Dear Love Guru,

I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs. After a 6-month relationship, my now ex-boyfriend told me about his insecurities within relationships, which left me shattered. I spent a whole month and 3 weeks aching of a broken heart.

After that, I started going out with my friends. After a short while, I chatted with this guy and decided to accept his invitation to a date. It felt good, so we kept it going until he’d eventually want a relationship with me.

On my birthday, it was hell! I found out he was chatting to another girl in a flirtatious manner. I confronted him about it, and he admitted that he didn’t have any feelings towards me. He thought I had a deep love for him and he said that I shouldn’t do anything crazy to hurt myself or draw a dead end to my life. I broke it to him loud and clear by saying, “I’ve had so many reasons to jump off a cliff for the people I’ve lost in my life, but I didn’t do it. So don’t worry. I wouldn’t dream of doing anything like that over a piece of sh** like yourself.” That was my perfect goodbye line.

The next day, I started to enjoy the single life. I was always out with my girls and I did whatever I wanted. I had known this new guy for a year by now, and we dated for a week in November 2014 and we stayed friends since then. He would text me while he was in a relationship, telling me that he’s thinking about me, and by that time, his relationship was more of an on-and-off thing. We had met a few times where we just talked, as I had wanted it that way, and every time we met, he said that he felt better when he was with me. I never showed him that I cared, but I believed what he said. A few days after, we fought because he got back with his ex. I made it clear that I didn’t want him and I never wanted him to speak to me again. I regret what I had said, but I wanted him to understand that playing around with words is painful.

After 2 weeks from that, I found out that he had called off their relationship for real and had spent a month alone. Thirteen days ago, I fell ill and he sent a text wishing me a speedy recovery. I replied with a thank you, and after a chat we decided to meet again and that was when he expressed his feelings towards me with a final, “I want to be the reason behind your smile.” He wanted to start a serious relationship and try to build a future together. I accepted and we’re doing just fine.

The problem is that I’m just not trusting him. I do feel something strong towards him, but my fear of losing him is stronger. I’ve admitted this to him and he said that we should take it step by step. I don’t want him to leave, but I want him to give me reasons to trust him. I sometimes see him losing interest in me, which hurts. But then again, whenever we meet he shows a strong bond! Are my fears right or wrong? Can this be true or just my past haunting me? Am I wrong or am I right?

Dear X,

You’ve nailed the core feelings experienced at the start of a new relationship by those who have been treated badly in previous one. It’s already very hard to trust someone under normal conditions. When you’ve already been hurt, it’s even harder. As the adage goes, once bitten, twice shy.

It’s not easy to open up and let someone in. On the other hand, one’s life cannot be put to a halt to lead a lonely and stunted existence just because they had been mistreated in the past. We’re all scarred, and yet, we have to move on. You must never lose hope that a new marvellous bond with someone could ever happen. You must never be afraid of trying. Hold your head high and carry on.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Yes, you’ve been hurt, but through that experience, you’ve also grown and learnt more about life, about relationships, and about yourself. Don’t let anyone turn you into a doormat. Always respect and value yourself first and foremost.

With regards to the guy you’re currently dating, it’s understandable that you’re wary of him, particularly as he seems to have already misled not only you, but also his ex. He started flirting with you while he was still seeing her, which is an indication that he knows how to manipulate and hide the truth. On the other hand, everyone gets confused at times, and it may be that he really didn’t know whether he was still in love with her or not. You’ve been honest and told him how you feel, which is good in that there can be no future misunderstandings.

My advice is to look ahead and not behind you. Every relationship is different and one can never be absolutely sure of another person. Yet, if we don’t trust one another, how can we ever build anything which lasts? Lighten up and try not to worry so much. If you realise that he’s too unstable for you to ever trust him and that this makes you unhappy, then you’ll have to really decide whether the bell is worth the candle or not.

Good Luck!

The Love Guru