A reader wrote in: “I am 38, single, female, with a relationship track record that looks like a report on the Titanic. I seem to attract nice men, have a good time with them, and then things seem to go to hell. What am I doing wrong?"
We Replied:”Obviously, we need more information to really help you.
1. How long do the relationships last in general?
2.What kind of ‘hell’ breaks loose?
3. Do you see yourself as a controlling person, a helping person, or just a mix of both?”
She replied “My relationships seem to last between 2 months to 8 months. One was longer, but he ended up gay after we dated for a year and a half, so don’t know what to make of that. All hell seems to be a lack of caring for me or even a concern for my needs. I am definitely not a controlling person; I just want someone to love me”.
We dialoged some more with her, and her answers gave us enough incite to proceed with some comments. A relationship, like any living thing, needs time to grow and mature. From our perspective it takes about three months for the relationship to start to show some signs of reality. By this we mean it takes that long before the façade starts to wear off and the real people begin to show up. It is when the good, the bad, and the ugly start to come over the relationship horizon. It takes about another nine months after this for a relationship to move from “I am in love” to a “loving relationship”(click here for our blog on I Love You) During the nine months of being with a person and seeing the ‘good, bad, and ugly” we determine if this is a place we really want to build a future.
In this particular case, it seems the relationships didn’t provide a nurturing place for our reader and thus she ended up feeling used. Our general belief about this case is the woman is trying to fix and heal her partners so they will love her and stay with her. One further conversation with her did show that she had a tendency toward “co-dependence” or the desire to pour more life into others than into her own. The idea is; “let me make you happy, healthy, whole, and then you will love me”. As such she gives so much of herself to the relationship, that she starts to resent the fact they are not reciprocating. Rather than leave this, she turns up more “fix and repair” and thus expects even more “love” in return. She will be clingy, demanding, emotional, and generally hard to get along with as she pours out more of herself and gets little in return.
Questions to ask in this situation:
1. Is my worth based upon this other person’s acceptance of me?
2. Am I prioritizing my life or am I second to others?
3. If I really believe I can fix this person, why am I always dating such broken people?
If you see yourself with this problem or have been in similar situations, please comment on this so we can all share together. What are your thoughts? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. If you want to be a follower of the blog, click on the Followers box on the left of the post. The blog is also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@jttwerell. We also provide internet counseling by Skype or phone. Email us if we can help.
My book Forever Yours depicts a long term relationships and some of the intricacies involved in this process. Click Here for more information.