I dated unavailable men for 10 years.
As a seasoned dating and relationship coach, I could easily help my clients find the relationship of their dreams, yet I was secretly stuck in an endless cycle of dating one unavailable man after another.
listen to your gut
…I remember falling for my ex-boyfriend, Arun, who told me on our third date that he had never been in love. He was hot and cold, in and out – for our entire relationship. I never felt secure or safe with him.
Shortly after that very tumultuous relationship ended, I started having heartburn, a likely result of the constant anxiety I felt with him. It is now proven that digestion affects every area of our health, including our skin, so this was a big deal.
Chris Kressor, well-known functional doctor says, “Epidemiological evidence shows a clear association between gut problems and skin disorders.” How many times has your gut spoken when you are dating someone that doesn’t feel quite right?
I remember dating a wonderful, kind and loving man, Luke. He had curly brown hair and an endearing smile. He was so sweet, but couldn’t commit to a monogamous relationship with me. It was a daily reminder that I wasn’t enough for him. I finally walked away because it unbearably painful to feel unworthy of his full devotion.
I have dozens of other stories just like these.
Even though I knew the high emotional and physical cost of dating an unavailable man, I couldn’t stop myself. I was the expert, but I was stuck in this pattern, and I needed help.
Like any deeply ingrained habit, it’s almost impossible to quit alone, so I hired a coach. It worked, and I was able to finally get into a healthy, long term relationship with a man who loves me, adores me, and is deeply committed to me.
Now I hardly ever experience heartburn and I get to enjoy waking up every morning to his sweet kisses, and loving words.
The first step to healing a pattern like this is to know and accept that you have it.
How to know if you choose unavailable men:
- Does he change his mind about you a lot?
- Are you constantly confused about where you stand with him, or hurting because of something he said (or didn’t say)?
- Do you stare at your phone all the time, desperately hoping to hear from him?
- Do you feel so good when you’re together, but really bad afterwards, because deep down, you know he isn’t healthy for you?
And… despite all of this, is it terribly hard to let go of him?
If you answered YES to one or more of these questions, you may be stuck in this pattern. The good news is that there is a way out of this mess, and you can start right now.
Here are my 4 initial steps to stop choosing unavailable men for good so you can have a healthy, committed relationship:
#1: Admit that you have this pattern
The first step to heal any unhealthy pattern is becoming fully aware of it. Go get your journal and make a list of your last 5 relationships.
Note how many of them were with unavailable partners. When was the first time you chased after an unavailable man? Take inventory to see how long this has been going on.
#2: Find examples of a healthy relationship so you know what’s possible
Identify the romantic relationships around you that are loving, consistent, reliable, and secure. Notice how the partners treat each other.
Notice what it looks like to have a committed partner that is emotionally and physically available. Use these examples as mirrors and inspiration for what’s possible for you to have in your own love life.
#3: Make sure you’re available
If you have a pattern of choosing unavailable men, I can almost guarantee that there is a part of you that’s also unavailable. This may seem strange and you probably think you are completely available. However, there is probably a hidden part of you that is deeply afraid of what might happen if real love and intimacy showed up on your doorstep.
You need to uncover the parts of you that are actually afraid of a healthy relationship. I recommend journaling answers to this question: “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I find the love of your life.” This will begin to reveal the underlying fears that are driving your attraction to unavailable partners.
#4: Get the right support
Even if you are chronically independent and successful, you need support when something has this much power over you. Find a guide who can hold your hand through the process of shifting this deep pattern.
A well known teaching states that, “What is broken in relationship needs to be healed in relationship.” The core wounds that created this pattern need to be healed with a loving guide. I recommend finding someone with both coaching and therapy experience, who can help you break free of the addiction, and then strategically navigate the world of dating.
the power is in your hands
I was caught in this cycle for a very long time before I got out. By taking these steps, you too can break free. I know it’s uncomfortable to confront an old habit, but the payoff is priceless: You could have a happy, healthy, secure relationship, and feel more radiant overall.
Wouldn’t that be worth it?