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I would like to settle down and meet someone nice, but my heart has been broken and I lack confidence in relationships with men – can you help me?

heart to heart
My problem is about my relationships with guys, my heart has been broken, and I find it hard to move on, and in the process of moving on I hurt other guys, and always feel very guilty about doing that. However, now, I do believe I can finally see myself wanting to settle down, and meet someone nice.

I've met someone. I've been with him about 4 months now. It was casual... actually I kissed other guys at the beginning. To be honest, I enjoyed the male attention from him - it's nice doing couply things - but I feel that I'm still not happy with him... I want to smile when I talk about him, like he's fantastic and amazing, but I can't. I met an x of mine with him, actually my x is an old friend of my current boyfriend, and I found myself being totally attracted to him, as we had a lot in common from college. I still am so confused about relationships.

My present male friend is very unconfident with me, especially when it comes to intimacy. The last weekend we met I couldn't even kiss him, he is very shy and not confident in his own appearance, he tends to find it hard to express himself, and sometimes stammers a bit. I get really agitated with this (never to his face) as it's not a trait I really admire, but I would never embarrass him, and I try not to make him feel uncomfortable. Sometimes I feel this is a trait I dislike because I can be like this myself, although I'm confident about my appearance, and it really bothers me that he's not. I almost feel less confident myself when I'm with him.

Also, I feel there's not much of a spark there for me, although I enjoy being with him and now that I'm 31, it's hard to meet nice guys out there. I sometimes feel that if I don't just take a chance with someone that I'll never meet anyone. I fear that with this guy, I'll never have the passion or intimacy that I'd like, as he's not too experienced and definitely isn't as passionate as me. I'm totally myself which is a good thing, and he seems to accept me for me, but I can't say I'm ecstatic... sometimes I wonder will I ever be.

Recently I've had a couple of blows that have knocked my self confidence and belief in myself. I keep a diary, and the same things have been cropping up for a number of years... that I need to build my confidence and believe in myself and my decisions more. I know I have to make changes... what can I do?

Wallace's reply
WallaceI understand your confusion. Life appears confusing much of the time because that is its nature. Life is always changing, flowing and growing. Only dead things are clear because they are static. So don't worry about being confused - enjoy it and let the confused state be - accept it as you would a good friend.

You mentioned to me that you have beliefs and goals around your primary relationship. You want to settle down. You believe you would like to meet someone. Why? Are you not happy to be content on your own? I do not mean to deride your wish for a fulfilling relationship but if you think that a relationship will make you happy, think again. Your first step is to become a contented single person.

I want to give you a warning. If you are engaging in relationships out of fear - fear of being alone, fear of getting older, fear of missing the boat, fear of being too old to have children, fear of being left on the shelf - then you need this warning. My warning is simply this, that if you enter any relationship motivated by these or other fears then your relationship is doomed to failure. How can a romantic relationship be founded on fear? Surely it must be founded on love, not fear, and I suspect love is something of which you have very little experience.

You said your boyfriend is shy and stammers, lacks confidence and finds it hard to express himself. You said "I get really agitated with this". If you lacked confidence, found it hard to express yourself and were stammering and your partner was getting really agitated, would that help? You can be sure that your boyfriend will be sensing that you are having these agitated feelings and will be finding it impossible to trust you with his deepest secrets - the very secrets that, if shared, would help heal him of stammering.

Trusting one another with our deepest secrets, highest aspirations and most vulnerable feelings is spiritual intimacy. Sexual intimacy should always be subservient to and consequent on spiritual intimacy. Therefore to have a loving relationship we first need to know and understand ourselves - then we will be able to share ourselves with others in an intimate relationship.

If you want to make any progress in learning to love, it is vital that you learn this important lesson first: your partner never causes any negative thought or emotion you experience when in his company. These negative thoughts and feelings are caused by your own buried pain which you carry from experiences in your past. To have successful relationships you need to entirely give up blaming your partner for your negative feelings and instead look inwards to your own heart, where you will find your pain, and then release it harmlessly.

You will find guidelines for doing this in my book Unfold Your Wings and Watch Life Take Off. The book is about transforming your life by following inner guidance. It will help you feel more confident about making decisions and give you insights into your relationship with others and with yourself. If you order the book, look up the section titled, Your Calling is Elevated Through the Release of Pain, pages 66-72. You might also care to read from the same book the section titled Your Healing from Fear, Anger and Grief, pages 223 - 226 and Your Healing from a Broken Relationship, pages 214-220.

My advice to you is to become a contented single person. Accept your life as a single person - stop fighting against it by continually wishing it was different. Learn to enjoy your own company by taking quiet evenings in or by going for walks on your own. If you feel frustrated by this, create a distance between yourself and these frustrating thoughts by watching them come and go in your mind without trying to change them or alter them in any way. This learning to watch your own mind working is a form of meditation. The real you does not belong to any frustrating, angry, destructive or negative tendency within.

If you persist with this practice, the one who watches will grow stronger and all the negative and destructive feelings and thoughts will grow weaker. Then you will come closer and closer to discovering who you really are and to discovering what love is. To find love and fulfillment you need to look inside yourself. Once you are able to walk through the woods alone surrounded by an aura of love and are able to sense its sweet perfume, then you will attract admirers of the finest kind who will move vast distances to be in your company. This should be your aim.

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