Pushing People Away? Here’s How to Stop Rejecting Love

Rejecting love is normal for us survivors of abuse. We were once told that we were unlovable, that we deserved to be hurt, or that we weren’t worth anything. Now, when we’re handed truly unconditional love, we push it away. It’s normal to do this, but that doesn’t make it pain free.

Something in your past caused love to seem scary. And today, that cycle of fear repeats—pushing love even farther out of reach.

I’ve feared love before. Afraid of getting too close and then having my heart ripped out again, or my trust betrayed by someone I thought would treat me well. But gosh, it hurt to be running from the very thing that could bring me the greatest joy.

The reason you are rejecting love is because of a past emotional cycle that was impressed on you. This could have been from exes, abusers, parents, or even society at large. No matter the source, the cycle has stuck with you. Now, it holds you back from loving and being loved.

So, what do you do when you’re pushing this wonderful feeling out of your life?

These cycles are actually quite easy to break. They simply take targeted and self-aware action. You need to know where the weak point lies and how exactly to strike it.

In this episode, you will see how to dig deep and find your cycle’s weakness. Through this, you will overcome it and embrace loving relationships.

Afraid to love because people leave? Read Embrace Love Despite a Fear of Abandonment

Love is worth seeking. Your past might be holding you back from embracing it now, but this won’t last for long. Within a few days of working on breaking this cycle, I’m positive that you will start rejecting love less. You’ll be letting the greatest forms of compassion in.

I’d love to know: What emotional cycle are you struggling with? What steps towards healing it can you take, starting today? Go ahead and leave a comment below!

If you know someone who is afraid they’ll never be truly loved, send them a link to this video. So many of us have survived abuse and come to doubt that we deserve love. When you share this video, you’re showing them how to embrace the deepest forms of compassion.

Right now it might feel like the only safe thing to do is to run away from love. But there are safe, wonderful relationships out there for you, waiting in beautiful anticipation to be experienced and embraced.

How close are you to living a life you love? Take the quiz here!

You’ll also find healing with…

32 Comments

  1. Essence Day

    I love this. I struggle with letting love in because of my fear of abandonment when I was little and this has given me th push I need to change that

    Reply
    • Arien Smith

      Oh wonderful, I’m so glad to hear you’ve started walking that healing journey!

      Reply
  2. Christina Melville

    I keep push my man’s love away from me. He wants to love on me but I keep pushing him away an I’m afraid i will loose him. He also drinks a lot.

    Reply
    • Arien Smith

      I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling to accept his love. It sounds like you might be feeling a bit nervous around him too–perhaps his drinking makes his behavior more unpredictable? In this case, I think it’s best to have an open and honest conversation. Do some soul searching and find out what you’re afraid of and then sit down together and share that. Encourage him too to talk about what he’s vulnerable about. Vulnerability and communication can do wonders in healing a relationship!

      Reply
  3. Chris Clark

    My two cents worth…

    I have never had a partner and I feel I don’t need one ever. I feel there is only room for one person in my life and that is me. I feel I am too strong as a character to share my life with anyone.

    Reply
    • Arien Smith

      That’s a totally valid perspective to have! Not everyone feels the need for romantic relationships. The key is just to make sure you have some meaningful connections to share the pieces of your life you wish to with people.

      Reply
    • katherine

      i absolutely agree with the comment. i feel like i am too strong and hard for anyone. i fear i will lose myself by being in love or in a relationship. i am perfectly fine with being alone, i love being by myself. so i find myself in a hard situation, there is a man i love and i even wont mind having a relationship with him, but my thoughts stop me from pursuing these relationship, i am convinced i have to be alone, by myself, in order to stay true to myself, to stay myself. i dont want to hurt him in the process, while i figure things out, if i am right in my convictions or not.

      Reply
      • Arien Smith

        I can see how that’s really stressful, Katherine. If it helps, I’ve found more of who I am with my fiancé–not at all lost myself. There’s something beautiful about how we learn to stay true to ourselves near someone else. It helps us set boundaries, express needs, and remain in line with who we are. A great way you can heal some of those thoughts is by getting a clear sense of who you are after trauma, like through core values and other identifiers. This program has a whole section on that! There is definitely a way to allow love in and stay true (or get even truer) to yourself. 🙂

        Reply
  4. Lauren mcateer

    I have started speaking to someone I know I like but then I realise it’s getting serious so I tell them it isn’t working out from my point of view even though it maybe could have? I’m not sure whether it’s fear of commitment or my past that’s keeping me from opening up to people.

    Reply
    • Arien Smith

      It definitely sounds like there’s some fear of commitment there, and that’s okay. It’s a good thing to be aware of that! This is how you heal it. I’d recommend thinking about what in your past may have made serious relationships feel unsafe, and what beliefs that left you with. Knowing these will help point you in the right direction of what exactly to heal!

      You’re also always welcome to join the Uncover Your Joy Facebook group for a little personalized support with this! Here’s the link.

