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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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In the process of these struggles my boyfriend of three years

Resolved Question:

In the process of these struggles my boyfriend of three years broke up with me. This was in 2008 but he's stuck by me through everything. I find this confusing and he's now dating another girl. He always gave me the impression that once this were going better that we'd get back together then out of the blue two months ago he tells me he's seeing someone. I want him to be happy and if this girl does I want to be happy for him but I find it hard ever after all these years.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. This happens quite often. You know how friendships sometimes are based on a particular situation people find themselves in? And then after those situations change, the friendship just slowly fizzes out? You could be describing that situation.

Now that you are more able to be on your own in some ways, the relationship no longer has the basis that it had before. Not many friendships can grow with the people each growing. And you've gone through a lot and need to grow too.

There's no need to be happy for him. Or her. You are allowed to feel saddened that he has moved on. It's right to feel sad and hurt and a little betrayed.

At the same time, though, you need to also keep a sense of your own moving forward as well as his moving forward. You need to let the future begin as well. And one good way is to focus on your Mr. Right, like he's trying to find his own Ms. Right.

Now for your life. Why do I say your life? Because you are not going to find Mr. Right by just looking for "a guy". You've got to treat finding Mr. Right as part of living YOUR life. You are clearly a woman with values. You are not looking simply for sexual gratification. You are looking for a human being who wants to share his life with you and who values who you are.

That's why we're going to focus on goals, strategies, and plans. I want you to take a sheet of paper or on the computer if you prefer and on that paper write your Healthy Relationship Goals. Examples: make 3 close friends in the next 3 months; or go on dates with interesting men at least 4 times in the next 3 months, etc. So you see they don't need to even be goals for just relationships with men, but can be social relationships. Because the more social you are, the more you build your ability to express yourself socially instead of just career wise, the more you will feel comfortable expressing yourself to Mr. Right on a date. You need to feel comfortable sharing your inner self with other people on lots of different levels: acquaintances, friends, confidantes, and dates.

Next, I need you to take another sheet or underneath the goals in the same sheet write Strategies for my Healthy Relationship Goals. For each of the Goals, I want you to write strategies. For example, if your goal is to go out 4 times in 3 months, strategies might be: I want to identify the type of interests men you'd be interested in would have. Then I want to ask yourself where would they go to fulfill those interests. For example, if an interesting man needs to be someone who is into fitness, then he would be a member of a fitness club. If he needs to like art, then he would be a member of the Art Museum and go to gallery openings. If he needs to be spiritually oriented, then he might need to be attending church or a meditation class.

Then, you need to write on a separate piece of paper or underneath each Goal and Strategy: Plans for how to succeed with your strategies. So to continue the example above, you might write: my plan is to go to the 6 most popular fitness studios and check them out to see what their membership looks like and what kind of activities are there. Or for art, I plan to join the Art Museum and to go to an art opening at a gallery at least twice per month and maybe 3 times. Or if you are interested in religion, checking out 3 congregations for active ones that have social events.

These are examples of strategies and plans. I'm trying to focus you on your life interests. What do you want to do to further your having a meaningful life? Remember, Mr. Right needs to fit into what's meaningful to you, so look for him in activities that bring out what's meaningful in your life.

I wish you the very best!

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