Contributed by Tanya S.

After a break-up, we have to go through a period of mourning which can sometimes include lots of self-pity.  We might even get to the point where we want to give up on the whole idea of being in a relationship.  I know I have!  After all, what’s the likelihood of finding a partner who will __________ or accept my _________?  (You can fill in the blanks with your individual concerns.)

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 many 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?

Even though I had all of these questions, there was something deep inside of me that never goes away: Hope.  It is always there. No matter how hard I might try to extinguish it with self-pity and self-loathing, it pops right back up when I least expect it.

I think it is fueled by the fact that my dad didn’t meet my mom until he was in his 40s and they have been happily married now for over 40 years.  If he could do it so can I.  Each time I got down on myself, remembering my parents’ story switched my way of thinking.  I realized that 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 wants the same things I want in a partnership.

So, in the end, I won’t give up on love.   Giving up guarantees failure! Being hopeful and optimistic will increase my chances and help me keep an eye out for the right partner.

Do you want to be in a relationship but have given up on this dream?  We invite you to comment in the box below.