Unavailable men and the longing for Daddy

Bella from Dateless in Dallas left a helpful comment on my last post about my unavailable man: it’s best to stay away from him because I deserve better. In my mind I know that, but my heart says something different. I have been working on letting him go (even though I never really had him) and every time I do he writes to me and throws me off kilter once again. This time he pleaded, “come back to me”.

When I’m feeling unsure I wait at least one day and preferably three before taking action. I waited about 36 hours and then I sent him an honest email but I sense my own cowardice in leaving the door open for him and also a dangerous addiction to unavailable men. I am consistently attracted to men who are unable or unwilling to give themselves to me completely and it is something I need to work on if I am going to move forward into the healthy relationship I desire and deserve.

I realize part of my affliction is a fear of commitment on my part. I get to blame him for not being available but in reality it is me  avoiding commitment by choosing these types of men. I confess I find unavailable men more attractive and more of  a “turn on” to me than men who give me the time and attention I say I crave.

Relationship expert Dr. Patricia Allen says a woman’s attraction to unavailable men stems from her “longing for Daddy”. In other words, women who grew up with fathers who were emotionally unavailable are used to that feeling of longing for a man and not really having him. It feels like home even though it doesn’t feel good. That was a lightbulb moment for me, hearing that explanation, but not enough to curb my habit, obviously.

I’m sure there are many books written on the topic of addiction to unavailable men and I think it’s time I dove in. It is a season of self-awareness for me and it’s time to figure out why I choose men who don’t choose me or who only give me a part of themselves.

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Published in: on March 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm  Comments (3)  

Are you attracted to unavailable men?

I have been away for a while and am touched to return to many lovely comments on my last post in which I wrote I have met a compatible man: one who has all the qualities I desire and who makes me feel like no one else. I have been working on myself relentlessly over the past year-and-a-half because I know that being your best and most authentic self is the way to attract someone worthwhile (and, hey, it’s the only way to be regardless of your intention).

After all my work, I attracted in a man who is everything I wanted – I dreamed him and he came true.

Although I adore him, I believe this man is unavailable. Do you know what I mean by unavailable? He may be married. He may be a workaholic. He may be a CIA agent. Whatever the reason, he has failed to call me on more than one occasion and then apologized after about an “emergency” that prevented him from connecting at the promised time. The first time was taking a colleague to the hospital and the second was unspecified. I sense red flags and my newly-honed intuition is saying ‘stop’.

I’ve learned over the past year or so that if something unfortunate happens to me I must have had something to do with it. What is my part in this situation? I believe, lovely readers, that I was enjoying the feelings I was experiencing so much that I did not ask the questions I needed to ask and I ignored the red flags that would indicate this man is taken….either by another woman or his high-achieving job (perhaps both).

I’ve also learned (from this experience specifically) that actions speak louder than words. I was in love with the things he was saying to me and the way he made me feel, but in reality, his actions did not back those up. He is still contacting me and I am still remaining open…but I’m also open to other men and know that I must stand by my boundaries and stay true to my new standards: no unavailable men and no secrets.

Entering new relationship territory

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I’m not about to give you one of those apologies and excuses about my busy life which drives me nuts on other blogs. The reason I haven’t posted is that I may be entering into a relationship and I’m afraid to say the words out loud. We’ve known each other for two months and have just decided not to date other people. This is not a stretch for me as I had been on a total of two dates before meeting him but it does mean I stop looking for dates which is a big step for me. I found myself comparing other guys to this one anyway and they consistently came up short. He just seems like a really good fit and possesses all the qualities I had been hoping for but thought I would never find. I have never received a text message from this man.

He knows I am waiting for marriage to have intercourse or oral sex and he is okay with that. When I asked “how will I ever say no to you?” he said he would not even try because we’ve made an agreement. That is another thing I thought I would never find: a man who is willing to wait. I thought I might end up alone and join a nunnery or something and that was actually okay with me. I’m at the point where I would rather be alone than compromise my boundaries. If I have to lose myself to keep someone else, that person is not worth having.

