When I come across women who love emotionally unavailable men (including myself who is a recovering addict), I always ask: Where the hell did we all go wrong?

A common thread with a lot of us is that at some point our heart took a pounding. Most of us have tale of man who let us down, broke our trust, put us through the wringer, stomped all over heart and left us irrevocably (or so it seems) scarred forever.

I’ve heard tales of ‘first’ loves who in our teenage years took the innocence and trust from us and gave us cracked view of what should determine a relationship. For most people, the first time we fall in love (or think we have) is our bravest because we have no prior experience of heartbreak unless we have some sort of life lesson learned from experiences with a parental figure.

When we have been hurt, we rallied and railed against the pain and eventually we have moved on, or have we? For every woman that loves emotionally unavailable man, you can be very certain that there is unresolved residue from a critical heartbreak experience. Think back and there is that moment when everything changed forever and your attitude about love and who you were choosing to be with changed forever. We stopped trusting, we stopped believing in love coming from a good decent man who is available and stopped believing in ourselves. We think we’re protecting ourselves from being vulnerable but we are just putting ourselves in lime for more and more hurt.

The problem with us is that we’ve lost touch with ourselves and have become reserved, distrusting and reliant on the safe bet of a man who always performs to type, hence reinforcing the cycle and keeping us down. We are focused on negative emotions because there is a strange comfort and familiarity. Don’t you think it’s odd that we’re more comfortable with lots of drama and negativity than we are with normality and feeling positive and good?

What if you’ve grown up with a father who you chased for attention but was really emotionally reserved?

What if you have a mother who has been physically or emotionally abused?

What if you have important people in your life such as parents who have systematically reinforced the notion that being with someone, anybody is better than being with nobody?

What if you have decided that real love, real relationships are based on drama?

What if you have decided that love is something that hurts and that nobody can really be trusted?

All of these notions and more are exactly the types of beliefs that will put you at the mercy of emotionally unavailable men, put you into a vicious cycle and keep you down. It is discovering what drives your behaviour, challenging these beliefs and changing them that will heal your heart allow you to move forward. You don’t just go from wanting emotionally unavailable men one day, to not the next. It is a process, a revelation of who you really are and a final acceptance of you and giving yourself a lot of the self love that you’ve been missing out on. It can be difficult to do on your own unless you’re prepared to dig deep, do a hell of a lot of soul searching, find peace with those who you think contributed and with yourself and move on. I found myself at peace when I focused on getting my health back in order, spent time with a kinesiologist and an acupuncturist and inadvertently stumbled across the root of my pain and behaviour. I have never looked back. Neither have any of the people who have spent time with a counsellor, psychiatrist etc. Change can definitely be a good thing and is within your grasp.

This post was originally published on The Mr Unavailable Guide.

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