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
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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.