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Why do I keep falling for emotionally unavailable people?

Image Credits: UnsplashImage Credits: Unsplash
  • Emotional unavailability is often a defense mechanism rooted in past traumas and fears of intimacy.
  • Subconscious desires and familiar relationship dynamics from childhood can draw individuals to emotionally unavailable partners.
  • Breaking the cycle involves self-reflection, therapy, setting boundaries, and seeking emotionally available partners.

Have you ever found yourself irresistibly drawn to someone who just can't seem to reciprocate your feelings? If so, you're not alone. Many people repeatedly fall for emotionally unavailable partners, leading to a cycle of frustration and heartache. But why does this happen? Let's delve into the psychology behind this common phenomenon and explore ways to break free from it.

Emotional unavailability is a defense mechanism where individuals create barriers to intimacy. These barriers can manifest as aloofness, reluctance to commit, or an inability to express emotions. According to psychotherapist Oksana Levchuk, "With an emotionally unavailable person, it’s impossible to build a relationship characterized by openness, honesty, and vulnerability". This emotional distance can be both a conscious and subconscious choice, often rooted in past traumas or fears of getting hurt.

The Subconscious Attraction

One of the primary reasons people are drawn to emotionally unavailable partners is due to subconscious desires. As TherapyJeff explains, "It’s not about why you’re consciously choosing unavailable people. It’s why you’re subconsciously magnetizing them". This attraction often meets an unconscious need, such as a fear of intimacy or a desire to avoid vulnerability. If your primary caregivers were emotionally unavailable, you might subconsciously seek out similar dynamics in your adult relationships.

Fear of Intimacy and Commitment

Fear of intimacy is a significant factor in why people fall for unavailable partners. Christine Tolman, a therapist at Talkspace, notes that "An emotionally unavailable person may be a safe option. Since that person guards their own emotions so closely, there is a decreased risk of emotional engagement with anyone else". This can be particularly appealing to individuals who have been hurt before and are afraid of experiencing that type of heartbreak again.

The Allure of the Unattainable

There's also a certain allure to the unattainable. The mystery and unpredictability of an emotionally unavailable person can be intoxicating. As the Living with Limerence blog points out, "Barriers and uncertainty are potent amplifiers of limerence". The challenge of winning over someone who is hard to get can create a heightened sense of excitement and desire.

Breaking the Cycle

Recognizing these patterns is the first step towards breaking the cycle of falling for emotionally unavailable people. Here are some strategies to help you move forward:

Self-Reflection: Take time to understand your own fears and insecurities. Ask yourself why you feel drawn to unavailable partners and what you might be avoiding in a fully committed relationship.

Therapy: Speaking with a therapist can help you uncover underlying issues and develop healthier relationship patterns.

Set Boundaries: Learn to set and maintain boundaries in your relationships. This can help you avoid getting entangled with emotionally unavailable individuals.

Focus on Emotional Availability: Seek out partners who are open, honest, and willing to engage in a meaningful emotional connection.

Falling for emotionally unavailable people is a complex issue rooted in deep-seated fears and subconscious desires. By understanding these dynamics and taking proactive steps to address them, you can break free from this pattern and build healthier, more fulfilling relationships. Remember, the journey to emotional availability starts with self-awareness and a willingness to confront your own vulnerabilities.

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