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Help! I am falling for unavailable men 🤦🏽‍♀️

I want him, but he doesn't want me or, at least, not in the same way. It's a reality that some are faced with: unavailable love or vain desire.


"What if feelings aren't completely mutual? Why doesn't he send a message back? Why doesn't he want a relationship? Why doesn't he want to stay for the night? Why can't he be there for me? Why is it nice when we are together but distant afterwards?”


Sometimes, it is not only about physical inaccessibility, but also about emotionally inaccessible men. This article is about unavailable men and I will tell you a bit about my own experiences. The information also applies to unavailable women or unavailable people in general.


The following topics are covered in this article:



Turns out he is an unavailable man

You have found that perfect man. He is nice and kind, does admirable things, and looks good too! You are in seventh heaven. How can such a wonderful man exist?


Soon you notice that he is not picture perfect. You want more. You want to spend more time together, engage in deeper conversations, be together, grow together. But he can't give you that. This can manifest itself, for example, in not freeing up time for you, not responding to your messages, or not being able to have emotional conversations with you. It brings confusion, and also pain. Is this impossible love? Is this unrequited love? Why is this man so unavailable?


Why do I keep getting unrequited love?


why do i keep getting unrequited love

You wonder what you're doing wrong. "Is it me?" "Am I too pushy?" "Am I expecting too much?" "Maybe I should give it another try." "Maybe it will work then."

"Maybe I should write my message like this instead." But every time you hit a wall. Again and again, you notice that he is unavailable. Maybe you have the feeling you understand him and try to justify his behavior and actions.’


"Yeah, but he's busy, I understand that."

"He needs time to himself."

"He still needs to learn to open up more emotionally."


Don't get me wrong, of course we all have something to learn and it is not easy for everyone to open up. Several things could be going on with that unavailable person. So, it's healthy not to take it personally. What is important is that you look at your own needs and pains, not only brush them off by justifying things or trying something different.


Changing the pattern of unattainable love

For fifteen years, I fell for unattainable men, or rather, I had unattainable relationships —because sometimes the man was not the unavailable person, but me. I had a fear of committing or entering into a deeper intimacy. From about age 16 to age 31, unattainable love was my reality. It went a bit like this:


Chapter 1 I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost... I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. Chapter 2 I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in the same place. But, it isn't my fault. It still takes me a long time to get out.


Chapter 3 I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in. It's a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately. Chapter 4 I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. Chapter 5 I walk down another street.”


Source: Autobiography in 5 chapters. Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche


This poem describes exactly the process I went through and what we all go through as we try to consciously work around certain patterns or change something. At first, it's hard to see a pattern. We usually point the finger at the other. It's the other person's fault. It's the unavailable man's fault for not giving you more of what you want. It’s difficult to admit that something is going on with you.


This is not to say that it is your fault that this man is unavailable. I also don't mean to say that the unavailable man is bad. However, there is a pattern—falling for unavailable men, which ultimately does not make you completely happy. It is therefore important to look at what hurts you and what you actually want, and to dare to choose for yourself.


Where was unattainable love in your past? Causes of unrequited love.

When we fall for someone—fall in love or feel attracted to someone—it usually surpasses our ration. It is our subconscious that is in charge here. At the same time, it is also in our subconscious that things we have learned from our childhood or our past are stored.

causes of unrequited love and absent parent

My awakening started when I realized that there was a link between the love I had known from my father and the love I wanted from men. It is often said that we like men who have the same "traits" as our fathers.


My father was absent in my childhood. Very occasionally, he would show up. For me, those qualities were 'nice, fun, absent, unreliable, sometimes yes/sometimes not.' Going back to the present, these were exactly the men I attracted. And so I actually continuously relived a pain from the past. The pain of unrequited love. A pain that asked to be healed.


If it weren't these unavailable men, it was myself who had these qualities. In this situation, usually the man was available and I unconsciously made sure that I was unavailable. For me, this expressed itself in a way of not wanting to make a 'real commitment' with that person or seeing that there was an end date for the relationship.


My healing journey began with going back to the past and the pain I experienced growing up without my father. Many tears streamed down my cheeks for several years. Much anger surfaced over several years. After a long time, there was room for forgiveness and because of that, my relationship with my father also changed.


