How To Stop Chasing The Breadcrumbs Of Unavailable Men

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brown-haired man and woman walk down a street

Are you unavoidably attracted to emotionally unavailable men?

Do you find yourself longing for that familiar feeling and believing that this time you’ll get him to love you? Are you wishing and hoping that a friendship will blossom into something more as soon as he becomes available?

Here’s how you can tear yourself away from the cycle of attraction to emotionally unavailable men and release your fear of rejection.

RELATED: Emotionally Unavailable Men Share These 7 Characteristics

Your attraction to unavailable men is a 'false positive'

Love doesn’t have to be dramatic and frustrating. You can break this pattern and create the soul-satisfying, emotionally connected love you desire. You’re not sentenced to being stuck chasing rejection forever.

Understanding why you find yourself drawn to these emotionally unavailable men will help you take a new approach to dating and relationships to avoid similar situations.

The feeling you are equating with attraction is a false positive. Your subconscious is sending you a signal when you meet emotionally unavailable men, and you’re interpreting that signal as an attraction when it means something completely different.

It is a signal from your subconscious saying, “This is familiar! This is familiar!”

RELATED: How To Immediately Tell If A Guy Is Emotionally Unavailable

Not good, not bad — merely familiar

Your subconscious doesn’t label this feeling as good or bad, only familiar. What your subconscious is recognizing is that there is a familiar emotional dynamic that you experience when you are with emotionally unavailable men.

This emotional dynamic comes from your family of origin.

The clues to your attraction lie in your family history. Whether one of your parents was an addict, suffered from depression, had an unrealistic expectation of you, or was just emotionally distant doesn’t really matter in the bigger picture. What matters is understanding that your current pattern is about your childhood and not about any particular guy you have been attracted to as an adult.

Even if you were able to get this guy to behave differently towards you the issue would still exist because the problem has nothing to do with him. It has to do with how you are interpreting the signal from your subconscious which you’ve equated with attraction and the feeling you believe you are looking for in an intimate relationship.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Why It's So Hard To Let Go Of Unavailable Men

Fear response is not 'attraction'

Right now, when your subconscious sends you that signal, you’re interpreting it as meaning that you’ve met someone who matches your chemistry. What if it meant the opposite?

What if it was your subconscious signaling this feeling is familiar but also meant “Run away! Danger ahead!”

What if your attraction to emotionally unavailable men was a fear response and not an excitement response?

Fear and excitement are experienced the same in your body (shortness of breath, increased heart rate, sweaty palms, etc.), the difference between these two experiences is in your inner dialog (what you are saying to yourself about the experience).

Imagine you are standing in line for a roller coaster. You could be thinking, “Oh my God! What am I doing?! I’ve got to get out of here!” Or you could be thinking, “This is going to be awesome!” Either way, your physiological experience will be the same.

If you described what it feels like when you are attracted to someone, you’d probably say that it feels obsessive, off-balancing and that you can’t stop thinking about the person.

Your situation can feel heart-wrenching, consumed by longing, and getting more and more frustrating.

Your mind is bargaining with yourself to find a new way to connect with him even though you know that this is not good for you.

RELATED: 3 Reasons You Always Fall For Emotionally Unavailable Men — And How To Stop

Does that sound like love?

It sounds more like every part of you is telling you to run away and you keep finding reasons to stick around, desperately looking for a new strategy to make this situation work, or at least to get your next fix in.

From now on, when you feel that old feeling of attraction you can think to yourself “Run away! Heartbreak ahead!”

You are not going to get the love you want from this man. He is not able to give you what you need and isn’t suddenly going to become available. If he did suddenly want to have a relationship with you, it wouldn’t work out.

He’d be available and you would feel completely different about him.

RELATED: 6 Signs Of Emotional Detachment In Yourself Or Someone You May Know

What healthy attraction feels like & how to get there 

When you are in a healthy relationship, you will feel differently. You will feel attracted to the person, but it will not be that well-known uncontrollable feeling. You will feel the attraction in a completely new way; it will feel like something you’ve never felt before.

Love is a grounding feeling, not one that knocks you off balance. Many people have described it as feeling curious and comfortable at the same time. However, you experience it, please know it will not feel addictive or out of control like with emotionally unavailable men. It certainly won’t have the same obsessive unpredictable energy.

Your response to emotionally unavailable men is not grounded and leaves you feeling insecure and uneasy. It can feel like an addiction. This is not what love feels like, in the sense that it is not healthy or going to be long-lasting.

