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ferrier

Unavailable men

40 posts in this topic

I can't get out of this painful cycle. I always go for men who are unavailable. Be that that they're attached or emotionally unavailable. It's like a cycle of hurt and rejection. it's miserable. 

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Maybe you go for unavailable men because you aren't ready yet. How long has it been? Have you worked on building a support system and making yourself happy independent of a partner?

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I'm not divorced or separated. I have been in damaging relationships before. but I think it all stems back to being rejected by my mother at 14. but I'm 32 now. all I want is a healthy loving relationship, but I only go for people who already have partners or who are sociopathic

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I was around that age when I married my abuser. Before that I hadn't been ready to settle down. Then I decided I really wanted children and settled. He did a good job of pretending to be who I wanted him to be, but I think that deep down I had some indications that I ignored. I had bad parenting and that messes with your head. I had spent time in counselling too, but still I ended up ruining a lot of years of my life with that guy. I hope for the best for you. Maybe look at how you are meeting people? Maybe do clubs and activities that you like so that you will meet someone who also likes those things? Maybe try online dating?

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I only go for people who like me for a short time and tell me how amazing I am but Then it all ends. I've tried online dating and the same thing happens. I get feelings quickly but I think it's because I'm an empathetic person rather than because I'm odd :(

 

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Date a lot. Keep trying. Sounds like you are meeting people who are not interested in a relationship. That's their choice and doesn't reflect on you. You are interested in a relationship so you have to reject them and move on to your next date with someone else. 

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This last guy was in a relationship. I felt like he had very strong feelings for me and that he was no longer in love with his gf, so I pursued it. Only to get humiliated and cast aside 

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Make new, healthy rules that honor you, and stick to them.

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10 hours ago, Quaddie said:

Make new, healthy rules that honor you, and stick to them.

Such as what quaddie?

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4 hours ago, ferrier said:

Such as what quaddie?

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is not to date men who are involved with someone else.  Don't believe him if he says he no longer loves his wife or girlfriend.  I also avoided men who were separated, no matter how long they were separated-I felt that until the divorce was finalized, they were still involved to some degree (even if they were just fighting over a division of property).  

If a man moves on quickly, don't pursue him-he's not serious or is just using you in some way.

If a man gets serious too quickly, dump him because he's likely to be an abuser

Give yourself plenty of time.  Dating a bunch of different men will give you a better perspective on what you want out of a relationship.  

Now that you've noticed a pattern (and it's the same one I had for a long time) seek therapy and give yourself plenty of time to heal from the damage that occurred when you were growing up. Therapy really made a difference for me.  After marriage to three different abusers and lots of therapy, I found that I no longer attracted abusers and wasn't willing to put up with bad behavior.

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Ferrier,

I'm not saying you are doing this but this is something I have noticed before.

I used to work with 3 yr olds. A toy can sit on a shelf for hours and no child seems interested in it. Then once a child picks it up and starts playing with it, all of a sudden that is the best toy in the room. All of a sudden, it is interesting. Then the kids start fighting over the toy. One wants to keep playing with it and one (or more) wants to get it from him/her. 

And I see this exact same thing play out with adults too over grown up toys. I'm not sure what to call this desire to have what other people have but I think it's definitely true of men and women we date. If they are "available," we assume something is wrong with them. Or maybe they just aren't as interesting looking. The ones that are taken seem more desirable. The fact that this plays out in 3 yr olds tells me that it is something we are born with. There is something deep inside that makes us want what other people have. 

But you are a unique individual and you deserve to be someone's #1. Never settle to be the #2. If you find out there is a #1 on the scene, exit immediately and tell them that if/when they end that properly, to come look you up then.

It's possible that you need to deal with the rejection of your mother at a such a critical age. Some therapy might help with that. My medical insurance has a little-discussed mental health benefit that I have used quite a bit! I get 5 free visits a year! After 5 they cost the same copay as a visit to my family doctor, which I think is affordable and worth it. Consider looking into that. If you don't get therapy, at least make are rule for yourself that you are too special to be any man's #2 girl! You deserve better. 

Also, every time I see the #2 person, get the man or get the woman, there are always trust issues. Because if they cheated on their #1 with you,...then you have to assume they will cheat on you, too. Don't do it. It's a path to heartache. It's ok to be alone for a while while you wait to be someone's #1. 

