Sunday, 23 June 2013

When a relationship eludes you .. symptoms and causes .. and staying strong

Hi guys,

This is a follow on from my blog post yesterday (and if you haven't read it, please do). So today, I want to give you an idea of what it can be like for someone who struggles in the area of relationships, and what to do in order to thrive. This is from my own personal experience, and it is from a male perspective - however some or most of this may also apply to women who struggle in this area.

I'm going to start off with some symptoms or feelings that I have experienced .. because the symptoms are what are usually foremost in our minds.


- The feeling of longing, that a relationship will be so good .. if ONLY I could know how to get one. A lot of people can surely relate to this. Thinking that a relationship will be so wonderful. When you've been without a relationship for so long, it is not necessarily healthy. And you can end up with a deep feeling of wanting, which perpetuates and goes round in a vicious circle.

- A void - or heartache. Feelings of loneliness, unfulfilment and a major sense of lack.

- Wondering if things will ever change - fear of the future. There is probably nothing I worry about more, in terms of the future. 'Will I still be single when I'm 50' can easily then become 'Will I never experience love in my entire life'.

- A relationship just seems out of reach - the feeling of 'I can't have it'. That 'God' or whoever doesn't want me to have it.

- I'm not lovable - no-one will ever like me. Of course, this very much comes from a deep lack of self-love - but unless you become aware of this, you will project your feelings on to others. 'No-one likes me', 'Women/men hate me' and so forth.

- Having no idea how to 'talk to' the opposite sex. Okay, this is not strictly true, because I have enough female friends .. but in terms of how to convey to women that you're interested, I still don't know. I worry about messing things up. And I certainly don't know how to work out if a woman is interested in me .. it is so hard to know.

- The 'unfairness' that men are 'supposed' to make the first move. If you're a shy woman, chances are you might get some men that ask you out. If you're a shy man, there is little if any chance that a woman will ask you out. I find it hard to make the first move for anything that involves other people. I feel sad about all this and I still haven't resolved the hurt and injustice I feel. I'm certainly not as shy as I was but it takes time for things to change. (I don't doubt that women are disadvantaged in some ways, some men act like complete dicks towards women and that's another subject, but for this post, I'm looking at things from my own perspective).

- A crippling fear of rejection. Yes, this is a symptom, not a cause. My fear of rejection has been so great for most of my life that I'd rather not ask someone out than risk rejection.

- Hopelessness. Trying for so long to change this 'problem' but feeling like I'm not getting anywhere. The fears are so deep rooted that sometimes I just don't know how I'll get over them.

- Fear of intimacy. Yes, there is this as well, and most if not all people who struggle to find a relationship will have some fears around intimacy. A big one of mine is that I don't want children, and there's the 'what will happen if I end up having a child' thought that plays in my mind.

There are probably more symptoms I could think of, but really, I think all of these symptoms paint a good picture :)


It's fairly easy to describe the symptoms - most of the time, people only describe the symptom rather than the cause. However, it is important to go a bit deeper because problems cannot be solved purely at a symptomatic level. I am not a medical expert, and I don't know for sure what causes these things, and nor am I qualified to advise precisely how to deal with the causes. But it is helpful to know what they are. So I'm just going to say a bit about what I personally believe at this moment.

- Genetics. For me, I'm pretty sure this is true. All the males in my family have been affected by the same problem to an extent, and it would be foolish to ignore this factor. I would imagine that, for most people who suffer from shyness and lack of social confidence of some sort, genetics do play at least some part. People who are highly sensitive and people who have Asperger's can be particularly vulnerable in the area of relationships. This whole subject could be explored in massive detail but I am in no way qualified to do this at present.

- Childhood and conditioning - Certainly, this one can be in little doubt. Your childhood has a massive effect on you. We have no idea, when we are growing up, about how much we take in and how much our childhood conditioning influences our view of the world. I was teased a lot in school, didn't mix with people much, there was one girl in particular that hated me, and I wonder just how much of an effect on me this really had. Most people who see me now probably wouldn't guess that I have had such a struggle with relationships. But childhood patterns are not easy to deal with sometimes.

Upbringing - If one parent has been absent or your parents have been emotionally withdrawn, this could have an effect on you. This has not been the case for me, but for others, it may be.

- Abuse/Trauma. Thankfully, I have never suffered any severe form of abuse from other person, but I can imagine it could easily have a big effect on someone. Again, this is a subject I am not qualified to write about, but if as a young girl you were sexually abused, this will have a huge effect on how you perceive men.

- Past lives. If you don't believe in past lives, feel free to ignore this bit and keep the 'sensible' bits. I still don't know for sure that I totally believe in past lives. However, I would not discount it. Some thought patterns I have had are a bit weird and, having done a past life regression, it would make some sense to me if a past life or two has had an effect on my present life.


I have been doing some inner child work recently, and I believe that my inner child feels a lot of the pain and wants to be heard. As I said yesterday, the message from my heart was 'allow the pain to be felt' - rather than push it away. And I think my inner child is wanting to be expressed now.


