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Dating Diaries: Four Ways to Stop Sabotaging Your Relationship

An honest conversation is one way of stopping self-sabotage in its tracks.

An honest conversation is one way of stopping self-sabotage in its tracks.

We had spent the entire weekend snuggled up and loving on each other as chilly winds whipped the East coast. We split the time between her house and mine—laughing, chatting, dancing, singing, teasing each other mercilessly, reading together and sharing parts of our deepest selves. On Sunday she cooked us breakfast and I cooked us dinner. It all felt so damn good. And then I said something thoughtless and disrespectful. The details of what I said are not important. The impact is. I had hurt the feelings of the sensitive, sweet Pisces I had been dating for the past month.

At first I told her I was just being honest and honesty had been extremely important to us both. But that wasn’t the truth. I was trying to convince her, and maybe myself, that she had no right to feel disrespected. We had candidly talked about our exes, bared some tender feelings and exposed some our fears to each other. I went to take a shower and while I did, I admitted to myself what my problem was—things were going too great and I felt an irrational urge to sabotage a good thing.

Interestingly, I had just that evening read this quote from Rashida KhanBey that she posted on her Facebook page and agreed 100 percent with her:

“Let’s just be honest some people just get into relationships to prove a lie to themselves that they are unlovable. So they do everything they can to sabotage the goodness brought into their lives as an indirect way of pushing that person away. Finally when the person gets fed up with the mistreatment and they leave ya’ll wanna sit here like ‘I knew it was coming. Don’t nobody love me.’ NO! You won’t let anyone love you. The cycle stops with YOU.”

So when I got out of the shower, I admitted to her what was going on in my head and why I said what I did. I apologized to her for being a jerk. At this point she started being distant and said she didn’t know if she was ready to start dating and that she would have to think about where we would go next. Her words pierced me, but I pretended they didn’t. I told her it was her decision and that she should do what was best for her. She was running and I was letting her.

She turned off the lights and went to sleep. There was no usual kissing and snuggling up to each other. I turned my back to her, got on my phone and started reading. I knew she hadn’t been sleeping and turned around when I felt her tap my shoulder. It was then I forced myself to tell her that I didn’t want us to give up on something that had been so great so far. She then admitted that she was only pulling back because she was scared. Our previous relationships had left us both raw and fearful. But by facing our fears and talking about them, we realized that running away was not the answer. Had we not found the courage to be honest and vulnerable, our night, heck our entire relationship, would have had a completely different ending.

When we woke up this morning in each other’s arms, she told me she realized that we were both worth being in a loving relationship even one with bumps along the way. And I agree!

What I learned from this experience may seem a little relationship 101, but it was a powerful lesson that I wanted to share with you dear readers. So here again are the lessons I learned:

  1. When you make a mistake, own it and apologize right away.
  2. Recognize and name your own patterns of sabotage, once you do that those patterns have no power.
  3. Forget your ego and tell her your fears. Again, fears have no power once they are exposed to light.
  4. Recognize that you are worthy of being loved and giving love.






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Article written by:

Zamara Perri

Zamara Perri is the founder and editor of the Black Lesbian Love Lab blog. She loves black love and loves mangoes, cats, reading, cooking and writing about some of the challenges and joys of black lesbian relationships.

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  1. Avatar
    Withlove, Tania

    Very good observations and good advice.

  2. Avatar

    I love the four lessons you’ve learned! What great Facebook posts they’d make! 🙂

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