I constantly push men away
The issues I experience now are directly related to my childhood so I have fear of men leaving me, a history of men always breaking up with me, it’s rarely or never me that ends it.
I come on too strong generally and I don’t pace the relationship. I am 34 and very attractive but always single. Even having met someone and kissed them makes me feel uneasy, I want to develop a relationship but I don’t seem to know how to do it healthily.
I am not afraid of physical or emotional intimacy but there are trust issues. My personality changes in relation to a man I like.
How can I help myself relearn? I really want to change and be more detached, more relaxed and easy going as I am in most areas of my life.
Personal relationships usually end up with me in tears. I want to turn the tide on this.
How can I?
Many people can function perfectly well in most areas of their life, but experience problems in their close, intimate relationships.
In most cases, the problems people encounter are not due to a lack of knowledge about how to behave, but people have a difficult time controlling their behavior. Their emotions get the best of them.
In fact, you seem to be aware of some of the behaviors which are causing problems: coming on too strong, pacing issues, a lack of trust, etc.
If you come on too strong, it can appear as overly needy and somewhat desperate. People like to date someone who is their equal, so coming on too strong signals to the other person that they could do better.
And with respect to pacing—it is critical to match another person’s level of self-disclosure, their use of questions, their nonverbal displays of liking, and so on. If you can, try mimicking the other person’s behavior, it will seem more natural to them.
However, changing these behaviors is much easier said than done. Emotions, rather than knowledge, takes precedent when it comes to love and romance.
So, our best advice is NOT to focus on what you think you’re doing wrong, but to focus on your underlying anxiety about dating (see anxious attachment).
Until you find a way to deal with those underlying emotions, you’ll probably just replace one type of interaction with another type of problematic behavior.
And the more you get rejected, the more anxiety it causes the next time around. Unfortunately, this can quickly become a self-fulfilling prophecy, where rejection makes you more likely to get rejected in the future (see selective attention and Wikipedia entry on social rejection).
Ironically, the best way to fix this type of problem is by being in a long-term committed relationship. Specifically, in a relationship where one feels valued, loved and treated with respect.
But, your emotions prevent that from happening. If this describes your situation, counseling is almost always required to address the underlying anxiety which is preventing you from having the relationship you desire (see counseling resources).
We hope this helps.
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