Tags: Needy

A Chicago reader asks: “I am wondering how the emotionally unavailable man is after a relationship, how he talks to himself, or if he’s happy, etc. Not for HIM, but just to make myself feel better.”

Interesting question. I’d ask why do you care but we all do what we need to do in order to get by. If you want me to tell you that he’s sitting at home pining for you, wondering what you’re doing, analysing your relationship history, blaming himself, checking his messages, or obsessing about you, you’re about to be sorely disappointed. To assume that he is losing his mind over the ‘loss’ of you is to assume that you’re with a normal, connected man.

For a start, Mr Unavailable doesn’t like endings and in actual fact, depending on how your relationship history has played out, is likely to disrespect the ‘ending’ or any boundaries that you have put forth.

So, you saying, “I don’t ever want to see your bloody face again or hear from you. I want you to leave me alone and stop calling me”, will translate to, “She says that but I know if I give it a day/week/fortnight/month etc., that she’ll be desperate to hear from me. She’s just mad because I won’t give her what she wants but she needs to accept that this is all I can give and go with the flow.”

The likelihood is that Mr Unavailable will believe that he has lost you or is in serious danger of losing you when:

1) A greater period of time has passed than your previous break-up/break.

2) You’ve got really medieval on his ass and something makes him believe that it may be different this time.

With the former, it will appear that he has accepted it until that seeming in-built radar has him creepy-creeping round you just when you’ve started to move on.

With the latter, he’ll badger the crap out of you for attention and affirmation that you still give a monkey’s about him, make promises he can’t keep, and then disappoint the crap out of you and revert to previous behaviours anyway.

When a relationship with Mr Unavailable ends he tends to:

1) Pretend that it’s not over and in his mind he’s giving you space to come around to his way of thinking.
2) Look for a new ego stroke.
3) Ignore you till YOU start chasing him.
4) Starts the ‘let’s be friends’ BS so that he can worm his way back into his life.
5) Calls up the previous Fallback Girl (you know there’s always more than one).
6) Bury himself in work or the lads because he doesn’t need the ‘dead weight’ of a relationship anyway.
7) Blame you.

How does he talk to himself?

Who knows and who cares?

The reality is that someone who is very disconnected from their own behaviour isn’t exactly going to turn around and take stock of their lives. He’ll blame you, his ex, his mother, the cat, the dog, his kids, the tree at the back of the garden, but unless he’s having some long-standing bouts of clarity, any glimmers into the real him will be short-lived. So he may think tonight, “Ah…Michael, you’ve been a bit of a prick in this relationship. She deserved better”, but by tomorrow morning, he’s thinking, “Michael, you’re better off without her. She wanted too much from you. She was too flipping needy and you don’t need that. You’ve done nothing wrong and to be fair, this was never supposed to be a long-term thing.”

Is he happy? In some respects yes, and in many other respects no. That’s like me asking women who habitually engage with Mr Unavailables (Fallback Girls) whether they’re happy.

Something not too great is going on within to be emotionally unavailable in the first place.

He’ll be happy that he has no one expecting too much of him.

He’ll be happy to have you off his back.

He’ll be happy to be a bachelor again.

But is he happy? He’s disconnected emotionally so happiness, true happiness, is a long way off for him.

But as always, what I would stress is that to care what the frick this man is doing is to care too much.

Whatever brain power he does expend on his relationship with you, the reality is that it will be a minuscule fraction of the brain power you’re expending. Your ability to move on and be happy has to be separate from him. It can’t be based on the scale of his misery because this is like trying to extract some sort of emotional validation or payment after the demise of the relationship and the reality is that you’ll be in for a long wait if you’re relying on him to give you some misery coins. You would do better to focus on yourself and deal with your own issues of why you were with him – you’ll get far more reward for your efforts.

If you’ve been struggling with emotional unavailability, check out my new book Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl is out now. 

Are you ready to stop silencing and hiding yourself in an attempt to ‘please’ or protect yourself from others? My book, The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon), is out now.

The Joy of Saying No by Natalie Lue book cover. Subtitle: A simple plan to stop people pleasing, reclaim boundaries, and say yes to the life you want.
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