A lingering question when we’ve been involved in an unavailable relationship and then they appear to commit elsewhere is, Was my ex emotionally unavailable or were we incompatible? We often ponder this question when, although there are signs showing the lack of ‘presence’ in the relationship, plus we have the evidence of our unhappiness and frustration, we still want to believe it’s something else. We want to blame ourselves. “Ha! That’s what was wrong! I wasn’t ________ enough or didn’t have ________”. Of course, we forget, in all of this, that if we acknowledged our true needs, expectations, desires, feelings, and opinions, we’d 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 an involvement with someone who’s coming from a level of awareness where they’re avoiding their feelings, thoughts, commitment, etc., we cannot claim to be emotionally available. Why? Because this person isn’t looking to have that level of a relationship. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re so much more available than they are. Let’s think about it, though: 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 how we’ve 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. However, 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 emotionally unavailable, lacking self-awareness, unable to take responsibility for ourselves, edging towards or prone to codependency, it makes little 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’s conducive to that type of relationship experience.

We get the relationship that fits with us emotionally at the time. The relationship will 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. People who ride the unavailable relationship merry-go-round aren’t available yet, hence the sameness. If we don’t heed the lesson, it will just present itself in a more painful, in-your-face way until we finally do.

People who were unavailable and unable to commit in the way we wanted when we were involved with them commit (or appear to commit) to someone else because:

1) In the totality of their relationships, they’ve run out of credits. They feel they have to make a big move in order to prove something to themselves and others. Or

2) The relationships 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 might not have realised that we were that buffer or bridge. And even if we knew that we were a rebound or that our ex was struggling to be emotionally available, we possibly made the mistake of seeing it as a call to prove how worthy we are.

If we get involved with somebody who’s 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’.

When we give ourselves a hard time about someone else’s emotional unavailability, it highlights where we focus too much on the wrong things.

We focus on what we think is so wrong (or right) with us and fall into the trap of seeing a relationship as existing in a vacuum. It’s as if we believe 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). Each person’s almost jigsaw puzzle is different.

Let’s say, for instance, that we’re one in several relationships that they’ve had where the same issues keep showing up. Okay, well, odds are that unless they’re living up their own bottom and unwilling to eventually grow their awareness, they’re going to experience a wake-up call. It will hit them that they can’t keep blaming it on [whatever they’ve blamed it on]. Hopefully, from there, they’ll figure out that they need to approach things differently.

This means if we go out with somebody who is typically unavailable, avoiding their feelings, and who’s always not over one of their exes, we’re contributing to the totality of their experiences. At some point, they’re likely to reach a tipping point. It doesn’t mean they’ll make a good decision when they do, though. Plenty of people panic and knee-jerk in these situations if they haven’t done the work or they glorify somebody. They’re often hoping that the person/relationship will 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 clearly are not ready for a relationship involving emotional maturity, get out. Fast.

If you hang around trying to make a point or trying to make them change, etc., you risk decimating your self-esteem while rehabbing them for another relationship and an epiphany.

Call it unavailability, call it incompatibility, the net result is the same. The relationship will not work. It’s critical to acknowledge and heed this.

If you keep looking back and hankering for a relationship that wasn’t working in the wider sense and keeping telling yourself that this relationship/person was “perfect” for you or that this was as good as it gets, or that you can only be with this person and that you’re wronged by it not working out, you’re making yourself unavailable for an available relationship. You’re limiting your options because you’re telling yourself that you’re in alignment with something that’s unavailable or incompatible.

Your thoughts?

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