Lonely, and seeking a mate

All Woman

Dear Counsellor,

Ever since my break-up last year I have not been able to move on. I still think about him often even though I know it is next to impossible for a relationship to happen between us. I am a young woman who just wants someone to settle down with and have a healthy relationship together. I am not sure what the issue is, but it seems as if I always end up getting hurt. I also try my best not to get hurt but somehow it just seems unavoidable.

I am finding it hard to control my sexual urges. I really don't want to lower my standards just because I am lonely. What can I do to attract the right type of man? I always feel as if only the ones I don't want or those that are unavailable are attracted to me. Is it that I am doing something wrong?

The search for a partner who will fulfill and satisfy their emotional needs is one that many young women are finding quite challenging and so many make some bad choices due to their level of desperation.

So you are grieving as you process the break-up of your last relationship. This is normal and you should allow yourself time to heal. Jumping into another relationship as you put closure on the last one is not a smart thing to do and can cause more harm than good.

As you process the break-up, ask yourself the following questions: What have I learned about myself? Was I too attached to my partner? Was I too accommodating of my partner's shortcomings? Could I have been more affectionate and caring? Did I ignore my partner's emotional needs?

If you find that you have some personal deficiencies that may have contributed to the break-up, then you need to address those as you prepare for the next relationship.

Use the time now while you are single to establish the parameters for the next relationship. Establish the things you will and won't accept and avoid making the mistakes you made from the last relationship.

You indicated that the men who are attracted to you are the ones you are not interested in. If some of these men are available, that is, they are not already in committed relationships, why not give someone in that category an opportunity, provided of course he falls within the parameters you set?

I am sure you know of instances where the woman never had that magnetic pull in the initial stage but eventually grew to love and appreciate the person as the friendship/relationship grew. Sometimes we allow the dictates of society to determine who we relate to on a romantic level. What if the man is not earning a high pay, neither does he own a house or a car but is ambitious, hardworking and steadily working his way up the income ladder, would he not qualify?

You have indicated that you don't wish to engage in casual sex which has its own set of built-in problems which could hurt more than the emotional pains you are presently experiencing.

Depending on your religious convictions and/or cultural upbringing, self-pleasuring may or may not pose a challenge. It is certainly much safer than casual sex as sharing your body with men who can either impregnate you or infect you with STIs can be most distressing. Plus there is the emotional aspect that will be caught up in the “touch and go” activity as well.

So as you contemplate your next relationship, spend some time cultivating some of the same qualities you are looking for in a partner. All the best.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com. Check his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.

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