It is worth looking at your parents’ marriage too and asking yourself what impact (positive or negative) it has had on your view of love and commitment.
And you may also want to try to discover what in your past has made you mistrust men and what has made you fear being hurt or abandoned.
So, your friends may be right – the best thing you can do to help yourself is to relax, be yourself and to follow your dreams. You had a major relationship at university that left you hurt. You mentioned that you threw yourself into work and travelling but did you grieve the relationship? Once you have done that – you could burn the letter or tear it up as a symbolic gesture of letting go.
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In the first instance, I told him that I thought this was not special and he broke up with me and in the second instance, I broke up with him when it was going well because I thought he would sooner or later. I have had a break from dating and men for about 4/5 months now thinking it would be wise to just clear my head and become happy again.
However, it feels as if I have tried so hard and achieved so little – it is disheartening – and now I’m concerned that I will never be able to find love again which is sad as I would very much like a family and children.
I am just reading a new book that you may find helpful. And finally, you say that you are losing faith in love. Keep holding on to hope – hope that you are loveable, hope that you can be happy with or without a man, hope that you will make a good choice if and when the time comes and hope that your past doesn’t need to dictate your future. Learn to be content in the present, be open to dating, ask friends and family to introduce you to any great men they know, try internet dating and don’t whatever you do put your life on “hold” until Mr. Then you won’t have to look back if and when you get married or have children, and wish that you had done more and worried less when you were single.
* HOW TO CONTACT SARAH Please send your questions on relationship and emotional problems to Sarah Abell, The Daily Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0DT, or email [email protected]
I think there could be several answers to that so let me deal with each of them in turn. Finding love isn’t something we can apply ourselves to like work, getting fit or learning a musical instrument – whereby the more effort we put in the greater the rewards.
Yes, of course there are things that we can do to improve our chances of finding and staying in love but we can’t make someone fall in love with us.
Thirdly, you may not know what you need in a partner.
Do you have a picture in your head of the perfect man for you? What you think you want and what you actually need – maybe very different.
Thankfully, I managed to overcome my fear and so can you.