A pattern of being with emotionally unavailable people can make it challenging to keep the faith that you will enjoy a mutually fulfilling relationship with a loving partner one day. It’s easy to start wondering if the relationship you desire is unattainable. This is especially so after a pandemic that’s upended dating or when Yet Another Romantic Possiblity falls through in rather painfully familiar ways.
You wonder if pigs might fly before you meet someone who wants what you do (they won’t). Maybe you’re just destined to be in unavailable relationships with people who blow hot and cold (you’re not). You worry that maybe you have ‘too much’ needs (you don’t, they’re normal).
It’s this some-crumbs-are-better-than-no-crumbs mentality. There’s a lingering doubt about your worthiness and the general decency of the world.
Next thing, you decide that you might as well make the best of a bad deal because we’re all going to hell in a handbasket, all the good partners are ‘gone’ or you’re too old or whatever.
Halt. It’s not that a loving relationship is unattainable!
Based on your existing beliefs and attitudes, it’s like going to Main Street and only going into one shop. In it, you only shop on a couple of aisles. Sure, you look for new stuff. But you’re always looking for new stuff in the same aisles. Or you think you’re going down different aisles but are actually going down similar ones.
In your mind, you think those two aisles are the only aisles. That they represent ‘everything’. But there are other aisles, it’s just that you don’t go to those or, in fact, any other store because you’re operating based on your perspective, mindset and habit.
The thing about having faith in something is that you’re being asked to believe in something you don’t have proof of yet because it’s not happening. While it’s not unusual to worry sometimes about whether The One is out there, be mindful of how much you invest into this anxiety.
This sense that the relationship you want is ‘unattainable’ comes from beliefs. And beliefs are reasoning habits that speak for your perception of your capabilities.
When we wonder if a loving relationship is unattainable, we’re essentially doubting our abilities. We don’t believe we’re capable of being in the relationship we want or finding a partner that differs from our pattern. We have doubts, for instance, about the existence of emotionally available partners and our worthiness to meet one. Of course, we don’t necessarily say this. Instead, we say that there are no good men/women left to date. Or we say that only people in their twenties are attractive. Or maybe we say that it’s mostly liars out there or that ‘everyone’ is just looking for sex.
So you have to check yourself when you say that a loving relationship is unattainable. You can be pissed off when dates let you down, or a relationship you thought was going somewhere doesn’t. That’s 100% understandable. However, you don’t need to decide that it means that you’ve been singled out from over 7 billion people not to be able to have a relationship at all. In fact, keeping it honest as you grieve the disappointments renews your faith. You’ll let go of anyone that doesn’t truly fit with who you are. And when you do, you know that it’s in the higher service of your true needs and wants.
You can be frustrated by dating and go through periods of being disillusioned and also believe that it’s possible to meet someone. It’s not that you’ll believe it 100% of the time—who has that rock-solid faith about anything?? Ultimately, though if you always fundamentally come back to treating and regarding yourself with love, care, trust and respect, you’ll gradually find your way to the relationship that’s most befitting of you.
Are you ready to stop silencing and hiding yourself in an attempt to “please” or protect yourself from others? My new book, The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (HarperCollins/Harper Horizon), is out now.