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However, I ended up meeting a few horrid men and being hurt by them and being quite devastated – although I now look back and can see that they just were not right for me and I had had a ‘lucky escape’.

Since then, I have dated two very lovely men who were nice and there was the potential for something long term and special but in both cases, I panicked severely.

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.

At the time I thought I handled it well by going travelling, immersing myself in my career and friends but not really going on many dates and especially not second ones.

A few years later, I moved to London (which was a shock and a bit frightening) and thought it was time for a relationship.

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.

* Each week, I will be answering your questions on relationship and emotional issues in the newspaper, and extra questions online.

I will also be posting on comments submitted by other readers.

It sounds like you picked some bad ones when you first came to London. And then with the two most recent ones – you admit that you sabotaged the relationships. When I looked back at my dating pattern – I realised that I kept picking men I knew deep down I wouldn’t marry.

It makes me wonder whether you are scared of commitment - the thing you want so much. I was subconsciously ruining my chances of finding love because I was afraid of commitment.

As a general rule, people want to be loved for themselves and not because the other person is desperate for a spouse or child.

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