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Emotionally Unavailable or is there hope?

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  • #364760
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    You are welcome.

    “I feel as though I’ve been chasing this hooded figure for so long, as he has yet to really turn around and show me his face. I have to consider his place in MY life. I’ve just gotten so caught up in following him”- very well written.

    First, I agree: you have been chasing him. Your need for him and interest in him far exceeded his need tor you and his interest in you.

    Second, “this hooded figure” is not him, it is who  you project into him. I think that you are projecting your young self (or your anxious, needy mother) into him, and you need and desire deeply to help the child that you were (or your mother).

    In reality, you are chasing a man you don’t really know, who  doesn’t really need you. It is the younger you that needs your help.

    “I recently consulted with a psychic that I have used for years and she basically reiterated all we have discussed here, just by what she picked up on from his photo”- not by what she picked up  on from his photo, but what she picked up from seeing and hearing you over the years, and what she knows about the human nature.

    “She was adamant that she sees him in my life and that I would know further about where I stand with him next summer”- she correctly understands that you want him in your life (it is not difficult to figure that one out!) and she told you what you want to hear, so that.. you will see her again and pay her again, so to hear once again.. what you want to hear.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #364778
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hah, Anita. It could all well be true that she is leaving it open ended as to have me consult her again in the future. The thing is that she has not done this in the past. I see her once every 5 years about and in the past she has told me the opposite of what she believed I’d want to hear. It usually rang true in the end.

    I went for a long walk in the forest today as I used to do and it was extremely healing. It always helps to mirror what I know inside to be true. I felt some loss and the beginning of letting go. Through walking meditation it did bring up the question of expectations and clinging. I know this may sound silly, but is it possible that I created suffering for me and him through my own clinging to expectations of what should be for us. Is it possible that it wasn’t the situation that was creating suffering, but my own clinging. It’s hard to know if it’s wrong to have the expectations that I do, or if I really need to see them all dissolve to find true peace. My psychic did say this “2021 is also a year for you to work on intuitive development and your own emotional growth. You will generally enjoy ***’s company but the usual fear of getting hurt will dissipate. You will find that you are less intimidated and more willing to be yourself and that is what builds the connection.” I feel that there is a lot of truth in that. That disallowing myself to be authentic is really what was causing a lot of stress for me and the relationship. I just don’t know if there was a way I could’ve stripped down the bare me, but still continued to possibly advance with him.

    #364779
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    “2021 is also a year for you to work on.. your own emotional growth”- reads good to me.

    “Is it possible that it wasn’t the situation that was creating suffering, but my own clinging… That disallowing myself to be authentic is really what was causing a lot of stress for me and the relationship. I just don’t know if there was a way I could’ve stripped down the bare me, but still continued to possibly advance with him”- better not cling to people, that’s not a helpful strategy. And better be authentic. On the other hand, he became  who he has become because of his childhood which had absolutely nothing to do with your clinging and authenticity: you weren’t there!

    anita

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #364787
    Michelle
    Participant

    So there was a question posed in response to one of the articles on this site about loving without expecting others to fill a void. I really wish it could be answered, because this is what I am battling with. How to manage expectations vs just having needs that aren’t of the egoic self.

    <span class=”s1″>”Hi Audrey, I understand what you wrote about boundaries and being aware of violations, while still allowing someone to be themselves. What about unconscious violations. What if the person is not as emotionally developed as you are and you feel like a deep connection is lacking. What if this person lacks self-love, can they love you? Can you still give love freely to them and set the example, or do you decide that you just don’t have the connection that is needed to continue growing together. Can two people really ever grow at the same rate?</span>
    <p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Should you continue to love someone who does not love you at the same rate? stay in the relationship with them?”</span></p>
    I mean I know this is what we’ve been questioning and we’ve broken down reasons for why he may not be able to love, but does that mean I was right to remove my love because he was not meeting my expectations?

