I’ve been told that I have a type, and I’ve fought this accusation constantly. Sure, physically all the men I have dated or liked look like they could be distantly related to one another, but personality wise they seem to be across the board. I like my men witty and charming but there have been extroverts, introverts, and everything in between that have interested me.
Surprise, surprise, turns out I was wrong. I do have a type. Without even knowing it, I have been pursuing emotionally unavailable men, and after realizing this I have been trying to the figure out why the hell that is.
First off, I didn’t come to this revelation easily. It’s taken two relationships, sporadic dating, and one person that I really liked for me to arrive at this conclusion. After finding myself in a position where the person I was interested in didn’t want a very distant potential future, I did what every person does, I obsessed. Because although I would like to believe that I have no problems or room for self-growth… I do.
And yes, as a woman I am going to “woman up” and write this:
All of them are and were unable to be vulnerable. The type of men who kept all their feelings to themselves, I found myself wondering if they even have any. Happy faced or a more serious demeanor, they all had definite issues of trusting people. They were the epitome of, “Here, let me shove my problems under this rug.”
And, even if I did not know it, I was determined to “fix them,” to be the partner that rid them of their inability to open up to people.
Surprisingly I have a somewhat good track record at this job. It wasn’t that these men were all “commitment-phobes” – men who did not want to be in a romantic relationship with me. Some had simply tragic family stories, baggage with former ex-girlfriends, or the classic concern that if they told me too much I would have something to hold over them if the relationship ever went sour. They were scared to be normal people, hiding behind a mask that most men unfortunately feel they have to wear. One that makes them look tough and resilient at all times.
What should have been a gigantic red flag was instead a challenge to me, not in the way that a naïve girl would want to fix a bad boy, just in that I knew my strength of being able to connect to people in an honest manner and I thought that this would be enough.
By assuring them that I was the one person they could trust, not only did they open up to me but I felt as if I had an immensely strong bond with them. I didn’t see anything wrong with me being the only person they could truly talk to. It was more of a compliment if anything.
That’s not to say that amazing relationships should have not have the foundation of complete trust in the other person you are with in the most intimate way, but in a real substantial partnership capable of lasting you should not be the one person trying to “fix” the other person. What ends up happening is what happened with me. This type of man or woman might end up dating you, but you always feel as if you are walking a tightrope with them, being whiplashed by their ability to one day profess their love and problems in life to you, while the next day they might barely say a word.
Or you could be on the path of beginning something with someone you like, and the intensity of new feelings is enough to scare that person into never fully committing to anything. Sure in some situations it might be the case of “he’s just not that into you” but for most of the people that I have encountered who are like this they were just afraid to get hurt. Their statements of, “I never tell anyone anything,” or “No one really knows me,” are a reaffirmation of this.
I suppose I can only assume that I gravitate to these people because they are, for the most part, amazing people themselves. And my deep love of long conversations and needing to know people below the surface level small talk has always been a part of my personality. When I can sense that there is “more to someone” I want to learn what exactly that is. If and when I do find out more about that person, I want everyone else to see that genuine transparency that I have viewed.
Again though, that is not my job. Real problems, not just a few harmless secrets they need to deal with, are best taken up with someone like a therapist or even with self-evaluation that an attitude like that is never going to let them really be close with anyone. I can be there for them, and I will, but it’s not realistic to believe I can fix a huge part of someone.
If I continue down that road, gravitating towards emotionally unavailable men, I’ll just end up not feeling as if someone is giving me there all, knowing that yes they might love me but never actually hearing it from them. Maybe even caring more, and really we all know that no one wants to be the one that cares more.