7 Effective Ways To Sabotage Your New Relationship

It’s the season of new relationships

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Earlier this year, the pandemic hit. We figured we would ride out the storm and wait for things to “go back to normal.” As soon as it became clear things weren’t going back to normal, we seriously considered quarantine dating.

I, along with many of my friends, have entered into new relationships!

With new relationships come challenges. With challenges come opportunities for growth. If you’re looking to sabotage your new relationship before real growth can happen, follow this advice.

While being in a happy healthy relationship sounds nice in theory, it all feels a little scary. Being alone and swiping on Tinder is much more familiar.

Based on my experience, these tips will bring back that familiar loneliness in no time!

1. Assume You Are a Good Judge of Your Partner’s Faults

When the initial excitement wears off, they’re going to be obvious. Consider if they are bad enough that you need to break up. Don’t worry about the fact that you have a history of self-sabotage and are probably searching for a reason to be alone since that’s what you’re used to.

Scrutinize your partner. But don’t tell them what you are thinking. Be sorta detached. When they ask what you’re thinking about, lie and tell them that you are thinking nice things about them. Push down the thoughts and don’t admit them to anyone. Let them fester into resentment.

Think back to all your previous relationships. Remember when you did this exact thing? Don’t worry about that. Instead, romanticize past relationships. Compare the false past to your present. Worry that it doesn’t measure up to your expectations.

Take all that private worrying and let it make you moody. Refuse to be honest about it. Think that you are doing the other person a favor.

2. Worry They Are Secretly Judging You

You’re secretly judging them. Why wouldn’t they be secretly judging you? Try to guess what they think about you. Never ask. Alternate between feeling like you’re too good for them to feeling like they’re too good for you — going from arrogance to self-pity on a dime.

You’re going to want to analyze everything they say while you’re trying to sleep. Look for clues that they hate you. When you can’t take being alone, call them at odd hours. When they answer, be mad at them for not immediately soothing you and have a weird fight in the middle of the night, even though you’re the one who called them.

Apologize the next day. Make sure they take some of the blame. It can’t be all your fault, after all. Have another long, weird conversation about your feelings that is impossibly layered and too complicated for either of you to follow.

Assume that all this is because you’re a “deep” person. Tell them that if they can’t handle you, they should leave. Think you mean this. When they actually threaten to leave you, make them pity you so they won’t go.

3. Project All Your Hope on Them

They could be “The One!” They could finally save you from yourself. If they could only be good enough. . . Subtly imply in every conversation that they need to be good enough to save you from yourself.

Ask them questions like, “What are your dreams?” When what you really want to know is, “Are you going to be everything I can’t be?” Get anxious when you feel like they aren’t dreaming big enough. What if they can’t make something of themselves either? Wish that they were famous, smarter, more popular, or went to a better college than you.

Lie about their positive attributes to your friends. Feel shame when they talk at parties. Correct their behavior on the way home — and have more weird, long, “deep” discussions in the car that are never about what you are actually thinking.

4. Project All Your Fears on Them

Instead of worrying about your own fears, project them on your partner.

Worried about getting old? Project that on your partner! Wish they were younger. Fantasize about sleeping with young people.

Worried about money? What about your intelligence? Project it on your partner! Fantasize about having a partner who is smarter and richer and secretly resent your actual partner for not being these things.

Above all, never, ever realize that this is about you.

5. Hold Out Hope That You Can Do Better

Your partner likes YOU? Wow, that’s pretty cool.

That probably means you could do better. Whenever your partner displays affection for you, never take it on face value — instead, assume that it means they are not good enough for you and that you need to do better.

Keep dating apps on your phone — just in case. Have one foot out the door. Look for any evidence that this person isn’t good enough. Never realize that the fact that they like you is making you dislike them because you have internalized a sense of self-loathing and you think that anyone who likes you must be an idiot. Allow this belief to linger right below your conscious mind.

Never do any self-reflection that you might notice that your deep-seated self-loathing is the real reason you think you can do better — not any sense of real confidence.

6. Overshare Your Entire Life Story Without Context

You heard vulnerability is strength. Take this advice to the extreme. Tell your partner your every dark thought that crosses your mind. Assume if they react badly, it means that they don’t love you. If you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone they need to know all the darkest parts of you and not run away. Have no sense of time-and-place.


Always be testing. Poke at your partner’s emotions. See how far you can go before they prove you right and say something negative. React poorly to this feedback. Have even more never-ending conversations about your feelings.

Try to elicit pity when you feel self-doubt. Tell sob stories about your life and give them no choice but to be nice to you. Be moody and mean when they don’t react exactly the way you expected them to.

Think to yourself, “If they can’t handle my story, they don’t deserve me.” Expect this result and pursue it relentlessly without knowing it.

Feel slightly vindicated when they prove you right and leave you.

7. Feel Disgusted When They Are Vulnerable With You

On the other hand, you don’t want to date a loser. Choke back vomit when they share. Pretend that you’re being supportive. Eventually, this will trigger an argument about the subtle meta-conversation that’s going on.

Deny you feel the way you feel. Be happy that you can argue about something instead of talking about your partner and their feelings.

When push comes to shove, complain that “you don’t know what’s wrong with you.” Say you’re sorry and have a tearful make-up after a horrible conversation.

Reinforce the pattern. Bond over shared misery. Don’t realize that the cycle will happen again very soon.

To recap:

  1. Assume You Are a Good Judge of Your Partner’s Faults
  2. Worry They Are Secretly Judging You
  3. Project All Your Hope on Them
  4. Project All Your Fears on Them
  5. Hold Out Hope That You Can Do Better
  6. Overshare Your Entire Life Story Without Context
  7. Feel Disgust When They Are Vulnerable With You

I’m confident that if you nail each one of these, you’ll definitely sabotage your new relationship.

If for whatever reason, you didn’t want to sabotage your newest chance at a happy relationship, you could do the opposite.

Written by

Lost southern boy learning to be a storyteller in Los Angeles. Interested in writing together? taylorforeman.com

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