If you imagine that you’re Mr Unavailable’s customer, he’s selling and you’re buying. But you’re an unhappy customer. He’s shown you the product, given it a load of bells and whistles that aren’t actually sold with that particular product, and then sold it to you. They’ve told you that you’ll get the pared down version because the one you want was a limited edition, that’s no longer in stock. The one in his hand is already reserved, apparently.

You feel confused. Why go to the trouble of making a song and dance about the product if he wasn’t going to sell it to you? Yes you know you felt a bit awkward when you were listening to his sales patter and you did wonder why he was showing you this particular product when it didn’t look anything like the one on the box. But he seemed to really want to wow you, show you a good time and make sure that you’re shopping experience was unforgettable.

You remember feeling a bit uncomfortable around him, a little distrusting. You wondered if this was all too good to be true.

He assures you that what you have, is just fine and that you’ll love it. But you don’t love it when you get home because you keep thinking back to that amazing product. You know it’s out there, you just need to get your hands on it. But each time you ask, he says that what you have is what you’re going to get, but then confuses you by alluding to the possibility of getting the one you really want.

Sound familiar? It should do. You, the Fallback Girl, are the disgruntled customer who wants an exchange.

You feel violated by the Trade Descriptions Act but you’re also a victim to your own inflated expectations. They’re based in what you perceive the product can do in your capable hands as opposed to what it’s actually capable of doing based on the specification.

You’re like someone who doesn’t read the instructions, blindly sets up the product and then wonders what went wrong.

You want more than Mr Unavailable can deliver. And even though he has, in many respects, misled you to believe that more is on offer, you have had more than enough tangible proof in his contradictory actions and words, to know that what you want and what you’re going to end up with, are two totally different things.

“Sometimes we fall in love and give our heart before we know who it is we are dealing with. And then we do. In my case, he plain blatantly lied to my face and well, I believed him. He wanted this and that and all of that with me. I asked him if all this was too much for him to handle. He went Nooooooooo. And then when I ask him to step up to his word, he gives me this look and goes “Things change” and then goes “Let’s Break Up” just like that, without batting an eyelid. One minute, you are idolised then discarded like trash. And the worst is this, even as we know this is more to do with him, we end up feeling like we did something wrong.” Indra, Baggage Reclaim reader comment

You have to remember that like attracts like so he masks his fear of commitment by just refusing to commit to an outcome and seeing whatever free sex and ego stroking he can get along the way. And you mask your fear of commitment by taking up with men who are the least likely candidate for giving you commitment. You spend a lot of time thinking and talking about it, but rarely actually doing anything.

The one thing you are both doing right, consciously or not, is finding people who are most likely to participate in a relationship that won’t lead to commitment.


Most Mr Unavailables know up front or have a pretty major inkling that they are limited in what they have to offer. Many are well meaning and have some good intentions. But habitual Mr Unavailables have been around the block a few times so they know the drill.

Likewise, so do you, so you do get the relationship that you want with him, it’s just that you don’t know that it’s the relationship that you want. Like pretty much everyone’s on the plaza net, you’re programmed to expect to find someone and fall in love. You also, however, have self-esteem issues that cater to unhealthy relationship patterns that you’re probably not fully aware of.

You’re out of sync with what you profess to want.

This makes you ideal for either type of commitment dodger; The Upfront or The Undercover Commitment Dodgers.

If he tells you upfront that he cannot give you what you want, you decide that you know better, or that he just needs time, or that you’ll be less ‘needy’ and see if that changes things. He then lets himself off the hook because he’s been ‘honest’ with you. You, on the other hand, decide that he’s still there, so he must want more.

On the flip side, if he’s on the downlow, he’ll give off plenty of code red alerts even though he won’t come out straight and admit that he can’t give you what you want. You then make his problems your responsibility or even assume the blame for his behaviour and inability to commit.

Either way, you become focused on extracting commitment from these men because you feel so attracted and connected to them that it ‘must be love’. You know you can help them and that you’re destined to be together and all that jazz. Next thing you know, you’re living in Inertiaville.

The trouble with Fallback Girls is that you can commit, it’s just that you’ll commit to anything that comes in the package of Mr Unavailable!


If he comes in the package of say a Half-Decent Emotionally Available Guy, you can barely commit to an evening out, never mind a relationship! The scary reality for Fallback Girls is that you commit at these crucial points:

Some of you commit pretty much as soon as you meet the guy.

You see so much potential, you’re straight out the gate, into the future. You may not even see that much potential but you’re gagging for companionship and affection. You’re the Fallback Girl that doesn’t like to be alone and thinks every guy she ‘connects’ with might be the one.

Some of you commit when you realise that they have issues. 

You feel comfortable around wounded souls, guys who scream hard work, drama. And you feel that you can be the one to make him better. You’re the Fallback Girl that’s a sucker for a sob story and baggage.

Some of you commit when you realise that he’s not going to leave his wife or his girlfriend.

Or that they won’t make that separation official by becoming divorced. becayou think that if you show him how committed you are, that you’ll be rewarded. You’re the Fallback Girl that commits when it becomes clear that he’s definitely not going to commit.

Some of you commit to the cycle of drama.

You’re not that sure about him until he starts catering to your pattern of fear of abandonment and making you jump through hoops. And after a while, you’re not really going out with him’; you’re going out with the high created by Relationship Crack. You’re the Fallback Girl that commits even though you weren’t really that interested until he got your attention by messing you around.

Women who take the time to research emotional unavailability are giving themselves a fighting chance to change their lives for the better and empower themselves. The sad reality is that unless a woman gets wise about who she’s engaging with and what she’s doing to facilitate these dynamics, she can spend a whole lifetime being a Fallback Girl, committing to men (or women) who just don’t commit to her.

Yes it’s committing out of dysfunction, and it’s not healthy, but this is how women who live by the sword and die by the sword of Mr Unavailable operate. They ‘sacrifice’ themselves for their men.

Being with Mr Unavailables is very uncomfortable for you. It’s not, however, as uncomfortable as the unknown territory of being involved with somebody who offers a strong possibility of commitment and doesn’t mess you around.

To break free of this pattern, you are going to have to get out your uncomfortable comfort zone and go into the uncomfortable unknown. And it starts with committing to do the best by you. This means that you can only commit to men that add value to your life and energise you, not detract from and drain you.

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