As the Bible verse states, “Love is thoughtful. Love is kind … it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

You’ve probably never experienced love like this in your intimate relationships.

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Take a different action

Here’s how to approach this situation in a new way. One that leaves you feeling empowered about your choices, not wrenching and angst-ridden. No matter how much that voice inside tells you it may be different this time, this emotionally unavailable man will not suddenly become available to you. The voice inside that says you can get him to love you is lying to you.  Relationships that are long-lasting are easy at the beginning, not full of strife and uncertainty.

One of the best ways to break an old way of being is to do something completely different. Take a new action – one you’ve never taken before.

You’ve probably heard the old saying that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the very definition of insanity. This voice inside of you that is rationalizing why it will be different with this guy is fighting a losing battle and it’s up to the adult you to know better and walk away.

Condemn this voice inside you from continuing to give you this bad advice. In short, tell it to shut up, and then commit to never listening to it again. Ignore it. Tell it to go away!

Attempting to get what you need from a man who is not capable of giving it to you will keep you longing for more. Stop looking for subtle signs that he might be changing his mind about you.

If he wanted more from you, he would take clear and obvious actions toward making that happen.

An emotionally unavailable guy isn’t taking any action to win you over to claim you and there is nothing you can do to suddenly change the situation.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Trying To Change Him Is The Worst Mistake You Can Make

Say 'no' to things you don't want

Cut off all contact with him.

Here’s your script: “I feel it is in my best interest to not continue with our friendship/relationship. I truly wish the best for you, and more importantly, I wish the best for myself. I am not getting my emotional needs met in this relationship. It’s difficult for me to take care of myself in this way, so please honor my request and do not contact me.”

If he does reach out to you, do not answer his calls or respond to his texts or emails. Block him on all social media and detox from him. He is now off-limits to you. 

If he becomes persistent, that tells you he is the kind of person who cannot honor your requests and does not respect you. This is also how he would behave in a relationship with you.

Do you want to be with someone who honors and respects your requests? Or would you prefer to get involved in the same situation where you end up heartbroken by some guy who pursued you until he caught you … and then moved on?

This is not an easy action to take. That part of you that thinks getting him to love you will solve your problems will resist taking this action and justify why it is important for you to remain friends.

This part of you is doing you no favors. Create a vision of your ideal relationship and how you would feel in it and use it to push through your resistance to cut him off.

RELATED: 11 Sweet Signs You're In A Perfectly Imperfect Relationship

Connect with rejection

The pattern of being attracted to emotionally unavailable men comes from your early childhood and has nothing to do with this guy. It’s like a 5-year-old version of you is selecting who should be your mate for life.

Your job is to let her know that she is loveable and that she can get everything she needs from you. The love you seek is inside of you and is reflected back to you through the eyes of your beloved. You don’t get love from another person; you share love with your soulmate.

Reconnecting with that little girl inside of you is the most loving and healthy thing you can do for yourself and your peace of mind.

She probably feels abandoned by you and doesn’t trust you to take care of her, but we promise that if you are committed to repairing the relationship with your inner child the rewards are limitless.

RELATED: Table For One: Why Sometimes It's Better To Date Yourself

'Dating' your inner child

To begin the process of transforming the most important relationship you’ll ever have — the one with yourself — begin a practice of going on weekly dates with your inner child.

The Inner Child Dates begin a lifelong practice of self-love that brings you into harmony with yourself. This addiction to unavailable men will end when you are in rapport with yourself and are no longer looking to fill up the empty space inside of you with a man or any other person. Only you can satisfy your inner child.

By taking care of your inner child (and therefore yourself) you will begin to learn what healthy love feels like. As you raise the level at which you value yourself, you will find a new kind of man attractive – those who are capable of being emotionally available to create a real lasting loving partnership with you.

Take a new action that says that you are worth loving and that you won’t accept anything less ever again. When you commit to this you will feel your self-esteem grow inside of you. You will discover that you will never be able to settle for an emotionally unavailable man ever again.

RELATED: Are You Ready For Change? 9 Ways To Tell For Sure

Orna and Matthew Walters are Soulmate Coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s "The Millionaire Matchmaker." They're the authors of the free ebook, "7 Steps To Soulmating," which can be found on their website

This article was originally published at Love On Purpose. Reprinted with permission from the author.