I am a 27 year-old chef who is not the stereotypical egotistical type. I have some of the greatest friends and a close-knit yet small family that I adore. So in that area, I am good to go. Yet it is my relationship status that is tarnishing my view on life and, I hate to say it, on the opposite sex. I feel that I MUST be doing something wrong if my relationship status is still single.
I was engaged to a wonderful 20-year-old woman when I was 21. A year later I learned she was carrying on a separate relationship with another man. I immediately ended all ties and plans. No forgiveness. I of course had the “why this” and “why that” for her and myself yet I never really got an answer. My only conclusion was that we both were young, we still had so much to learn out of life. So eventually I regained my confidence and strength and started dating someone again when I was 24. That relationship ended about a year later with her making the sad but necessary acceptance of a job promotion and relocation. After her I dated and enjoyed single life once again for a while. Then I was introduced to someone via mutual friends and the chemistry was there. We began dating this year in March, but by May it was over. Once again, I was cheated on. I am glad it happened at the beginning but still, I do not know how, but it left a wound. How did this one get through my armor? I found out about this one via my neighbor who told me where I could find her holding and kissing another man. A week of no contact and a written letter via a mutual friend caused her to catch the hint. I recently received a letter from her though. She apologized and asked for forgiveness yet I am not certain if I should give it to her. The wounded Aries in me says not to, yet my empathetic nature is drawing me to do so. So my question is: should I respond? Should I forgive her?
Since my ex and I split I have enjoyed being single again, yet I long for that one. I have tried every way that I can muster yet I am striking out in my hunt for “the one.” What do I have to change about myself? What am I doing wrong? What can I be doing better? I am open to all questions and points of view. So please can a man get some help from the online community? HELP! — Cheated Out Of Love
Yes, Cheated, you should forgive your most recent girlfriend for cheating on you, but don’t stop there. It’s time to forgive your ex-fiance for cheating on you, too. And maybe you need to even forgive the middle girlfriend for moving away and breaking your heart a little. I’m not saying you should take any of these women back, but if you’re wondering how they managed to get through your “armor” enough to make you feel something, it seems the problem may be the armor itself. Perhaps some genuine forgiveness on your part might help your chances at having a genuine relationship with someone, free from the bitterness and armor you carry around.
The fact is that most relationships don’t work out. Most women you date are not going to be a long-term match for you. Love sucks until it doesn’t anymore. But the thing is: if it’s something you want and remain open to, one day you’ll find a relationship that DOES work out: You’ll date a woman who IS a long-term (maybe even lifelong) match for you, and, finally, love won’t suck so much anymore. In fact, it will be really quite wonderful. But the only way to get there, Cheated, is to release the anger and bitterness in your heart that’s keeping you from believing that: a) there are wonderful women out there; and b) you deserve to be with one of them. Thought directs energy and the more you continue focusing on the ways you’ve been wronged and wounded in the past, the more those thoughts are going to manifest in a continued pattern of hurt. Change your thought pattern, release the anger towards your exes, and begin imagining a future of requited, committed love in which you and your partner respect one another enough to separate your past relationships from the one you share with each other.
I can’t tell you when you’re going to find “the one,” but I promise if you continue keeping that armor up, she’s not going to be able to find you through all of it.
Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.