yourself or practicing sharing your needs with friends and family – anything that helps start growing into your voice. Understand you are on your unique journey in life; no one can compare to you. Reclaim your power by giving yourself validation and compassion instead of criticism.
Identifying Red Flags that Signify Self-Abandonment
It takes a brave heart to confront self-abandonment. But making an effort can be incredibly rewarding and bring about positive, lasting changes in our lives. It is important to create self-awareness of actions that create self-abandonment.
Here are a few red flags that signify self-abandonment:
- Constantly pleasing others instead of honoring your own wants or needs
- Always sacrificing for others without consideration for yourself
- Overlooking mistakes that you made in relationships in order to avoid pain and not take accountability
- Failing to feel through your difficult emotions and numbing yourself instead
Do you recognize any of these red flags? Here is the good news, once you are aware of these behaviors, you can start taking steps to process them and start changing your habits today.
Action Steps to Overcoming Self-Abandonment
It is important to start by recognizing and confronting any negative thought patterns. In my Conscious Dating Programs, I call these limiting beliefs that hinder your progress and reduce your self-worth.
Once you’ve identified them, focus on developing new habits that reject these negative thought patterns and replace them with positive, realistic ideas that will help you to move forward in love and life.
The first step is to identify these beliefs so they can be rooted out, check out this video for how to do it!
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For example, if your thought pattern is “my needs don’t matter,” say, “Cancel. That is not true. I teach people how to treat me. My needs matter.” Do this for more than 30 days, as it takes time to build an ingrained habit of thinking.
And while you are practicing this new state of being, seek out safe social connections who can offer support and affirm your progress as you set out to heal from self-abandonment.
You deserve to be cherished your relationship. If you’re having trouble making yourself a priority, schedule a Relationship Readiness Review with me and start putting YOU first!