I have been through my fair share of unhealthy relationships in the past. I have spent the last few years healing and doing some really excellent self-care which I have really enjoyed. Now that I have been feeling like I am ready for a relationship of substance and mutual honor and respect, I still find myself drawn to guys who are emotionally unavailable. I find myself developing crushes on guys who are already deeply involved in their own romantic relationships, or guys that I really don’t know very well. I have had some guy friends of mine who have been very kind, and warm hearted who have shown an interest in me and I have run for the hills. I think part of me has been unnerved by the earnest attention, scared of compromising the friendship, and also hearing that perfectionist inside me that says “Oh, you can find someone better.” While I am coming to know that there is a really great guy out there for me, I want to be sure that I know how to recognize him when I meet him and not get so caught up in someone unavailable that I miss him.
Any words of advice?
Seeking Something Real
Dear “Seeking Something Real,”
I want to honor you for all of your excellent self-care. That is wonderful and I’m so glad that you’ve enjoyed yourself!
First off, I want to invite you to explore a question: What is it that you get out of your crushes on unavailable men? Explore how it makes you feel when you get their attention, when you talk to them, when you experience them enjoying your attention. At some point along the way to crushville, you start putting love outside of yourself, and you are putting these other guys on pedestals along with that love, which even if you’ve been rocking out with your bad self up until that point, very quickly puts you on a lower, lesser tier. From that vantage point as you look up at these shiny, unavailable men, you find yourself thinking how cool it would be if they would extend their love down to you. If they thought you were awesome, given how awesome that they are in your mind, what would that say about you? (I don’t know many women who haven’t gone to this place at one point or another on the path to love.) I can feel your strength and sense of self in all that you say above, and I can also feel the part of you that harbors a desire for approval in your romantic relationships.
Who do you become and how do you feel when you are secretly wanting these other guys to be in love with you? Who would you be, how would you act around them if you did not believe on some level that you need their approval? In what ways are you needing to give yourself approval?
With regard to your male friends developing crushes on you and your “running for the hills”–you are not messed up. Just because a guy is kind and warm-hearted doesn’t make him the right guy for YOU. You are not striking me as someone who believes herself undeserving of love. (If you do, let me know, and we can address that.) You strike me as someone who just wants to feel passion in her relationships and it happens to be that those particular men that you mention, despite their warmth and kindness, have not ignited that passion within you. What has your heart been telling you? Passion isn’t something that you have to talk yourself into–it will let you know when it peaks its fiery head. When it’s truly a right fit, or even just right for now, you won’t want to run for the hills…unless he’s coming with you. 🙂
Dive in! Get messy–it’s okay to want it all, my dear, and it’s ok to experiment until you find it. You are not asking too much to want kindness, emotional availability and a whole lot of other sexy stuff thrown in for extra fun. The only perfectionism I see here is toward yourself–it’s ok that you haven’t “gotten it right” yet. Things are complicated enough without adding the pressure of “this better be the right one” into the mix. Relationships are the playground for all of the juicy learning we’re here to do in our lives–just think of all of the fun you’d be missing out on if you “got it right” already?! 😉 Keep practicing that good self-care. Explore the ways that you are still seeking approval in your relationships and how you can give that approval to yourself, get a little bit messy, and above all, trust yourself. You’ve got this thing down girl–it’s only a matter of time.
:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva
©2012 Melissa Simonson