      Reply
    • Sydney

      I keep pushing my partner away. He is so loving and wonderful. Sometimes he is like a mirror to me where the insecurities I have held inside & rejected… he tends to possess. He also possesses a great deal of compassion and love, which I see as possessing a great deal of inner beauty. I really struggle to appreciate those parts because I tend to get stuck rejecting those parts of himself that he mirrors in me. I want to experience deep love and find a home in him somewhere… I don’t want to keep pushing him down and away. I want to accept him as well as myself. He deserves real love and happiness.

      Reply
      • Calion Smith

        I’m so sorry you are struggling with this, it’s quite tough to go through! I’m happy you have an understanding partner, as that means you’ll likely be able to work through this. Have you talked with him about this tendency to push him away and why you think you do it? That open communication can be really helpful, both for your relationship and for your own healing. 🙂

        Reply
  5. Sarah J Reyes

    I’m trying to help my partner figure out why they reject true, devine, gritty, love. They’re intelligent but I don’t know how in tune with their feelings they can be or have been so far. I want to help them. I want to help us. I truly believe they think they are not worthy of love. This is our first REAL relationship battle to conquer to have a healthy companionship.

    Reply
    • Arien Smith

      You can both do it! It’s actually quite common for people to struggle with accepting love, because love makes us vulnerable. It forces us to feel things that are uncomfortable and sometimes painful, so many of us reject it out of fear. I’ve always found it the most helpful to lead by example. Grow safer with your own feelings, validate it’s okay to feel what you feel, and your partner will likely realize it’s safe for them to do too!

      Reply
  6. Hebe Edwards

    My guy friend told me he wanted to start dating me, and I liked him. I’m seeing him today but I’m scared and almost regretful in a way? Feels like things are moving too fast but I don’t know how to stop it a little. I’m scared of being in a relationship- a little bit of a commitment issue, I think.

    Reply
    • Arien Smith

      This is really normal, especially if you’ve experienced abuse in the past. Relationships weren’t always safe, so a part of you might want to push that away to protect yourself. What I’d recommend is sitting with those emotions and seeing what thoughts come up. What do you fear? What “what if this happens” are coming up? These might give you some big insights into what needs healing!

      A lot of this work is done in The Prosperity Path Program too, so it can help you feel totally comfortable with romance. It happens to be open for enrollment right now, too! Here’s the info about it. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Teloch

    i have been abandoned in my most important relationship when i was 20. Now i am 28. Since then i carry this cross with me, so that i reject every girl i am with. Not willingly, even if she is amazing, smart, sexy, loving. i feel like something is not right, and it gives me panic attacks being in the relationship. If i am not in a relationship, i feel free somehow, but i miss the ex. but i always the type of person who is in a relationship. i have been dating this girl for more than 4 years now. We broke up because i was overwhelmed with this negative feelings all the time that she is not good for me and that i did not felt right in the relationship. Although she was great. My brain was screaming at me to LEAVE as fast as possible, without any specific reason. And i left. i destroyed her soul … she was so damaged because she did not understand. The first thing i did was to try to have sex with others, while still talking to her. i knew inside me that i will be with her again, just that i did not felt like ready. Finally, we are together again, and after 2-3 months of honeymoon, my anxiety and panic attacks came back … i am feeling the same thing again, the need to run, to dissapear, fear, intense fear of letting go. Some days i feel this really intense, other days i feel love and attachment and normality around her. But like 70% of the time i feel like i am being attacked by something, and my brain tells me to leave the relationship. My other part of the brain tells me that i have absolutely NO REASON to do that. Because she is loving, caring, dedicates time to me, she listens, she is an amazing human being, she really loves me. And i have myself because i feel these things, and i dont know what to do, how to get rid of this, it’s killing me. i always feel a tightness in my chest and my head hurts all day because of this contradictory feeling. My gut tells me to run, my brain does not find absolutely any reason to do that. Does this sound familiar to you? Can you guide me a bit? i feel like i am alone and what i feel is not normal, and not experienced by anybody else.

    Reply
    • Arien Smith

      This is truly so familiar, both in my own history and in many of the survivors I’ve worked with over time. I have a few other resources that I think will guide you towards healing this, too! This blog on handling the fear of abandonment will likely help, as will this one about self-sabotage cycles. I also have an affordable eCourse launching in October or November that will show you how to go super in depth with your healing and really bring you towards a joyous relationship with this woman. One where you’re no longer pressured to run by these tough emotions. Here’s info about that program! Even before it launches, you can start your healing journey by taking this quiz.

      Lots of compassion to you!

      Reply
    • Gregory

      I’m experiencing the same situation. I thought no one could possibly understand what or how I’m feeling. Thanks bro!

      Reply
      • Arien Smith

        So glad I could help validate your experience!

