Counseling/kindly advise

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Question
What does one do when one starts losing faith in finding love again? Let me give you some background about my situation. I am a single woman approaching late 20s. I am getting old for the dating market. I had fallen in love only once before when I was 23. At that time I had to breakup with him because that relationship was getting in the way of my career. I wanted to study more to do my masters and he wanted to get married right away. Had I agreed to marry him, I wouldn't have been able to do my masters. So I had to let him go. Today he is getting married to someone much younger than me. It's been over 3 years after the breakup and I still feel I made a huge mistake by letting him go. My career and education are stable as of now but I am sure I will never find someone I can love again and someone to love me back. How do I deal with this fact and accept a life without the possibility of love. I feel pangs of regret everytime I see or hear of him. Sorry it's a long question. Thanks for your time.

Answer
Hi Kaveri,

As I read your letter, I first thought of why he would not want to work on things with you by waiting instead of rushing into marriage.  It may be he really did not really love you completely like you had hoped.  We do not know what may seemed to be pressuring him to want to get married right away (his family? Or, he was lonely enough to want to get married right away?).

I do not think you made a mistake by letting him go. Personally, I feel if he really loved you he would have been willing to work things out for just a couple of years while you worked on your masters.  Did he want a family right away?  Yes, that would have interferred with your studies.  So, rethink if he seemed to be pressuring you into marriage for him - but not for the both of you.   Was getting married for him - more important that waiting for you?

There are different ways to look at this.   So, rethink the details of his thinking on getting married.  Also, it sounds like he was ready to get married and you were not.  The timing was off for both of you and that is no one's fault.

A possible life without love?  Never say never.  You do not know that for a fact.  Thinking "never" can make you feel down a lot.  It may help you to see a counselor for a few sessions to talk through this.  

If you are spiritual - there is a reason for everything and why things happen.  We cannot even predict what will happen tomorrow.  So, enjoy the positive things one day at a time.  Do not bring yourself down in negative thoughts.  Do not doubt yourself.  You did the best you could, at that time, with what you had to work with.

Feeling lonely is tough on everyone - at any age.  You may now feel lonlier since he got married and are doubting yoursef.  You are a little more emotionally sensitive now and you will get through this.

Hope my thoughts help you some what.

Take care,

Dr. Pat

Counseling

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Patricia A. Schafer, Ph.D.

Expertise

I specialize in various forms of depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and also stress, phobias, life changes, grief, women's issues, men's issues, etc. My licenses are: Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor -Supervisor(LPCC-S) and Licensed Professional Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC) in the state of Ohio and a National Certified Counselor (NCC).

Experience

12 years experience. I counsel substance abusers, families of alcoholics/drug addictions, and codependency issues. I also specialize in social phobia; stress; anxieties; women`s issues; grief and adjustments to life changes. Some therapeutic techniques used are: CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behaviorial Therapy)REBT (Rational Emotive), SFT (Solution Focused) and 12-Step, etc. If you live in the Cleveland area, you can contact me at my office for an appointment at: 440-349-4521. I am on various insurance panels and EAP programs.

Organizations
ACA, OCA, NCOCA, OMHCA

Publications
Experiences of prejudice among individuals in African American and Caucasian Interracial Marriages: A Q-methodological Study (Doctoral Dissertation - December 2008; Wilsnack and Beckman's book: Alcohol Problems in Women (1984). Alcohol use and marital violence: Female and Male Differences in reactions to alcohol(pages 260-279.

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. In counseling MA In Counseling BS In Psychology

Awards and Honors
Previous president of NCOCA (North Central Ohio Counseling Association); previous president of Chi Sigma Iota. Two years VISTA volunteer on Navajo reservation in Inscription House and Shonto.

Past/Present Clients
Do to HIPAA privacy laws, I do not release any info about my client.

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