I was 17 when I had my first serious relationship. We were high school seniors who really believed we were in love and would end up together. I went to a birth control clinic and we had no worries.
When he dumped me at 19, I felt devastated. He said, “Don’t be stupid, we were just kids.”
It took me years to trust any guy again. I had college flings and some random short-term relationships when I travelled… until I met my second “forever” person while working in another city.
We had very different backgrounds – mine is urban, university-educated, my father is a professor, mother a social worker.
His background is rural, father unknown, mother on social assistance, he’s worked in a trade since finishing high-school.
We connected passionately. He never said “love” to me, though I said it to him. But he looked after me, helped me, wanted to see me every day and I felt the same way. It wasn’t just about sex. We needed each other.
But after five years that included some huge differences in views, massive arguments, break-ups, and desperate attempts from me to reconcile, it ended.
I moved back to the other side of the country, because I couldn’t bear to be near him and without him.
I’m 33 now and feel empty and confused. I don’t want to date, but I do want to meet someone. I don’t use dating sites and apps but am left wondering if someone out there will love me.
Did these two torn-away relationships ruin my chances?
Starting All Over
What you’ve been through is called experience, not defeat.
An intense teenage romance, though wonderful at the time, gave you unrealistic expectations of “forever” when you were both about to grow and change through schooling, friends, goals, etc.
Your next major relationship had its own remarkable value from you and he reaching across social barriers to relate deeply to each other.
Unlike many people who lead narrow lives in a small social circle with fixed attitudes, you’ve had opportunities to grow in outlook and understanding.
You’ve learned, however, that for relationships to last, they need more than intensity and neediness.
Both partners need to be independent as well as interdependent, accepting, as well as true to themselves. Love is important but so is respect and trust.
Now, re-charge your self-confidence to find love again, but start with liking a man, feeling comfortable with him, and having some shared interests.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the topic of narcissistic parents:
“My mother is a narcissist. I have never heard a word of praise from her my entire life and have given up waiting.
“It took me getting into my 50's and finally realizing I no longer have the time or energy to work for her love. It's not there.
“I am lucky to have an aunt who has always made me feel special and loved.
“I hope that other young females growing up with this situation can find an older woman who can show that much-needed love and support… perhaps from a relative or teacher.
“The relationship with one's mother is so important. I wish more mothers realized this. What you say to yourself is, "If my mother doesn't love me, nobody can love me."
“I struggled with the harm from this relationship all my life and finally got the treatment I needed. I have also distanced myself from my mother and no longer spend time alone with her.”
I’m a divorced single mom with two daughters, 19 and 20. Their father hasn’t been involved with them since they were in grade school. Nor have his parents kept contact with them or me.
Both girls are attractive and bright but struggle with debilitating issues – one has terrible anxiety, the other is anorexic and bulimic. Both are being treated for their conditions.
I’m working hard just to support us. Should I be reaching out to their father to contact his daughters or would that cause more problems?
He wasn’t emotionally stable when we divorced and I understand that he’s still that way.
Your daughters are young adults having private therapy and treatment. Any question about contacting their father has to rise internally from them to the professional treating each one, and not from you.
Your unconditional love and support is what they know and need, without any suggestion from you to see their father or not.
Tip of the day:
Past loves from younger years are part of life experience. Re-charge your self-confidence to move forward.