Unavailable Men: The Death of a Pattern

We choose unavailable people because subconsciously we are afraid of intimacy - there's no real risk. Unavailable people can hurt your ego,...

Written by Amy Chan · 4 min read >
Image of a woman's shadow, used on blog about unavailable men

I was sitting at my favorite cafe reading a book and a handsome man walks in. We lock eyes and hold gaze. He sits beside me and I can feel my heart beating faster. I was nervous. Ironically, I was reading a book on the psychology of power, and if you swapped out the chic SoHo cafe for a jungle, the ensuing interaction would resemble that of a cheetah hunting its prey.

I could feel him looking at me, assessing how he’d approach. Finally, he asked me about my book, and since I was reading about power hierarchies I joked that I was a 10 in dominance and he was a 7. Right away we immersed into deep conversation covering a range of topics from energy, solitude, to conscious relationships (hello intellectual lubrication).

He asked, “Is it hard for men to understand you? I understand you. I can handle you at 10 and even show you how it can feel safe to be at a 7.”  Smooth. Not to mention his beautiful green eyes and the pink linen shirt in contrast with his tattoos and Mala beaded bracelet. Bad boy meets enlightenment? Hot.

He took my number and asked me out for lunch. As he was leaving to get to his meeting, he nonchalantly mentioned he was married, and his intention was to develop a friendship with me. Oh right, that small detail conveniently said in passing at the end of our intense encounter.

Uhh what just happened?

Afterward, I felt out of sorts and needed to process. My body was signaling signs of chemistry and connection: increased heart rate, tightness in chest, butterflies in stomach. While his words whispered friendship his energy shouted otherwise. This experience felt strangely familiar, and my gut knew exactly how it would go, if I chose to let it unfold.

I saw my past, my future and my present. This was an important choice point that would determine if  I would continue to fall into the same old patterns. I remembered a question I’ve recently been factoring into my decision making process: Is this ‘good for you’, or does it just ‘feel good?’

What i was feeling was the ‘chemistry’ of familiarity – the intrigue of a powerful man, the validation that this man was choosing me as his conquest, and ultimately, the excitement of unavailability. Hi dad!

Is this ‘good for you’, or does it just ‘feel good?’

I then backtracked to the other times I felt this similar feeling of intense ‘chemistry’ – and yep, each one was the exact same scenario – different guy, same emotional experience… same outcome. Chasing shadows. I’ve done this before. I did not need to learn this lesson once over again.

I could choose to keep pressing on the same bruise, that would leave me feeling the contrast of hope and disappointment, the thrill of chase and the yearning for more, the chaos that follows uncertainty. To put it simply, I could choose to suffer. Or, I could choose to not. This is a lot easier said than done –  lust can feel like a drug addiction – you know it’s bad for you but it just feels so damn good. You rationalize that you’ll dabble just a little, convincing yourself that you are in control. Meanwhile your mating drives are laughing at your naïveté that dares think you can outsmart your deeply wired biology that developed hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Right after his meeting, he called me. I told him that I did not want to be his ‘friend’ and that I was not going to put myself in the position where I would bond with unavailable men, only to poke at the same wound I’ve already spent decades experiencing. He gave me all the reasons why I should reconsider. From the existential: “There’s a reason why we met”, to the practical “I could help you with your business”. No. The answer is no.

So what did I do next? I allowed myself to feel the suppressed feelings of pain and sadness that compounded throughout the years from unavailable men.

I allowed myself to feel the suppressed feelings of pain and sadness that compounded throughout the years, from one unavailable man to the next.

I allowed myself to feel the hurt that came along with all the times I chose casual relationships with unavailable men I knew full well were emotionally unavailable. I recounted the many times I nonchalantly pretended I didn’t want or need more, god forbid I appeared needy.

I cried for that five year old girl who despite the vast amount of self-work I’ve done, still has wounds wanting to be seen, appreciated and loved by her father. I acknowledged the coping mechanisms I developed in order for that little girl to survive, and my uncanny ability as an adult, to disassociate from negative emotions. I released the weight of responsibility I often feel as a relationship ‘expert’ who prides herself on always keeping it together. I gave myself permission, without shame or blame, to be Amy – a girl who deep down, wants real, lasting love and commitment.

I cried tears of mourning, for the death of a pattern. I knew that this was the end of an old part of me.

I cried tears of mourning, for the death of a pattern. I knew that this was the end of an old part of me. I knew this was the last test and I am finally ready for a new way of relating. I shed that last layer of defense so that I can open up my heart to be vulnerable – the only state where real intimacy can grow, and that’s fucking scary.

Don’t you see? We choose unavailable men because subconsciously we are afraid of intimacy – there’s no real risk. Unavailable people can hurt your ego, but they can’t hurt your soul. When you stop choosing unavailable people, you become available for a potential connection that grows in intimacy. 

Unavailable men can hurt your ego, but they can’t hurt your soul.

Right when you’re about to manifest what you really want, the universe will test you. It will dangle distractions to test if you really want it. The test determines if you are actually ready for what you say you want. My choice to say no to him was symbolic of a new pattern, a shift. I’ve crossed the bridge enough times now, and I’m walking to the other side.

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2 Replies to “Unavailable Men: The Death of a Pattern”

  1. Ugh! What an arrogant jerk! But… Look at the lesson that came with it? Priceless.

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