I wanted to write this blog post especially for people who suffer or have suffered with the same things I have. Firstly, I want you to know that you're not alone if this applies to you. Fortunately, I am quite strong spiritually so I have mostly been able to keep my mental health in a reasonable enough state. But this problem around relationships has been affecting me for a while now and it's time for me to really be open and honest about it, because I am fed up with feeling stuck and something really could do with changing.

Also, I feel that this is a bit of an almost 'taboo' subject. I've heard plenty about bad relationships, abusive relationships, families etc, and also about people longing to have a child experiencing infertility issues. But for people who struggle to even be in a relationship, there doesn't really seem to be much help at hand. I really want this to change. Maybe the attitude to this kind of thing is 'get over your shyness' or something like that - but if you have a lot of deep rooted fears, it really isn't that easy. It has taken me years to get to the point where I can write this post.

I feel it is your choice to decide if you want to go into therapy, or what therapy you would like. I certainly think this would be a good idea. Money is the main reason I am not taking this route just yet, I may do. Although I'm not sure whether delving deep down into the root causes of your problems is always the answer. I certainly think it is important to be aware of them - however, I would approach things with an open mind and a willingness to allow your heart to guide you as to what path you should take.

From my own experience, what advice could I give? Well ... not too much but:

- I think it's important to admit when you have a problem in the area of relationships. Trying to do affirmations such as 'I am lovable' and 'My perfect partner is waiting for me' can be a form of denial, and it's like trying to put a plaster over the black stain on your white shirt - it may not look as bad, but the shirt still isn't perfect white. You will know if you have a problem - maybe you've been working out in your head how to solve it and still nothing is working - you will know :) Don't be ashamed. You are still a good and powerful person. It is actually more empowering to be honest rather than put on a brave face.

- Allow yourself to feel the emotions. This can be difficult, especially for us men who don't like to feel emotions, right? And to be honest, I have resisted this for a long time because I thought that my heart could break. In all honesty, it probably won't be quite that bad. But you can only do this when you are ready. Be gentle on yourself.

- It's not an overnight fix. I really would hope it doesn't take anyone as long to work through this issue as it has me. But we all work at our own pace. Years of conditioning and negativity cannot be resolved overnight, so be patient.

Self love and acceptance. Being in the present. Ah yes, I have to say this, don't I? These two phrases may be a bit of a cliche. But nonetheless they are principles that are worth living by. It ain't easy to love yourself sometimes. It's not even easy to accept yourself. In fact, self-acceptance comes before self-love - Kelly recently did this blog post on this subject, and I do believe this is true. You may not like the things you struggle with. I don't. But it's important to come to terms with your flaws, as much as you are able to. Be aware of the good things about yourself, the things that are lovable and that other people love you for.
Also, being in the present is important when you feel like you can't get the relationship you crave. I don't always practice this, in fact I seldom do, but it is an intention of mine. I can easily think, 'I'm 38, never really been in a relationship, I won't be able to cope if this is still the same when I'm 45 or 50' .. past and future can be quite strong. And I think it may require a lot of effort to really be present in these circumstances .. but a good dose of Eckhart Tolle now and again might help, or regular meditation.

This is all for now, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions using the contact form on the right hand side of the blog homepage.

DISCLAIMER: The author of this blog is not qualified to give medical opinions. All of what I have said is my own opinion, and most of it is from my personal experience. If you can relate to what I have said but are feeling in anyway distressed or hopeless, please contact a qualified practitioner.



  1. Brilliant brilliant post Andy, I am really impressed with your writing. I am loving your new posts especially, really real and there will be people searching out for people going through the same thing. As I said in the other post you are very brave and this is neccessary. A lot of woman are incredibly shy and yes men too. You guys do get the raw deal when approach women. I must say, I have never ever been on a date. I know in America and other places people talk about going on lots of dates but I never did. I know it is no consolation me saying this but my recent relationships began online. Yes, I met Mike in a chat room online, we talked, I thought he was an asshole LOL and then he just turned up at this gathering where we all went camping, over 100 of us. I thought he was an asshole then lol he didnt chat me up was plain rude no dates, it just happened. So even though it has been a long time for you Andy, I have faith that some day, when you are really ready, that woman will just turn up unannounced, no need to chat up or anything. It will just be natural, and you will just know both of you. I cannot guarantee this of course but I know its not like in the movies dating and romance (well not in my life it hasnt been anyway). Your bringing to the table a whole wealth of experience and sharing such raw vulnerable stuff here Andy, and this is so needed.


    p.s: I did not notice any labels on your post you need labels so people can find this amazing blog.

  2. Yes, I agree, I believe in things happening naturally. The word 'date' and the whole dating culture seems a bit silly to me sometimes. I think sharing this post will really help me and have already some good feedback from it. Thanks for your encouragement :)

    1. So glad you shared Andy, people need to share, it ripples out, and as you work through this, you are rippling out and making it easier for those that come after you with the same issues.

      Well done!

      I sometimes feel the acknowledgement of an issue, being aware, actually allows for the real healing to then take place.

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