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If you are a woman and find yourself in a pattern of attracting emotionally unavailable men in relationships, read on.
I know how frustrating it can be to be in relationships where our needs aren’t being met emotionally or otherwise.
Most of my clients come to me with the pattern of attracting and pursuing unavailable men. Men who cannot show up emotionally for themselves or their partners, who are not meeting their needs and/or dismissing them if questioned, or are not open to intimate conversations about the relationship.
I’m sure you get the picture. I know these types of relationships can leave us feeling like there is something wrong with us if this is a recurring theme. But please know there is nothing wrong with you. Let that sink in.
This is an opportunity to develop an even better relationship with yourself. I hope you can see this as a gift. There is nothing sexier than a woman who is the best partner to herself. Let the journey begin.
There is so much information out there about what it means if you are attracted to emotionally unavailable people and it’s easy to get confused about what to do. My rule of thumb is to always bring the focus back to yourself in the present.
Yes, we can dive into childhood and talk about all the ways our parents or guardians weren’t emotionally or physically present or had questionable parenting styles. That does deserve acknowledgment and perhaps healing needs to take place here. But for the sake of this article, what I want to know is, in the present moment, how can you show up for yourself when others fail to do so?
The old pattern of trying to figure out why he isn’t meeting your needs, or what you can do to make him change doesn’t really work. Or if it does, it’s temporary and the person usually goes back to the old behavior. Please stop trying to make someone be something they are not. You are infinitely worthy of having all of your needs met in a relationship. So, if they aren’t getting met in a relationship time after time, I always ask my clients, how are you being unavailable to yourself?
This question is usually met with some silence as we are usually not taught to self-reflect when the same circumstances keep showing up. It’s easy to go into victim mode and think, “This is happening to me, not for me.”
This is not an easy question to answer. Before I recovered from depression, I can honestly say I answered “yes” to the questions I ask below. I was constantly looking outside myself for people and events to make me happy. And I was in relationships where the person could not fully commit. In hindsight, they were mirroring my own unavailability to myself.
This isn’t to blame, shame, or make this anyone’s fault. People are who they are and not all people’s behavior means something about the person on the receiving end. But it’s been my experience that when a pattern consistently shows up in one’s life, it is usually helpful to turn inward and do a little self-reflection.
So, when a client asked me to share examples of what being unavailable to herself looks like, these are the questions I invited her to ask herself, and now, I invite you to take inventory and see how many “yes’s” you get. Then, with those questions, how can you show up more fully in each of those areas?
>> Are you ignoring your desires because you think they aren’t important or impossible to obtain?
>> Are you dismissing your own needs in life for the sake of others?
>> Are you ignoring your talents and gifts that desperately want to be expressed?
>> Are you not paying attention to what you need emotionally?
>> Are you ignoring your intuition?
>> Are you pushing your feelings down or numbing out when tough emotions come up?
>> Are you ignoring what your heart is telling you to do in any given situation?
>> Are you trying to be who you think people want you to be?
When you ask yourself these questions (and get real honest with the answers), you then have the choice and power to show up for yourself in these ways. It is then that you begin to ignite a flame that will illuminate all the parts of you that so desperately want to be seen.
Imagine if a flower didn’t show all of its brilliance. Be the flower that does. This has a ripple effect. As people start to see all of your authentic self (and believe me, they want to), and as you start to live a life that is fully expressed, it is much easier to attract people who are doing the same. You will show other’s how it’s done. You will be a magnet for people who have the ability to show up for you as well in the ways that you need and want.
Be gentle with yourself as you go on this journey back home to yourself. It is worth it. You are worth it.