12 Sad Signs You're Emotionally Damaged & Are Too Broken To Love

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woman leaning her head against a wall

An emotionally broken person finds it hard to love because they do not, cannot, or will not behave the right way with their partners or understand what relationships should be.

They may be able to feel love. They may be able to be attractive. However, in the long run, they always end up alone or in terribly unhealthy relationships. I call these people “broken.”

In many cases, they will be great dates but flee from commitment or serious things. They are emotionally fragile.

Other times, they are emotionally damaged, have low self-esteem, and have serious problems they have to work out before they can be in a relationship. Still, more may just have exceptionally toxic beliefs about love, dating, or the opposite sex.

Broken people are the ones who end up hitting their spouses, being abusive, being serial cheaters, or even raping others. They are people who have big problems that hurt other people leaving them in emotional distress.

Broken people are not happy people, deep down inside they are experiencing feelings of hopelessness or despair. But they may not even realize that the reason they are always alone is themselves. Or, if they know, they’ll refuse to believe it.

Therefore, you can't really say "just get over it" to a broken person. Instead, be a support system, say "you're better than this" or "you are not alone."

Are you asking yourself, "am I broken?"

RELATED: 11 Things People Don't Realize They Do When They're Emotionally Traumatized

If you recognize any of these signs in yourself, you just might be.

Now, there’s some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that you can work on yourself and actually become better if you are too broken to love or be in a healthy relationship. There’s also good news that you can figure out if you’re too broken to date.

The bad news is that seeing these signs in yourself means you have a lot of work to do before you can stop feeling so broken:

1. Every time you hear a love song or see a couple that’s happy, you get angry or upset.

I’ve been there, and trust me, it’s a horrible place to be.

The thing is, this just shows how much negative energy and hurt you’re carrying with you. Unfortunately, being that hurt means you need to get better before most people want to be with you.

2. The standards you have are nowhere near what you have to offer.

I’m all for not settling on important things like goals, career, and character. However, I’ll be the first to say that dating culture is incredibly shallow and entitled.

If you have standards for a modelesque person with a six-figure salary, and you’re broke, have issues, and don’t look like Claudia Schiffer, you may have a toxic belief setting you back.

RELATED: 5 Toxic Behaviors That Seem Normal In Relationships, But Are The Most Damaging Of All

3. You have complained that “everyone always just wants jerks,” or lashed out at someone because they didn’t want to date you after you became friends with them.

This is called Nice Guy Syndrome, and the truth is that it’s a sign of both entitlement and a lack of social awareness.

Attraction cannot be negotiated. Trying to force someone to like you will not work, and often borders on the abusive.

You might have actually gotten this belief from toxic rom-com movies, so if you’ve been feeling victimized by the “Friend Zone,” you may need to look into therapy.

4. You choose the people you date based on who others would want to see you with, rather than what you know you’d be happy with.

At the end of the day, it shows that you aren’t secure in yourself and are more worried about pleasing others outside of the relationship than you are about the quality of your relationship.

No relationship that comes from this is a good one, which is why you may need to take a step back and talk to a professional about why you’re living for others’ approval.

5. You’ve hit your partner, berated them, stonewalled them, or otherwise abused them.

Committing acts of abuse is the number one sign that you are too broken to be in a relationship.

If your exes have regularly said that you’re abusive or if they have restraining orders on you, then it’s safe to say that you may need to look inward and fix what causes you to hurt those who care about you.

6. You don’t really see your potential partners as people.

I mean that you don’t see them as individuals with their own feelings, needs, lives, and dreams.

A lot of people who are seriously emotionally broken view the opposite sex as the enemy, or props.

Ask yourself if you see the opposite sex as NPCs and maybe it’ll be time to actually rethink the way you approach dating. This is why dating a broken person can make you mentally exhausted, emotionally drained, and can leave you in a place of despair. 

7. People have told you that the way you’re behaving is unacceptable, or that you need to get help.

If you hear it from one ex, ok, that may be gaslighting. If you hear it from exes, friends, family members, and internet strangers? Well, you might actually have a problem that you’re not willing to admit to.

Once again, therapy and introspection does wonders.

8. Your parents rule your life.

There’s nothing wrong with being close to your family. There's something wrong when you let your family tear apart any relationships you have.

There’s also something absolutely wrong if you find your parents smothering any way for you to grow as a person, live your own life, or even choose who to date.

If your parents make all the rules for dating and refuse to let you manage your own relationship, that’s a problem. If you allow this to happen, they’ve broken you and it’s time to get help.

RELATED: 12 Signs You're Suffering From Emotional Trauma Caused By A Breakup With An Abusive Ex

9. People of all genders tend to avoid you.

I’ve been there, and I can tell you it’s not fun. It’s also not fun to hear what I’m about to tell you, either.

Generally speaking, there’s a typical reason why people avoid you. So, you might need to take a look at your social skills to see what’s up.

Thankfully, you’re never too old to learn how to deal with people a little better, and this is a way easier fix than other symptoms on this list.

10. You feel a need to punish people for the wrongs of others.

Been there, done that, bought a T-shirt franchise as a retirement fund.

You probably know that this is the wrong way to go about things. You probably also know that you’re going to feel way worse in the long run, because, eventually, you’ll have to answer to the people you hurt.

If you are feeling broken, you break others. Hurt people hurt people, but if you live by the sword, you’ll die by it, too. If you find this happening, please talk to a professional and avoid the dating scene. It’s not fair to you or the people who date you.

11. You know you have commitment and/or abandonment issues.

Yep, can’t have a relationship like that. Time to get some help and work out your own issues before you even consider dating another person.

12. People regularly say that you refuse to hold yourself accountable for your own problems, and, to a point, you know it’s true.

Accountability and actual character are huge when it comes to having a relationship that works. If you can’t admit fault, you’ll end up blaming your partner for all the things that happen bad to you.

That’s a sign of a personality disorder and also pretty insufferable behavior. If you want your next relationship to last, start owning up to your mistakes and working to make things better. 

RELATED: Why Trying To Love An Emotionally Broken Man Will Only Break Your Heart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. She writes primarily about lifestyle, food, finance, and relationships. You can follow her Twitter.