I’ve worked hard to restore my virtue (abstaining 18 months now) and my friend jokes that I am a born-again virgin. I like that and I am going to keep working to keep my virtue intact. I understand not everyone understands my need to stay celibate till I’m married but I do and that’s what matters. And now the work might be avoiding a pleasure that is so readily available to me with someone I care for and might eventually love. I have learned the greater satisfaction that comes with delaying gratification and not giving in to every whim and desire just because “I wanna”. I’m also encouraged by the fact that my new fella is down with the whole idea. “Imagine the anticipation,” he said. “It’s exciting.”

Why men pull away

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One of my men (my favourite because he seems to read my mind and know exactly what I want) pulled away for a few days. I did not hear from him for 5 days and I was disappointed, but my skin is thickened so I sloughed it off and moved on. As these things happen, as soon as I had forgotten about him he got in touch. I was shocked to see his email in which he wrote that he feels I am the woman for him and he would like to take our relationship to the next level. He said he wanted to talk to me that night and we spoke for 2 hours as he asked me about what I want in a relationship and what he would give me. We spoke again on the phone for 2 hours the next night. (He is travelling for work).

I remembered hearing this is what men do – pull away right before they decide to get serious. Of course, I had never experienced it because I never gave anyone enough breathing room to let that happen! When he called, he was surprised to hear “a smile in my voice” and I said, “Well, I’m happy to hear from you!” Before I probably would have tore a strip out of him and possibly ruined a chance to get to know a guy who could be a compatible partner. All out of my own pride and controlling expectations of the way a man should behave.

I read somewhere about embracing the surprises in life, that you don’t have to always know the outcome, what’s going to happen and when, and that’s they way I want to be with this man. He wants to know the real me, communicates authentically, and he cares about whether I get enough sleep, whether my children are having their needs met, and how I am feeling. He is constantly asking about me and I am so happy to bask in that attention that I forget to ask about him. I am being a little bit selfish and he seems to like that. He accepts the fact that I’m not having sex (oral or otherwise) until marriage and says he will support me in that.

I am going on a date tonight with the athlete who had to cancel last week but I will be thinking of my man. For now, I am taking things day by day but I feel I have found someone very compatible with me.

Ephesians 5:31

I found the following image on Facebook and thought, “This is what I want?” (question mark intended)

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Online dating and The Bible

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It’s funny I wrote a post called “How 5 becomes 1” recently because I think the title has come to fruition already! I’m not sure if I am a particularly good man repellent, or this is a normal weeding out process. It’s also possible 2 men are still standing because one said he is in town next weekend and would like to see me. Maybe he’ll call, who knows? Are my expectations too high? Is it weird of me to think a man will be in touch every couple of days if he is interested? Anyway, one of them is and maybe that’s the way it’s meant to be. Like I’ve been saying… you only need one.

My Match.com subscription is expiring on February 2 after 3 months. I decided to let it go due to my abysmal track record with them. But this morning I received a promising match in my email and when I ‘winked’ he replied instantly. He is a passionate man who describes himself as a humanitarian, bold but not arrogant, educated. The only minus so far is that he’s not athletic but, hey, I could probably overlook that if other values line up with mine.

I have to say this match came in immediately after I dedicated an hour to reading the Bible and meditating on what I read. That doesn’t mean this man is a gift from God necessarily, but when I focus on God, good things seem to enter into my life instantly and effortlessly.

My dating life: is God having a laugh?

I am beginning to wonder if the time is still not right for me to be in a relationship. Or maybe God has a few more lessons for me to learn before I get there. I scheduled a second date with the guy I saw last week…I say ‘guy’ because I can’t call him a man – he’s a boy, young and a bit self-involved, but nice enough, so I want to give him three dates before I make any decision about him. He was at a tournament (he’s an athlete playing at the top tier of his game) so we were to go to a movie when he returned. He kept me up to date throughout the day which was thoughtful and they ended up going the whole distance, winning all their games, so I was happy for him.

Sadly, he didn’t make it back as the weather became very bad and they had to stop and stay for the night. He was extremely apologetic and it was out of his control but I just can’t help feeling that my dating life is getting ridiculous, that God is having a good laugh. I refuse to feel sorry for myself, but I am bewildered by my bad luck.

