Everyone has safeguards when it comes to vulnerability. Sometimes those safeguards change and evolve as we do. I recently realized that my latest way of protecting myself is to fall for those guys I can’t possibly have.
Distance creates a literal boundary.
Whether it’s actual physical distance or some sort of emotional distance that can’t be crossed, it’s damn effective. I either create distance or use the distance that’s already there to keep myself safe. It means there’s no danger of me having to put myself on the line emotionally.
I can be comfortable when someone isn’t available.
It’s easy. I know the situation and the limitations going into it. I can care a certain amount, know that we will never get close enough for me to care more, and let it settle there. I don’t have to fear of falling too hard and getting irrevocably hurt.
It’s not as hard to be myself when nothing is at stake.
When I really like someone who is available, I tend to freeze up. I get shy and awkward because I’m terrified that he’ll reject me. It’s tough to finally find a guy I really enjoy only to realize he doesn’t feel the same. If there’s some reason I can’t be with a man, however, I can be completely myself knowing there are no risks.
It might bum me out but it’s not as terrifying.
I’ll admit it—I have a fear of the unknown when it comes to love. I can’t control it and that scares the crap out of me. If I know from the get-go that I can’t have someone, there are limits to how bad I end up feeling. I don’t have to push myself to jump in or face my fears.
I know exactly how things stand—there are no surprises.
I honestly don’t even trust my own instincts anymore when it comes to dating. I’ll be so sure that a guy is wonderful and then he runs away and leaves me in the dust. I try to stay optimistic, but I’ve been fooled too many times. At least if a man is unavailable, I don’t have to worry that he’ll leave me feeling duped.
I’m terrified of getting hurt and it lessens the risk.
I will only let myself go so far emotionally when I know the deal up front. The guy is taken or whatever the situation may be – I know that and I know there’s no point wasting too much thought on it. If there’s the possibility I can actually date someone, then I have to consider all the potential risks.
Everyone time I try to go for someone I could have, things get too real.
I don’t want to feel feelings! Seriously, though—it can be really frightening. Love is a complicated, delicate, raw mess of emotion. I’m not sure I know how to manage it like a functional human being… which is why I stick to the safe route.
Love is chaotic and I don’t like being out of control.
Someone else is involved, and I can’t manage that person’s actions or read his mind. I can’t do anything except do the best that I know how and trust that it’ll all work out. The problem is that I don’t trust it at all. I’m so afraid of being vulnerable that I’ll do anything to protect my heart.
I don’t believe the other person will be there for me—friends are more reliable.
When a man is not available romantically, I can be his friend instead since the stakes are lower and often the rewards are higher. It’s easier to be supportive and helpful as a friend because there isn’t as much at risk.
I yearn for the situation to change, but I don’t know if I’d actually want that.
I daydream about how wonderful it would be if things were different. If they did change, though, I might run away terrified that I’d have to actually engage. If the guy I wanted suddenly walked up to me and said he was single, I’d be flummoxed.
It’s simple to stick to the status quo.
I like what I know. It’s familiar and it doesn’t require effort. If I want the impossible, I can keep the rest of my life rolling along while letting whichever guy I’m yearning for provide a fleeting emotional distraction. It’s a lot easier than the compromise and work of a real relationship.
I’m intimidated by the unknown.
I’ve always hated not knowing what the future holds. I think, if only I knew that this career would work out or that I’d get to achieve that dream, or that I’ll find the love of my life. It scares me that none of this might happen. I don’t want to love someone and get my heart broken, so I gravitate towards people I can’t have.
Wanting the unattainable makes it easy to keep love on the back burner.
I have a lot going on. I want an amazing relationship, but I’m not sure that I’m ready to put in the time and effort that it requires. If I pine after men who aren’t available to me, then I don’t have to worry about the realities of a viable romance.
I can keep living in the safe fantasy world of my mind.
It’s much easier to pretend what could happen than deal with what really does happen. Making up romantic outcomes in my head is safer than dealing with the very unromantic realities of life. I can keep escaping it all by telling myself lovely stories that will never actually happen.
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