Q: How do I break the cycle of getting ‘hung up’ on men?
I’m in my late 30’s and consider myself attractive, easy going and relatively successful in my career which has allowed me to be independent. I come from am conservative family and so I didn’t grow up dating. In fact when I was younger, the concept of dating was totally taboo. I feel like for most of my life I have developed ‘obsessions’ with men that I am attracted to and form some sort of emotional bond with – I can see myself falling into the same pattern again and would really appreciate some advice on how to break that cycle. Here are some examples:
- In university I became friends with a guy at the end of my first year, I think there was a mutual attraction but he started dating someone, I remained a close friend of his and continued to have a major crush on him until our 4th year. I never told him about how I felt but we did have a number of moments which seemed to fuel my ‘hope’ that at some point he would notice me as more than a friend. I had to endure seeing him hook-up with other women and develop a serious relationship with his now wife. it was quite painful. Eventually our friendship was strained and it ended.
- In 4th year of university, I became friends with another guy in my class, we spent a lot of time together and I developed a crush on him which lasted for about 3 years. We were really good friends. Again I hoped that he would see me as more than just a friend. I did talk to him about how I felt once or twice and he was really good about the whole thing. He moved away and married a women he met shortly after moving.
- There was a guy a work that I was crushing on for about 2 years. I kept hoping that our friendly chats in the kitchen would turn into something more.
- I met a guy about 10 months ago, we had one date (it was the best date I’d had in ages) and after he told me that he’d met someone else, I kept in touch hoping that at some point we could meet again. We did and it was one of the best times I’ve had with a guy in a long time. But… he’s in a complicated situation… not in a good place emotionally… and I hate to admit it… but I don’t think he’s into me… and I can’t seem to get him out of my head.
In all of these situations I feel like I develop some sort of bond with the man and I keep holding on to it hoping that something will come of it.
I don’t want to be in this cycle anymore. Its painful and a waste of energy. Of course, when I’m obsessing over the men I don’t give anyone else a chance!!
Any advice you can offer is appreciated.