I thought that would also change my relationship with men. But that was too optimistic. I was actually only in chapter 2 of the 5 chapters of the poem above (I fall in the hole, it's not my fault, it takes me a long time to get out).


Avoidant attachment style & fear of commitment

It was very confronting to read the book 'Stay with me' by Rika Ponnet. In that book, she explains different attachment styles and what that means in your life. She also explains what you actually need. When I got to the rejection/avoidant attachment style, my jaw dropped. The pages were written exactly about me. Avoiding intimacy or connection (so you can't get hurt), the adventurous traveler, the independent person who doesn't want or can't connect.


It was the first time I realized that I was actually the one who didn't dare to make a connection and had a fear of commitment. And that attracting those unavailable men actually 'felt safe' for me. These were often men who, like me, did not dare to make that connection. These were men who most likely also had an avoidant attachment style in relation to me. It was "safe" because that was what I knew. That was love, I had learned. Inaccessible. Absent.


It was safe as long as that other person was unavailable because then I didn't have to show myself completely or be completely reachable. And so, I thought I couldn't get hurt at all. When 'reachable men' came too close, I looked for a way to flee. This all happened unconsciously. Reading this book, the confrontation, and learning about attachment styles made me more aware about what was happening.


It's something that can help us all. As soon as we understand more clearly what our attachment style is and what behavior is associated with it, we can recognize it better in ourselves or our partners. This also allows us to anticipate or to take it into account more.


I healed some deeper layers of my past around my absent father. As I learned more about my attachment style, that knowledge came more and more into my conscious mind. I admitted how I actually unconsciously created these situations because I did not dare to make a connection.

fear of commitment and avoidant attachment style unavailable men

Well, as I was so desperately looking for real love, I would make it now, wouldn't I?

Even though by now I was at chapter 3 of the poem above (I fall into the hole, I recognize it, I come out again). It would be a while before I would get to Chapter 4 (I walk around the hole) or Chapter 5 (I walk down a new street).

Get rid of the unavailable man by setting boundaries

I occasionally met new men. Sometimes with the hope that it would turn out to be something, especially since I thought I was 'healed' from everything. Well, that was a bit disappointing. It took me a while to realize that some things can play out in different ways throughout your life. And that healing is a life's work.


The men I met were friendly, sweet, and nice to hang out with, but I still attracted the kind of guys who wouldn't respond to a message or gave unclear signals. I kept trying to figure out why they acted like that, instead of setting my limits or keeping my standards high.


Looking back, I don't understand how I condoned certain behaviors from these men in question. I also didn't realize that the ways those men communicated or didn't communicate with me was disrespectful. Well, I didn't know anything different so I didn't have a good yardstick to measure what it means to be treated with respect. I also didn't believe that if I raised my standards or didn't accept certain behaviors, a man would come. I was really afraid that no one would want me. I didn't realize that if I didn't set my limits, I would continue to attract men with this unattainable behavior. I didn't realize that I was energetically continuing to send a message to the universe that 'it's okay to treat me like that.'


“Sometimes you don't get what you want because you deserve better.” This quote was relevant for me at that time. All those times when a door closed in romantic love, it was a signal that I deserved a better relationship, or a man that is present. It was actually me who kept holding on to that person. I kept holding on to that unattainable love. That was all I knew as love.


Until one day, there was a man who was not only "absent," but made me feel really bad about myself and made me feel smaller. I clearly needed a deeply painful experience, a bubbling anger, to feel my strength. To feel that I'm worth it! And that I am fantastic! And that they better treat me that way too!


Self-love is the basis for a healthy relationship


selflove is the basis of a healthy relationship

After healing my pains around my absent father, after understanding my attachment style and fear of commitment, there was room for self-love.


It took a while. But finally I realized that daring to speak out or say 'no' causes us to create our own standards when we feel that the same pattern is playing out again. And this even from the very beginning! In this way, we give a clear signal about what we do want or accept and what we do not. In this way, we free up space and intentionally choose something new, something different, something healthier and less destructive.


So, a man who sent a message back only after a long time? If he would do it again after I said something about it, bye! I didn’t have time and energy anymore for excuses. I knew my needs now. I also knew where to set my limits. Finally I got to chapter 4. (I walk down a street, there's a hole, I'm walking around it).