The other fellow I was interested in stopped talking to me because I expressed my need for him to contact me when he said he would. I waited until he had failed three times to fulfill his intention to call at a certain time and I was clear but certainly not mean in my email. I haven’t heard from him since. I suppose this is a weeding out process and as my friend says “This dating game is not for the faint of heart.” I’m developing a thick skin and I’m not sure if I like that.

Practical dating and texting

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The fellow with whom I had my “first” date last Friday definitely liked me because he texted me the next day to say hello. The fact that he won’t use the phone to dial my digits and call is an issue for me but at least I know where I stand with him. The thing I don’t like about text (and the reason I decided not to use it to communicate with men) is that it doesn’t tell you anything and it doesn’t go anywhere except on the occasion when it is misinterpreted as written communication is wont to be.

So the text conversation goes something like this:

Him: How are you doing tonight?

Me: Great thanks just getting home.

Him: What did you get up to?

Me: Spent time with some friends.

Him: What did you do, dinner or something?

Me: Just met up at someone’s place for a chat

Him: Sounds like a fun time

Etc.

What’s happening here is I’m getting more a feel for this guy and seeing he’s not the leader I need in a relationship. He does not take charge of the conversation and use it to find out more about me or take it in a direction that will help me know more about him. It is useless fluff. I refuse to lead the conversation and so it just fizzles out after going nowhere. The fact that he does not call also tells me something: either he is too lazy or lacks courage, both of which are unappealing.

What I’m learning now is that every experience with a man is an opportunity to find out more about what you want and don’t want, what feels good to you and what doesn’t. It is a journey of self-discovery. I never saw dating that way in the past. I would have been so busy trying to get him to like me that I would never had paid attention to any of these signals or had any idea what I really wanted. The new way is so much better for both of us because nobody is being manipulated or lied to, we are both just trying to get our needs met.

First date success

Last post I talked about two men: one who gave me his phone number rather than asking for mine. I turned around and gave him mine because I don’t phone men first. He texted me rather than calling to arrange a date and then asked me where I’d like to meet. I think that’s already 3 strikes: 1. gave his number rather than asking for mine; 2. texted rather than calling to arrange a first date; and 3. put me in charge of deciding where we go.

Still, I decided to give him another chance and told him I would like him to decide where we go and I will meet him there. He insisted I pick the place and that was when I finally threw in the towel. I texted back and told him we’re probably not a good match, that I really need a man to take charge and I wished him all the best. He took it well and wished me luck in return.

The second guy also texted rather than called and again asked what I’d like to do. But he did pick up the ball when I asked him to and did a little research and found a coffee shop equidistant to both of us. We met on Friday night and that was my first date since I started my celibate journey! I was wondering if it was ever going to happen! He was VERY handsome; much better looking than his photos and he mentioned that not being photogenic is a problem for him 🙂 He is what women like to call a “quality man”: a professional athlete but so humble that I didn’t find out until halfway through the date. I wouldn’t say I was crazy about him but it went well because he texted me after to say he had fun and wish me a safe trip home. I call it a successful first foray into dating land.

How 5 becomes 1

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I mentioned in my last post that 5 men were expressing interest in me, not to brag but to compare the way that feels now as opposed to then. Then it would have been an ego boost; now it represents a weeding out process. Today two have already demonstrated they are probably not the “man” for me. The first one gave me his phone number and told me to call or text him so we can get together. NO! You ask for my number and make the call because you are the man. I gave him my number instead so we’ll see what happens.

The second one just emailed me about a date Friday night and asked “So what do you want to do?” NO! You are the man, you tell me what we are doing and then maybe ask how I feel about that. Again, I threw it back to him. I regret that I did make a small suggestion that it be low key since it is a first date: I needn’t even be doing that if this is truly a weeding out process, but I am beginning to feel sorry for these men….which is definitely not the way to go into a relationship. I want a man I can look up to and respect and who will take the lead. It seems this type of man is incredibly hard to find.