Have you ever wondered if you were missing something when it comes to having a relationship with a man? Do you sometimes get the sense that all men are screwed up? That love is too difficult? That you will never find that terrific guy who can rock your world? Well, you're not alone. Many women have experienced these thoughts and feelings. In this article adapted from my new relationship advice book, Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor’s Guide to Lasting Love, you'll learn about the powerful force that is at the root of your disappointments in love: your beliefs about love.

Beliefs underlie and shape our experience, our perceptions of reality, our moods and emotions and everything we say and do. We are aware of many of our beliefs but others lurk just underneath the surface. These hidden beliefs tend to shape the most important parts of our lives, without us being aware that they are doing so. Beliefs based on fear, abuse, past disappointments and loss can put up a complete roadblock on your journey to love. I call these the silent relationship killers.

Lasting, passionate love does exist—this has been proven by recent research on the brains of long-term couples. But it takes work, and a good part of that work is managing our killer beliefs. When these destructive beliefs are not managed, they seize on any bump in the road as proof that your negative ideas about love are true. When you have a relationship setback, a jealous quarrel or experience heartbreak, you may start to think: Am I losing myself in this relationship? Is this too hard? Am I settling? Is he really the guy for me? If I open up my heart is he going to disappear on me? Am I going to be hurt? Your baggage from the past gets dragged into your present, killing off the vitality and joy of your relationship.

In Sealing the Deal, I look at six relationship killer beliefs, how they play out in relationships and what you can do to overcome them. Here we’ll examine the first one; a belief that is very popular with the ladies.

Killer Belief #1: There Are No Good Men

Other variations on this theme:

• All men are jerks.
• All men are babies.
• All men are cheaters.
• All men are liars.
• All men let you down in the end.
• All the good ones are taken.
• All the available men have defects.
• All the available men are losers.

This killer belief usually surfaces in two different ways: a dead-end dating pattern where every single contender is perceived as having a fatal flaw; or, as out-of-control fears of rejection and abandonment that nullify feelings of trust and shut down a woman's heart.

The "Not-Perfect-I'll-Pass" Problem: This is the notion that all the good guys are taken and only the defective ones are available. This guy is too paunchy, too bald, too old, too young or even too good-looking and that one has hands that are just too small. Other deal breakers: bad taste in music, a cheesy sense of humor, loves me too much, is too predictable, or used the wrong table fork.

These complaints—including the typical ones that I've listed above—have nothing to do with the qualities that make for a partner who can provide lasting love and happiness. Study after study has shown that the most important variables that lead to happy relationships and marriages are a guy's (and your) character virtues, especially empathy, concern for others and a willingness to grow.

Instead of being nit-picky, change your perception to notice what is really at the guy's core in terms of his values and character. If you don't, your killer belief and the attitudes associated with it create negative and contemptuous vibes and emasculating, cold behavior that send men heading for the hills.

The "Chase Me" Problem: Maybe you're not Miss Picky when it comes to relationships, but the minute your boyfriend wants to move forward to a deeper commitment, you panic. You pull back and become unavailable or quiet or act crazy and dump him. Even if he acts lovingly, you insist to your friends that he doesn't really care about you. All this happens almost against your own will and for no reason having to do with him or the relationship. I call this pattern "Chase Me."

The "Chase Me" deadly dating pattern is all about fear. Deep down, you believe that no matter how good things are right now, it's not going to last: somewhere down the road there will be rejection and abandonment. The net-net is that you are the commitmentphobe. When you start to seriously fall for someone, you break up with him before he can hurt you. In this way you are in control of the heartbreak. What you really want is for the man to smash through the barricades you've thrown up, ride in on his white horse and claim you. But you never give him even the remotest clue, and because you've pushed him away again and again, he doesn't come after you. Women who operate under the "Chase Me" pattern usually wind up helping to create the very thing they fear: being abandoned and alone.

Warning Signs: You keep wondering why a woman like you who has so much going for her is single and alone. In addition, you may be lost in a whirl where you love him, you hate him, you just don't give a sh*t—and you can't stop yourself from acting bitchy or distant.

The Good News: This belief does not have to stop your chances for a lasting love relationship. Pick up a copy of Sealing the Deal and learn how you can quickly uncover, face and overcome these silent relationship killers.

Author's Bio: 

Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show & author of the highly acclaimed new book,“Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor’s Guide to Lasting Love” as well as the best-selling author of “Love in 90 Days.”Connect with Dr. Diana through her FREE Relationship and Dating Advice Newsletter