When you are investing heavily in a relationship with someone who does not reciprocate back, it can feel horrible. All of your affection and kindness are falling on deaf ears. And it can be even worse if it is a repeat pattern you go through repeatedly.
The reality is that while it is not a good pattern to deal with, it is possible to overcome it. The issue comes from insecurity, a desire for validation (which rarely comes) and a general lack of self-esteem. If that feels like you, then read on for a few strategies to overcome this pattern:
- Identify the signs early on – if you have been in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable person, you know just how draining it can be due to the other person. At first, it may feel like they are mysterious and deep, which can only increase that feeling of attraction towards them. But soon enough, it just turns out they are closed off and detached. It is important to work towards a solid relationship with someone who can show a range of emotions immediately. If you notice the signs of unavailability early on, it is best to move on and spare yourself the heartache.
- Be honest about why you fall for the same type – if you find yourself dating the same heartbreaker, again and again, you need to slow down and self-reflect. It is fine if you have had bad luck once, but if it repeats, it is a pattern that needs some help. Perhaps a little consultation with a therapist or a coach can greatly help.
- Don’t fall for false hope – often, people get hurt because of false hope. You should steer clear of people who text a lot but never initiate plans. That is when someone they are interested in texts a lot and initiates some form of connection, but without ever planning a date or seeing the other. This is a great way to develop false hopes that a relationship can happen.
- Insist on identifying your relationship after a certain period. If you are dating an emotionally unavailable person, you may feel like they are stringing you along for a long period. You should be alert if they are keen on dating you but don’t want to call it a relationship. It is understandable if they don’t want to use labels initially. But if they don’t call the relationship label after an extended period, maybe they are just not interested in making things official anytime soon, if ever.
- You should not feel like their saviour – while you may be eager to help someone, it should not be your job. You need to ask yourself what you are getting out of a relationship with someone who cannot commit. If you feel like you are there to rescue them, to show them that people are worth caring for, you are only wasting your efforts. Instead, you should be focused on dating someone who will appreciate your work.
- Work on your sense of self – if you have self-esteem issues, you should work on yourself and develop confidence. How you feel about yourself reflects the relationship you will be in and the dating life you will lead. When you are ready and confident to meet a partner who will commit, you will never settle for anyone else.
These strategies make you more prepared to face the challenge of falling for emotionally unavailable partners and avoid this reality altogether.
© Kate Mansfield Dating Coach