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I feel maybe he was using me for attention. Funnily enough I had worked with him for a year and there were issues between us. He is definitely on the autism spectrum. He once sent me a meme which alluded to me being single and not having any sex. It was almost like he was in the playground too, and pulling my hair and being mean to me because he was attracted to me. I felt he was attracted to me and he was attractive and funny, but we had this strange love/hate wary relationship. 

Then, I left my job and we started spending time together as friends. This turned into more of a flirtation and then feelings. I think because I had known him a long time already I felt like it was more real. I also think I chose to hear what I wanted. He told me his gf was away and they were in a lull. He wasn't sure if he loved her etc. But then when she came back from her extended vacation he went back to his old life and expected me to fall back in to a friend role, only now he had the upper hand and was treating me like a lepper and talking down to me. 

Maybe it is the 3 year old syndrome in me.

all I want it to be someone's number one but I can't find it.  

Also, I had years of therapy, but I stopped because it was only making me feel worse raking up the past. 

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I think it's going to be very important for you to learn about yourself and why you're making these choices... before you can change how your relationships go.

If that therapist wasn't right for you, perhaps another one might be better. But in order to learn from the past, unfortunately it does take remembering it. 

Now, if you can look objectively at the choices you made in this case and whether you think they are healthy or serving your own happiness... that's a key.

The guy was unavailable from the get-go. He also showed a ton of red flags. Being mean is not a sign of affection or flirtation. Someone who is mean to you as "flirting" is probably testing the waters to see how much they can manipulate and take advantage of you. Being attracted to a person who does that is not self-serving because it will end up being harmful to you.

Also, sending you a meme in the workplace about not having sex is sexual harassment. It's not funny. So I'm thinking, some work on your "barometer" - boundaries - would probably really be helpful to you. That whole "playground" thing is a lie. It's horrible advice that adults have given children for generations, about if a boy bullies you it means he likes you. It's a horrible, horrible lie and a setup for accepting unhealthy boundaries. 

And it also seems, to me, like you are not valuing yourself. So I think boundaries is a good topic to learn about.

Wanting to be someone's #1 at any expense, without healthy boundaries, will tend to land you in this type of position over and over again. It's best to learn how to be your own #1 first, by really working on becoming healthy, learning and practicing healthy boundaries, and not stepping into relationships with people who are unkind or who do not respect boundaries.

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2 hours ago, AZ-home said:

 

Also, every time I see the #2 person, get the man or get the woman, there are always trust issues. Because if they cheated on their #1 with you,...then you have to assume they will cheat on you, too. Don't do it. It's a path to heartache. It's ok to be alone for a while while you wait to be someone's #1. 

He said 'how could i ever trust him. but i thought he obviously has morals and boundaries - i thought he wanted to break up with his gf before we went 'all the way' as it were, which i thought was admirable. and this made me think he isn't a cheater - it's me that is special. 

he would also say he hated cheaters and that i needed to help him because he found it very hard to say no to me. i did want to pursue things with him because i had strong feelings for him and thought it would lead to a firmer decision in his head. 

but how can he have feelings for someone you physically and emotionally push away and then put them down and make them feel like they are the one with the problem?

2 hours ago, Quaddie said:

I think it's going to be very important for you to learn about yourself and why you're making these choices... before you can change how your relationships go.

If that therapist wasn't right for you, perhaps another one might be better. But in order to learn from the past, unfortunately it does take remembering it. 

Now, if you can look objectively at the choices you made in this case and whether you think they are healthy or serving your own happiness... that's a key.

The guy was unavailable from the get-go. He also showed a ton of red flags. Being mean is not a sign of affection or flirtation. Someone who is mean to you as "flirting" is probably testing the waters to see how much they can manipulate and take advantage of you. Being attracted to a person who does that is not self-serving because it will end up being harmful to you.

Also, sending you a meme in the workplace about not having sex is sexual harassment. It's not funny. So I'm thinking, some work on your "barometer" - boundaries - would probably really be helpful to you. That whole "playground" thing is a lie. It's horrible advice that adults have given children for generations, about if a boy bullies you it means he likes you. It's a horrible, horrible lie and a setup for accepting unhealthy boundaries. 