    #364794
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    “What if this person lacks self love, can they love you?”- a person that lacks self love, or appreciation of his worth, is more likely to take your love than to give you love, and sometimes he’ll take your love for a while and then throw it away, feeling unworthy of it, or becoming angry.

    “can two people really ever grow at the same rate?”- most people don’t grow at all, if growing means to examine ones emotions, motivations, behaviors and to change behaviors according to chosen values. So, really, most often two people who are together.. don’t grow at all.

    “Should you continue to love someone who does not love you”?- better not. It hurts to love and not to be  loved in return.

    “does that mean I was right to remove my love because he was not meeting my expectations?”- yes, of course. But.. how did you exactly remove your love?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #364796
    Michelle
    Participant

    But what about unconditional love, loving someone despite the reciprocation. Isn’t the need to be loved in return what causes suffering, having that expectation?

    I think he feels that I removed my love, because I decided to remove myself from the situation that he had grown accustomed to… Being with me without having any restrictions really placed on him.

    #364798
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    Unconditional love- a young child loves the parent/s unconditionally, no matter how the parents look like, sound like, and no matter how kind or cruel they are- because the child is dependent on the parent.

    Parents should love their children unconditionally, but unfortunately for the children, often- they don’t.

    In the context of romantic relationships, unconditional love is.. well, up to a point. You want to love your partner even if he gains some weight or gets old or.. is not in a good mood one day. But you don’t want to love your partner if he cheats on you, or beats you up, or verbally abuses you… or repeatedly ignores you and doesn’t care to make an effort to be there for you.

    “I think he feels that I removed my love..”- two days ago, Aug 12, you wrote: “he just told me today that he is sorry he can’t return my feelings”, can’t return your loving feelings, I understand- so is he upset that you removed the love that he can’t or won’t reciprocate?

    anita

     

    #364799
    anita
    Participant

    Continued:

    “Isn’t the need to be loved in return what causes suffering, having that expectation?”- in the context of a romantic love, it is like asking: Isn’t the need to eat when hungry what causes suffering, having that expectation to eat? –

    – it can work for a little time to  not think about food, to not expect to eat- you may forget about eating and feel okay, but this will not work for long. As  time goes by, you will get hungrier and hungrier and you will suffer. We naturally need what we need and we naturally expect to have what we need.

    As a young woman, you need romantic love similar to needing food, so you can toy with unconditional love for a while, but not for long.

    anita

    #364802
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Michelle, I am very late to this party but I wanted to say I think you are very intuitive about this man. Your feelings are something to listen to. While he seems like someone you’ve enjoyed being around, he also seems like a difficult person, with perhaps some emotional problems. You are very wise in my opinion to see him exactly how he is and be real about who he is and how he is. We can’t change other people, that is so true, yet many of us spin our wheels for years and even decades trying to get someone to be a better partner material. He confuses you because he tells his friends one thing about you and tells you another. He may tell his friends things to make them like him better or admire him and he may tell you things that keep the box around the relationship. I think that hooded figure with hidden face is his real self. Some people keep secrets and live a secretive life. I encourage you to see him for who he is and don’t tell yourself a story to fill in that dark face area. Time away may give you more clarity. People show us who they really are if we pay enough attention. I wish you the best and I admire your maturity and ability to listen to your intuition and accept reality. PS: I am not sure I believe in unconditional love. Sometimes this is sold like a fairy tale, that if we love unconditionally then all problems will be solved. It seems to fall into codependency in my opinion. When we are not treated well by someone, it tends to diminish our love for them and sometimes our own self love. This is just how the human heart often works.

    #365302
    Michelle
    Participant

    Thank you for your input Rose of Yellow. It is never too late to join a pity party! Haha. Poor Anita has been bearing the brunt of all of this. She has helped me to navigate my attachment and detachment from this man skillfully.

