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Why You Keep Dating Emotionally Unavailable People

Why You Keep Dating Emotionally Unavailable People


Many of us find ourselves falling for people who can’t give us what we want emotionally. Whether or not we enter an actual relationship with said people, we keep wanting more from them.

But, what many of us don’t realize is we are playing out a dance with these people. We are there because, in reality, we are just as emotionally unavailable as they are.

If we were in relationships with people who fulfilled us, we would have to deal with our own pain.

So, instead, we become enmeshed with emotionally unavailable people as a way to avoid ourselves. Our boundaries become blurred, and we don’t know where we stop and they begin.

It seems like they’re the emotionally unavailable parties in our relationships, but if we were truly available, we’d either be single or with partners who genuinely fulfilled us.

Here are some reasons why we go for emotionally unavailable partners:

It’s Easier To Focus On Their Issues Than Our Own

It’s way easier to look at others and list all the ways they need to change than to look at ourselves and own up to our own faults. Because, then, we’d have to do the hard work to change.

It’s not an easy thing to address at the dark aspects of ourselves we’ve been avoiding all along.

If We Can Get Them To Love Us, We’re “Good Enough”

We often aren’t conscious we feel this way, but we tend to chase emotionally unavailable people as a way to prove to ourselves we are worthy of love. It’s a big challenge with huge stakes: “If I can get this person to love me, I matter. I’m no longer alone in this world.”

We make their behavioral personal, when, in reality, it’s just who they are. We have to realize we are all worthy of love, and can’t look to others to fill the void.

Obsessive Thoughts Help Distract Us From Being Present

Being present means being in reality. When reality is too painful for us to deal with, we want an escape.

Obsessive thoughts are like a drug: They have a numbing effect; it’s calming to think about others, instead of what’s truly hurting us.

We Can Play Victim

When we put ourselves in a situation where another person is always letting us down, we get to be the victim, the good one or the martyr.

When we play the blame game and point fingers, we feel as though we are in the right.

When we think someone is acting a certain way to hurt us, we feel pity for ourselves; thus, we don’t have to change our ways.

We Want Control

If we can control them and change their behavior, it makes us feel less powerless in a chaotic world. This world is scary and unpredictable, so we try to control it as a way to feel safe. The key is surrendering.

The only control we have is over our own behavior and how we view the world — our perspective.

You can’t force people to be something they aren’t — that’s like looking at a rock and telling it to become a bird. Accept people for who they are, and lovingly detach if you don’t want them in your life.

It Allows Us To Live In A Fantasy World

When reality is too scary as a child, we create an illusion that is easier to deal with. So, when we meet someone who isn’t what we truly want, we start to date a fantasy version of that person.

You can’t date someone’s potential; you have to be honest with who that person is. This is hard for many of us because if we are honest with ourselves, we have to let said person go.

This can be excruciatingly painful when all we want is not to feel alone.

This post originally appeared on Elite Daily.


Hear Kate’s 2016 interview with Sandi Klein this Tuesday.

Kate Wolff
Kate Wolff

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