And it also seems, to me, like you are not valuing yourself. So I think boundaries is a good topic to learn about.

Wanting to be someone's #1 at any expense, without healthy boundaries, will tend to land you in this type of position over and over again. It's best to learn how to be your own #1 first, by really working on becoming healthy, learning and practicing healthy boundaries, and not stepping into relationships with people who are unkind or who do not respect boundaries.

i understand why i make these choices. it's because i lack self worth and i want to be chosen over someone else by someone to mend what happened in the past, because my mother rejected me and chose the man she was having an affair with. i know this, but i still do it. i don't understand how to stop. also, i think i am too accepting and understanding of mean behaviour. i could easily have got him fired for what he sent me at work, but instead i chose not to because of his autism. 

i think he is mean, but he was very complimentary and affectionate for a short time too. and i think it is that wanting what someone else has. he seems a good boyfriend to her. 

it is not always unavailable men with partners, it is just emotionally unavailable men in general, who use me for attention or who are mean to me. 

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Boundaries. 

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2 hours ago, Quaddie said:

Boundaries. 

Ok. But is he mean? Or have I made that up? 

 

Where should the boundaries have been drawn here ? 

I just keep getting hurt. Im a good person :(

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Boundaries are not some external hard-and-fast rule. You determine your own boundaries - lines you don't want to cross, or won't accept others crossing - for yourself.

Boundaries are personal. So while I can say yes, I think he was mean... It doesn't really matter what *I* think. Your own feelings, your own boundaries matter.

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2 hours ago, Melinoe said:

I think your therapist was maybe not the right fit for you. My therapist always tells me that a skilled counselor should work with a person "where they are at". That there is no need to rake up the past and and make them re-live and analyse it, if that approach is not helpful to them. It is totally possible to help people without sifting through all their previous pain in detail. Perhaps you need to find a counselor with a different style. 

This guy definitely lacks any personal accountability, which is highly problematic. And if you feel he is mean, then that means he is mean. Maybe he doesn't think he's mean, maybe Joan down the street wouldn't think he's mean, but to you his behaviour feels mean, and that's valid. That's a boundary: knowing, trusting and legitimizing your own feelings in a situation. And in making yourself and those feelings a priority. You can own those "issues" you have because of your past, and instead of beating yourself up for them and thinking you need to "fix them", accept that the things that happened did have an effect on you and what your needs are in a relationship. When you meet a potential partner, it's ok to think to yourself (and even tell them straight out, if you want) "Look, it is essential for me to be a priority in a relationship. That's what I need and I am ok with needing that. If you're not, that's fine, that's your right, but because I know it is possible for me to have that need met and it's ok for me to have these standards, I'm going to look for someone who is." You don't have to tell them the reason for it, like where it stems from, if you don't want to, because you do not have to justify your needs. And you don't have to work on yourself to rid yourself of needing those things - because for real, it is healthy to need your partner to treat you like you matter.  And we all have issues that affect what our needs are, which is why people's essential needs and deal-breakers are so different! 

Reading what you wrote up there where he puts his own lack of self-restraint on you, as though he is not in control of his own choices and you are apparently so special that you make him do things that he wouldn't normally do, and that you need to "help him" because you make him lose control and do things he hates himself for.... this is such a huge red flag, I can't even. He is highly manipulative and accepts no personal responsibility for his actions. Although it is tempting to imagine that you will be "different" if he were to choose you over her, all you would have then is a boyfriend who cheats on his partner and then blames all the women involved for his own choices. 

You are special, inherently, but you are not so powerful that you can brainwash good men into abandoning their morals and becoming different people. I'm reading here that you are taking way too much personal responsibility for the situation, berating yourself for a lack of self worth that causes you to create these patterns. In reality, you met someone who made you feel special and who you felt good with because he was affectionate and complimentary. All people enjoy that, and that's how healthy relationships start, too. And I can guarantee you that this guy was out there blaming other people for his actions long before you ever came onto the scene - you didn't conjure that up using the diabolical powers of your painful past.  You berate yourself for being "too accepting and understanding" - would you be saying that of yourself if you were with a man who treated you with respect and did prioritize your rights and feelings? Would being accepting and understanding be a huge problem then? No. Because these things are essentially good qualities, and if he was a good man you would not be questioning and condemning yourself for them. 

