Question: I have not had a relationship for quite some time. From time to time I meet men that I feel attracted to and I would like a relationship. However, the more time passes, the more comfortable with myself I feel. If I start a relationship, I will doubt whether my partner is cheating on me, I will feel disappointed with him, and the stories of unhappy couples that I read… make me tell myself “I am better off on my own than to go through all this.” Are these feelings and thoughts normal? Does selfishness prevail over the desire to connect, or?

Eva Kuleva: Thank you for sharing your concerns and inner dialogue. I am sure that many people can relate to what you are experiencing. I am glad that you feel good about yourself. This is wonderful and is a prerequisite for creating a fulfilling relationship with another person. Few people I know and clients I work with can boast that they feel good on their own.

So you believe that your future partner will be unfaithful and will disappoint you. As long as you have such expectations and fears and you are focused on them, you will attract men who will most likely cheat on you and disappoint you.

I suggest that you change your focus from stories of unhappy couples to stories of people with successful and happy relationships. When you get to believe that two people can be happy together for many years, and be faithful and honest with one another, then you will be able to create such a relationship.

I do not think it is about selfishness, but rather about fear. You are afraid of repeating painful experiences from your past or the past and present of people around you.

In such situations I recommend the following exercise:

Make a list of all the happy couples you know personally or for whom you have read in the media. Focus on them and add new happy couples to your list whenever you meet them.

Pay attention to couples holding hands, kissing and being kind to each other in public places. Observe them and imagine that you are in such a relationship. Happy couples are all around us. We just need to notice them.

So with a positive focus you will gradually change your attitude and get to believe in love again. I myself did not believe in living happily ever after for many years. Everywhere around me I was seeing unhappy couples, including my parents. But with conscious and deep work on myself, I changed my beliefs and now I am surrounded by many happy couples.