One could call me a ‘player’. I have many casual relationships and many guys are envious of my conquests, so I almost feel I need to keep it up with it and pretend. I crave a relationship with a nice, innocent girl, but I don’t feel that I can reciprocate the same or be able to be faithful. This craving might only be a stage; I don’t want to hurt anyone. Do you think I should stay away from serious relationships and if not, how do I decide which one is serious?

There’s a remarkable lack of self-knowledge in this letter. You don’t seem to know if you want what you are doing, or if you want to settle down, or if you can trust yourself about fidelity now, if you can trust yourself about fidelity later, if you want to please they guys, or you want to please yourself, etc. (All of this in just a few sentences!)

My guess is that you don’t trust yourself much, about most things. If that’s true, you need a close relationship with someone who acts like a “parent” when they are with you. And they must be a very safe person who trusts you and believes in you. This is by far the best way to develop trust in yourself – by being around others who do trust you and who sort of teach you how to do it.

Of course I think of a therapist in this role for you, but there are other relationships like this. For instance, a “mentor” in any activity that takes a long time to learn might be enough.

Another major factor about trusting yourself is addiction. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you will also be sort of “stunted” in your emotional development and you may keep feeling like a teenager until you overcome the addiction.

If you are a teenager or a very young adult, take what I’ve said here more lightly. Time will help some.

But the older you are the more seriously you should consider what I’ve said here.

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