I believe that a large part of my problem is that I am what you referred to as a “nightmare girl.” I don’t know how to be one of those “dream girls.” I can hold it together for anywhere from a few days to a few months, but I get sooooo incredibly insecure that I end up losing it. I mean, I go crazy. I turn into a raging bi*ch, pick a fight, and think he’s doing all kinds of horrible things behind my back, etc. Or, I start looking elsewhere and sometimes cheat (which I am embarrassed to admit.) All this if the boyfriend at the time (this is a pattern) is not falling all over me. I am so insecure. I’ve been to therapy-still am in therapy. I’m a practicing Christian. I just can’t seem to trust a man to save my life. The only thing I’ve EVER wanted is to get married. I am dating a man right now (for 2 1/2 years). I think we’d be married by now if I hadn’t sabotaged the relationship so many times. I mean, he has done some things to damage the relationship, but I think it’s mostly been me. I am continuing to work on myself, but sometimes I feel I am beyond help. Any suggestions?

Nightmare Girl

Dear Dream Girl,

First of all, no “Nightmare Girl” is beyond reform, you included. Your letter just broke my heart. First off, please stay in therapy for a while. You’re knee-deep in an incredibly destructive pattern right now. For some reason, it seems as though you believe at some level that you don’t deserve to be loved, so you sabotage your relationships either by picking unsuitable guys, creating problems or imagining them. The fact that you believe your boyfriends will treat you badly becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I think part of the reason you think your boyfriends are cheating on you is that you are cheating on them – guilt is a strange, strange thing. Here’s what I think you should do. Stop dating for a while, it seems like it only exacerbates your issues. Give yourself a chance to figure out why you don’t believe you deserve to be loved, and why you can’t trust people. Is it just men? Or is it everybody? If I had to venture a guess in the dark, I’d say you had suffered some sort of abuse, sexual or otherwise. Take a dating sabbatical – give yourself six months without a man, at least. In that time, go to therapy and really spend some time figuring out where the pattern started. Take good care of yourself. If you were sexually abused, read “The Courage To Heal.” In any case I want you to realize that you deserve to be loved and treated with respect. Really. You are not damaged goods. You are an amazing, wonderful person. You just need to believe in yourself. And eventually, in someone else.

Good luck, I’m pulling for you.

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TV Dating Expert Lisa Daily is the bestselling author of two dating books Stop Getting Dumped!, How to Date Like a Grownup and Fifteen Minutes of Shame (a novel) and is seen everywhere from Entertainment Tonight to the HITCH movie DVD.

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Author's Bio: 

Dating expert Lisa Daily blogs her dating tips and advice at She is the Dating Coach on Daytime , a nationally-syndicated morning TV show and a syndicated columnist. She’s also the bestselling author of Stop Getting Dumped! and How to Date Like a Grown-Up: Everything You Need to Know to Get Out There, Get Lucky or Even Get Married in Your 40’s 50s and Beyond. Lisa was featured as a real-life “date doctor” in the HITCH movie DVD starring Will Smith.