Are you prepared for romance? This may sound like an odd question, but it’s one we don’t ask ourselves enough as we rush out to pursue relationships.

All too often we seek out sex, dating and romantic partners without understanding why our past relationships have failed or why we behave the way we do in the pursuit of love. While some of our misfortune is simply the result of coincidence, so many of us are burdened by old hurts, emotional issues and true psychological terrors that keep us from getting the love we want.

Being in a relationship means having the time and energy to give of ourselves to someone else, but we can’t do that if we’re still battling internal demons.

Depression and other mental health issues are real, and greatly impact the health of our relationships with others. How we feel about ourselves, our parents, our past relationships often color how our future relationships will turn out. If you find that you go from relationship to relationship, most of them lasting less than a few months and you’ve made it to your mid-30s without ever having any serious relationships, it might be more than just bad luck. If you’ve been single for years, or have a hard time meeting people and struggle with connecting with other individuals, it may be something more than just being in the wrong environment.

The common denominator in our relationship struggles is ourselves, and when we are repeatedly engaging in the same situation over and over where only the names have changed, we have to ask the big question:

Is it me?

If you’re wondering if you need to take time off from the dating scene to do some soul searching, ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I equate being alone with being lonely?

2. Do I think someone else loving me will validate me?

3. Do all my relationships or dating experiences end in the same pattern?

4. Do I hold relationships to a certain ideal and am I often frustrated or disappointed by the actual results?

5. Do I think I can make someone love me?

6. Do I often believe I’m the one giving the most in relationships, but feel like partners are withholding or even using me or taking advantage of my kindness?

If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, you may be struggling with something deeper than being unlucky in love, and it might be good to talk to someone about whether you’re standing in the way of your own relationship bliss.

Paul Carrick Brunson is a Matchmaker and Lifestyle Coach. He can be reached at www.onedegreefrom.me / fb.com/OneDegreeFromMe / Twitter @OneDegreeFromMe

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