We have all dated that one person who was never quite ready for commitment (with us).
They drive us to the brink of insanity and then pull us back with incredible passion that we have never experienced before. They bring out a side to us that we didn’t even know we had.
They are truly magical beings, aren’t they?
They keep us on our toes, as we wait with baited breath for every text, phone call, and an eventual date. Ah, and every single date is magical, leaving us wanting more and more. However, when the date is over, it’s drama city—bring on the tears, anxiety, sadness, confusion, and the wondering when, and if, we are going to see them again.
Sadly, 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 days on end, sharing meals, planning vacations, and everything else that real couples do; except they do it without true commitment and, sometimes, even monogamy.
Reality check: they are using us.
Whether it’s for comfort, simple companionship, money, sex, validation, attention, a place to crash, someone to fill their voids, our homemade free meals, someone who keeps them from being alone (with themselves), or a person to chill with until someone better comes along, we hold the power to put an end to this madness. Whatever it is they need from us, we are giving it to them, and therefore, they are using us.
But the destructive part is that we truly believe, deep 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 (instead of ourselves) and do whatever we think it takes to make them happy, believing it will make them love us. (In reality, they just don’t, or at least, they don’t love us enough to commit.)
So we chase them when they run and try with all our might to convince them how amazing we are (know that 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 enough, 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 so little—or nothing in return.
We are ready to move on, but the problem is, they are not.
Now we must prepare ourselves because they will come back and at full force (but this is not a good thing, so don’t be flattered). They will promise us the world, the stars, their souls—as long as we don’t leave them. They say they will love us, they will start respecting us more, they will spend more time with us, they will realize how much they don’t want to live without us.
Amazing, right? Wow, this is everything we ever wanted to hear. All we ever want in life is to be loved and for them to realize how amazing we are and to see our value—to want us the way we want them. Now this is magical; just like that, they finally see it and feel it—all we had to do was let go. Is it really that simple?
Here we are, ecstatic, and without any thought process or time, we immediately take them back—with no boundaries in place. We don’t make them prove themselves; there’s no slow ease back into it. Nope, just as quickly as they come back for us, we go running back.
Surprise. They win, again. Their ego wins.
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 showed us a little more attention, but ultimately, things didn’t really change.
Why would they, anyway? The reality is, people don’t change unless they want to, and they only change by doing the work that it takes to make those huge changes.
Unfortunately, they came running back to us out of fear. They didn’t want to lose their security blanket because that is what we were to them. You see, people who are emotionally unavailable or unable to commit fear abandonment more than anything in the world. So as much as they don’t want to commit to us, they don’t want to lose us either. Mindscrew, right?
It really is just a sad and lonely cycle of avoiding abandonment. However, the good news is that, eventually, the cycle does end, leaving us exhausted, with them moving on to another person who is just like us and in a heap on the floor. We cry, and we wish for another day with them, begging God for them to love us because if they do, our life would be complete. They make life magical and worth living.
Wrong. News flash: 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 for us to figure out why we, too, are emotionally unavailable and more vested in chasing people who don’t want us versus finding out why we don’t really want them either.
Like attracts like. Thankfully, it is possible to end this cycle forever, 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 too.
Below are 10 ways to start healing and becoming emotionally available, so we can all seek 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, giving up your own space, whatever it is…identify it.
2. Once you have identified it, write about it in your journal. Where does this fear stem from? Does it come from your childhood? When did you first notice this fear? Write down every detail in your journal. Once it’s identified and “out there,” 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 a 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 yes, 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 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 you. For some people, this will be an easy exercise, but for others, this might be difficult. This exercise can help you identify how you view yourself; and as you know, how you see yourself is how others see you as well. What we put out into the universe comes back to us—full circle.
7. Let go of your emotional addictions (I call them void fillers). The overeating, the smoking, too much drinking, drugs, social media, sex, porn, and so on. These don’t help us in any way. We need to learn to sit with our feelings, with ourselves, and be comfortable with them.
This takes lots of practice; it’s uncomfortable, and there will be a lot of tears and moments when we want to give up. Please don’t. Learning to sit with your feelings is the biggest step to healing and the best way to avoid starting a new cycle of emotional unavailability with 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 in any way, whether through volunteering or donating money or household items. It’s a great way to show gratitude for what we do have by giving 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. Spend less time trying to find a man or a woman to fill your void and validate you. 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 no longer will you 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. Love yourself the way you want to be loved. The saying really 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 a healthy addiction. You 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 only makes our lives unmanageable by keeping us locked in the love addiction cycle.
It is time to remove that invisible shield and start working on yourself today.