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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I establish better friendships/ relationships with men?

    Related Topic
    I live with my sister, I am the youngest of three girls, I am single. I want to make better friends or find a meaningful relationships but seem to always end up as mates or that just dissipate.

    I often initiate by introducing and even arranging to meet guys I get along with and it usually goes well at the time but then nothing further happens. I try to give guys the opportunity to take charge, so it's not all about me.

    I feel my female friends are always trying to tell me not to contact guys that they will contact me no matter how shy….I think this works for them not for me. I am 41 I have had one long term relationship in my early twenties, one medium term relationship in my early 30's, a number of rocky on and off again relationships. I can't understand at what point it is not getting to a more trusting continuing point. … My father was very dominant when I was young.
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  • I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    It sounds like you've actually been quite successful in establishing and maintaining relationships with men in the past, and you're perhaps starting to doubt that you're still able to do that because of more recent experiences.

    While it can be useful to look at your relationship patterns, and how these may have been influenced by experiences in your own family, it's also possible that you are simply having a hard time meeting the right person (and a person who also thinks you're ‘the one’ - this is  not up to you, unfortunately!).

    What you can do is make sure that you are actively working on having a good relationship with yourself, and your existing friends and family members. Be gentle and kind to yourself and all the important people in your life. Most importantly, when someone you like chooses not to reciprocate your affections, make sure you don't make this about some defect in yourself.

    This may sound like ‘giving up’, but there is a paradox involved here - when we focus on loving ourselves, accepting ourselves (and our limitations - especially what we are and are not able to control) unconditionally, we are at our most attractive (and therefore more likely to attract someone who will be as kind and caring as we are already being towards ourselves and others).

    While this is not a recipe that is guaranteed to find you the right guy, it will most certainly create more happiness and a sense that living a fulfilling life is achievable, with or without an intimate relationship.

  • 1

    Thanks

    AJFoard

    HealthShare Member

    Thankyou for the achievable advice.

  • I am a Melbourne Relationship Counsellor and Family Lawyer who is skilful in helping people get out of the pain of relationship distress and create … View Profile

    You mention that your father was “very dominant” when you were young and also that you are the youngest of three girls. I'm not sure whether you have looked at how this plays out in your life but you can be sure it does. It could be really helpful to do some family of origin work (as it's called in therapy language) because it can be really eye opening to see how our family patterns have affected our lives. This does not mean years of therapy necessarily but sometimes it can even be a small amount of work that provides a missing link in terms of understanding. Knowledge is power. When we see our patterns we can change them. Relationships are co-created and it is never just one person who is responsible for what happens in our relationships but rather it is a dance between pertners. Change the dance step of one and the other must necessarily change! Ironically, we can have what we want when we don't “need” it. So loving yourself and creating the best life you can for yourself will also contribute to helping you “attract” the person you desire.

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