We’ve all dated that person who is never quite ready for a commitment with us.
They drive us to the brink of insanity, then pull us back with incredible passion that we’ve never experienced before.
They bring out a side to us that we didn’t know we had in ourselves.
They are truly magical.
They keep us on our toes as we wait with baited breath for every text, phone call, and eventual date. Every date is magical, leaving us wanting more and more, but when the date is over, it becomes drama city: tears, anxiety, sadness, confusion, wondering when and if we are going to see them again.
They aren’t ready to give themselves up to us, however, they have no problem spending all their time with us, having sex with us, sleeping over, sharing meals, planning vacations, and everything else only real couples do—except they do it without true commitment and monogamy.
Reality check; they are using us.
Whatever it is that they need—be it comfort, simple companionship, money, sex, validation, attention, a place to crash, someone to fill their voids, someone who keeps them from being alone (with themselves), or a person to chill with until someone better comes along—we are giving it to them, and therefore, they are using us.
Believe it or not, we hold the power to put an end to this madness.
But we believe in our souls that if we morph into exactly what they want us to be, they will love us. So we spend all our precious energy on them and try to make them happy in hopes it will make them love us back. But they don’t.
We chase them when they run and try with all our might to convince them how amazing we are (they see it, they just don’t care).
Until one day, we wake up and gasp at the fact that so many years have gone by and nothing has changed. It is at that moment we realize that no matter what we do, they will not love us, they do not want us or what we want, and yes, that is when we swallow the fact that they have been using us.
So we brush ourselves off, cry until we throw up, and decide to finally pull away and admit that we can’t do this anymore because there is nothing left of our self-esteem—we are exhausted from giving so much of ourselves and receiving nothing in return. We are ready to move on, but the problem is, they are not.
They come back and at full force (this is not a good thing). They promise us the world, the stars, and their soul, as long as we don’t leave them.
They love us, they start respecting us more, they spend more time with us, they realize how much they don’t want to live without us. Amazing, right? This is everything we ever wanted to hear. This is all we ever wanted in life: to be loved, for them to realize how amazing we are, to see our value, and to want us the way we want them. This is magical—they finally see it and feel it. All I had to do was let go.
We are ecstatic, and without any thought process (or time), we immediately take them back—no boundaries in place, no requirement that they prove themselves, and no slow ease back into it. Nope. As quickly as they came back after us, we go running back.
No surprise, they win.
Yes, unfortunately it is a game, and I am sorry to tell you that nothing has changed.
Things are good for a little while, and they show us a little more attention, but ultimately, things don’t really change. Why would they? The reality is, people don’t change unless they want to—they can’t actually change without doing the work that it takes to make those huge changes.
They came running back to us out of fear. They didn’t want to lose their security blanket. You see, people who are emotionally unavailable or unable to commit because they suffer from fear of abandonment. That said, as much as they don’t want to commit to us, they don’t want to lose us either (mindscrew, right?).
It really is a sad and lonely cycle of avoiding abandonment.
However, the good news is that eventually the cycle does end. But it leaves us exhausted, with them moving on to another person who is just like us, and leaving us in a heap on the floor.
We cry, wish for another day with them, begging God for them to love us, because if they did, our life would be complete, magical, and worth living.
They are our mirror; it’s that simple. We have played the emotional unavailability dance, and it’s time for the music to stop.
It’s time to figure out why we are emotionally unavailable and more invested in chasing people who don’t want us versus finding out why we don’t really want them either.
Thankfully, it is possible to end this cycle, abandon this dance, and move toward a healthy and balanced relationship with an emotionally available person, but only when we become emotionally available ourselves.
My dear, this isn’t just about them—this is about us as well.
Here are 10 ways to start healing and becoming emotionally available so we can seek and find a fabulous and stable relationship with someone who is available to us:
1. Figure out your biggest fears. What is holding you back? Whether it’s fear of getting hurt, abandonment, being vulnerable, fear of engulfment, or giving up your own space, identify it.
2. Once you do, write about it in your journal. Where does this fear stem from? When did you first notice this fear? Write down every detail in your journal. Once you identify it, it’s much easier to work toward a resolution.
3. Finding a resolution. Depending on what your fears and issues are, you may need to seek a therapist, counselor, or life coach to work toward resolving these issues.
4. Let go of people who have hurt you in the past. Understand that getting hurt is part of life. Painful experiences are what teach us our biggest lessons so we can grow and learn to heal those parts of us that are holding on. Let them go and forgive.
5. Think about your favorite people and write in your journal what you like about each and every one of them. After you have done this, send each one of them a text and let them know you are grateful for their presence in your life.
6. Next, write down your favorite things about yourself. For some people, this will be an easy exercise, but for others, it might be difficult. This practice can help us identify how we view ourselves and realize that how we see ourselves is how others see us as well. What we put out into the universe comes back to us.
7. Let go of your emotional addictions (I call them void fillers). Overeating, smoking, too much drinking, drugs, social media, sex, porn, and so on won’t help us in any way. Learn to sit with your feelings and be comfortable with them.
This takes a lot of practice, it’s uncomfortable, and there will be a lot of tears and moments where you want to give up. Don’t. Learning to sit with our feelings is the biggest step to healing and the best way to avoid starting a new cycle of emotional unavailability in another person.
8. Give your time, money, love, and support to others who need it. There are so many people out there who are struggling. It feels good to help people by volunteering, or donating money and household items. This is a great way to show gratitude for what we have by giving to others who don’t have anything.
9. Find yourself. You spent countless hours, months, and even years catering to someone who didn’t see your value (because you didn’t see your own). Spend less time trying to find a man or a woman to fill your void or validate you, and spend more time figuring out who you are, what you want from life, and what makes you happy.
When you do this, you will figure out what type of person you should have in your life and you will no longer accept someone who is not right for you—let alone chase them to make them see how great you are. You won’t need that.
10. Love yourself. After you figure out who you are, treat yourself well. Treat and love yourself the way you want to be treated and loved. The saying is true, how can someone love us and respect us if we don’t respect ourselves? They can’t and they won’t. Once we start loving ourselves, it becomes a wonderful and healthy addiction. We won’t settle for less, I promise.
Emotional unavailability is an invisible shield meant to protect us from hurt. The sad part is, it doesn’t protect us at all—it makes things worse.
Remove that invisible shield and start working on yourself, today.