You categorize your past friendships as being failures but maybe that’s not the case. I am also wondering if you are giving those “friendships” more weight than they deserved.
There’s an important difference between acquaintances and friends. Acquaintances are often the people we befriend at work or at school. These relationships tend not to be very deep and often naturally end when would we no longer work at the same establishment or attend the same school. Almost everyone has these types of relationships at some point in their lives.
Friendships are deeper and more serious than acquaintance-type relationships. This may sound counterintuitive but among psychologically healthy people, it’s normal to have a rather small circle of friends. Because these relationships develop over time and require a great deal of energy and effort, they tend to be fewer in number.
Your ability to have healthy interpersonal relationships might be less of a problem than the fear you have about losing them. Fear seems to be at the heart of the issue. I would need more information about the nature of your friendships, both current and in the past, to know what’s wrong.
Counseling is the ideal place to address these issues. Counselors provide objective advice and guidance about correcting life problems. They specialize in relationship issues. Ask your primary care physician for referral to a counselor in your community. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle