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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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I am a 39 Year old single mom and over the course of 7 years

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I am a 39 Year old single mom and over the course of 7 years have rarely been able to date. Twice I have fallen hard for men that I have started dating and both times been burned. How can I still date but distance myself emotionally so as not to get hurt yet not seem cold hearted? I don't let people in easily but when I do I seem to let them in wholeheartedly- and thats when they decide its over!
Hello. You ask a difficult question to which there really isn't a miracle answer. So many people are in the same situation as you are. Love is certainly not an easy thing, a for sure thing and everyone is hurt by people you think you are in love with or that they love you. There are a million reasons why relationships fail. Without having a detailed history of your past, it is difficult for me to be specific as to what could have gone wrong in the past, but I'm not sure that is relevant to what your concerns are, as going forward is where you want to be focused. You need to be in touch with your inner voice and intuition about someone. Getting good or bad "vibes" from someone is more of a compass than you might think. You want to take more time getting to know the person you are with and find out the important things, such as their goals, where they see themselves in 5, 10, 20 years, etc. Again, I'm not sure how your other relationships were, so I'm speaking on general terms.
You can still date and get to know someone. What they need to know about you is that you have been burned and that you are a bit more cautious about relationships from this experience. Most people have been hurt by someone in the past and talking about this with someone you are in a relationship with can help the mutual understanding.
You say you don't let people in easily. Continue to do that. There is no sure fire way to guarantee that no one will ever hurt you again. There is no sure fire way to make sure that you won't fall in love with someone who may or may not feel the same about you.
All I can really say is to use your past experiences to help you in your future ones. Fine tune and use your intuition. You didn't say how old your child or children are, but they can also be a good judge of character as well if they are old enough to engage actively with someone new. I'm sorry I can't give you the ultimate answer to your question. There really isn't an easy one to give.
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