I’m often asked ‘How do I find someone who is emotionally available?’ and fundamentally, the job of finding someone who is emotionally present and accountable for a mutually fulfilling relationship is made a hell of a lot easier by being emotionally available yourself. It is important to remember that when you attract or are attracted to people who are emotionally (and possibly spiritually or physically) unavailable, that if you stick around in spite of this, you need to address your own unavailability.
We all experience times in our lives where we can be a bit emotionally unavailable, for instance when we experience a death or feel emotionally exhausted because of intense stress or an illness, or when we are fresh out of a relationship. However, that is very different to people who are habitually emotionally unavailable – it’s their ’emotional lifestyle choice’. If you habitually engage with emotionally unavailable people, it’s imperative that you face your own emotional unavailability if you genuinely do want to find love and a relationship.
When you’re emotionally available, you’re willing to emotionally engage on an ongoing basis. The trouble with emotionally unavailable people is that they tend to do it in short bursts or have an intense period followed by a much longer lasting stretch of lukewarm or cold followed by occasional bursts or ‘spits’ of warmth. This is why, in particular, I get a lot of women mentioning the word ‘passion’ to me because in being involved with emotionally unavailable men, they’re used to getting bursts of sexual and emotional intensity that they think equates to passion. What it equates to is that persons inability to go the distance.
Emotionally available people can cope beyond the stage of ‘newness’ and are not reliant on the sensation of drama or feeling like they are in danger of losing the relationship to feel desire. They recognise that you need to nurture a relationship and let it steadily grow, whereas relationships with emotionally unavailable people tend to come in fits and starts, come to a standstill or regress.
Emotionally available people are consistently emotionally available. They’re people who don’t just talk the talk but consistently through actions engage their emotions which is reflected in what results. It’s important also to realise that part of being emotionally available is that desire, willingness, action, and actual need to feel your emotions, not run from them. This means not just feeling the ‘good stuff’ but feeling your fears and not being restrained by them.
Emotionally unavailable people are often running from feeling. When you get too close they pull away, when you’re around someone decent, you pull away, when you’re seemingly offered what you want, you second guess it or suddenly find issues with it. You don’t know how many emails I’ve received from women who have dated men who had wives/girlfriends or were otherwise unavailable and when they became available, they panicked and were suddenly not ready or interested.
Emotionally available people don’t limit themselves. They’re actively working to ensure they don’t have limited beliefs and they don’t limit their capacity to feel and emotionally engage with other people and be truly intimate.
When you align yourself with emotionally unavailable people, you are limiting yourself by being with someone that has a limited capacity to emotionally engage, has a limited offering, and whose initial emotional persona is limited. Literally. What you get is only out for a limited time and then they’ll either slow fade out to the real emotional persona or just literally switch over and whip the proverbial rug from under your feet.
Emotionally available people don’t keep running from true intimacy. Emotionally unavailable people are afraid of the consequences of being truly intimate with someone and ‘letting them in’. They’re afraid of what they will feel if they truly put themselves out there and feel genuine intimacy and end up being vulnerable and/or the relationship doesn’t work out.
They’re afraid they’ll lose the relationship as soon as they’re vulnerable.
This is why a lot of emotionally unavailable people are afraid of abandonment/of being ‘left’ and so they don’t let themselves get intimate because they’re afraid of realising their fear. Of course, in carrying a belief that people will leave, they tend to align themselves with people who will leave and who are emotionally disconnected, or end up doing their utmost best to sabotage things so that they do realise the fear of abandonment and the self-fulfillinf prophecy is proved.
Emotionally available people don’t sabotage what results from emotionally engaging with others. They don’t create drama, disappear, sprint from the scene of the relationship, and put up walls.
Emotionally available people don’t lose themselves in relationships with emotionally unavailable people because it would feel too damn awkward for them.
Emotionally available people love themselves and don’t spend copious amounts of energy talking negatively to themselves, wallowing in blame and shame, and lacking compassion and understanding. They act with love, care, trust, and respect to themselves hence making it easier to recognise when others don’t.
Emotionally available people don’t keep looking for excuses to stay in their comfort zone because in being emotionally available, they’re intimate with the honesty of what they feel and experience. While we’re all prone to bullshitting ourselves from time to time, if I had a penny for every reader who told me how available they are, told me how much they want to change and then when presented with options of what they could do, dodged the bullet, I’d be loaded. Emotionally unavailable people either want to completely delude themselves or feed themselves honesty a chunk at a time. While for some people, they eventually get all the chunks and see a full picture, the difficulty in only wanting to be partially honest with yourself is that you’re likely to be dishonest with yourself about the very things that stand between you and your happiness.
