Dear Dr. Love, I am a 4th year university student and I am seriously screwed up when it comes to romantic relationships. I feel like I’m a dating pilgrim!I’ve only had one boyfriend and that was over four years ago! That was a short lived relationship that was long distance for the final two thirds of it. Because of the time apart, we never even kissed.To recap – I am almost 21 years old and I have yet to experience my first kiss! I feel so pathetic. I am short, a little overweight – but I’m pretty confident in myself and don’t think there is anything that would completely repel the opposite sex. I am not horrible to look at, I have an good personality, and I care deeply for everyone that enters my life.My social life is quite successful as it is full of a lot of friends from both genders. But my romantic life, on the other hand, is non-existent!What is wrong with me? This is the only part of my life that seems to be under-developed to the point where I feel I am still in middle school.I tried to figure it out for myself – analyzing my relationships and whatnot and I happened upon something that concerns me. In my one and only relationship that I have had, my boyfriend cared for me deeply and expressed it in his letters while we were apart – he would have been a normal girlfriend’s dream. I, so I came to realize, was ab-normal. After a bit, his letters and words of sweet-nothings made me physically nautious, and it had nothing to do with butterflies, only negative feelings.I slowly came to despise him and broke it off. For almost a year afterwards, I couldn’t stand to even be with the same room with him. There was no reason why I should have hated him so much, nor could I come up with one – i just simply loathed his presence.I apologized repeatedly – and we’re good friends. The only problem is that since then, I have had the same type of negative feelings towards any guy that showed interest in me (not to the point where I hated him, just to the point where I didn’t want to be around him).But I didn’t have any interest towards them to begin with – just friendly feelings. I don’t know if the same thing would happen to me if a guy I liked started liking me back – because objects of my serious affection tend to be few and far between (maybe I’m too picky – I don’t know).I can only seem to be completely myself with guys who already have girlfriends because that way, there is no fear of them being romantically interested in me. I don’t know why I have this romantic disorder, nor what feelings lie behind it.I would love to have a boyfriend – it’s just that the only thing getting in the way of that is. . . me. Is there anyway for me to have a normal love life?? Sorry it’s so long.I admire and respect the direction that you’ve aimed your psychological training. You make yourself very accessible and unintimidating.Thank you. humbly yours, romantic disorder
Thanks for your comments. I have spent years cultivating the skill of translating psychological theory into everyday language that everyone can understand and benefit from. Your comments reassure me that my efforts are working.When you get around to reading my new book, Till Death Do Us Part (Unless I Kill You First), you will see that my book reads like a down-to-earth conversation between me and the reader. Read the book, and you will gain even more insight into your ‘romantic disorder.Meanwhile, back at the love ranch, the revulsion you feel whenever a man is nice to you is not occurring by accident. There is a reason for your reaction. The only problem is that the cause of your reaction is beyond your conscious awareness.In my book, I talk about the fact that we all carry around Old Scars from childhood. In many cases, Old Scars are so painful that they actually get buried deep inside our psyches, far from conscious awareness. But, the psyche really doesn’t want to keep Old Scars buried forever. The mind wants to bring them to the surface and heal them. So, what the mind does is create its own type of red flag–a strange symptom, for example, that cripples your life and/or ruins your relationships.The symptom is your mind’s way of begging you to pay attention, listen and heal the wound. Your problem is that the wound that is causing your symptom is beyond your reach. If we can decipher the meaning of the symptom, and the purpose that it serves, we can then figure out the Old Scar that ‘s causing it.Using the symptom (revulsion when men are nice to you) as starting point, we can back our way into identifying your Old Scar. So let’s start by understanding this revulsion and the purpose it serves.For one thing, it keeps men away from you, which seems to be your unconscious goal. When they are nice, you puke and run. The only time you are comfortable with men is when they are at a safe distance, as is the case when they are involved with other women. So, you need to ask yourself why you want to keep men away from you.I know you consciously want a relationship, that ‘s why you wrote to me. But, remember, the unconscious mind has a life of its own. And, it is the unconscious part of the mind that is responsible for 90 percent of what we do and say, including the choices we make. The more you can make the unconscious part of your mind part of your conscious awareness, the better chance you have of getting what you consciously want for yourself–namely a relationship.So, ask yourself why does unconscious mind wants to be alone. Here’s where you need to figure out what happened during your childhood to frighten you to the point that you can’t allow a man to get near you.Some guesses: You sexually abused (perhaps by someone who was very nice to you).You were raised by someone who seduced and dropped you (for example, a parent who was sweet, made all kinds of promises and then never followed through).Start with the symptom (feeling sick when someone is nice) and trace it back to your history. You will find an answer when you ask the right questions. Once you pinpoint the childhood wound that ‘s triggering the symptom of revulsion when men are nice, you are on the path to healing the problem.Awareness is king. If you need help to heal the Old Scar that you uncover, then by all means find a good psychoanalyst in your area.If you need help finding one, let me know.