    It has been almost two weeks since I’ve seen him now, and time is flying by. I am no longer immersed in the grief of it. You are right, time will give me more clarity. It’s strange though, as in the past time has allowed me to release people that are no longer really “there”. I don’t mean physically, I mean I can tell when someone has let me go as well. I’ve been meditating on this man, and oddly we still seem attached. He’s still sort of “there”.

    I am doing my best to view the situation rationally and see him for who he is and what the relationship would be. I know that a relationship would not work between us now and I have since become more immersed in things that I have been ignoring. Still I find it odd that he’s still sort of lingering spiritually. I feel like I listened more to everyone else’s feelings regarding us (including his), more than I listened to my own. I know our connection is not once sided, but he will continue to refuse the deepening of it, and he does not really see its value at this time. I feel like he will still be in my life, though I’m not sure of the capacity of it.

    #368899
    Michelle
    Participant

    Anita, so as it turns out, the problem ended up being that while I didn’t feel that I was verbally receiving love, I did feel that it was being exchanged strongly in other ways. I spent about 3 weeks apart from the man in question, and we slowly ended up back in our relationship in question… I am feeling assertive and confident this time around.

    It’s funny how much your voice from this forum has been in my head throughout the last few months. So many things you remarked on, have proven to ring true. I see the fear and insecurity that is blocking him from opening up to me now more than ever. I’m still not sure that he sees a future with me, but I feel at peace with that now. There are definitely the 5 A’s in our relationship: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and allowing. There is not a capital C for commitment, but it’s been so different to just see a relationship unfold naturally without any need to put it in a tidy little box with a red bow. I feel so different expressing exactly who I am now and how I feel and asserting myself when I am upset.

    We’ve had two incidents that have proven to me that there have been changes. He got upset over something small but ended up getting frustrated and questioned my desire to spend time with him. I now see that a lot of his upset comes from a place of insecurity. I got upset because was harsh with me and got emotional. In the past he would’ve been uncomfortable and made me feel like my emotions were unwelcome. During this incident he hugged me and kissed me and told me he had spoken harshly and it was his fault. Taking blame and acknowledging my emotions! Huge.

    He seems to work daily to acknowledge his gratitude for my presence in his life. That he appreciates me, that he wants to be there for me. He has been asking a lot about whether I am seeing other men and seems quite worried about this prospect. Lately he has been especially romantic, taking me on dates, taking time off of work for me, visiting me at my house in the morning, putting on movies that always seem to have a romantic undertone. Where he used to be critical of me for something he is now kind. This past weekend we took a walk through a park we went to on our first date over a year ago. He said to me “I really like you, have I ever told you this?” I told him he’d never said that and I appreciate it greatly. I feel like he’s always trying to express more but he can’t. While we were in said park, I saw a young guy with sparkling water that I like and I said “look it’s my dream man”..as a joke and he said “you’re right, he’s reading and he has emotions, all you want is a man who can express his emotions, and I can’t even say the word emotion”. It was all very telling of how insecure he feels about how he isn’t expressive. He’s divulged more of his childhood and how expressing oneself was not encouraged, music was not played and everything had to be strictly business for the most part. There are so many things bottled up inside of him. I’m just waiting for the explosion.

    I don’t really know what’s happening this time around, but I feel something coming. I feel like I want to stick around for it and I don’t feel worried anymore. I really want a love that will give back, and I feel like maybe this could. Even if it doesn’t, it’s been a lovely lovely ride.

    It’s so strange, every time I feel like we’re at a stalemate, the pieces move in the most extraordinary ways, and I have to come up with a whole new strategy. It’s just hard to trust what I feel sometimes. I don’t want to fool myself.

    I don’t know if this all makes my naive and weak and silly, but I have a little sliver of hope yet.

