Counselling

My failed relationships follow a pattern

I hold back to avoid getting hurt and yet, I get hurt each time
Relationship problems

Dear Sir,

I have been in 3-4 relationships. The first one started as a fling but got serious for both of us. When he told his mother about us she disapproved, as ours was an inter caste relationship. His parents stayed against it. I was just 21 and unsure about marriage. I didn’t support him much. He broke up with me over a call and within a couple of months, he had an arranged marriage.

After then, I totally lost trust in men. Which made me see the same pattern. Whomever I date. I don’t put much effort. But when I realize that the person I am dating is good I decide that I should invest myself more. The moment I start showing affection… I don’t know if it is a turn off, the person moves on to someone else.

I am 27 now and for 8 months have been speaking with a man. Initially, I was not interested in him. As he started the conversation and was putting too much effort. I took him for granted every time. He doesn’t match my picture of a future partner, but I was moving with the flow to see what happens. We both have a tendency to have upper hand in conversation or action.

The first time we got little physically intimate, I got to know that he is facing some problem in that area. Once, I made a little joke about our married life but it freaked him out. A couple of days later he called me up to say that he was never serious about me, so there is no chance of marriage. We broke up. He called me up a month later but I was angry with him so I told him a lie – that I was now seeing someone else.  I guess I just wanted to make him feel bad – the way I felt when he said he was not serious for me. After that, he behaved like a friend. It was clear that he had feelings for me. He use to stand and wait at the door of the gym just to say goodbye to me… and I also started changing myself. Started being caring towards him.

But a few days back. He stopped calling me. Texted of course. A couple of days back I called him at midnight. He was already on a call and didn’t call me back. Next day over text apologized for not talking. Today in a very friendly manner he showed me the picture of a girl that he has been talking to. She is of the same caste as his. They met on tinder a year ago, before he had met me. They had spoken for a couple of months and though he had liked her, she was not interested in him. About a week back they started talking again. This time they connected. I couldn’t do anything. I don’t love him or anything but it hurt to hear about the girl in his life. I listened like a friend, advising him. I believe in not keeping people forcefully in my life. Also, I am planning to stop contact with him to protect myself.

This is the pattern. The story I wrote has been repeated happened in every relationship. Sometimes I feel that only I see my relationships seriously as in long-term but guys don’t. The story always starts in the same manner and ends in the same way.

Thank you

Counsellor Deepak Says:

Dear Young Lady,

Yes, you have been successful in identifying a pattern in your relationships. However, don’t think that it is all because of who you are, romantic solutions are very rarely singular in nature. That is not to say that the way you think and behave has nothing to do with the “problem,” if problem we must call it. You do contribute to the situation but you don’t control it. Having said that, we can only talk about what you can manage and control; your thinking and behavior.

Playing mind games is very tempting but gives us false reassurance that we will be able to find out the truth of other people’s feelings and intentions. Evidently that hasn’t served our purpose.

I would highly suggest one approach for you, which I guess you could use with combination of other things you do, except playing mind games. Honest and open communication about your feelings, intentions and plans with the other person should be the way forward. If they freak out, they freak out! It won’t be the end of the world.

However, if you keep hiding and playing games, in order to save yourself from the hurt, which is a potential part of every relationship, you may not get to the goal of meeting someone who is not afraid of a long-term relationship.

Second, it might be of value to see a relationship counsellor to explore some deeper emotional issues that might make you react to the situations the way you do. If nothing else you’ll potentially gain an insight in your own psyche.

All the best,

Deepak
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