        Reply
  8. JG

    8 years ago my husband had an affair, a very long relationship with a younger, beautiful woman. I stayed in the marriage and attempted to fix it mostly because of our children but also because I lacked self confidence. We lived a good life and I did what I thought was the right thing to do. Fast forward several years and I met someone and then I had an affair. I allowed this to happen because I was in a very unstable place still within myself. Moving forward after these affairs have been a roller coaster of emotions mostly on my part. I cannot/will not allow my husband to get close to me. I’ve built walls up and pushed him away. We have recently separated. I left. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but I felt like I was living a lie. At 50 years old I feel like it’s time for me to be happy. He wants me but I continue to reject him. I feel like it’s all my fault now. I say “he started it and I finished it” He’s a great guy who is my best friend but I’m not IN LOVE with him anymore the way I used to be.

    Reply
    • Arien Smith

      Realizing you deserve to be happy is amazing! It sounds like the issues with your husband lasted a long time and it may indeed be best to keep focusing on moving on. It’s not your fault (he had an initial affair, and that probably creates issues leading all the way to your own affairs and the separation). Have you considered trying to say it’s valid that you finished it? That reaction is normal and perfectly okay to have, there’s no shame in finishing a relationship that doesn’t work for you anymore.

      Reply
  9. Noblesse Oblige

    The spousal abuse i experienced was subtle, but i feel broken from it.

    It was more a matter of control, criticism, neglect, and emotional blackmail.

    I’m so programmed by my abuser that I can’t leave her because i just feel so bad for her.

    But i have no drive to leave her because I’m afraid that I’ll just be hurt and taken advantage of by my next partner.

    I have no one to talk to about it because nobody understands how a man can be emotionally abused by his wife

    Reply
    • Arien Smith

      Here it’s totally valid and understood that men can be abused by their wives too. I recognize that is a type of abuse that can happen (and it certainly isn’t talked about enough)! It sounds like a lot of what you’re experiencing is trauma bonding, where you’re emotionally tied to your abuser and love them, in some ways, despite what they do. This blog might really help you with that. This blog will help you avoid future hurtful relationships too, so you can trust love is possible to find again.

      Healing is possible, it really is!

      Reply
  10. gia

    I have two siblings and I am the middle child. I guess it is safe to say that I am unfortunately the least attractive between my siblings and ever since I was young I am so used to being last or nobody’s choice. Not even my parent’s. At that time, I didn’t really thought too much about it as I was just a kid, what do I know right? I just isolate myself because I didn’t want to risk getting disappointed when nobody notice me. Now that I am older, I noticed that I have this negative and unsettling feeling whenever someone says I love you to me and I can’t really bring myself to say it back. I am not even exaggerating when I tell you I can’t remember the last time I said those 3 words to someone. Then I realized I always ask myself “Why would anyone love you?” and I think I have not healed from the trauma I got when I was a child because it is just so hard for me right now to believe that anyone would love me after years and years of being ignored. I am trying to heal. I really am. However, it’s just so hard to trust people that they won’t hurt me like how my family and relatives did.

    Reply
    • Arien Smith

      Ah, Gia…this is such a difficult experience and a horrible way you were treated as a child. That can really make an impact, so it makes sense you’re dealing with this today. A lot of your healing will probably be on limiting belief work, basically learning to rewrite beliefs you have about yourself. Here’s a blog on that!

      Also, this Facebook group could be an amazing place for you to find encouragement as you heal too.

      Reply
  11. Amber

    Thank you for posting this. I honestly didn’t know what was going on with me. I really appreciate your video and you helping others with this.

    Reply
    • Arien Smith

      I’m so glad you found this helpful!

      Reply
  12. Julian Stevens

    I feel as though i dont want affection though im a teenager and ive never really liked hugs, kisses, or saying i love you and its making my step mom fight with my dad because she is a very emotional and loving person but always asks me things jokingly like “Julian, do you feel loved?” Mockingly and i hate it i dont like affection and dont want it really but how do i make it seem like im not just being rude, she can’t seem to grasp that a person just doesn’t like it.

    Reply
    • Calion Smith

      It’s totally valid and understandable to not like affection! Everyone has a different comfort level with it. What I’d recommend is setting clear boundaries and holding her accountable for them. Here’s a blog on boundary setting to start, and if you want to go deeper then you can check out this program. There’s a whole module that talks about boundaries!

      Reply
  13. naima

    I love the idea of a relationship with someone but when someone wants something serious or to even display affection towards me, I get uncomfortable and even sometimes physically nauseous. I hate that I push away everyone’s love and I just wish I was able to love normally and accept love like everyone else can. I’ve never been in a real relationship with anyone because of this. I want to be able to fix this but I have no idea how.

    Reply
    • Calion Smith

      Hi Naima! I can hear how difficult this is, being unable to physically get close to someone. It sounds like some work around triggers and exposure therapy could be worth looking into. Do you have a mental health professional you can trust, and a close friend who may be able to work alongside them to gently help you get used to physical touch? Additionally, learning strong communication and boundary setting skills will likely be amazingly beneficial!

      Reply

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January 17, 2018

Hi! I’m Calion

I’m a dreamer, healer, and optimistic soul…and a survivor of child sexual abuse and trafficking. I created Uncover Your Joy to show joy and peace are possible to find after trauma. I’m the founder of The Prosperity Path Program, and have reached almost 80,000 survivors with my blog!