But it turns out, there’s a reason why many of us struggle with the concept of settling down with a partner.
According to psychotherapist Allison Abrams, some of us adopt a dating style known as ‘avoidant attachment’, as childhood experiences have an undeniable effect on relationships in later life.
“Insecure attachment styles, such as avoidant attachment, usually stem from some sort of early trauma,” she told Business Insider . “When our needs aren’t met consistently by our primary caregivers, we form the belief that they won’t be met by any significant other, [and] that we can’t ever rely on others.”
In other words, many of us keep new love interests at a distance (or avoid relationships altogether), as a consequence to the fear of them leaving us. Sometimes, it makes sense in our heads to call it quits before our other half has the chance… Sound familiar?
“This is an unconscious attempt to make sure that they never again go through anything like they went through with their original caregiver,” Abrams continued. “The irony is that by engaging in these defences that we’ve learned we are actually recreating the very thing we were trying to avoid.”
Those with ‘avoidant attachment’ also tend to focus on the negative aspects of relationships and reflect on how happy they were single instead of readily embracing their new partner.
Other dating traits include playing games to encourage their other half to become jealous in a bid to attract attention.
And for those of you out there recognising the telltale signs, it’s not too late to up your dating game.
“We may not change our styles altogether, but we can learn to make adjustments and not allow them to destroy our current relationships,” Abrams added.
And the most promising way to spark positive change is to start by consulting a therapist to identify the source of your relationship fears.
“Know you are doing the best you can given circumstances that were not in your control,” Abrams continued. “The good news is that you do have control now and if you do the work, you can make changes.”
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