Thank you for this Melinoe 

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I wanted to add something that I only remembered last night. Once, on one of our first meetings outside of being colleagues, we were talking about our families and I gave a brief overview of my situation with my mother. And then he said something so personal in the context of a joke... in the region of 'She's so unlovable even her mother didn't want her'. I was so taken aback at the time of the personal nature of it. I couldn't react. And also, my first reaction is to believe this, and go into self criticism mode. Then later, I text him telling him what he had said. He said he didn't say any such thing. When I said he did, about an hour before, he seemed shocked. He apologised and said even for him that's mean and that he usually 'flaps his gums' to try to be funny. I asked did he really think that and he said no. Again, I put it down to potential autism and have subsequently, until now, forgotten it. However, in the context of what Quaddie said - perhaps he didn't forget. Perhaps this is a way of testing my boundaries?

 

When we were getting along very well, he said he found it hard to believe someone as warm and loving as me had such a bad mother.

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8 hours ago, ferrier said:

When we were getting along very well, he said he found it hard to believe someone as warm and loving as me had such a bad mother.

That's just a weird thing to say, imo.... :-\  I can't even explain why it hits me that way.

 

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23 minutes ago, Quaddie said:

 

That's just a weird thing to say, imo.... :-\  I can't even explain why it hits me that way.

 

More strange than the personal insult than threw at me previous to that? Genuine question! 

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Sorry, I'm not remembering what the personal insult was. However, it's not like everything is on a spectrum. Things can be simultaneously strange or bad or weird without being compared on a scale to other things.

And you are the one who gets to decide how you feel about things. I think this, if I remember, is a real sticking point for you...  I know you seek answers and other people's judgments about how bad or insulting or weird things are. But in reality, this is all a process to develop within yourself. How do you feel about it? Are you uncomfortable in any way? Then that's how you feel. And squashing that discomfort is not self-serving. 

No one can tell you how strange or weird or bad anything is in relation to anything else, in your experiences. Only you can determine how they feel to you. 

You are the only one who can decide how you feel about things. And however you feel, is the way you feel. 

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"And then he said something so personal in the context of a joke... in the region of 'She's so unlovable even her mother didn't want her'. I was so taken aback at the time of the personal nature of it. I couldn't react. And also, my first reaction is to believe this, and go into self criticism mode. Then later, I text him telling him what he had said. He said he didn't say any such thing. When I said he did, about an hour before, he seemed shocked. He apologised and said even for him that's mean and that he usually 'flaps his gums' to try to be funny."

That was the insult.

i do seek validation. It's very important to my healing. I can't summon anger you see. If I got angry then it would be fine. But I just get down on myself 

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What did you FEEL inside? You were taken aback. That's your feeling, but there's more behind it. It felt wrong to you. That's your feeling.

You don't have to summon anger. That's not required in life. How you feel quietly inside is enough.

Your internal reaction, to go into self-criticism mode, is a learned reaction that you can work on. You can identify it and self-talk to yourself about it and learn to stop "going there."

Learning to trust yourself and honor your own feelings is a process. If you felt hurt by it, then you felt hurt by it.

If you stub your toe and it hurts, and someone else says, "That didn't happen, it doesn't hurt." Do you change your mind about how your toe feels?

Nobody else can define what is meaningful inside your inner self.

To me, what is most important or meaningful is not the same as what someone else might find important and meaningful.

I validate you by telling you that how you feel is how you feel - and that your feelings are legitimate and valid.

The guy was bad news. So anything that happened within its context - I'm sure your feelings are valid. 

Until, though, you can learn to trust your own feelings and radar, I'd really recommend not getting involved with anyone else. It's super-important to be able to identify and trust your own self-protective mechanisms. 

 

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16 minutes ago, Quaddie said:

 Until, though, you can learn to trust your own feelings and radar, I'd really recommend not getting involved with anyone else. It's super-important to be able to identify and trust your own self-protective mechanisms. 

 

But how long will this take? I would like a family and love. What if I meet nice man who values me? I get scared at the thought of passing that up. 

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