If you have a pattern of dating people who are distant and closed off, the first step towards changing it is to understand why it’s happening in the first place. Here are a few reasons that could be behind your tendency to date emotionally unavailable people.
You have low self-esteem.
According to the cliche, we accept the love we think we deserve. I know this is the single most annoying thing someone could say to you, but it is the most likely scenario for why you keep falling for men who aren’t able to open up. If you think you’re unworthy of love or that you’ll never find anyone who could understand or care for you, congratulations, you’re right because your negative thoughts about yourself are a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of seeking validation from those who can’t give it to you, learn to validate yourself first.
You haven’t moved on from past trauma.
If you’re not careful, you can drag baggage with you into every new relationship for your entire life. Whether through therapy, friendship, or just an appropriate amount of time, you can let go of the pain from your previous relationships and start again with optimism and a clear understanding of what kind of partner you’re looking for. Repeating the cycle is not inevitable, it just takes a little work.
You aren’t communicating on the same wavelength.
It’s quite possible that the guy you think is emotionally closed off is just communicating differently from what you’re used to. Relationships are all about chemistry, and that includes the emotional as well as the physical kind. Just because you don’t operate on the same wavelength doesn’t mean either of you are bad people, it just means you don’t click on an important level right away. Try having a conversation about it and see if you might be misinterpreting him.
You like drama.
You have you to admit that there is something tragically romantic about unrequited love. Just turn on the radio and you’ll hear song after song about the intensity of loneliness and the all-consuming agony of not being able to convince your partner that you’re worth loving. Dating emotionally unavailable men might not just be a tendency you have but a preference. Your tendency to date unavailable men might be because you crave emotional intensity, and unfortunately, negative intensity is much easier to find than positive.
You try to heal yourself by trying to heal others.
If you’ve been hurt in the past, it can be really hard to look inside yourself and confront the pain you see there. A lot of people ignore it completely and tell themselves they healed long ago, only to jump from unsatisfying relationship to unsatisfying relationship. The truth is that we often subconsciously gravitate towards other people who are hurt and try to heal ourselves by healing them, but you can’t help someone else before helping yourself. Instead of trying to find other people to fix, take time to become emotionally whole again. Only then will you start to attract people who aren’t afraid of their own emotions.
You’re repeating history.
No one likes to think they’re just like their parents, but unfortunately, we often seek partners who reflect the relationship with grew up seeing and it’s usually the traits that are most flawed that we seek out the most. If you keep finding yourself in relationships with men who can’t seem to express themselves emotionally or show you basic affection, think about the relationships you had modeled for you saw as a child. You’re only doomed to repeat history if you’re unaware of it.
Emotionally available men are boring to you.
Everyone likes the idea of a partner who is open with their emotions and outwardly loving towards you, but sometimes this type of behavior feels… uninspiring. You might just love the chase, and emotionally unavailable men are the height of your romantic fantasy. The realization that all your relationships are dead ends from the start could be an indication that the allure of conquering the heart of someone who is hard to get might be wearing off a little. If that’s the case, you’re actually showing signs of progress.
You’re trying to fix a previous relationship.
We all experience failed relationships, but some people have a harder time letting them go than others. Trying to seek some kind of closure by repeating the relationship with someone else is common but it isn’t inevitable. One of the most important milestones in dating is the moment you let go of a bad breakup. If you haven’t done this with your previous relationship yet, every other one will be dead on arrival.
You’re the one who is afraid of intimacy.
Sometimes our actions tell us more about ourselves than what we think we know internally. You may think you’re the one trying really hard to make relationships work and just can’t seem to find someone who’s ready to commit when in reality, you’re subconsciously choosing people who you already know aren’t able to have a deep relationship. Maybe the kinds of people you’re choosing are an indication for the fact that you just don’t want anything serious right now.
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