Change of patterns is possible if you fall for unattainable men!

Strangely enough, after that unpleasant experience, my self-esteem skyrocketed. It is true that we sometimes need deep valleys to come out differently or better. As if we are sometimes shaken awake that way. Instead of knowing rationally that I am valuable, I suddenly felt my worth in all my cells. And that gave me enormous strength. All I had to do was accept respect.


That also meant that I said 'no' more often to men who I felt were inaccessible, even if I found them attractive or they sparked something within me. In the beginning it even felt unnatural, because I consciously chose not to go along with that pattern of those unavailable men that I knew so well by now. But this conscious choice was the biggest change! I was walking down a different street! (chapter 5)

stop wanting unattainable men

In addition to setting my limits, I consciously continued to work on my self-esteem and self-love by choosing the things that made me happy and that I like to do. I chose to only allow people into my life who made my life better and recognized my worth.


Even though I was 'walking that other street' I didn't necessarily meet any men. There were times when I felt very alone and gave up that a relationship was something I would succeed in. Moments like that were difficult. But optimistic as I am, I tried to trust. And I tried to turn the street I was walking into a fun one. A street full of balloons, colors, fun music, and good food!


And with patience, I met such a wonderful man, who is now my husband. I'm not running away and neither is he. We have a wonderful, mature, safe, accessible, and pleasant relationship!

What to do with unrequited love? How to deal with an unavailable man?

In summary, the pattern of unattainable love in our lives is often persistent. Because of that, it also needs time to be broken. But it's not impossible! It takes courage, great will, and a good portion of self-love. In my opinion, the different steps (can be done in different ways) to start changing the pattern are the following:


1. Where was unattainable love in your life? Reflect on this.

Usually this has to do with the relationship you did or did not have with your father or father figure (Or mother, if you are a man). Try to sense what you felt then through journaling, shadow work, inner child work, etc. Maybe there are certain feelings that are only now coming to the surface. Recognizing and giving space for the feelings that you felt as a child or are feeling now, brings a lot of healing. This is usually a process that happens multiple times because there are multiple layers that can be healed. You can also delve deeper into certain fears you feel in yourself when it comes to romantic relationships: why are you afraid of x, y or z?

2. Examine your attachment style and how it affects your relationships.

You can read articles about it online, read books or listen to podcasts. You can take a test online to find out your attachment style. Here is an example of a simple test. Know that they are not 100 percent accurate and that there are different tests and different ways of finding out your attachment style. Try to understand better how you relate to other people and listen to what you need, too. Reflect for yourself; what are your needs in a relationship? What do you need in a partner?

3. Set your boundaries.

Once it is clear what your needs are, it is important that you stick to these needs/standards and do not deviate from them. The moment you deviate from them, you bring the difficulties or disappointment closer again. How do you not deviate from it? Communicate your needs to the person in question and observe whether they can take you into account and grow with you or not. Dare to choose for yourself or let go of the unavailable man if it doesn't match what you need and the person shows no will to grow. Attention! Also reflect on yourself. Nobody is perfect. A whole laundry list of needs/standards will make it more difficult to find someone who fits or can deal with it. Reflect on your priorities.

4. Work on self-love!

This is easier said than done and, of course, also a whole process to go through. But the more you invest in self-love, the more you fill your own cup and the more you will experience different dynamics in your (romantic) relationships. You will look less for love in the other because you already feel it in yourself. You can decide to do more things for yourself or to do the things you enjoy. Knowing your own needs and setting boundaries is also a sign of self-love. Perhaps you could explore the way you talk to yourself more so that that inner critical voice fades into the background. Actually, there are so many beautiful ways!



 

I also made a podcast episode around this topic: falling for unavailable people. So, if you would like to hear me talk about it, too, then check out this episode of my Under The Baobab Tree podcast. Here you have the trailer:


Check out the FULL episode (17min) on the Under The Baobab Tree Podcast:

or on your favorite podcast app ;-)


 

If you want guidance in this journey, if you are ready to transform your fears and insecurities, to stand up for yourself, to set your boundaries and to completely connect with yourself, Rooted Within may be something for you!


It's a very powerful, transformative selflove journey so you become Rooted Within ;-) And going through this journey, influences all the relationships you are in or will be in.


Much love,

x Ama

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