• Alexandra Filia

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, the forever failing relationship

Do you ever wonder why it never works out for you? All your girlfriends have already met “the one”, are settling into happy families and having children. But you… you are still alone and the years of careless fun and games have come and gone. Are you still searching for the right guy and beginning to wonder why your relationships are not working out?

You look in the mirror and see an attractive girl - nothing wrong with your appearance. You meet lots of guys, sleep around a lot but nothing sticks. Guys disappear without a trace, they never call you back after that first night or abandon you for a girl who is so much “less” than you. Why? The years go by and happiness eludes you.

Let me start with those things that are NOT the problem:

· Your looks

· The guys (OK, sometimes they are, but not always)

· Your luck

· The timing

It is important to get this out of the way because unless you acknowledge what is happening your “bad luck” will persist. Where should you be looking for a solution, and more importantly, what can you do? How can you turn this around?

Look at yourself, not as an individual, but as a potential partner. Would you want to be with you? Try to strip away your blinders and be objective. What is your attachment style?

Is your anxiety and insecurity making you high maintenance?

This is quite possibly the biggest problem in relationships. Guys hate high maintenance, mostly because they don’t know what you want and are a bit afraid of your reactions. Easy going partners are very sought after for long term relationships. Who doesn’t want to be with someone where things flow effortlessly and easily? When your partner wants to go meet his friends for a beer and to watch the game what do you do? Low maintenance is when you kiss him goodbye and you let him go without any fuss. High maintenance is when you imagine he is cheating, you make a scene, insist you go with him or worst you don’t let him go at all.

Are you needy?

You had a life before you met him, now you don’t. You put an incredible amount of pressure on him because you have narrowed your horizons to only include him and all that concerns him. Every move he makes, every word that comes out of his mouth you scrutinise and assign it “meaning”. He has to explain everything and constantly calm your insecurities. He is walking on eggshells. Too much, too much…

Do you blame him for all the ills than menfolk have inflicted on you over the years?

You may not even know you are doing that, but deep inside there is a chance you are a manhater. There may have been men in your life who total deserve your animosity, but since you can’t get to them you are focusing on him instead. And he can tell.

Are you desperate?

You may be staring at forty and waiving goodbye to the last of your childbearing years and your cool has deserted you. Men, can sniff desperation a mile away and if they suspect that you want them more than they want you, they will not wait long enough to find out.

Are you acting crazy?

Did you text him 10 times in a row because he did not return your first text? When he finally did, did you release a torrent of abuse in his direction? Did you call his friends to find out where he is? This is acting crazy and men run away from crazy.

Of course, there is a chance that you have been with a string of losers. You many have met men who are players, narcissists, immature a-holes etc. etc. but if it keeps happening to you then turn the mirror around and take a long hard look. Why are you attracting all these dysfunctional characters? Bad boys have charm, don’t get me wrong but they are really bad news if you want to have a mature, long term relationship. This is why they are BAD. Instead choose a guy whose attachment style matches yours. A secure partner that can soothe your anxious soul and not aggravate you into a frenzy of anxiety.

For many women is an unhealthy attachment style at the root of their relationship problems. Something in their childhood has hurt them deeply and is causing problems in their relationships. Acknowledging what lies beneath is a good start to untangling what is triggering this ruinous behaviour. The impact of childhood trauma does not have to be permanent.

Once you understand what you are doing you can work to change it. For example, if your partner comes home in a bad mood and your first anxious though is that you are the cause of his bad mood and that you did something wrong, realise that you are jumping to conclusions. Pause, acknowledge that it is your insecurity driving your reaction and choose a more appropriate response.

Knowing yourself and your attachment style can help you overcome your worst instincts

Childhood emotional wounds may have impacted the way you react with men, but you can change that. So, pull up your socks girlfriend and stop sabotaging your happiness. A loving relationship is in within your reach. Practice your responses, choose wisely and your prince will come and this time, he will stay.

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