    #368932
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    Good to read from you, especially what seems like a positive update. I am not focused enough to attentively read and reply to you. But in a few hours, I hope to be back to your thread.

    anita

    #368949
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    I read some of our previous communication on this thread, including my recap of your previous threads. I then read your recent post. Reads to me that he loves you, as much as it is possible for him to love a woman, and reads to me that he is getting better at loving you. It is huge, like you wrote, that he hugged you, kissed you and expressed regret for speaking harshly.

    It is possible that the reason that you are “feeling assertive and confident this time around” is that you can see, hear and feel yourself that he loves you, even though he doesn’t say certain words, and even though he is scared of commitment. Therefore, you feel safe knowing that he is not likely to leave you. You may be safer with him in this regard than with many men who would be quick to say the Love word and label the relationship bf-gf.

    Here are a few suggestions (I don’t know if I made any of these before, and I am still not as focused as I would like to be, so let me know if anything of what is to follow does not make sense to you):

    1. Do not tell him or suggest to him in any way that you are attracted to any other man, or that you find this or that attractive about any other man. (It hurts him).

    2. Do not encourage him in any way to get closer to his mother or his father. Moving away from them and closer to you is congruent with his healing.

    3. Do not bring up Commitment/ labeling the relationship (it scares him too much).

    anita

     

    #369001
    Michelle
    Participant

    Anita. Thanks for your reply. You are forever helpful, even in your less focused states, as you put it.

    He makes mention of me seeing other men often. I usually do not say anything when he questions me. Sometimes I say I am only seeing him. I’ve been thinking of reiterating the fact that I am not going to be dating anyone else.

    I have not been encouraging him to get closer to his mom or dad, but I have encouraged him to move out when he can and be there more for his sister and his nephews. More recently he went over to his sister’s late at night (she lives 40 mins from me). Her husband had been drinking and she wasn’t comfortable with how he was speaking to her. He went over at 8pm, after having already been in bed because he gets up so early and called me afterwards and came and slept here. That was also a very intimate family thing to share with me.

    Just to be clear, the joke I made about the guy in the park, was only because he had a bottle of sparkling water that I like. I didn’t mean to say that he was my dream man because he possessed any real attractive qualities. It was him who elaborated on the fact that he looked like an emotional man, and he can’t himself be emotional.

    I never bring up commitment or labelling the relationship anymore and I don’t plan to. Either we will fall into a relationship over time with the investment we are making, or we will go our separate ways. There is nothing to part to at the moment. I’m not moving away, I don’t have anyone else I’d like to see etc. I feel as though ultimatums confirm his fear that I will leave, and because his subconscious desires this in a way, he is likely to allow me to leave, to confirm that love is ultimately too painful and abandoning.

    How are you Anita?

    #369011
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    I am fine, thank you for asking, to wake up to a new day  is a good thing. I appreciate your kindness in the first sentence. Regarding the guy, good thing that you did not encourage him to get closer to any of his parents, and that you encouraged him to move out when he can. I understand about the bottle of sparkling water joke.. he is very sensitive to being compared to any other man in any way that favors the other guy, even if it is for a preferred beverage.

    Because he often questions you about dating other men, and because you really do not have any plans of dating anyone else- reiterate it, simply because it is true and it will make him feel better.

    “Either we will fall into a relationship over time.. or we will go out separate ways”- you mean, fall into a committed, boyfriend/ girlfriend relationship, correct? (You are currently in a relationship with him)/

    It’s good that you keep the option of going in separate ways because you do want a committed relationship, and he may continue forevermore to be too scared of a commitment. I imagine going your separate way from him this way: one day you don’t want to keep it going, so you meet him in-person, being prepared to end the meeting shortly afterwards, and you tell him in a quiet, calm voice something like this: (name) I want to be in a committed relationship, I understand that you still don’t, that’s my understanding. Based on that, I am moving on, our relationship is over. I wish you well-

    You then smile at him, maybe shake his hand, and you leave, not turning back. That way there will be no ultimatums, no drama, no.. nothing, just you walking away.

    anita

     

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