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 6 Ways To Stop Attracting Unavailable Partners  

For most of my life, I drew towards me, unavailable partners.

The people I liked were not into me. Or didn't want to commit.

Then there were the married people, gangster people and people with addictions. People who couldn't commit. 

 I thought of straight men as jackasses, as many straight women do. But, blaming them was a distraction. It didn't empower me nor heal me. It didn't shift my pattern. Because it was not about the people I desired.

The common factor in every relationship was - ME!

If there were ten people in the room, I'd notice the unavailable one.

This is what I learned from attracting unavailable partners.



"One day, You will take my heart completely and make it more fiery than a dragon. Your eyelashes will write on my heart the poem that could never come from the pen of a poet."

- Rumi

"One day, You will take my heart completely and make it more fiery than a dragon. Your eyelashes will write on my heart the poem that could never come from the pen of a poet."

- Rumi

Hi, I'm Jo, a qualified coach and facilitator. Host of the Dare To Love Club. Creator of The FreshStart Love Journey. I'm lover of love, a relationship explorer. You can find out more about my story and my professional qualifications and experience here. xo, Jo

Connect with me

Attracting unavailable partners can happen when:


1. You have an unconscious resistance to relationships


It's you who fears commitment.  Your fear of feeling trapped is greater than the pain of not feeling wanted until it isn't. Or you're a rebel. A rule breaker. A shortcut taker. Deep down, you're terrified of responsibility and showing up every day.

Dr Harville Hendrix, author of Keeping the Love We Find, calls it the game of pursuit and distance. One partner chases, the other runs. The moment one partner stops running and gives attention, the roles reverse. You change your behaviour, the pattern stays the same. 

This can happen when the thing you want most - hurts.

I had to work on my fear of commitment to allow my husband to be present for me, and what a joy. 

Where are you not showing up for yourself or others in your life?



2. You think 'Something Is Wrong With Me.


Underneath the pattern of attracting unavailable partners, you feel ashamed. You don't want people to know who you are. You're afraid that when people find out, they won't like you because you don't like you. 

So you become dependent on others to feel validated. This leaves you craving attention. And it makes you a people pleaser. Ever ready to give. Continuously saying you're sorry. I'd stay with people when I needed to leave. I'd let people treat me like I'm less.

How you see yourself matters. 

 I found I let people treat me the way I treated myself - the best and the worst.  I obsessed over my ugliness. Every flaw, every weakness - was what I noticed in me. I didn't believe I'd get anything better.  

Yet, I put my partners on a pedestal. I was the perfect prey. I saw only their greatness - until I didn't. You see, I broke me. I didn't need anyone else to do it. 

When I made peace with me, my relationship experiences shifted.  I ended the war.

What parts of yourself want your love and acceptance?



3.  How we see the OTHER matters too.


I put people on a pedestal in the beginning. But subconsciously, I saw them as uncommitted, uncaring and 'users'. So I held myself in contrast as the ideal perfect partner making the 'other' a demon in my mind. 

For example, men are 'liars' and women 'loving'. Women are 'nags' and men 'self-sufficient'. Right? 

When we don't get what we want, we cast ourselves as the victim. It's no longer our fault. It's now everyone else's. Now our partner is no longer on a pedestal. They've become the villain.

We swing between the idea of a perfect marriage and the expectation of disappointment. We mourn with rage the fantasy we can't have. 

It's not uncommon to think '"Something is wrong with me", AND believe we'd make the perfect partner in our fantasies.  Either they're wrong, and we're right. Or the other way around.

In 2003, the UNDP Leadership Coaching training I did, called it RIGHT/WRONG thinking. Thus, we make ourselves and others either RIGHT or WRONG. 

I had to undo the ways I saw men. When I did, those kinds of men started to show up in my life. They were always there. I just didn't notice them before. 

What scripts can you rewrite? No, really - I even made a list.

I recognised I'm not the perfect partner I had in my head. No more, no less than anyone else. I am the ideal partner for who I'm with, as they are for me. Accepting we are not ideal. We are the perfect imperfect us.



4. We recreate childhood experiences because it's what we know about love.


The unavailable father, mother, teacher, sibling, childhood friend. Desperately craving our needs from childhood to still be met, we expect our partner to meet them. When they don't, we're enraged. When they do, it's too much. 

Even though abandonment is one of the greatest hurts in this world, the familiarity of the pattern has a comfort to it. 

When an available, loving person showed genuine interest, I'd fall out of 'love'. It was uncomfortable. I had to heal from childhood wounds and every previous relationship experience I'd had.

What experiences from your past are calling you to heal?

Know this: You are the one you are looking for.


5. There was a high with the chase that made me feel SO ALIVE.


Addiction to the hunt - I was easily bored. Attracting unavailable partners kept the thrill alive.  Do you recognise this in yourself?

It's because the anticipation of happiness chemicals floods you. This is why you become compulsive. 

No different to a coke addiction. You'll find an urgent need for attention NOW.  An impatience. The inability to delay gratification.  So many affairs come from this. Because in marriage, this high is the first to go. 

 I had no patience and wanted what I wanted when I wanted it.


 "Breathe Jo, breathe".

 Sit with the craving and discover what's there.

"Ah, there it is." The answer. She whispers back.



I learned to sit still in boredom. And found joy in healthier places. 

Practise taking time out from your relationship. Practice not needing to be called. Practice handling not getting what you want when you want it. Practice sending messages without expecting a message back.


6. Dependence on someone else for happiness!  


If your brain learned unhappiness growing up, you might be dependant on the presence of others to feel

  • alive, 
  • connected, 
  • safe, 
  • validated 

And to experience meaning. 

We see relationships as the solution and the cause of our pain. In a marriage, neediness REPEL. Confidence and joy ATTRACT.  

I had to break out of emotional co-dependency before I felt free of the hurt. The happier I became on the inside, the less I needed that happiness from the outside. 

So learn to be alone. Seek a spiritual connection. Fill you first.


What I learned from my attraction to unavailable partners is how to show up every day



 And that nothing is wrong with me. I learned there's a difference between 'bad' situations and a 'hard' situations. I learned to walk away sooner from the 'bad' and ride it out when it's 'hard.'

I have more grace not just with other people’s flaws but my own too. And I stopped making people in my life either a hero or villain.

I no longer look to someone else to feel alive or happy.  

I have more grace not just with other people’s flaws but my own too. And I stopped making people in my life either a hero or villain.


You Are Not Your Pain. 


So much love

xoxo 

Jo

Copyright Jo Ntsebeza 2016


Next: Why we become unavailable or over available partners.

Hi, I'm Jo, a qualified coach and facilitator. Host of the Dare To Love Club. Creator of The FreshStart Love Journey. I'm lover of love, a relationship explorer. You can find out more about my story and my professional qualifications and experience here.  xo, Jo


Jo Ntsebeza is a qualified professional coach, facilitator, trainer and lay counsellor.

All works are copyrighted. You may quote me or use no more than a paragraph with a link to the article on my website. 


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Hi, I'm Jo, a qualified coach and facilitator. Host of the Dare To Love Club. Creator of The FreshStart Love Journey. I'm lover of love, a relationship explorer. You can find out more about my story and my professional qualifications and experience here.  xo, Jo


Connect with me