“It is necessary, and even vital, to set standards for your life and the people you allow in it.”
~ Mandy Hale
It can be difficult to care for someone who does not possess the tools necessary for a healthy long term relationship.
More specifically, when the person you are dating is emotionally unavailable. You might think that you are a great match. You enjoy the same things, have similar life goals and have fun together. However, you have found that when it comes to intimacy, he lacks the ability to be vulnerable.
In the case of relationships, vulnerability does not mean weakness.
It means the ability to open up your feelings and expose your inner self because you trust your partner.
Being emotionally unavailable prohibits a relationship from progressing in a healthy way and makes it nearly impossible to develop true intimacy.
It is difficult to end a relationship that otherwise seems to be a positive force in your life. You can communicate your feelings and expectations and give your partner time to develop or improve upon his emotional intelligence.
For some of us, it might not come naturally to communicate our feelings or just listen to others express their feelings.
It does not mean that we are not capable of doing so, but that we need time to develop those skills or build upon our own emotional intelligence.
With patience and open communication there is hope that we can help our partner improve their ability to be vulnerable.
One way to encourage your partner to open up is to model that behavior. You can identify and verbalize your feelings in a natural way.
Another strategy is to validate your partner’s verbalizations.
If our partner says, “I had a rough day”, you can respond with “It sounds like you had a tough day. Tell me more about it.”
It takes practice, but just summarizing your partner’s verbalizations creates a supportive environment and provides validation. Not everyone is cut out to support such change. Change can be difficult and is often a long and arduous process.
It can be tricky to be in a relationship in which you are trying to change your partner.
Sometimes it is better to move toward acceptance and end a relationship that you understand to be unfulfilling. We all have a variety of emotional needs and we prioritize them differently.
If emotional availability is important to you and you are dating someone who just can’t give you what you need, it is okay to end the relationship.
You are worthy of all that your heart desires. You do not have to try and change him and you do not have to settle.
Let your partner know that you have enjoyed your time together and you respect who he is, but you are looking for a long term relationship with someone who can be vulnerable and develop emotional intimacy.
There is no need to lower your expectations. Establishing your values and prioritizing them is a healthy way to navigate your journey toward a lasting romantic relationship.
Jessica Colarco, LCSW, PLLC – www.jessicacolarcolcsw.com
An emotionally unavailable man who keeps coming back is using you.
He is playing out his commitment issues at your expense. If he talked to you about this pattern, you could possibly think that at least he’s working on it. Otherwise, he’s not working on anything; he’s just doing his relationship thing.
When you approach a relationship, you have to be clear with yourself on what it is you want.
Are you at a time and place in your life where you are ready for a commitment? If the answer is yes, you have to ask yourself why you’re wasting time and emotional energy on someone who is unavailable.
There are no attributes that can compensate for a fear of intimacy.
He can be brilliant, witty, handsome, fun and rich, but if he’s not available none of those qualities are ever going to enhance your life. In fact, the more attractive he is, the more painful it will be every time he leaves you.
There are some women who like a project.
They tell themselves that they will be the one to heal the wounds that make this man avoid relationships. That kind of thinking is delusional and frankly pretty narcissistic. When someone, anyone, has an issue only that person can fix it. A woman who takes on “projects” is either an engineer or a therapist, not a partner.
Getting what you want in life involves a commitment to yourself.
You have to be clear about the goal, ready to put in the work, and emotionally mature enough to know when you are on a path that is leading to your goal. This is true whether you want to be a doctor or whether you want to be in a committed relationship. It always comes back to your own process.
Getting detoured by someone else’s needs only puts your own goals further out of reach. Focus your energies on yourself, and expect that other people will do the same.
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
A man keeps coming back because he knows you’ll take him back.
The question to ask is why you keep allowing that to happen? Are you so insecure that you don’t think you deserve someone better? Are you so desperate to have someone in your life? Or are you wanting him back because you truly love him?
Here are some things you need to consider when you are in this kind of situation:
- Obviously, you are aware that he is not emotionally available. He is not giving you the support you need when you are in a crisis and he’s not understanding why you are starving for his comfort and caring when you need it the most.
- Obviously, you cannot depend on him, because he becomes distant.
- Obviously, you want more, but conversations don’t seem to change things.
- Obviously, there is something missing and you are unwilling to acknowledge that.
If you can tolerate his lack of emotional connection and are OK with being with someone like that, then you can choose to take him back. You can get your emotional support from other friends and family members close to you.
But if you truly know that this kind of man is not right for you, that you want the whole package and that you can find what you are looking for, then don’t take him back.
Move on, opening yourself to a relationship that makes you feel good about yourself and that is mutually satisfying.
Be sure that you are available to your love interest, as well, since if you are looking for this quality in a man, he’s probably looking for it in you, too.
BE the person you want to meet and you will find your ideal mate!
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
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