Always in relationships with unavailable people? Here’s why

Getting involved with unavailable people. I have so much to say here - there are many layers to it.



Firstly, l think that absence is very familiar. As is inevitably your tolerance to absence and the familiar raft of feelings that come with it.

You might have had an absent father, or mother or both. This could have been because of work commitments. or workaholism, or because your parents or early caregivers were embroiled with their own woes and worries or chasing their own absences when they even might have been physically present but absent emotionally.

So you will have been starting off in life with absence being basically all you got!

Initiation, response exchange. At the beginning of any relationship, there is the initiation of it. They are attracted to something about you and “visa versa”. Then there is the way you respond and you and they respond to this. 


Now this is where a lot of tricky stuff comes into it. For example, if you get involved with any type of narcissist then the initiation stage is one that seems ideal! But (and the but is huge here), it is absolutely not a taste of what is yet to come. Please refer to a raft of other articles l have written on narcissistic relationships and their variants and dynamics.

Outside of that, if the response is healthily mutual and nobody’s alarm bells are ringing, the response should both look and feel, mutual. Please do not ignore your gut here. Because you have one - we all do - and bets are on if it starts nudging you, it will be to protect you because there will be something amiss.

Obviously, this varies hugely from person to person, and the amiss piece of the puzzle might also have something to do with you and your fears and patterns and original core wounding. Phew, this can be so loaded and, therefore, so beneficial to you to be informed enough to navigate any relationship stage with an awareness and a 'toolbox' which is a bit of a first aid thing but more about the prevention of emotional cuts and bruises. But it is also about balance and not about hypervigilance or paranoia.


Kind of similar to response, but more about what you give and what you get. No prizes here for guessing if you are attracted to unavailable people then your apparent deficit is going to be bells ringing in your ears and also your stomach, as this lack can cause a trigger and flight fight or freeze response. Your gut not feeling good will always be involved in this. Clues are appetite change, indigestion, soreness in that area, running to the loo, not being able to “go” and IBS flare-ups.

Good exchange has harmony to it. A kind of quiet, rhythmic stillness to it. It’s comfortable and paradoxically exhilarating, but the high isn’t dangerous...there is safety in reaching out and reaching back.

If you have emotional absence as a habitual dynamic, bets are you are skilled at numbing out your natural needs for response by adopting a high level of tolerance for pain and being also skilled at pretence and hiding just in case you are considered too needy and of course if emotions were not allowed in your childhood. However, the lure of the unavailable person will be in a way irresistible and you will be drawn in again and again always believing...this time it will be different.

The thing is because of the fear of losing the other person, you never really address the 'elephant in the room' which is, that they are with you and then they are not. They seem connected and then they aren’t so you are drawn into longing for how “it was”. How “it is” is thereafter laced with fear, the fear that it might be lost again at any moment. Life will feel like it is being lived on the edge, you are always holding your breath.

A large part of my enquiries for help are from people having difficulties in their relationships. Our relationships are so much a source both of our joy when they are good healthy and happy, and also our unhappiness when we have problems from within them. They address our sense of how we are who we are and how we are seen. They are also pivotal to our survival; even when we are totally independent, they affect our emotions and our sense of belonging. Please refer to other articles l have written about the significance of belonging.

Our childhood history and how we felt as children with parents or early caregivers where the 'dye is cast' on how we were received and treated will determine all our future relationship dynamics. Most especially where there is a history of 'absence', not understood as children, but felt, and that will continue to be a familiar type of patterning in our adult relationships.

Much can be done to help with a therapist who understands this and can readdress old myths and beliefs that we untrue. I do a lot of this work and use flower remedies alongside talking therapy.

You are not destined to always be stuck in the loop of relationship/s with unavailable people, and you are worth the investment always. You can begin again. Each day is a new day, full of golden opportunities for real change and joy.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, N8
Written by Gail Berry, Emotional and Relationship Coach
London, N8

Written by Gail Berry Emotional Coach - both a therapist and an alternative medical practitioner who works with healing people’s core wounds and uses Bach Flower Remedies alongside talking and behavioural therapy to make real change and transformation possible.
07771 715072
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