Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Maybe not A Return to Love, but a start!

I was reading Mommasunshine the other day and she mentioned a quote from a book that she is reading called “A Return to Love”. The quote hit me too and so I went online and bought the audio book. I am about one third of the way through it and am amazed at how much this book is hitting on some very core issues with me.

The first one and the most profound one that hit me is that “I choose unavailable men”. I am looking back over the years at all of the men that I have “dated or been involved with” and I see now that ALL of them have been unavailable to ME in some way. Seriously, this is HUGE for me to realize. It takes some of the fear that “I suck at relationships” out of how I think. Let me explain... If they are unavailable, how could I have had a healthy, mutual relationship with them? So, I may not suck as bad as I thought I did at relationships after all. At least that is how I am going to forgive myself for the crappy relationships that I have had and start moving forward. I need to look more into why I pick unavailable men and what that says about me. I must be unavailable or undeserving. Now, this makes sense to me. It is disturbing, but makes a ton of sense.

At least now I have something closer to the truth to work on fixing and I can stop saying that I suck at relationships. I haven’t given anyone or myself a chance because I am somehow unavailable and choosing people from that place of fear.

So, looking back at the last 4 guys in my life, this is what I see.

Guy #1- Liked me but did not want to date someone with a child. NOW I wouldn’t give him a second look, but at the time, I feel like I may have been desperate to just have someone like me and want to hang out. My thoughts were that I could make him like me so much that he would have no choice but to love my daughter. NOW, I see that he was never going to really date me and I had some sort of comfort in that.

Guy #2-This is my STBX. I have known him for years and have known that he is emotionally unavailable. I knew this and yet I thought that I was different and that he would magically open up to me because, well, I am me. He loved my daughter and he wanted to take care of us. NOW I see that he was unavailable to me emotionally and I found some weird sense of comfort in that. When it was happening I was miserable and wanted that connection, or did I really. I may have just liked the fact that it was any easy excuse to get out when things got tough.

Guy #3- This guy had a girlfriend. (PLEASE DON’T HATE ME I ALREADY DO ENOUGH OF THAT FOR MYSELF) I knew from the beginning that this wouldn’t work and that I would hate myself more for getting involved in it and yet, he treated me like a queen and said and did all of the right stuff. He left his girlfriend and I started the sabotage game right away. NOW I see that I liked him when someone else had him and I had to compete, but when he gave me his all, I wanted to make him hate me. Guess who he is back with?

Guy #4- This is the guy that I alluded to in my post the other day. Here is the deal and what this book made me see in myself. He is unavailable right now. He is working through some serious life issues right now and doesn’t want to go into a relationship with that baggage. He really likes me and wants more than a rebound or a feel better fix. He wants to wait, get to know each other first while he is sorting things out and then see what could happen between us. This is great to me and very healthy on his part. He has a heart of gold and I know that when he gives his love to someone, it is real and deep. When he gets healthy, he is the kind of man that any woman would kill to have love her. He is true and real and caring.

But... am I attracted to knowing that someday we could be great, or am I attracted to the fact that he is unavailable right now? I know that with him, I have that same uncomfortable “I want more because he isn’t giving it freely” feeling that I have in all of my past relationships. This feeling is the common denominator in all of my relationships that has made me feel like “I really do like this guy”. Gawd that is sick!

I know that I want the real thing. I know that sharing the real me with someone and having them stick is something that I really do want. I want deep, soul touching and forever. Something inside me is telling me that I don’t deserve that though.

I do know that figuring this out is one step closer to getting that real thing.


  1. Um, about guy number 4? If you havent read "He's Just Not that Into You," you should. NOT the cheesy movie, the book. And I would be willing to guess he is just as unavialable to you as the other three are, he just knows how to make it sound better.

    But, you know, I suck at relationships, too, so who the hell am I to say anything? :)

  2. Ah yes, falling for the emotionally unavailable man - I know it well. You are right when you say we choose them because we are also emotionally unavailable in some way or because we think its what we somehow deserve. #4 defintley needs to be considered as one even though the packaging seems better or more desirable. Good for you to realize part of the attraction may be in the pattern.

  3. I think that this is HUGE! One of the (many) things in A Return to Love that made the most sense to me is taking responsibility for myself and my life. So the problem isn't that unavailable men are attracted to you - the problem is that you're attracted back. No judgment - we've all made less than ideal choices at some point in our lives. The exciting thing is that you're able to recognize that...and that's the first step to changing it. :-)

  4. I have read your blog three times from start to finish, it is really introspective and made me realize how extrospective (is that a word)I am.

    Great food for thought, I will be thinking about this post for some time

  5. Hmmm... I kind of second what 'Kori' supposes up there.

    I've often wondered if I haven't been 'unavailable'... I've had several women tell me this. I reckon in some regard that there may have been some truth to it. I think my greatest fear was that I never ever wanted to be hurt again as much... as badly... as my then-wife hurt me. I'm not sure the ex-wife ever really realized how much I loved/cared about her, and I guess my fears would be that I would find someone, fall in love, and have it happen again. In many ways it did happen again, but, I have wondered since if I didn't set myself up for that.

    I, for one, will make a deal with you... I won't judge you if YOU won't judge you...

