I recently posted an article on my Date Like a Grownup Facebook Page called 12 Signs You’re Involved with an Unavailable Man, written by Dr. Judy Orloff, This is an important discussion about how to identify a romantic partner who may be Emotionally Unavailable.
Geez these “EU” men can really mess us up, right?
EU men can be quite charming and seductive. They can come on strong and sweep us off our feet, then proceed to disappear or string us along. They can confuse the crap out of us. I confess that I wasted plenty of time and tears on these guys in my single days.
One thing the author wrote really stood out to me. Here is what she said:
“It helps to understand that unavailable people rarely choose to be this way. It’s an unconscious defense against trauma or some emotional wounding of the past.”
Most guys don’t sit and strategize how to mislead you into believing you have a future, only to dump you. Nor do they plan to be disinterested because they are too caught up in themselves. They just do it. It’s who they are…
Hmmm. You could replace the word “unavailable” with other descriptors like needy, controlling, depressed, self-involved, immature, narcissistic … and that would describe some of the aggravating jerks that we’ve come across, right?
These types of guys can really piss us off, wound us badly and even make us feel like we are a kind of victim.
Though most mature women would never admit to being the v-word, it’s what I see in my coaching work almost every day. After she gets dumped or a guy disappears, she feels angry, confused and helpless. She asks me over and over ‘what can I do?’
As a coach, I help her understand that 1) getting on with her great life is all she should do next, and 2) he really didn’t do anything TO HER.
Ms. Orloff is right. As unkind as these men may seem, it’s phenomenally important to remember that their behavior usually comes from an unconscious defense against something that has happened to them in their past.
Most guys don’t sit and strategize how to mislead you into believing you have a future, only to dump you. Nor do they plan to be disinterested because they are too caught up in themselves. They just do it. It’s who they are; either at that time in life or forever.
How about moving on with understanding…and with your heart and self-esteem intact?
Can you see how helpful it can be to remember this; to know that most men who you feel hurt by are not choosing to be this way and, more importantly, are not choosing to do it specifically to YOU?
Most are just making decisions and doing the best they can in the moment given their past life experience, how they process it and what they believe to be true.
When I think about the times in my life that I’ve hurt or upset someone by my actions, which sadly was not uncommon in my younger years, I know that I couldn’t have done anything else in that moment other than what I did.
In those moments I did the very best I could with what I had going on in my life, in my heart and in my head. The treatment they received from me wasn’t about them; it really was all about me. In hindsight I can now see what I might have done differently, but sometimes that hindsight took years to come into view.
Do you see how freeing it can be to really, truly internalize and believe this? How much less sadness, stress and guilt you will feel when you find yourself choosing to feel hurt about what some guy did to you? (Yes, I believe it is a choice.)
Can you see yourself getting there [First Name]?
Thinking back to the man who done you wrong, the guy who keeps breaking promises or the one who just can’t step up the way you want him to (whether you’ve been with him for months or you emailed him last week)…can you see where he may have just been doing his best with no malice intended?
Can you be okay with knowing that his behavior isn’t really about YOU?
Because all you can do is be your best with men, and take care of yourself.
None of this means you need to keep men like this in your life. No way.
If you feel confused, sad or undervalued by a man…and you’ve asked for what you need, don’t spend another moment thinking about him or being with him.
But don’t take his actions personally. Choose to move away, without resentment. Unburdened. Choose feeling some understanding, compassion and finally, detachment.
So much freer, so much less stress, right?
And when you allow yourself to do this, you are left with the emotional and physical energy you need to move on and move closer to Your One. He may be right around the corner.
Letting go. What a nice way to start the summer.