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Feeling Like Avoiding Being in a Relationship

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Hi, I am forty years old and currently single.
My problem is a bit difficult to describe, but more or less it is the following: Even though I have no problem talking to women – or people in general – I somehow feel very strange when a communication with a girl/woman seems to be heading to flirting. It’s like something inside of me trying to hold me back and I feel like the need to get out of the situation. This may not be 100% of the times, but definitely a 90-95% for sure.
This was not always the case. When I was younger, around 20, I remember myself wanting to be with women, to flirt and trying to find these things in life. Unfortunately for many years now this is not the case.
I tend to believe that this was due to a very hard break up that I had when I was around 21. From discussions I had with a therapist she insists that this cannot be the case and that the cause should be in earlier years in life (when I was a child).
Maybe it is important to explain, that I had relationships during the last 20 years though in almost all cases only when I was feeling wanted I moved on.
I think there are a lot more that may explain my situation better, but I maybe these are enough as an initial approach. (From Greece)

Feeling Like Avoiding Being in a Relationship

Answered by on -


 It may be that both earlier experiences in your life and your hard breakup are informing your hesitancy. To move into a more intimate relationship may be anxiety-producing because you have loved and lost before. It tends to be that early relationships and experiences in childhood are linked in someway — not separate incidents. In any case it seems like your past is influencing what happens when you feel greater intimacy.

I’d recommend the Keeping the Love You Find by Harville Hendricks. This will give you some of the elements of how attachment theory works. I’d would then talk about how you might take action in changing this pattern with your therapist.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. DanProof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Feeling Like Avoiding Being in a Relationship

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Feeling Like Avoiding Being in a Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 7, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 10 Oct 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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