Not Feeling Prepared For Love

This post is one of a series that will show you how to start fixing a particular love-life problem. The love-life problem we’ll focus on is the feeling of being emotionally unprepared for love in your life. 

The limiting belief that is usually causing this feeling of not being prepared for love goes something like this: love is too overwhelming and I won’t be able to handle this feeling in my life.

Love is considered too disruptive and you are probably predicting you’ll be hurt and/or disappointed. You’ve had hurtful experiences in your life that have taught you to be wary of love ever since.

When a person holds this limiting belief either consciously or without awareness, he or she usually adopts defensive ways of thinking, feeling, and acting when love comes around. As a consequence, opportunities for love are pushed away whenever they occur. It’s time now to disprove the predictions being made by this limiting belief.

Treatment involves:

1. Identifying the disappointment you’ve had with love in your life that is still unresolved in your mind. You will know it’s unresolved by the fact that you still feel hurt and upset about it inside. 

2. Becoming aware of having the limiting belief that love will go bad no matter what, to protect yourself from repeating the intolerable hurt and disappointment you experienced in the past.

3. Reducing your defensiveness by reintroducing yourself to your natural inborn ability to give and receive love. This is accomplished by allowing yourself to have experiences that will prepare you for love.

There are certain experiences in life that can naturally prepare you for the experience of love. These experiences usually involve learning to tolerate a measure of vulnerability, spontaneity, and cultivating some personal experiences with other forms of love beyond romance (i.e. friendship love, family love, love of people, and spiritual forms of love).

Try to give up some of the control you are using to protect yourself. It’s time to take risks for the sake of love. If your heart gets broken, you can heal it and learn something from the experience that will improve your chances the next time around.

These are changes you can try to make on your own for starters. Self-created change begins with making time to focus on your love-life in thought and/or writing. You’ll know if you can do this on your own, if you can tolerate the feelings that’ll emerge.

When you allow yourself to think about your old love-life disappointments for the purpose of identifying what is causing your upset, you take them out of the memory ‘closet’ and subject them to the light of day. This is the first step toward decreasing their impact on your current love-life.

You can also get really good at reminding yourself that you’re more than the sum of what’s happened to you in your love-life. When the ‘love is going to drive me crazy thought’ comes over you, instead of running away, try challenging it to see whether or not it’s really true or just a prediction based on your past experience.

In most, if not all cases, the fear is irrational and you are really able to tolerate the feeling of love as long as you stay aware of the fact that old unresolved hurts will try to intrude into your current feelings from time to time.

The problem with fear is losing track of what’s realistic and what’s not. You dismantle the old hurts by reminding yourself when they show up that they come from an old disappointment and don’t belong in the present.

If a sad feeling comes with the memory, take a little time to feel it and identify the sadness as grief. This feeling is natural. It’s all part of feeling a loss and letting it go. You are separating the past from the present and keeping your feelings as current as possible.

Of course, if you need some help with this don’t hesitate to find a competent psychotherapist or counselor to help you out. A good professional helper for love-life issues will be ‘open’ and comfortable with him or herself, experienced in the love-life issues you are concerned with, and willing to stay focused on the love-life issues and solutions you want to talk about.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about his or her experience and training. Be sure to tell your therapist that you want to work specifically on your love-life problem. Remember, you can always meet with a few professionals before you pick one. To work on love-life issues you should find it relatively easy to talk to the professional you’ve chosen.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. T. Jordan


Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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