Contributed by Tanya S.

After a break-up, we have to go through a period of mourning and sometimes a whole bunch of self pity.  There is even the point where you want to give up on the whole idea.  I know I have wanted to give up on having a relationship.  I had resigned myself to spending time alone. After all, how would I find a partner who will __________ or accept my _________. (You can fill in the blanks with your individual worries.)

I am a serial monogamist and I have had many relationships. After the break-ups, I would be forlorn but then I would bounce back, sometimes finding a rebound man quickly.  Twice I had the hardest time bouncing back and these were after an emotionally abusive relationship when I needed to rebuild myself. The other time was after a great relationship.  We got along really well, had a lot of the same interests but not the same goals in life.  So it ended.  For some reason, I had a hard time believing I could find a relationship after that.

I hid inside myself and did nothing to put myself out there. Why?  I felt like I was a failure at love.  If I couldn’t make things work with someone I got along with, how could I get along with anyone?  Will I just go from one relationship to another? Will each relationship end after a year? Am I boring? Am I worthless? Am I being too picky? Is no one good enough for me?

I had all of these questions that were aimed at me not being good enough.  But there is something inside of me that won’t go away: Hope.  It is always there. I try to stomp it down with self-pity and self-loathing but it pops right back up when I least expect it.

I thought of my dad and the fact that he didn’t find my mom till his 40s and they have been happily married now for over 40 years.  If he could do it so can I.  So I switched my way of thinking.  I am not a failure at relationships.  After each one I learned a little bit more about what I want in a partner and what I need to give in a relationship; like, I need to share more or I become resentful.  I am not too picky. I am looking for someone who has what I want in a person.

I decided to not give up.  Giving up guarantees failure! Holding on to hope will increase my chances and help me keep an eye out for the right partner.