6 Reasons You Keep Falling For Emotionally Unavailable Men
It's time to figure out why you keep choosing unavailable men and find real love instead.
You definitely did not set out to fall in love with an emotionally unavailable man, but here you are once again.
You're likely reliable, caring and compassionate — not willing to simply give up on your guy so easily! Plus, if you are in love, it’s even harder to see reality. You stay too long trying to "change" them, or you leave them only to trade him for another guy with the same problem.
When you find yourself chasing and choosing men who can’t commit or continually put up barriers to intimacy, it’s frustrating, unfulfilling and at times downright painful. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, you keep dating or winding up in relationships with emotionally distant men — and you begin to doubt yourself and your ability to judge a "good guy."
You may realize you have a self-sabotaging pattern with attracting and dating these types of emotionally unavailable men, but you don’t know why.
Understanding the underlying reasons you keep falling for emotionally unavailable men can help you address them, so you can find the emotionally open relationship you deserve.
Here are 6 self-sabotaging reasons you keep falling for emotionally unavailable men (and how to stop it from happening again):
1. You are the intimacy avoider — not him.
This reason may seem ludicrous! Here you are making such an effort to engage your partner in a deep and meaningful relationship. However, you might really be purposely picking someone not capable of real love as a way of self-protection.
You may just be getting the “sensation” of being in love without real risk. These relationships don’t have a lot of depth or vulnerability. You don’t have to know your partner on a deeper level, and he doesn’t get to know you, either.
You satisfy your longing for connection along with your need to protect yourself. Remaining fixated on someone who doesn’t show genuine love for you allows you to feel the intensity and passion involved in a relationship without eventual commitment.
2. You're drawn to drama.
You are addicted to "the chase" or the chaotic nature of a relationship. The fantasy of the relationship’s potential has become more important than its reality. After the peak of this type of relationship, you can be brought down to a sobering sense of reality.
The allure fades, and mundane life sets in again. The appeal of one-sided love prolongs the pursuit, so you do not have to face the anticlimactic sense of coming down from the romantic high. It stimulates high drama, providing the ideal antidote to any boredom that may be lurking around in other areas of your life.
Peacefulness, calmness, and predictability are viewed as boring.
3. You’re stuck in the past.
A concept called "repetition compulsion" is "... a psychological phenomenon in which a person repeats an event or its circumstances over and over again. This includes reenacting the event or putting oneself in situations where the event is likely to happen again."
This means you're subconsciously repeating past experiences throughout your life in an attempt to rewrite history. The intention, whether you're aware of it or not, is to finally work through the traumatic situation.
As you probably guessed, it is often the parent/child relationship you're attempting to resolve. Ask yourself if you are trying to get your unmet childhood need for love, safety, and affection onto men who can’t give it, therefore, re-creating a painful dynamic?
4. You have trouble being alone.
If you have a lot of difficulty being alone, you will go to great lengths to avoid it. Somebody is better than nobody. Being physically alone readily creates a feeling of loneliness for you, and the feeling of loneliness is dreadful.
When this happens, you may end up with unsuitable partners, or you may stay too long with the wrong one. You might go overboard trying to please your man or mold yourself into what he wants you to be so that he won’t ever leave. This fear of loneliness is a surefire way to tolerate bad behavior in romantic partners.
5. You believe your love will "fix" him.
When you think your love will be the cure to your partner's reasons for being emotionally unavailable, you are pouring your heart and soul into a fantasy. You will never be fulfilled in these relationships with incapable men. Believing you have the power to change someone through “love,” or any other means, for that matter, is not going to help you.
This often plays out with you trying to control the uncontrollable or over-functioning in the relationship.
6. You feel bad about yourself.
When you have low self-esteem, you feel a lack of confidence, unworthiness, incapability, or incompetence. You may even feel unlovable or that you deserve to be treated poorly. Ironically, feeling this way about yourself may actually cause your continued poor self-esteem.
You will make life choices, including relationship choices, that come from this negative self-concept. You may not be attracting the wrong men, but because you don’t value yourself, you are readily accepting the wrong men into your life.
Many of these self-sabotaging explanations operate at an unconscious level. Taking the focus off of blaming him for being emotionally available and instead focusing on self-reflection is a crucial first step in stopping the endless cycle of emotionally empty and disconnected relationships.
Once you have clarity about what is happening and why you keep dating emotionally available men, you can begin the process of changing it. You deserve real and reciprocated love from an emotionally present partner and shouldn’t settle for less! Dr. Marni Feuerman* is a licensed psychotherapist and author of Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships available on Amazon and everywhere else books are sold. Sign up for her newsletter to keep in touch and get the latest content on love, dating and relationships.
*Author note: This article was originally written for and appeared on YourTango.com.