Marieke writes: My problem is that men never really choose me. They like me for a short while but then there is always someone better, nicer, prettier or whatever. I am 38 and I am so ready for a real relationship.
I feel like you are ready for a relationship, but the people you’ve been meeting and dating are not. I get the sense that people have fallen out of your life for many reasons, mostly having to do with their own confusion and lack of clarity.
Here’s the thing: no matter why someone leaves, their leaving does not define your value. You’ve been telling yourself a story that you’re really not good enough. You are using other people’s actions as a reflection of your worth.
It can help to think of the part of ourselves who feels heartbroken as “the inner child.” It is your inner child who believes that she’s flawed because people walk away from her. Most children have no capacity to see that things have nothing to do with them. For example, when parents are stressed, children usually blame themselves and think that it’s their fault. Your inner child thinks everything is happening because of her. She believes she’s not pretty or exciting enough to hold someone’s interest.
Healing for you is about reversing this story and not believing it, because, in reality, it’s not the truth. Close your eyes, imagine that your inner child sitting with you, and go over the last few experiences you’ve had with men — and tell her the truth about the real reason they left. Trust me, it had nothing to do with her. Talk to her as if she’s your own daughter. What’s the truth? Did they really leave because she isn’t pretty enough? I think you know that’s not true.
When she hears you — and it might take a few tries — and lets this message in, that’s when everything shifts. I can see you dating again and not bracing for someone to reject you. I can see you being open to what is… without attachment. And the reason you won’t be as attached to someone staying or going is that their actions will no longer define your value.
Hold the intention to meet someone who is also “ready for a real relationship,” and you’ll weed out the unready people faster and easier each time.
If you have a question you would like to submit for next week’s column, please write it in the comments below.