Recently I got chatting with someone who ended up telling me how devastated she was by a relationship that hadn’t worked out. She’d pinned her hopes on a very wounded Mr Unavailable who had enough baggage to fill up several airport terminals, but she’d thought things would be different with her because she saw past his problems, saw potential, and wanted a loving relationship with him.
And therein lies the problem.
When someone doesn’t want to be in a relationship, or they have limited access to their emotions, or they’re terrified of intimacy and get clammy at the thought of commitment, it doesn’t matter if your love comes in a platinum case with a bow on it promising the sun, moon, and stars – they don’t want it. Or they only want it on their terms. They can’t and won’t ‘appreciate’ what is on offer. It doesn’t matter that it’s you and your love – you could be anyone and until they resolve their issues, you will not extract a loving relationship from them. And really – why should you have to do the equivalent of pulling teeth or dragging a horse kicking and screaming to water?
You may see past their problems and feel that you love them in spite of them and you may see yourself as all loving and giving, but how you see you isn’t how they see you.
No matter what you say or do, they perceive you, by the very fact that you’re either in a relationship with them, or hankering for one, that you want, need, or expect more than they’re prepared to be wanted, needed, and expected from.
Even if you claim that you don’t or they see that you’re not now, they may very well draw the conclusion that you will expect in the future, not least because they have danced this dance many times before.
Saying that you love or care about someone or that you want a relationship creates expectations both spoken and assumed.
If you’ve been with a Mr (or Miss) Unavailable, you won’t be the first person that has ever felt something for them.
You may think that because you feel like you like them so much that it cancels out any problems.
You may also still be working under the assumption that is them that is crazy about you and be so enamoured by their interest that you’ll block out any potential issues.
It’s important to note that when we express sentiments like ‘I can’t believe they don’t want my love’ you have to be real with yourself and recognise where the disbelief comes from, because more often than not when these words are uttered, it’s because they’re attached to someone who you’re punching below your weight with. You could do better, but you’re not, and instead you’re gambling on trying to get love from a limited person because not only will you feel more loved and because it has come from a troubled, struggling source making it infinitely more worthwhile, but trying to get them to love you is not as scary or difficult a prospect as really putting yourself out there.
Every day I witness people expend copious amounts of energy ‘running on the spot’ by investing themselves and their emotions into limited relationships with people that have a limited ability and capacity for love, which in turn creates a limited result.
We choose people that reflect the negative things that we believe about love, relationships, and ourselves and if those beliefs are not too healthy, we’ll choose unhealthy partnerings because we think that some of these ‘flawed’ people will be more receptive to our love. Our contribution may even look bigger beside these people whereas we wouldn’t be so confident about our contribution with a healthier partner.
That’s not to say that someone not wanting a relationship or turning you down makes them unhealthy but it’s when you get stuck in pursuing them for love and validation or they continue to hang around in spite of their lack of interest or commitment so that they can enjoy the fringe benefits of your interests that is unhealthy.
Remember, as I’ve said many times before, love and interest don’t come with an IOU, so the fact that you feel something for someone doesn’t create automatic reciprocation. We can’t demand love and interest from people as not only is it emotionally demanding and a potential way of removing your dignity, but you’ll alienate them. The worst of them will just take advantage of the situation and use you up. The better of them may try to let you down gently and if you won’t take no for an answer, cut contact with you.
You don’t want to be the equivalent of that pushy used car salesman that doesn’t know when to back off. It doesn’t translate well to relationships.
If you ‘see past’ someone’s problems you could be opening yourself up to a world of pain as you may be in denial about very real factors that have the potential to impact on the success and healthiness of your relationship. You cannot deny the problems in a love conquers all manner – this is not a rom com or a chick lit book. Real life means that a problem ignored will come back to bite you in the arse.
If they can’t see past their problems and insecurities, what is the point in you doing it? You can’t do all the loving, security, responsibility, accountability, trusting, caring, and respecting in the relationship.
They don’t have to want your love. This is not a car boot/yard sale where you think ‘It’s going cheap! Someone should want it!’
The moment that they don’t want you – you need to be asking yourself why you’re still wanting them. Period. It doesn’t mean you switch off your feelings automatically but you should be coming back to earth with a very loud, resounding bump.
Alarm bells should be ringing! If they’re not my alarm bells are ringing for you!
You want to give away your love that badly? Give it to a responsible person who will cherish it and handle it with care, and more importantly, be a responsible owner instead of running up and down the street offering it out to anyone who resonates with your pattern that’s willing to give you the time of day. You deserve better so don’t burn your energies up pushing, or even forcing your love upon people because you’re degrading it and not conveying the right message about you or your love.
More importantly, don’t treat your love like a hot potato that you can’t wait to offload and certainly don’t put your life on hold because you’re stuck ‘loving’ someone that doesn’t love you. Their lack of interest is a red flag – use it to extricate yourself out of what will become an even more painful situation if you don’t back off. There is better out there for you – believe it.
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