These are difficult times for the young but chasing down life partners always pushes them away, says Mariella Frostrup
The dilemma I have a daughter at university who, since she was 17, has gone from one bad relationship to another, making her feel depressed and worthless, and impacting on her work. It’s a recurring cycle. She becomes deeply committed to a relationship only to be slowly cast aside or dumped, further denting her already low self-esteem. When she is on form (and single) she is fun-loving and outgoing, always kind. She is smart and attractive. I am not clear what is going wrong or how to advise her.
Her last boyfriend spent several months chasing her; eventually she agreed but, after a few happy months, he slowly “reeled her out”, saying that he could not commit. Now in lonely lockdown she feels ever more abandoned and is wondering what is wrong with her or what she is doing wrong. On our long phone conversations I advise her to focus on her degree and get immersed in the work as a cure. I reassure her that things will work out in the end and that these things are normal and nothing to do with her personally. I am worried that this will affect her degree. I know life is a learning process, but I would like her to learn some strategies.