How Can I Ever Let a Man Get Close to Me Again?

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How Can I Ever Let a Man Get Close to Me Again?

How Can I Ever Let a Man Get Close to Me Again

I am shattered from bad relationships. I’ve just finished my seventh long term relationship and I’m only 37.

The man before this last one died unfortunately from cancer and left me with a newborn baby. I took nearly four years to pull myself together after this and then met a man online.

I followed all of your advice and I thought I had found the greatest man. He was charming, kind, considerate, a gentleman and happy to take myself and my son on.

It was next to perfect for a year and then it started to change. He started to make little mean comments about my son which got to me. For example, his ears stuck out or what kind of genes does he have when he was old one day.

I started to worry about this and I talked to him and he said he would stop. However then I realized he was telling me small little white lies but I soon found out he was telling big ones too.

I’ve finished it with him after a year and five months. I’m absolutely deflated. I thought it was finally my time to marry again have another child. I thought it was coming together for me with a wonderful caring man.

I see now he’s a narcissist who was manipulating me. I could only see his good points at the beginning. Luckily, I took on your advice not to make a massive commitment with a man until I know him a year. I had not let him move in with me thankfully.

Evan, I’m shattered from relationships. I just don’t know how I could ever let another man in after the lies and deception. He was so good and kind to my son in the beginning and then it suddenly changed. How can I let someone close to him again? How can I trust and let someone into my life again?



I’m sorry about your rocky relationship experience, and, in particular, this latest heartbreak. I completely understand why you feel the way you feel, and why you’d be wary of other men in the future.

I’m also confident in the following:

a. The next guy has nothing to do with the last guy.

b. You won’t repeat the same mistakes you made in your past seven relationships.

c. The men you’ve dated in the past don’t necessarily represent the men you’ll date in the future.

I have a close friend, Jack, who has a different – but similarly tumultuous relationship history.

His first wife was an alcoholic who was unfaithful to him. They broke up in his early 30’s.

His second wife was an alcoholic who was unfaithful to him. They broke up in his early 50’s.

He’s now going through his second divorce, living in an apartment, paying heavily for alimony, and wondering what he did wrong.

I’m not sure what all of his friends told him but my answer was really simple: he married the wrong woman twice.

Jack was focused on how he could have been a better partner, a better communicator, and looking at the wreckage of his life. I was focused on the fact that ANYBODY who married his ex-wives would have ended up in a similar position, sooner or later.

He’s seeing his own failure; I’m thinking that it’s remarkable he made it for 18 years with his second wife.

And, so, Anne, you are entitled to lick your wounds and second guess yourself and the entire male gender from here until eternity.

Frankly, I don’t see the value in it. You had seven relationships that didn’t turn out to be your final one. I did, too.

If you’re hurting and you want to get your head on straight before you get back out there again, I highly recommend you click here.

You deserve that big love you’ve been waiting for your entire life.

Keep going, learn from your mistakes, and trust that the best is yet to come.

But you’re not going to find it as long as you see yourself as shattered and remain mistrustful of men and relationships. Keep going, learn from your mistakes, and trust that the best is yet to come.

We are all relationship failures until the day we become relationship successes.

Good luck, my friend.


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  1. 1


    Gosh. It’s not the advice is bad, it’s just . . . I’ll speak for myself.  When I’m in a broken place, I need someone to meet me there, not where they want me to be.  That’s why I don’t have a personal trainer.  I can eventually meet my goals it just has to be in my time.

    What I got more from this letter, isn’t necessarily that Anne has a bad picker.  There are simply more people out there that are not for us than that are for us.  It’s actually pretty remarkable when we find one who is right!  And I think her heartbreak was she pulled herself together after the tragic loss of her son’s father.  That wasn’t the wrong man. That wasn’t a bad picker.  He simply died.  No one’s at fault for that.  And after that, single mom with a newborn, the previous chemo and all of that, she fought her way out of it to find someone again. That was huge of her and I want to acknowledge that.  She has already done this work.

    Anne knows how to recover from heartbreak. She’s done it six times.  She’s tired of it.  Doesn’t mean she needs to give up forever.  What the heck is wrong with a break and some focus on herself and her son?  Not everyone gets right back on the horse after falling.  I know Evan could go through a breakup and still with tears on his face call someone else for a date.  Some people need a bit of time, especially after dealing with a narcissist who messes with your mind and your confidence.  And right after a man who really loved her (I’m hoping) passed away before his time.

    Anne, you will find someone again.  You always have.  ? But first find, you.  Success in life isn’t all about finding a partner, though that is very important.  I feel each experience has taught you something that brings you closer to your goals.  Hard and painful lessons, but you still learn.  Find those lessons for yourself.   And I hope your baby’s father was truthful and good to you so that you know what it is to be treated well and will seek that in future.

    I wish you all the luck!


  2. 2


    Look on the bright side; now you’ve learned what to avoid unlike that hopeless Jack. It does seem as though your personal agenda thinking it’s “time” you were able to have a family again and a second child blinded you to who this last dude was. Unfortunately, you don’t get to dictate when things you want happen in your life.

    There are two things you can do; write off men and concentrate on having a good life for you and your child, or open yourself up to the risk of being hurt again hoping that you won’t be. Dating and rships carry a lot of risk of going South, no way to avoid that. You can pay more attention, not invest emotionally right away, step away from your own agenda for a bit, and avoid the obvious such as the addicted, the personality disordered and so on.


  3. 3

    No Name To Give

    Like the song says:

    It takes a little time sometime to get your feet back on the ground

    It takes a little time sometimes to get the Titanic turned back around

    It takes more that you’ve got right now

    Give it give it time


  4. 4


    Anne, think of it this way.

    You thought this was the man you would marry and have another child with.

    Thank god he WASN’T. You lost absolutely nothing there. You would have done, if you’d married him. And gained an antagonistic, mean and spiteful dick of a husband. Who in their right mind talks about a small child that way?

    Realise you dodged a big, big bullet. There are plenty of men around who want children, or have their own children and would be a joy around your little boy.

    Find them.


  5. 5


    Great advice from Evan- it is so tempting to take relationship failures to heart and to fall into a pit of feeling defective and always trying to change or better oneself. I really like Evan’s upbeat, pragmatic approach. Would have revolutionised my 20s if only I had read Evan then!


  6. 6


    You are still a young woman. You have been through a terrible bereavement. Your child needs you to be both mother and father so you need to look after yourself. You will find someone who is the right fit for you in the future. In the meantime focus on yourself and your baby.


  7. 7

    Mrs Happy

    Re the number – 7 long term relationships by 37 is fairly standard if you tend to have boyfriends/defactos/relationships rather than long periods of being single and hooking up.  I just did 2 counts, and I had 10 long term/proper relationships between starting at 17 and (re)meeting my now husband at 33.

    Re feeling shattered – this is more worrying.  It sounds like you need some TLC and this may good to get from sources other than a new partner, all things considered.

    BTW in the above count I just did, in the 1st count I left one out, I just forgot about him.  The one I forgot about was my 1st husband.   In years, this is what the bad partners will be – things/people you forget.  They are stressful only until time mellows their effect.  Your last partner will just be a distant ex in 5-10 years.  He is probably not worth too much despondency.


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