(((Ginger))). I was interested to read about your thoughts that you go into relationships assuming you are the “right now” girl as opposed to the “right” girl for whoever you are dating. That’s a pretty powerful message to give yourself that definitely may be impacting the course of your relationships. The brain is a powerful thing. It’s job is to keep us alive. It doesn’t care if you are happy or not. So when you tell it that there is danger in relationships, it is going to keep you from investing in them. The words we tell ourselves are so important. It’s why diets fail so often. When I see a piece of cake and I tell myself that I can’t have that cake because I’m on a diet, my brain says “oh...you want that cake so I have to get it for you” and then my craving for it increases so that I either give in and have it or I manage to overcome my craving but my feelings of deprivation increase and it impacts my mood. If I see that piece of cake and tell my brain that I choose not to eat it because I want to be healthy, my brain says “oh you don’t want that” and it makes it much easier to walk away from it. It is a subtle but very important difference.

Your post made me reflect on what it is I tell myself when I go out on a date or meet someone because I think I am one of those people who does pretty well dating. I definitely spend a bit of time wondering if the other person will like me or find me attractive and vice versa but overall, I do go into it expecting the other person to really like me. I think that comes from a couple places. The first is from my relationship with my father who looked at me and treated me as if I had hung the moon. The second is that I’ve had several long term relationships that resulted in an engagement (two of them I gave back the ring) and two marriages. So I think I’m pretty open and very much myself when I meet new people and expect things to go well. They don’t always but then usually that is when the feelings, or lack thereof, are pretty mutual. KML is someone else who does pretty well dating and I suspect she approaches dating in the same way with similar expectations.

From your description, it seems like your relationship with your dad is challenging and that has probably impacted your inner sense of self growing up since a girl’s relationship with her father is so important from a developmental perspective. I also wonder about your role in your family... if you were the “caretaker” or the good girl who got her approval and recognition for being good and taking care of others. This is pretty common and your chosen profession is probably no accident. You feel best when you are taking care of others. The downside of this is that, over time, you start to feel resentful and exhausted when people don’t fully appreciate you or return your efforts. That’s not a criticism of you...it’s just human nature. I’m that way too. Looking after ourselves, putting ourselves first sometimes is a difficult shift to make...but it is a necessary one.

Anyway...I’m not exactly sure what I’m trying to say except that I agree with you. I suspect that your mindset is part of what is holding you back. We are all guilty of this in different areas of our lives. Overcoming our early programming is very difficult to do but it IS possible. You are a great catch Ginger. You need to really believe that about yourself and let people see it. (((HUGS)))

PS. There is a YouTube series that I think you would really benefit from watching. I will message you the link.

Me 51
H 46
B/G Twins 11
Legal SA - January 2019
Divorce filed - June 2019
Divorce final - November 2019

Together 14 years
Married 12 years
BD1 - May 2014
BD2 - September 14, 2018