A lingering question when we’ve been involved in an unavailable relationship and then they appear to commit elsewhere is, Were they actually emotionally unavailable or was it that we were incompatible? We often ponder this question when despite the fact that there are signs indicating the lack of ‘presence’ in the relationship and we have the evidence of our own unhappiness and frustration, it’s almost like we want to take it to a level where we can say, “Ha! That’s what was wrong! I wasn’t ________ enough or didn’t have ________”. Of course we’re forgetting in all of this that if we acknowledged our own true needs, expectations, desires, feelings, and opinions, we would recognise where we were being short-changed.
Unavailable relationships feature two people who are compatible in the emotional sense. Water seeks its own level.
If we continue in an involvement with a person who is coming from a level of awareness where they are avoiding their feelings, thoughts, commitment etc, we cannot claim to be emotionally available to them because they are not looking to have that level of a relationship. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re so much more available than they are but let’s think about it: if they’re holding back and subtly and directly creating negative consequences for vulnerability, are we really going to lay ourselves out?
In reality, it’s only when we look back that we recognise the ways in which we have edited and shaved ourselves down in order to stop the proverbial horse from bolting but also to protect us from being hurt.
In a wider sense, once we say that we want something else and diverging values become apparent and basically, we are losing ourselves and not getting our needs, expectations etc met within the relationship, we are then incompatible. So there’s synergy emotional unavailability wise but from a, Hey, let’s have a mutually fulfilling relationship with love, care, trust, respect, shared values plus the landmarks, commitment, intimacy, progression, balance and consistency position, there isn’t.
We get the relationship that fits us at the time.
If we are unavailable, lacking self- awareness, unable to take responsibility for ourselves, edging towards or prone to codependency, it doesn’t make sense for us to be with an emotionally available, ready for a big ‘ole grown-up relationship, partner. We are not conducting our life in a way that is conducive to that type of relationship experience.
We get the relationship that fits with us emotionally at the time in the sense that it’s going to show us a few things and grow us.
If we heed the lesson and truly absorb the positive insights so that we take better care of ourselves, our next relationship will not be a copy of the last, which is often the case for people who ride the unavailable relationship merry-go-round. If we don’t heed the lesson then it will just present itself in a more painful, in-your-face way until we finally do.
The reason why people who were unavailable and unable to commit in the way that we wanted when we were involved with them, commit (or appear to commit) to somebody else, is either 1) because in the totality of their relationships, they’ve run out of credits and feel that they have to make a big move in order to prove something to themselves and others or because 2) the relationships that they had between a previous loss and this current relationship acted almost as an in-betweener or bridge to recovering from the loss and moving forward. Unfortunately we may not be fully aware that we are doing this or even when we are, we make the mistake of seeing it as a call to prove how worthy we are.
If we get involved with somebody who is 1) emotionally unavailable in general or 2) recently out of another relationship or trauma or 3) reaching the totality of relationships where it’s pretty difficult to ignore some big booming lessons, the odds are that we and possibly another couple of people or so, will be the in-betweener before they seemingly ‘settle’.
This highlights where we can get too focused on what we think is so wrong (or right) with us and where we can fall into the trap of seeing a relationship as existing in a vacuum where time, space, and other relationships and experiences bear no relevance.
Yes, I know we can feel intensely about a person but we stepped into their lives at a certain point in time. They have history. They didn’t just fall out of the sky and come alive when we stepped into the frame. They are an individual entity in their own right and if we make everything about us and our worth, we neglect to recognise not only where they’re fitting into the bigger picture of our life and what we might stand to learn from this relationship, but also how they’ve got their own bigger picture and experiences that they need to learn and grow from too. We don’t always know the ins and outs of a person’s journey (even if we’re convinced that we do) and each person’s almost jigsaw puzzle is different.
If, for instance, we are one in a number of relationships that they’ve had where the same issues keep showing up, odds are that unless they’re living up their own bottom and unwilling to eventually grow their awareness, it’s going to hit them that they can’t keep blaming it on whatever they’ve been blaming it on and that they need to approach things differently. This means that if we go out with somebody who is typically unavailable and who is always not over one of their exes and is avoiding their feelings, we’re contributing to the totality of their experiences and at some point, they’re likely to reach a tipping point. It doesn’t mean that they’ll make a good decision when they do – plenty of people panic and knee-jerk in these situations if they haven’t done the work or they glorify somebody in the hopes that they’ll be their salvation and then discover that they still have to show up.
The way to avoid this is: At the point where it becomes apparent that 1) they’re unavailable, 2) you’re losing yourself or 3) they want different things and are clearly not ready for a relationship involving emotional maturity, get out. If you hang around trying to make a point or trying to make them change etc, you run the risk of decimating your self-esteem while rehabbing them for another relationship and an epiphany.
Call it unavailability, call it incompatibility but the net result is the same – it’s not going to work. It’s important to acknowledge this because if you keep looking back and hankering for a relationship that wasn’t working in the wider sense and keeping telling you that this relationship was “perfect” for you or that this was as good as it gets for you, or that you can only be with this person and that you’re wronged by it not working out, you’re making you unavailable for an available relationship and you’re limiting your options because you’re telling you that you’re in alignment with something that’s either unavailable or incompatible.