It's heartbreaking, frustrating and oh so damaging to our already fragile self-esteem.
This pattern, this cycle so many of us find ourselves in unable to break free of the cycle of attracting – and being attracted to emotionally unavailable men in our lives.
What keeps us going there?
Why can't we seem to see the warning signs – and heed them?
There's always something deeper, something more, that keeps us holding on and hanging on.
We've talked about the why so many times here before.
Most of us know in our minds that we're attracted to this type of man because of who and what they represent to us, usually someone reminiscent of our fathers or mothers or some combination of both.
But even with all this knowledge, we still struggle with actually doing something about it. With connecting the knowledge of our heads with our hearts and refusing to buy into the believe that "just one more time" or "just a little longer", and it will all be different this time, this guy, around.
We want to believe we can be the difference for him! We can see it so clearly. He's so close if only this one tiny little area were different – his inability to be emotionally available to us, usually coupled with his inability to commit to us. But that one little thing becomes everything when it comes to moving forward, or staying right where we are.
Can you live with it this way?
Oh how we try to convince ourselves we can for a long, long time!
But I've got some great news for you! All you need to do is be open to seeing something different than what you've seen before, and eventually, a process begins that is different for everyone, but will be exactly what you need.
Somehow, somewhere along the way you'll be given every opportunity to see the reality of what's really going on and break free of this hold this type of person has on you once and for all. You'll be met right where you are, with the first stage of breaking free.
The first stage of breaking free.
It begins with recognition that something doesn't feel right. That's how you found your way here, after all. You recognized some kind of treatment of you, some kind of behavior on his part that didn't feel right or how love is supposed to feel. On some level you know there's got to be something more than this and it's what motivated you to question, to try to find out why, to understand, so that you can figure out what to do.
And now here you are.
You're seeing it, recognizing it – reaching out to me or someone else to help you sort through it - and you're beginning to ask yourself the tough questions of "why" that help you to see yourself in a whole new light.
It's not going to happen overnight, but slowly, beginning with this first step, this is how you're going to get from here to there.
The second stage of breaking free.
It culminates in an awareness that you deserve more than this. You see, the more that you allow yourself to do what you need to do where he's concerned, the more you chase him, the more you pursue him, the more you go back to him for "one more chance". The more you allow yourself to see what's really there. It's not to be fought or to beat yourself up over; it's to realize it's all part of the process. How else would you see it more clearly?
It's how it happens. It's why the only rules you need to follow are your own that you can live with.
This is how you start to see it more often. This treatment of you, this lack of loving behaviors that you're starting to see so much more clearly for what they are.
You're seeing what you put out there – and what you get back. You're getting his response – and lack of one. And so you stop excusing him as much. You're not believing everything he says like you used to. You're starting to question him. You're starting to need more than a fantasy you've built up in your own mind to qualify him on mere potential.
You're seeing that actions speak louder than words and you're not seeing the ones you need to see. You're beginning to detach enough to recognize that it's not as personal as you thought it was. That it's not about you being enough for him. That it's not about you trying to change him or show him why he should want to commit to you.
You're standing up stronger. You're recognizing your own power. Slowly, but surely, you're seeing you deserve more than this. But not without going through some two steps forward, one step back. Because, after all, you're human. And you're allowed to be!
The third stage of breaking free.
You begin to notice the way someone makes you feel and you get out quicker.
Either in the relationship you're in or when you meet someone who normally gets your heart racing, you're noticing more than just that "spark". You're beginning to understand what it means when you're the one doing the choosing.
You're realizing what matters and what doesn't. You're actually starting to believe that you're the prize and you're not here to be anyone's second choice or last priority. You're standing up and saying what you want and what you don’t – both to yourself, and to him.
You're not willing to put up with just any kind of behavior to avoid being lonely, and you're starting to see that you're actually better off alone than with someone who makes you feel like this.
The final stage of breaking free.
You see the same things that always happened but this time, you refuse to believe it can be different. You start noticing the ones who you didn't before. You can recognize it when he smiles at you in that way that only promises more empty promises and heartache along the way. Or when you start going down that path, you recognize the familiar feelings it's triggering in you and you choose to choose you and step away from that kind of fire that you're not interested in playing with anymore.
You're worth more – and you get that this time. There's no more reason to go there because there's nothing there for you, and you're wise enough now to know that it's not what you can live with anymore and still love yourself and be true to who you really are. You can detach. You can let him be who he is, and take him or leave him.
But you have no desire to engage in something that means one thing to you and completely another thing to him.
It's called waking up. It's called living. It's called being free.
Are you seeing it? Is this resonating more with you? Don't beat yourself if you're not. Accept where you're at. I'd love to hear your story and where you're at in this process! Share it with us in the comments!