Circumstances, age and gender will influence how you feel about yourself as a single person. The following is for you if you’re not happy about being without a partner.

Perhaps you’re recently separated, divorced, widowed, or maybe you’ve never been partnered but you wish you were; or you’ve decided you no longer wish to be serially monogamous and it’s time to settle down. Maybe you’ve been busy travelling, getting your career on track and you realise all your friends have settled down and you’re now on your own.

If you’ve been in a long term relationship/ marriage and it’s been a long time since you dated, you may be terrified about getting out there again.

If you’re separated or divorced, chances are your self-esteem and confidence have taken a beating and you can’t imagine how you’ll ever be attracted to or attractive to another person. Most people in these situations feel they’re a failure because their relationship didn’t work. Or perhaps you were in an abusive relationship and made to feel like there was something wrong with you, and you may be worried about getting into another abusive relationship. You may think you can’t trust yourself to make a good choice of partner.

You may be feeling insecure and self-conscious… Perhaps you’ve got no idea what the rules of dating are or even how you go about meeting someone in this digital age.

If you’re widowed, chances are it’s been a long time you’ve been on your own, as you’ve been grieving and not interested in meeting someone else until now. You may have concerns about what others will think of your decision to start dating again. Perhaps you’re concerned how your children, whether young or adult, will react. It’s not uncommon in some families, even with adult children, to have a negative reaction to their parent re-partnering, even after what is considered to be a reasonable time.

Perhaps you’ve never been in a long-term relationship. People in this situation often feel as though there is something wrong with them… Why can’t I attract someone? What am I doing wrong?

If you’re a woman in your 30’s and haven’t had children – and would like to and you’ve not partnered – my experience is that you may be starting to feel a bit panicky… Will I meet someone quickly enough to have children…What are my options? Some women are turning to IVF, and asking a male friend to father their child or choosing a sperm donor. Some women in this situation are making poor choices of a partner as their need to have a child, which is also strongly biologically driven, overrides a healthy choice.

Whatever your situation, depression, anxiety or even despair can take hold as you navigate this difficult time.

How counselling and therapy can help

We’ll explore what’s behind the anxiety, depression and grief.

We’ll look at what you may or may not be doing that is getting in the way of meeting someone. This will require you being honest with yourself. Do you have any habits that are off-putting, such as drinking too much, or smoking? These days many people have preferences about the healthy/ unhealthy lifestyle choices of others… How do you present to the outside world?

Sometimes there are deep-seated issues around attachment and trust that may get in the way of forming and maintaining a new relationship; we’ll explore those.

Together, we’ll make a plan to help you move beyond the impasse.