I had a streak of bad luck when it comes to relationships. It seems that I attract emotionally unavailable guys who are self-centered and unable to make a commitment. I am in my mid-thirties and I was in a relationship with three men in the past. Every time I mentioned the possible future together, they drifted away saying that they are not ready for anything serious. With the last guy I tried to put up with this, but relationship without the future was not bringing me any joy, so eventually, we broke up. I am already scared that the next guy I date will be the same. Why am I attracted to emotionally unavailable men? Do available men even exist?
Caroline, 36
Answered by:
Life Coach

Hi Caroline,

I want to first congratulate you on identifying the pattern of your relationships and on breaking it off when a relationship no longer brought you joy. It shows a lot of promise for building a successful relationship in the future.

The good news is that available men do exist. And you can start attracting them by first understanding why they didn’t seem appealing to you in the past. There are a few possible reasons why you are attracted to emotionally unavailable men. All of them involve fear: fear of rejection, fear of losing yourself, or fear of dependency. Let me briefly explain each of them.

You may feel more comfortable dating unavailable men because any possible rejection from them feels less personal. It is easier to accept that a guy doesn’t want to be with you because he doesn’t want a relationship, not because he doesn’t want you. It feels less risky to pursue a relationship with such a man.

You may choose to be with emotionally unavailable men because you are afraid of losing your own identity. Perhaps you devoted wholeheartedly to a partner before and sacrificed your desires and ambitions for the sake of a relationship that only ended up in separation. Consequently, you may be terrified of falling into that trap again. As unavailable men are much less likely to demand your devotion, it can feel safer to be with them.

Real connections and relationships involve two people becoming dependent on each other in some way, especially as things get more serious. If you are used to taking care of yourself and being independent, having to make life decisions with another person can be scary and uncomfortable. In turn, you may subconsciously seek out men who are emotionally distant and undependable.

It is possible to overcome your fears. The key is to first remove any ambivalence about having a relationship. Once you are sure you want a relationship, make a list of all the qualities you want in an ideal man. It will help you to only say ‘yes’ to those worth your heart and time.