(404) 874-8536 johnballew@gmail.com

Dating Unavailable Men

All those wonderful men out there.  How come some of us always seem to end up with the ones we shouldn’t?

Perhaps it’s a variation on the old notion that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  Men who are interested in us and open to a relationship seem to fly beneath our radar sometimes.  The guy who is unattainable is the one who catches our eye.

All sorts of men are unavailable.  Example Number One – maybe the most attractive of all – is the guy who just got out of a long-term relationship.  You’ve had your eye on him for a long time.  He’s obviously the “marrying kind,” right, since he was with what’s-his-name for 5 years.  You wait a decent interval – about 3 weeks after his breakup – and make your move.  Dinner and a movie; you’re certain you could make this work.  Sure, he says he isn’t ready to date, but you know better than he does.  A few weeks later he breaks it off and you are heartbroken.

Sometimes two men might indeed be a good match for one another, but the timing is all wrong.  When a relationship ends, it often takes a while for one’s ex to finish moving out of one’s heart.  How long that takes depends on a host of factors, but it is a process that takes time.  If the timing is wrong, the connection usually isn’t going to go anywhere.  Why set yourself up for frustration and hurt?

Example Number Two is the guy who seems to always be dating someone…but it never seems to last more than three months.  He’s on an eternal quest for Mr. Right, who is just over the horizon.  About 10 weeks into dating – just about the time things start to get serious – he either finds his boyfriend’s fatal flaw, he imagines some betrayal or he simply starts to pick a fight.  Since he is certain that Mr. Right remains out there somewhere else, he withdraws his affection and simply disappears.

This guy is trapped in the Pursuer/Distancer dilemma.  Someone he’s pursuing is highly attractive, but as soon as his prey is caught…the pursuer loses interest.  While some men are open to switching roles (you start pursuing him for a while, he’s aloof; you stop pursuing and he regains his interest), other men are deeply committed to the pursuit of the unattainable and when you are history, you’re history.

Example Number Three is the fellow who loses all interest once the two of you have had sex.  He’s acting out what in heterosexual relationships is sometimes called the Madonna/Whore Complex:  he’s attracted to the whore (anyone who would have sex with him must be one), but could only marry the Madonna (pure and chaste).  This sort of sexual guilt is a sure-fire set up for a failed relationship.

There are endless variations on these themes and others.  One key to successful dating is understanding when it is time to cut your losses and move on, even if the object of your affection is an appealing fellow in other ways.  It is a great mistake to believe that you can change someone, or that he will behave differently with you than he has with his past 6 boyfriends.  Change is possible, but it takes hard work, not wishful thinking.

About John

I have been  licensed by the State of Georgia as a professional counselor for more than 25 years.  My areas of specialty are relationships, intimacy, sexuality, anxiety and depression.  My passion is helping people build happier lives and stronger relationships. 

I know it isn’t always easy to talk about problems.  My approach to counseling is nonjudgmental and compassionate.  If you have questions, I welcome the opportunity to talk with you about working together.

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