I feel more confident dealing with men now, being back in the dating scene after a 22 year marriage. I am in love with a man now who says he’ll never love me romantically but I know he has feelings for me the way he looks in my eyes and said I have beautiful eyes. Something in me tells me not to give up. Nothing is likely to help him change his mind, but I’m doing all the right things to make him feel rewarded, appreciated, etc. Any help is appreciated from you…
I’m glad to know you’re feeling more confident re-entering the dating scene after your previous marriage. The maturity you gained during your marriage goes a long way to helping you feel self-confident as you’re dating doesn’t it?
I know it’s tempting to pursue an ‘unavailable’ man. Many women do and find to their dismay that it’s not working for them in the short-term or the long-term. Here’s why:
1. A man who is unavailable initially, almost always continues to be unavailable throughout the relationship. It’s part of his ‘attachment style.’ Unavailability can take many forms. The form it’s taking with the man you love is ’emotional’ unavailability. This form can be particularly enticing as you want to believe somehow that your love for him will transform him into the man you want – the man who is in love with you and willing to do what it takes to keep you, right? You hope he will make a commitment that lasts. Is there someone in your past with whom the relationship had this interpersonal dynamic to it? An emotionally or physically distant, unavailable parent perhaps? If so, you’re likely attracted to this man at the unconscious level because of this dynamic between you.
2. When you are willing to pursue a man who is unavailable, you really aren’t ready for commitment yourself. When you’re ready, an unavailable man will seem most unattractive to you and you will move on and detach yourself from him, preferring to not waste your time. You will not allow your emotions of being in love with him to rule when the truth is “He’s not the one.” The one for you is also in love with you!
3. You acknowledge that nothing is likely to help him change his mind, yet you’re still trying to win him over. In spite of your intuitive wisdom about this man, you are neither trusting it, nor following it. Instead, you’re continuing to invest your heart, time and energy in a man who can’t or won’t give you what you want and need from a man. Continuing to do so, will lead you ever down a painful path and prevent you from healing from the loss and moving on.
4. As long as you continue to keep this man in your life in any way, you’ll not really move on and find the man who is truly right for you. Maintaining a one-sided romantic attachment as “friends” is never a good idea. It’s prolonging the pain cycle and postponing the inevitable need to let go. The one who is right for you is available to you emotionally and in every other way. He may be just around the corner in your life, but if you’re unavailable because you’re still pursuing or attached to the unavailable man you love, how does it serve you?
As, you continue dating other men, be on the lookout for how you may be attracted to and attracting unavailable men. If it happens again, I urge you to get some professional help to heal and work through this pattern. You deserve love, Carol. The kind of love that will sustain you in life. Please don’t allow yourself to settle for anything less from any man.