Why We Chase Unavailable People

December 28, 2017

Does the imagination dwell the most upon a woman won or a woman lost?~William Butler Yeats, in The Tower

Many men and women find they have a history of falling in love with an unavailable person and they wonder why this keeps happening over and over again. The following is a list of the most common reasons people keep falling into this trap.

Reminders of our first love: We are always attracted to people who remind us of our first love. If a person’s first love was an absent or emotionally unavailable father, then he or she is only attracted to unavailable people. They do this out of habit, despite the pain it will cause them later on.

Looking for the happy ending: Many people are not only attracted to unavailable men and women because they choose them as partners in order to recreate the past and change the ending. They often become obsessed trying to gain, through their current partner, the love they never got as a child. They do this unconsciously over and over again. It is a form of insanity. It is their inner child forcing his or her will on them despite the painful consequences.

Miscalculations: Many people do not choose an unavailable person. They just fall in love before they find out they are unavailable. Then, out of stubbornness, and because they have become so dependent, they refuse to give up and move on.

Unrequited Love: Some people can only fall in love with the man or woman of their dreams. Since no such man really exists, they project their fantasies onto someone and then see in that person only what they want to see. These completely unavailable people are a good target for this kind of projection because they never really get to know them. They are always who they want them to be. People, who are also addicted to fantasizing, are drawn to the phenomenon of unrequited love.

Excitement: Chasing after someone who is unavailable can be exciting. It can really get the adrenalin going, not to mention the libido. Romance addicts often go after unavailable people because they are addicted to the chase.

Unconscious Fear of Intimacy: While men and women consciously obsess about love, they often have an underlying fear of intimacy. Choosing to fall in love with someone who is unavailable (to one degree or another) is one way to avoid facing this fear.

As we are growing up we create a fantasy person in our head that Harville Hendrix calls the Imago. This fantasy person becomes hardened like a statute toward the end of adolescence. If a person’s imago is an unavailable man or woman then they must create a new imago. This new fantasy person must be available, honest, a good communicator and compatible. However, he will never be as exciting as the original imago. Men and women attracted to unavailable people must give up the thrill in exchange for a happy and fulfilling life.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of the award winning book The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse. You can take her quiz to find out if you are co-dependent or sign up for a 30 minute strategy session with Sherry. Check out Sherry’s new book The Marriage and Relationship Junkie: Kicking Your Obsession.

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