Hopeless about True Love

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hi, I have been so frustrated and depressed about only falling in love with guys who I somehow cannot have. What is wrong with me? Why do I go for guys who will only play with me, string me along and never be there for me emotionally. Is there a cure for this? I feel so hopeless and mad at myself at the same time. In prior relationships I chose men who I knew would love me more than I loved them because I wanted so desperately be sure that I was in control of the relationship but it pretty much felt like I was deceiving myself and not being myself and I got annoyed with these men easily. It seems like the more selfish the guy the more attracted I am to him. I want to be in a good relationship badly because I do have the desire to create a family and raise kids.

This last guy I have been seeing for a year is 7 years younger than me. He failed to mention his long distance relationship (she lives in Europe) in the beginning of our relationship but I found out shortly after. I rationalized the situation in telling myself that she lives on the other side of the globe and he also told me that the relationship has never been sexual and there is little chance for a future. I fell for his looks, charisma, intelligence and sex was really good also. He kept telling me that it would take time to let the other girl go and to be patient with him. It turned out that she wanted to visit for a month. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea but because I loved him so much would let him spend time with her. I would be traveling for half the time she would be there and he told me he was trying to find ways to break it off with her. He called me almost every day for the first three weeks to tell me he loves me, misses me and thanks God for my presence in his life. The last week communication slowed down substantially and I got the sense that something had changed. I felt so tense and depressed, and cried hours on end, especially because I was unable to reach him to talk to him. When she finally left and I was able to see him again, he told me he had his doubts about a future with me and on top of it he would make me the butt of his jokes in this situation. I felt extremely disrespected and made to suffer and I realize, I brought it on myself. I just have such trouble letting him go. He now wants to be friends and still talk and have fun together. I feel that it would be unfair towards me because I have such strong feelings for him. I am on this emotional roller coaster and have trouble seeing this ever change. I feel like I am trapped in this endless cycle of falling for the wrong guys. Is there hope for someone like me? Will I ever be able to have a relationship where I will appreciate and be in love with guys who are sincerely attentive, considerate and consistent. Thank you so much already for insightful response.

A. I understand that you feel hopeless about your situation but please know there is a solution. It is possible to change and correct your behavior with regard to relationships. Maybe you made mistakes in the past but bad relationships don’t have to be your destiny.

I find your letter very encouraging. You intelligently articulated what the problem may be. You’re also open to the possibility that your actions may have contributed to the problem. This is important to highlight because some people blame others for their problems. You recognize that part of the issue may be related to something you are doing and you are taking responsibility for changing it. The realization that you can change your actions and perhaps get a different result can be empowering. It means that it is within your power to create a new relationship experience.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying there’s something wrong with you. I am simply suggesting that you could benefit from guidance about how to improve future relationships. It’s about learning new skills. It may be that you are unclear about how to choose the proper mate, what qualities to look for in a potential mate or how to appropriately act in a relationship. You may never have learned these skills. You can be taught these skills with the help of a competent therapist who understands relationships and behavior.

Therapy can help you understand how and why you continually engage in the same pattern of relationships. Please click this link to find a therapist near you.

If you’re not interested in therapy try self-help books. One way to find a good book is to read through the reviews on Amazon.com. Look for highly rated books on relationships. One book I would suggest is by Dr. Robin Smith called “Lies at the Altar: The Truth about Great Marriages.” Thank you for your question.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Sep 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Hopeless about True Love. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/09/20/hopeless-about-true-love/

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