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You Asked: How Can I Move on From My Past?

Dear Sugar,

I'm a single women with two teenage children. I've been alone raising them for practically their whole lives. I receive little to no child support and have managed to maintain a career, buy a house, and keep the kids relatively happy. I've been in and out of relationships but none of them have ever worked out. I just met a man I have extremely strong feelings for, however, I confuse him and sometimes push him away while not even realizing I'm doing it. What is my problem and how can I move on, cleanse the past away, and move into a more promising relationship?
— Nervous Nadine

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear Nervous Nadine,

Pushing people away when you're scared to let them get too close to you is a perfectly normal defense mechanism, but if you have strong feelings for this man, you're going to have to learn how to trust yourself. It sounds like you're very comfortable with the home you've built all by yourself, but think how amazing it would feel to share that with someone you love?

Something tells me you've been hurt in the past, which is what's making you hesitant to move on, so have you considered talking to a therapist or opening up to a close friend or family member about your fears? If you keep your emotions bottled up inside, there's no way to grow or let go of negative baggage. Moving on can be really scary, but the only way to have a promising relationship is to step out of your comfort zone and take a chance — if you don't try you'll never know what could have been. Sure, you might get hurt again in which case you'll learn even more about yourself, but, you could also get lucky and meet someone that you can develop a great relationship with. I wish you luck.


Join The Conversation
chakra_healer chakra_healer 9 years
Also, a book recommendation - Female Rage by Valentis and Devane. It is good stuff, an instructor used it as a sociology text.
chakra_healer chakra_healer 9 years
I am not even going to write "seek therapy" or offer any advice, because you know this is destroying not only your chance at love, but also your general happiness. Let it go. It is OK to free yourself of all the anger, sadness, and frustration you felt doing everything alone and without help. Release those negative feelings, have a ceremony, scream and cry for an hour about it... whatever you need to do, then leave it all behind. What's past is past. You made it through , mama! After the emancipation ;), make sure you call the guy, kiss him, hug him, tell him how you feel and that you ARE read and willing to move forward and try for a good relationship, no more pushing away. Good luck! I wish you could update, but I know you will make it through -- you have already accomplished so much.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
The typical answer would be counseling/therapy and it would be a very good idea since it sounds like you've got some things to settle that maybe you havn't dealt with in years. You can also try some self help books, barnes & nobles has a ton of them. Find a friend or family member you can vent to until your face turns blue. If you don't have good friends you can trust buy a journal and write all your thoughts and demons down. Also make an extra effort into appreciating this man, be conscious of your actions and treat him the way you want to be treated!
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
You can't keep blaming this new guy for the mistakes of your past men. It's always important to get yourself together BEFORE starting a new relationship. This pattern will continue even with someone new again if you don't settle the things that are upsetting you!
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
My sister moved away and then had a child when she was 18, the guy left her and she raised her son alone far away from her family. She decided early on that she did not want to have men coming and going in and out of her son's life. She wanted to wait until she found someone stable before making a serious commitment. So, she was single and focused on raising her son for most of his life. He is thirteen now and after being patient, she finally found the man she was waiting for. He is amazing and they actually just got married last month! So my advice, stay out of relationships for a while. Take some time off, spend time with the kids before they're off to college. It sounds like you're not ready for a commitment.
phatE phatE 9 years
it sounds as if she's extremely independent, and is used to being in control.. (just by the way she references all that she's done for the children and how she's had to be...) part of a relationship is being vulnerable, i hope she can get to a point where she can do that.. and realize raising children is one thing, but relationships are another..
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