There is something about drama and a man who just isn’t there.

When I was a little girl, while I didn’t run around thinking of what I would look like as a future bride, I did have ideas that I would grow up, meet a man, fall in love, get married, have some kids and live happily ever after. Even when I entered the teenage years where I realised that boys are fickle, boys disappoint and that ‘love’ is difficult, I still thought that I would enjoy my twenties (I’ve certainly done that), date lots of guys, settle on ‘The One’, fall in love and you know the rest. So where did it all go so wrong? Or more accurately, when did it all get ‘real’?

I recently finished it with a guy that I had been ‘seeing’ for five months. It started off with a flurry of excitement and pretty much stumbled along haphazardly for the remainder of the ‘relationship’ in an air of ambiguity. Does he want this to turn into a boyfriend/girlfriend thing? Does he realise how ambiguous he is? Does he realise that I am using serious brain power thinking about this? – were just some of the thoughts running through my head.

I didn’t want to be hasty and start grilling him as per the advice of all and sundry, so I would occasionally allude to my dissatisfaction while feeling increasingly frustrated.

A big lesson has been learned – take note that I say this after every guy and I mean it each time!

I am the only person that is a part of each relationship and every time I’m with a guy, I seem to get the same headache.

I must have something to do with this. I am the common denominator.

How many of us are mooning over a relationship whether it actually exists or not?
How many of us are mooning over some bloke that may not even know that we exist?
How many of us still love the guy that screws around behind our backs, doesn’t hide it, but we still hope for change anyway?
How many of us seem to like the guy so much more when he doesn’t call as often as we’d would like him to?
How many of us go along with the charade in the hopes that things will eventually turn out how we want them to?
How many of us ‘hint’ at stuff but don’t come out straight and say it?
How many of us feel like we’re talking to a brick wall because it never changes?
How many of us like guys that are emotionally or physically or sometimes even spiritually absent?

There is something about drama and a man who just isn’t there.

The guy I finished it with has enough emotional baggage to fill up a terminal at Heathrow which includes an ex-girlfriend that he was with for a long time and the house that he’s trying to sell. There’s my Male Best Friend (MBF) who has a girlfriend, says he loves me but still hasn’t ditched the girlfriend. And we can’t forget The Fiance who was unavailable because he was too busy admiring his perfect self and his cricket bat, and I’ve also had an ex who was so caught up in his mother’s apron strings that I’m surprised he didn’t crawl back into her womb every evening!

I specialise in unavailability and whether it’s a girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, the mammy or just a stupid cricket bat, I sure know how to pick ’em.

What’s increasingly clear is that I am far from being the only woman interested in Mr Unavailables. Lots of women are  and it’s clear that we’re boring ourselves and would like to make a change.

Surely there must be more to bloody life than this? Surely there must be a few men out there who say what they mean, say what they want and do what they say? Surely there is a man who like the average person has a little baggage but is available for a relationship? Surely we will look at the guys we meet with open eyes and recognise the Unavailables and avoid them like the plague?

I don’t deny that these Mr Unavailables are in the wrong, but women who involve themselves with these men on a habitual basis need to make changes and need to break the cycle. We need to understand what it is that clicks with us about these men and speak up and move on when we’re unhappy and things don’t change.

As I seem to have become an old pro at going out with Mr Unavailable, here are some suggestions that will help you deal with one and will either cause you to ease him out of your life or build a proper, fulfilling relationship.

Set the tone.
If you allow someone to do something repeatedly without question, the behaviour becomes the norm and the accepted. e.g. My most recent ex was doing his unavailability stuff from the early days and instead of saying that I didn’t like it, I let him get on with it in the hopes that he’d see how understanding and accepting I was.

Mean what you say.
If you do actually say that you don’t like something, when he/she does it the next time, don’t ignore it. They either get the message or they get lost, but either way you’ve achieved a lot and you don’t end up looking like a flip flapper or a pushover.

Cut the fluff.
Hinting doesn’t mean jack in a court of law and it doesn’t mean jack in relationships. Spit it out and save yourself some unnecessary headaches.

Cut the wisecracks.
As someone who uses humour to cover uncomfortable situations, I am extremely guilty of throwing in a wisecrack at inappropriate times. Using humour to convey the fact that you are not happy with the situation detracts from the objective of you having the conversation in the first place. If you keep taking the piss, how does he know that you’re being serious? Men are quite literal and if you’re not speaking in a terse voice or throwing a complete wobbler, he’ll believe he hasn’t got a thing to worry about.

Put yourself first.
No one else will do it. If you put yourself first, you do right by others. If you can’t take care of #1, how can you take care of anyone else? Guys that sense that you don’t put yourself first, whether it’s on a conscious or subconscious level, sniff an opportunity to be Mr Unavailable. They know they can get away with it because we don’t love ourselves enough to tell them to buck up on their ideas or shag off.

Put yourself on lock down.
Sex confuses the hell out of things. You can’t for example, start up a conversation on them being Mr Unavailable when you’ve just surfaced from giving them a blow job. You’re also less likely to speak up when he’s with you, if he’s been talented enough to give you an orgasm. Keep the legs closed until you know who and what you’re dealing with. Remember the saying: Why buy the cow when you can drink the milk for free?

I can’t say it enough, but expectations and how we set them and communicate them are one of the keys to relationship success. If you expect to be in a relationship and he expects to be getting a booty call, there is a problem.

Don’t believe the hype/poo.
I’ve said it often enough – guys do talk some pure doo doo. Stop listening. There’s no point in dwelling on the fact that he said ‘I’m really into you’ if the reality is that he doesn’t call or he’s emotionally vacant, making it difficult for you to move forward. I found that the last few times that I saw the most recent Mr Unavailable, I would take something small, such as him referring to us doing something in the future, as a sign that he saw something more serious with me and that we were in a relationship. Reality check: He saw himself being able to slip back into my life when it suited him, get laid and then slip back out.

Don’t Take on DIY Projects.
What is it about women where we have this idea that we can be the one to fix our particular guy? If he’s unavailable, he’s unavailable and screwing the hell out of him, being there for him and trying to change him, isn’t go to do a damn thing other than waste your time. If he doesn’t want to be available and he doesn’t want to be any different, quit while you’re ahead. Some other woman will come along and he’ll want to be different without her having to beat him over the head with her ‘nagging’. We are not that woman.

There is something about a guy who just isn’t there. He’s unavailable which means that you should steer clear. Talk to him again when he’s finished his tour of planet him.

***Note***If you left comments on this post over 2005 and early 2006, they all got lost in the move – sorry!

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