Emotionally available people have fears like everyone does but they don’t live by their fears and they actively address them – they don’t limit themselves with limiting beliefs and catering to their fears because part of the process of being emotionally honest with yourself and allowing yourself to feel means that you take mini, medium, and sometimes big risks.
Emotionally available people don’t close off parts of themselves. There was a lot of me that used to be closed off but it meant that aside from keeping me distant in my interactions, I was actually shut off from parts of myself. The present day me has opened up
How willing are you to be consistently emotionally available? I have spoken about the importance of consistency many times on this blog and how the inconsistency that is present in emotionally unavailable relationships is a red flag in itself. What I find is that often we are all too quick to focus on the willingness of the other party to be consistently emotionally available. But what about YOU?
How willing are you to get out of your uncomfortable comfort zone and get uncomfortable in the unknown that will actually be a far healthier comfortable in the medium and long-term?
How willing are you to have an honest conversation with yourself and address any limitations that you are imposing upon yourself?
How willing are you to be open? As in, how willing are you to open up and not have aspects of yourself closed off?
How willing are you to address the fears that hold you back?
How willing are you to address any limiting beliefs that you have?
How willing are you to stop catering to the self-fulfilling prophecy?
How willing are you to walk the walk?
Being emotionally available is not just about saying ‘I’m off Mr Unavailables, so send me The Perfect Man’.
It is not the job of an emotionally available person to ‘make’ you available.
It’s not a case of ‘you show me yours and I’ll show you mine’ – if you want a healthier relationship with an emotionally available person you need to be emotionally available yourself. It means taking real risks, not calculated, self-fulfilling prophecy risks with limited people that reflect your beliefs.
If you can read this blog, the list of signs to look out for (and here) my books, my Facebook page, my posts on fears, beliefs, self-esteem and about being honest with yourself and you’re wondering how to find someone who is available, I suggest you start finding you first because you have to be willing to do everything it takes to be emotionally available, not because it ‘gets you the guy/girl’ but because you’ll be a happier, at peace person for it who can recognise a healthy relationship when it bites them in the bum.
After I realised I was emotionally unavailable and commitment resistant, I dated two more Mr Unavailables and learned some painful lessons from my ex’s. The next person I dated after that was the boyf. What was the difference? During and after being with the guys before the boyf, I was painfully honest with myself in a way that I had never been before. These situations revealed themselves to be emotionally unavailable and I didn’t succumb or hide behind their problems, nor did I tell myself umpteen stories as to why these things had happened. I got out quickly and I put myself out there to try again. When I met the boyf, I was more emotionally available than I’d ever been but the honesty and peace of the relationship also made me consistently seek to be open with my emotions. There were a couple of occasions where my old fears could’ve derailed things, till I gave myself a good boot up the backside!
Being emotionally available also means admitting that sometimes you’re scared and that some of those times it’s for crazy reasons but you’re not gonna let those drag you down because you realise that to love and be emotionally available means to risk yourself (not in an unhealthy way by the way) and be vulnerable.
You cannot be emotionally available and experience true intimacy if you are not willing to feel and experience the vulnerability that it brings.
If you’re still afraid of being vulnerable, afraid of trusting, afraid the last person was your last chance saloon, afraid you’re destined to be alone, afraid of trying again, afraid of making a mistake, afraid of admitting you were wrong, of seeing the truth, of making changes, of being uncomfortable, of stretching yourself, of bucking your own trend, you’re not ready to be emotionally available in a relationship…yet. But you will be, if you keep being honest with yourself, are willing to be patient, are willing to face your fears both acknowledged and secretive, and address your beliefs so that you don’t limit yourself and end up in limited relationships with limited capacity with limited people wondering why it’s limited.
Be patient and compassionate with yourself. Considering how many of you have been over patient and too compassionate with others, it is about time you directed some of that to yourself. If you feel like time is running out, I suggest you start doing whatever it takes, the necessary to be emotionally available and get uncomfortable fast. No if’s, but’s, maybe’s, not hiding behind your fears.
There is no short cut. All those times when you banked on someone else making you feel everything and making you want to stop being afraid of being vulnerable? Yeah…you remember where that got you. Don’t try to take short cuts through other people or expect that life should throw you a bone and an emotionally available somebody should fall out the sky because you feel like you’ve cut your teeth on enough assclowns and unavailables. There is no magic dating site, bar, or club although staying at home or doing the same stuff day in day out won’t help your cause. You can’t avoid what you need to do and be.
It starts with you.
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