- Do you know what a love trap is? If you constantly end up in relationships that are borne from the same patterns or need for convenience, then you are a victim of one of these traps. You can rarely tell when you’re faced with a love trap, so it’s best to be prepared when the time comes.
What is a love trap?
It may sound overdramatic when you say the term love trap, but it is a real and prevalent problem amongst impressionable singles. Love traps are relationships that seem like a good idea, but they always end up harming your emotional well-being.
Love traps can hide in the form of a career-compatible relationship, an amazing first date, or even an exciting and mysterious stranger. A lot of people fall for love traps because they seem too good to be true. The worst part is that you won’t know that you’re in one until it’s too late.
The different kinds of love traps
If you want to avoid getting sucked into a love trap, you need to know what they are and how you can steer clear of them.
#1 The meant-to-be love trap. The usual suspect of the meant-to-be love trap is the prom king and queen. Just because everyone expects you to end up together, doesn’t mean that you should. It usually occurs when two people realize that they share similar attributes like physical attractiveness, intelligence, creativity, etc. You might seem perfect for each other on the surface, but relationships can’t rely on similarities alone.
#2 The perfect date love trap. This love trap is tricky because it lulls you into thinking that the relationship will be as awesome as your date. Most people fall into this love trap because they were having so much fun on the date that they forgot to consider whether or not they like the person in front of them. That is why you should focus more on the person than on the experience.
#3 The forbidden fruit effect love trap. A person caught in this love trap will deny their situation vehemently. This is because the forbidden fruit effect happens subconsciously. The more you perceive someone as unattainable or off-limits, your subconscious will derive rationales and justifications that you think are reasonable, but in actuality, are not.
#4 The perceived scarcity love trap. Have you ever wondered why you started liking someone that you never thought twice about when you saw them with someone else? This effect is called perceived scarcity. Because someone is in demand, you start to think that maybe they’re the last of their kind or that there are very few of them left. When you finally get them, you’ll realize that they weren’t what you wanted in the first place.
#5 The falling in like love trap. A lot of people don’t know the difference between being in love and being in like. Heck, even I don’t know how that feels, but I do know that assuming that you’re in love is one of the worst love traps. Love is a very powerful emotion that cannot be quantified. When you start considering acts of generosity and politeness as admissions of love, you might be deluding yourself into thinking that you’re way more attracted to a person than you really are.
#5 The depth of gratitude love trap. Some people perceive love as a form of payment when they don’t have anything else to give. Your depth of gratitude isn’t limited to material or financial items, either. A partner may have sacrificed a lot of themselves for you, and that gesture could end up holding you back from telling them that this is not the relationship that you want.
#6 The emotional investment love trap. This is the complete opposite of the depth of gratitude love trap. When you put too much work, effort, and resources into a relationship, you might be reluctant to let go of it because you’re not sure if you can handle investing more of yourself into someone new. It’s similar to building your dream house in the middle of an arid desert and living there until you die of thirst.
#7 The now or never love trap. When opportunity knocks, it’s understandable that you’d want to take it. However, there is a difference between trying something new and committing to it before you know what you’re getting into. When a person thinks that they will never experience being in a relationship like the one they’re in ever again, they will hold on to what they have, even though it’s not what they truly desire.
#8 The rebound love trap. You can get sucked into this love trap when you want to stand by your decision to start a relationship when you aren’t even ready yet. Some rebound relationships succeed, but they usually fail because of unresolved issues and a lack of closure from their past.
#9 The really good *love trap. This is a very dangerous love trap because really good *is a highly sought-after commodity. It’s hard to find someone you can be compatible with emotionally and *, but what people don’t understand is that it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Good *can be learned and taught, but emotional compatibility is difficult to cultivate.
How to avoid falling into a love trap
The tips below are designed to help you avoid any of the 9 love traps mentioned above, and they can also help you find someone that will never put you in a love trap.
#1 List down at least 20 things that you want in a partner. They have to be reasonable, concise, and non-negotiable. You need to be consistent with what you want, or else you’ll end up settling for something that won’t make you happy.
#2 Promise yourself that you won’t date anyone who doesn’t meet at least 75% of your criteria. If they have less than 75% of what you’re looking for, let it go. When you agree to date someone who’s less than what you’re looking for, you’ll just end up being unhappy with the choice that you made.
#3 Take the time to get to know the person you’re seeing. If you don’t want to fall into someone’s love trap, make sure that you’re not setting yourself up to get sucked into one. We enumerated the possible outcomes. Taking the time to determine if you’re faced with a possible love trap can save you from a damaging relationship in the long run.
#4 Follow your gut. Some studies can attest that following your initial instinct is always your best bet. If you follow your gut and end up losing a possible love interest, you can always find a new one. If you ignore the warning signs, and push through with a possible love trap, you won’t be able to reconcile yourself to the fact that you made the wrong choice.
#4 Re-evaluate your motives for starting or staying in a relationship. Whatever your reasons for initiating a relationship with a person you like, make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. Don’t stay for money, out of guilt, or a sense of duty. Be there for your partner because you want to, not because you feel like you have to. [Read: 15 types of toxic relationships to watch out for]
#5 Let go as soon as you can. When you realize how blatantly wrong you are for a certain person, give it a rest. Stop trying to make things work when it’s obvious that you can’t change the situation. It will be difficult, but it is possible. Letting go can sometimes show you that what you had wasn’t what you needed.
#6 Remember that you don’t have to settle for anything less than you deserve. Everyone deserves to be happy and loved. If you fail to achieve either of those in a relationship, there is no point in staying. People and relationships can change and evolve, but there comes a point when you realize that the relationship you’re in failed to grow, and it’s time to cut your losses. [Read: 16 signs you’re settling for an unhappy relationship]
Being caught in a love trap can be an exhausting and destructive experience. It’s called a love trap because the feelings of love or something like it exist, and those feelings are the ones that are keeping you stuck in an unhealthy relationship. Those feelings are also what make it so difficult to detach yourself from your relationship.