12 Sad Signs Someone Has Emotional Damage — And Has A Hard Time Being In Love

Luckily, there's a way forward.

distraught woman MART PRODUCTION / Pexels

An emotionally damaged person has a hard time being in love because they do not, cannot, or will not behave the correct way with their partners or understand what good relationships look like.

They may be able to feel love, but somehow, they end up by themselves or in unhealthy relationships. They tend to flee from commitment, have low self-esteem, and have problems they must work out before they can be in a healthy relationship. Still, more may just have exceptionally toxic beliefs about love and dating.


Here are 12 signs of emotional damage that make it difficult to be in love

1. You become angry when others are happy

Whether it's hearing a love song on the radio or seeing a cute couple holding hands, it's enough to make you angry or upset. And it's not a healthy place to be.

It just shows how much negative energy and hurt you’re carrying with you. And, unfortunately, being that hurt means you need to get better before most people want to be with you.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Damaged People Tend To Bond With Other Damaged People, According To Research

2. You have incredibly high standards for yourself

The standards you have are nowhere near what you have to offer. While it's great to not want to settle on important things like goals, career, and character, the dating world, especially, is incredibly shallow and entitled.


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

signs of emotional damagePhoto: Emmanuel Ajayi / Pexels

3. You have a sense of entitlement

When you've tried to find love, maybe even connecting with a few people along the way, you can't seem to hush a nagging feeling in the back of your mind. You've 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.


But 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 abusive.

You might have actually gotten this belief from toxic rom-com movies, so if you’ve been feeling victimized by rejection or "the friend zone," consider therapy as an option.

4. You're a people pleaser

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. And that's not a good way to find a lasting, real connection with someone.

At the end of the day, it proves 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.


Take a step back and talk to a professional about why you’re living for others’ approval.

RELATED: Women Who Avoid These 24 Things Struggle To Find Love

5. You hurt those you care about

Whether it's been physical violence, emotional berating, or mental techniques like stonewalling, this is abusive behavior. And committing acts of abuse is the number one sign of emotional damage, which indicates you definitely shouldn't be in a relationship.

If your exes have regularly said that you’re abusive or if they make a point to stay far away from you, it’s safe to say that you need to look inward and fix what causes you to hurt those who care about you, and vice versa.


signs of emotional damagePhoto: Alena Darmel / Pexels

6. You view romantic interests as the enemy

You don’t really see your potential partners, or the opposite sex, in general, as people, meaning you don’t see them as individuals with their own feelings, needs, lives, and dreams. A lot of people who are seriously emotionally damaged view the opposite sex as the enemy or props.

Ask yourself if you see the opposite sex as NPCs (non-playable characters) in your life, and maybe it will be time to actually rethink the way you approach dating. This is why dating a damaged person can make you feel mentally exhausted, emotionally drained, and leave you in a place of despair.


7. You've been told your behavior is unacceptable

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

If you've heard it from a toxic ex, it may be gaslighting. However, if you hear it from multiple people — exes, friends, family members, and even strangers on the internet — you might actually have a problem that you’re not willing to admit to.

Once again, therapy and introspection does wonders and can help heal the wounds holding you back.



RELATED: The Scary Reason I Was Only Attracted To Damaged Men


8. You let your family rule your life

There’s nothing wrong with being close to your family. After all, they are your first friends in life.

But 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 hurt you and it’s time to get help.

9. You find that people tend to avoid you

Many people have been there and it’s not a fun place to be. But it's also not fun to realize that, generally speaking, there’s a typical reason why people avoid you.


signs of emotional damagePhoto: Elizaveta Rukhtina / Pexels

Not only is your negativity off-putting, but the way you carry yourself and behave is more than enough reason for other people to not want to be around you. It may be difficult to hear, but it's a result of being emotionally damaged.

To take a look at your social skills to see what the problem is. Because, thankfully, you’re never too old to learn how to deal with people a little better, and this is way easier to fix than other symptoms of emotional damage.


RELATED: How To Know If The Person Who Abandoned You In The Past Is Still Affecting You Today

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

You probably know that this is the wrong way to go about things, but you still do so. 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.

Hurt people hurt people, but if you live by the sword, you’ll die by it, too. If you find this happening, talk to a professional and avoid the dating scene for a while until you get to the root of the problem. It’s not fair to you, nor is it fair to the people who date you.

11. You have commitment and/or abandonment issues

You certainly can’t have a relationship like that, where your fear brought on by your emotional damage prevents you from trusting your partner fully.


If you're already in a relationship, take a step back and think about how your actions are affecting the person you're with. And if you're actively dating, get help and work out your own issues before you even consider being with another person.



12. You don't hold yourself accountable

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.

Broken people have big problems that hurt other people, leaving them in emotional distress. But you're not broken, just a little damaged. But there’s good news, because there is a way forward.

The good news is that you can work on yourself and actually become a better person, especially if you find yourself unable to be in a healthy relationship. In the end, it's always a good idea to consider seeking professional help.

RELATED: I Tried Modern Dating And All I Got Was Bitterness And Trust Issues


Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, New Theory Magazine, and others.