I split up with my dh about 2 years ago. I have to admit I feel kind of vulnerable on my own and always end up with lots of undesirablehangerson men after me and generally hassling / doing my head in.
The other thing is that I am attracted to people who have a lot of issues and who really, objectively are not a 'good catch', like my baby's father. However, I have tried hard to get to know 'normal' people and to avoid those who will add nothing positive to my life. What usually happens is that these 'normal' men like how I look, but soon after knowing them they ask a barrage of questions and then they are scared off by my personality because they think I seem neurotic/crazy!! And this is without me mentioning that I have bipolar disorder (I have learned not to disclose that to anyone I don't know well!) The losers men with issues never ask me any questions about why I am how I am.
I am not sure how to appear 'normal' without the cracks showing - and what I should talk about / avoid talking about. It's fair to say that I find long term relationships difficult, because I feel hemmed in, but at the same time I am lonely by myself.
Rather than focusing on trying to create one long term relationship to ease your loneliness, why not try to find groups you can get involved in? Mixing and getting to know people around common interests takes a lot of the pressure off the 'getting to know you' phase - and if you're a good friend to people your circle of friend's will keep widening - one of them along the way is bound to be cute
Instead of worrying about appearing 'normal', focus on the other person and people around you and talk about things you have in common.
Is it possible that these 'normal' men you talk about aren't really 'barraging' you with questions, but that because you feel like you're not normal then you feel defensive straight off the bat? Answer questions - but slowly and carefully to give yourself time to relax into your answers and to give them a chance to get to know the 'real' you without feeling like you're backing off the second they try to get to know you!!
MamaKaty - you could be right, but I am not specifically looking for a relationship but more friendship opportunities as you say and I find that men I come into contact with want to view me in terms of am I suitable for a relationship.....I think this is quite common though, men don't seem to be looking for a friend in a woman often.