Dear Dr. Romance:
My last romantic relationship, which I thought was mutual, ended because she said one day out of the blue, "I don't love you any more." I don't think she ever really did love me, but rather that I was her crutch after her last breakup. I loved her wholly, with all my everything, however she did reciprocate. That, of course, hurt.
As such, since I am the type to put my everything into what I do, I am somewhat leery of another romance—what if it ends the same way? Also, the people in whom I have shown interest rarely return my feelings, which is a double whammy working against me. I suppose that that is not uncommon, though. I am not rushing into anything with the wrong person—the wrong person is someone who is a whim. I want a relationship, not a sex partner. Because of that, I fear I may continue to be single for quite some time.
I do work on myself, though! Since I started Weight Watchers almost three years ago I have lost over 60 pounds. I also am "attacking" other aspects, social, physical and other, that could stand to be improved.
I may be single, but I am not lonely, most of the time. I have friends that are there for me when I need them (in person, on the phone, in email, and so on). Best of all—I am happy!
I think you need to trust yourself more about relationships. You said "I don't think she ever really did love me," so I think you may have had some clues, but you didn't want to see them. Now that you have some distance from this relationship, why not take another look at what was going on? If you do, I think you'll see some clues you missed before, and that will tell you what to be aware of in the next relationship. I can see that you are willing to learn, and I believe that if you learn from your past relationship, your next one will always be better. Keep doing what you're doing, becoming your best self, and it will work. "10 Reasons For Not Falling in Love" will help you explore your reluctance to have another relationship. "Couples Can Cooperate for Success" and "When Love is Kind: Mutuality in Relationships" show you how to create a mutually satisfying relationship.
Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences is all about learning how to understand your partner. Its information, exercises and examples will help you and a partner communicate successfully.
For low-cost counseling, find me at LoveForever.com.
More Breakup advice on YourTango: