I’m 37 years old. The last time I had a meaningful relationship was when I was in my late 20s.

I was engaged to a man who loved me and treated me like a queen. Unfortunately, his parents were against our relationship as I had a two-year-old daughter.

They said they wanted their son to marry a girl who did not have children. The parents, being wealthy, organised for their son to leave the country and that was how our relationship ended.

Since then, every man I meet is usually excited for a few months and then disappears. I have tried working on myself to attract a good man but I’m stuck in a time warp.

Why do the men keep disappearing? And how can I get a serious man who is ready to settle with me and my little girl?

Here are the rules. Don’t settle for just any man simply to be with someone.

Don’t waste precious hours that could be spent with your daughter on a guy who’s not for you. And don’t allow your child to become attached to someone who won’t be around in a few months.

Do not stress if you are disappointed with the first few dates, and never expect people to be perfect. Also remember that relationships take time to grow.

Do not just enter into a relationship thinking the man would want to marry you. Take time to get to know each other and have lots of fun.

You may be at the stage where you desperately need an honest man and a lasting relationship.

This should, however, not subject you to letting every man you meet use you. Stand firm with your principles. The right man will love you for the serious and focused woman you are. Let a man date and court you before moving to the next level.

Once you maintain your dignity, everything else will fall into place. All the best. Calvins Queen, via mail

Love yourself and your daughter first. It’s only you who can bring happiness into your life. The rest will follow. Shyko Lydia, Facebook

It must have been very painful for the love of your life to leave you so unceremoniously due to parents’ interference. I really sympathise with you. It’s good that you want to move on with your life. Most men in your age bracket are now married and probably that’s why those you meet are not ready for a serious relationship. I wonder whether you have tried to put your profile on dating sites, where you may find your match. Don’t lose hope, you are still young and there is a good man out there for you. All the best. John Maina, via email


Maurice Matheka, a relationship counsellor answers:

In the last decade, there has been an increase of men who are not interested in what women call serious relationships.

In your case, depending on the age group you are targeting, they are most likely too set in their ways to want to transform into the settling type.

If you have tried the casual approach in hope of cultivating a serious relationship, then perhaps you sold exactly what you wanted from the first day.

It is better to lay your cards before they have their way and bail. I believe most men who are attracted to you only want you but not the package you come with.

It is a numbers game and at some point you may find that man who is willing to raise a child that is not his own.

But all said and done your biggest challenge is that many men in the social arena are only interested in thrills with limited obligations.

I met this man in a work symposium about six ago and I’m excited about the direction my new found love is taking.

Initially we used to discuss work-related issues as we are in similar departments in our various organisations until he asked me out. I’m happy in our relationship but my concern is his extroverted nature.

I feel he is too free with my girlfriends. Sometimes he hugs them and his hand lingers on their shoulders, or he holds their hands when we are talking.

I raised my concern but he says he is not interested in the girls and that he only likes them as my friends. How can I make him draw the boundaries without appearing insecure?