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"Am I Sabotaging My Own Love Life?"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

When it comes to relationships I have a lot of trouble trusting men. I have been told I come across as quite guarded and that I can be very intimidating. Usually when I'm at a party or similar event — in which meeting people is in order — I tend to shun any male attention and refuse any guy the chance to get to know me. I consistently refuse drinks, refuse conversation, and I usually explain to them that I am just not interested; I often regret being so dismissive. My friends always tell me I'm too picky and should work on being more open to fall in love — or at least in "like" — but no matter how hard I try to take this advice I always end up shying away from anyone, regardless of if they're actually a really nice guy or not. 

I recently met a guy who I really liked but I blew it because he misinterpreted my distant behavior as lack of interest. In reality, I was just so scared I would say something dumb and he would decide he didn't like me anymore. When I explained the situation in full to a friend, she said that I seemed to have a fear of commitment. She said that I fear depending on a guy too much or caring too much. I had to admit that she was probably right and I had been subconsciously self sabotaging potential relationships because of this fear. I have been very slowly coming out of it but I want to fast forward this process. Any tips?

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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gilliangoodman gilliangoodman 3 years
I have often feel the same way.  For me, there are a few things that contribute to the factor:  #1--How do I feel about myself physically and emotionally?  Is there something getting in the way of me feeling like myself?  For instance, am I cranky because I don't get enough sleep or I have low blood-sugar?  Am I cranky when I drink?  Am I unsatisfied with work or with my current state of creativity and expression?  Write down how you are feeling.  Begin to keep a journal and notice patterns about yourself.  That's a great step--just be self-aware of why you might be feeling the way you feel.  #2--Be proactive about feeling better.  Take great care of your physical and emotional health--happiness and confidence comes from feeling secure, and sometimes you need to nurture that secure feeling everyday--for you!  When you cultivate joy, you'll radiate it to others.  You may decide to begin a little self-therapy.  I recommend the book "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron--this book is for anyone, not just people who consider themselves artists.  You will build confidence by cultivating your creativity and self-esteem.  #3--I'd also take a look at your social circle.  Are you hanging around people that you even want to talk to?  It doesn't totally sound like it.  Maybe you haven't been hanging out at a place that you feel comfortable.  Maybe you'd be happier at a comedy club rather than a bar, or a small dinner party instead of a a house party (these are just examples--my point is that maybe a change of venue would do the trick.  Trust your instincts--if you don't like the people walking up to you, try to find somewhere with people you feel more comfortable around!)   Lastly, this is a shot in the dark, but it sounds like you may be dealing with unresolved childhood issues.  Most of us have dealt with parental disfunction of some sort--maybe our folks worked too much, drank too much, withheld affection, shamed us, or verbally or physically abused us.  This created a feeling of malaise from a young age that carries on into adulthood and our relationships with other people.  You may have learned how to cope by isolating yourself.     If this is the case, what has worked for me are books or therapies that focused on my personal issues.  I attend meetings for a group called Adult Children of Alcoholics.  It's a free meeting located in most cities, and it's awesome--a safe, warm, non-judgmental place for me to take care of myself and not be held back any longer by emotional coping mechanisms I used to protect myself as a child.   Best of luck!  You have every chance of happiness and comfort.
lifesoul lifesoul 3 years
http://www.succeedsocially.com/friendly...try out this site i hope it can help
BiWife BiWife 3 years
Have you always had problems developing relationships with males? Do you have the same problem developing relationships with females? Do you have any male friends? Are you friends with men in your family? I would bet that there is underlying pathology to such a closed off attitude towards all people of a certain gender. I've seen it in so many people, usually due to an absent/abusive father/uncle/brother (or the opposite where they had an absent/abusive trusted older female that led them to categorically dislike all females). You need to figure out *why* you're so closed off to men in general before you can fix it.
Ausland12 Ausland12 3 years
It's crazy coming to this site first thing today and seeing your post. It's like reading from my own journal. I too have the same problem, and have had guys tell me that t I am intimidating. Like you, it stems from broken trust and betrayals from various men I have allowed into my life. I recently pushed a guy away that acted like he really liked me because he stated that he wasn't ready to enter a relationship. I basically told him to stop talking to me, and since then communication is barely there. Idk if that was good or bad on my part, but I felt as if it was my fault things changed. I don't have any advice for you, but I just want to let you know that you're not alone. I'd be interested to see what suggestions others have for you.
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