    You are a sweetie, you know... I think you are making fantastic progress...

    Happy New Year...


  6. I love that book. And since I recommended it to Sunshine and now you're both reading it and loving it so much, I'm wondering if I shouldn't pick it back up and read it again (for the 4th time.)

    I've read it during so many different times in my life. I think each time I learn something new.

    I love this, D. And I REALLY love the awesomenest comments you've been leaving on my blog lately too.

  7. Good for you in figuring it out!! I didn't have a book but I figured it out in counseling. I had post traumatic stress disorder from where my daughter's biological father had beat me and emotionally abused me. I realized that I kept picking selfish arrogant self-centered men (confusing it for confidence)and then would spend the entire relationship trying to win their approval and their attention was like a drug I kept craving more and more. It was unhealthy and had to stop especially since I had a baby now and she would follow my example.

    So, I stopped dating for a while. Made my list of things I liked about myself. Built my self confidence. Made a list of things I wanted in a guy and decided not to settle and to let the guy pursue me. I was lonely for a while but it paid off. It happened I started dating nice guys then I dated the one I would marry. At first it was weird dating a nice guy - a friend even - instead of a douche and he isn't perfect but no one is and life is so much better. This November will be our 4th wedding anniversary.

  8. The most eye-opening book for me was "all about love" by bell hooks. I highly recommend it as your next read.

  9. Seems to me that nobody should ever hate you for seeing a married or otherwise taken guy. Who would do that it isnt you that is cheating.

    You do seem to be making some progress that is excellent. Keep moving ahead and everything will work out!

  10. should be some red lights here....

  11. You're doing good work here. I love those eye opening moments that change everything. :) Good luck!

  12. I'm available... but just at a distance of ummm like 10 hours or so.. maybe 12.. hmmmm

  13. D, I'm going to make an observation based upon this post. If I'm totally wrong you can tell me to shut the He.. up! From the 4 men that you chronicle here there seems to be a common theme among them all. You are working for them to fit your mold. The kid issue, emotionally unavailable guys or the last one (which I admire for doing what he is doing).

    In these cases it seems that you have found out after the fact they they aren't what you want/need, but instead of realizing that and moving on, you appear to want them to change to meet your expectations. When instead you should probably bid adieu to them.

    If you haven't already, my recommendation is to give some solid thought as to what you are looking for. Write those characteristics down, corny yes, and then stick to that. This list should include 'deal killers' and characteristics that you are flexible on. For example, if dating a person who likes kids is a deal killer if he doesn't care for them then you save yourself any heartache and move on.

    I did this over two years ago and I swear by it. I really do.

  14. Ok Danielle, my beautiful darling, here are my two cents: I think you are getting to know yourself, and that's the first step towards a successful relationship.
    I also think that once a person learns how to speak honestly to him/herself and to others, life becomes a whole lot simpler.
    You are SOOOO on the right track. Keep moving in that direction.

  15. I walk in the same shoes. I've been attracted to emotionally unavailable men because I am not quite emotionally available to get out there and date. It's like I am lonely and want to have that companionship, but not really. Because when I do get it, I get scared. I really hate the predicament I am in. I am seeing a therapist right now, I recommend the same.

    It seems like you may feel that you are not worth it to be in a healthy committed relationship. Sure we tell ourselves over and over and our friends tell us too. But do you really feel worthy of a healthy relationship ?

    Or maybe you just like a challenge, that challenge being that you think you can turn them around and change their minds. This is where feelings can really get hurt.

    About guy #4............ Let him go for now. If he is serious about you, he will come back for you.

    I dated a man like this and he didn't come back for me like he promised and istead went for someone else. It's no guarantee he will come back but I still stand behind my suggestion of letting him go and think it's the right thing to do. If you don't let him go, he will become that emotionally unavailable man you've created a pattern with. You are taking a risk by leaving him alone to deal with his issues, but I think it's a risk that is worth it.

  16. You have turned into such a thinker lately. It is wonderful. And good, healthy thoughts, too. So, just know that I think you are onto something. When you finally find someone who you like just the way they are and who likes you right back, it's on! No changing people. No pedestals.

  17. Now you have a starting point...don't beat yourself up to is a journey and we learn from our mistakes and make the best of the rest. Life is to'll get is about loving yourself and then loving others...huggs and Happy New Years!! It could be the best one yet!!!

  18. You have recieved the Life is Good award - see it here:

  19. Darlin ...

    We Live, We Date, We Learn.

    :) Just try to have some fun when you can as well.

  20. Oh man, I totally know what you mean. I can relate to some of these stories back when I was in the dating scene. Crazy how our minds work sometime. Good luck. That's all I can say, cause I don't have any answers.

  21. Good for you for beginning to understand what has been going on!! That is HUGE! I felt that way to when i realized that my relationships did not just happen to me! I was there too and made choices that contributed to the outcome! That gives you YOUR power back!! You are gonna do great...

  22. It's really fascinating to look back and see the patterns we develop, isn't it? I definitely think this will serve you moving forward. I'm really impressed you're doing so much self homework. :)

    I read a quote once that totally stuck with me, “People rarely change. Wait for the person you hope never changes.” I did and it's been totally worth the wait.