By now you've probably gathered that I don't like prescriptive "rules" when it comes to dating. I believe everyone is an individual with their own personal history, vales and dreams and so what is right for one person is rarely appropriate for another.
I also don’t believe in inauthentic dating: following a pre-prescribed system in order to artificially enhance your attractiveness will only potentially land you a partner who is not suited to you.
I do believe that should we want a relationship, we are all worth partners who love us as we are and make us their priority. Unconditional love and feeling safe that you come first to your partner is the fundamental cornerstone of secure attachment. The amount of Single Ladies who have struggled with this concept and come to me excited about a new (unavailable) guy… then predictibly broken hearted, time and time again have led me to set the one and only rule I have for you:
If you want a partner, date available men only!
Why?! Because there are so many beautiful men out there who are available. Whether he is unavailable because of his situation or because of his character, he is NOT special, and you are NOT soulmates or uniquely made for each other. You have a brain on love drugs! ... and if you continue to delude yourself into waiting for him, then you are wasting valuable months and years depriving yourself of the love that you deserve.
Now, like any other detox, this means NO CONTACT.
Measuring all the new fabulous guys you meet, against your fantasy of what your relationship with this unavailable man 'might' become is a waste of everybody's time. No matter how many months pass, I guarantee that with permission, HE WILL LOOK YOU UP if he becomes more available for a relationship in the future. You don't need to 'lay by' him or stay in his inbox to ensure he doesn't forget how fabulous you are!
So, who falls into the category of 'UNAVAILABLE'?
He is unavailable if:
1. He is in a relationship or marriage
No matter how dysfunctional he says it is or how many years they have been sleeping in separate bedrooms. If he still lives with or has regular non-kid-related contact with his ex he is in a relationship.
This doesn't mean that you can't date him at some point in the future but try:"I really enjoy hanging out with you and I'd love to get to know you better. However, I only want to spend my time with men who are truly available. When your relationship comes to more of a conclusion, please get in touch."
2. He spends a lot of his time interstate or overseas
If you can't have face-to-face, eye-to-eye, in person contact with him at least once or twice a week then he is unavailable. I would go so far as to say that if he is away more that 25% of the time, he is unavailable.
We all love the excitement and fantasy of 'holiday romances'. It is easy to assume the best about people and get caught in delusions of how things could be when you have a partner who is not often there in person.
However, being in a partnership is all about being there 'through good times and bad': being able to rely on your partner to be there when needed for the exciting as well as the mundane. Your partner can't do this if they aren't there.
Please keep in mind that if your partner is overseas/interstate or 'away' a lot, he is CHOOSING SOMETHING ELSE OVER YOU! No matter how nice he is or how perfect you feel he'd be if/when he moves near you or his travel schedule changes, this says he is NOT in the market for a secure relationship.It could be that he is just not available for a relationship at this time, or it could be that he will always prioritise other things like his career over his relationships.
Try:"I'd love the opportunity to see where this goes, but with you being overseas/interstate/travelling so much we won't have that. I need someone who is willing to prioritise developing a genuine relationship with me. But please do get in contact when you move here/things change!"
3. He puts something/someone else consistently before you
Whether he is an alcoholic, drug addict, workaholic, overly involved with his family/kids, training for a triathlon, or just really into his dog!... If he consistently prioritises something else over you then he is unavailable.
Give him a chance by saying: "I feel like if it is a choice between spending time with me and (visiting your mother/hanging out with your work friends/training/etc) you always choose the later. I deserve someone who wants to be with me, not who feels that they 'should' spend time with me or who treats me as the 'nag' or 'handbrake.' So, unless you feel that you can willingly make me a priority I don't want to pursue this relationship."
If he makes excuses, says you are being unreasonable or says he will, but never does (actions and words need to match!) then you need to leave the relationship.
4. He doesn't pursue you
I dedicate this one to my aspie *bless*
No matter how attracted you are to him, or how right you think you are for each other, if a man doesn't put in at least 50% of the effort to organise your catch-ups, he is unavailable.
Sure, he might be socially anxious, depressed, or be overwhelmed with uni or work. He might even express how into you he is and how much he enjoys seeing you! However, as a general rule, when men are interested in someone romantically they pursue them. So, once again actions and words have to match up.
Try:"I'd be really interested in seeing you again, how about you let me know when you are free?"...and then wait to see if he walks through the door you have opened.
Alternatively, you might be telling yourself that if he just hangs out with you more he will become more attracted. In this case you are selling yourself short. If you have anything more than friendship feelings for him then don't torture yourself with hope when there are tons of men who would trip over themselves for the chance to date you! Why satisfy yourself with the crumbs of one man's attention when you could have all the love and attention you deserve from another?
It's easy to stop bad dating habits once you know about them! So doing a detox on 'unavailable men' may be just the thing to get us on the right path to finding the love we deserve and having fun in the process!