Hi, I’ve been struggling for some time now with getting in a relationship. Whenever I find someone I like, if they reciprocate the feeling I shortly lose interest in them and I no longer find see them as a ‘crush’.

I am a person who enjoys being alone and I need time with myself, such as doing things I like without getting annoyed by others. I tend to distance myself from people if they become clingy, I just cannot stand it. Even in my childhood, I used to spend time alone, didn’t have many friends. However, now when it comes to relationships I struggle, sometimes with friendships as well. I easily get sick of them and it is bothering me that I cannot commit to one person.

Is it normal to feel this way? What should I do? Thank you!

A. Effectively answering your question would require more information about the nature of your relationships. For instance, how many times have you tried beginning a relationship with someone and lost interest? How long do these relationships last? What exactly do you mean by “crush”? Having the answers to those questions would help me to ascertain the nature of your relationships and add the necessary context to your question.

You might be choosing people who you thought at first were a match but came to learn that they were not. That’s what dating is all about. Dating involves meeting (sometimes many) people and trying to determine if they are a good partner. It would be problematic if you stayed with someone that you did not like.

Dating, by its very nature, is a process of rejecting everyone who is not a match. Most of the people you date will not be someone who you continue to date. Typically, people date and choose the one person with whom they wish to spend the rest of their life. Most relationships don’t last and breaking up is the norm.

You mentioned not wanting to be around “clingy” people. That is understandable. It is an undesirable trait. You also wrote that you like to sometimes be alone. Among healthy people, that is not an unusual or unhealthy trait. Abraham Maslow, who studied psychologically healthy people, observed that they prefer solitude and privacy to a greater degree than the average person. The persons that he studied had friends but not many and did not feel compelled to be with others out of loneliness or for other similar reasons. You can read more about self-actualizing people in his books.

It’s possible that your approach to relationships is not abnormal or indicative of being a “loner.” You might consider meeting with a local therapist who can gather information about the nature of your relationships and determine if there is a problem. Therapists specialize in relationships and can advise you in making appropriate changes, if necessary. Best of luck to you.

Dr. Kristina Randle