A friend requested that I do a post on dating unavailable men. That led me do a series of posts on love. I’m no relationship expert nor do I have tons of dating experience, but I picked up a few lessons along the way. 😉 This is the first post in the “Love Series.” Enjoy!
It’s impossible /It’s impossible to love you / Impossible to make it easy /If you always tryin’ to make it so damn hard/ How can I, how can I give you all my love, baby / If you’re always, always puttin’ up your guard
~ taken from Christina Aguilera’s “Impossible”
I’ve encountered a few unavailable men on my love journey. Sometimes they were unavailable because of internal issues and other times it was caused by issues that were out of their control. Whatever the cause, I’ve learned a few things through my experiences:
You can’t change people. You can only change yourself and personally I think you can’t even do that without God’s help! I’ve learned that you can’t change people – it’s a choice they need to make. In that same vein, you can’t make somebody be with you — either they’re going to do the work or they’re not (no excuses!). There are some key ingredients to making a relationship work (e.g. trust, communication, respect, effort, etc.). If they’re not willing to push beyond what is holding them back and do the work then it’s time to let it go. You can’t be in a relationship by yourself – that’s just called being alone (whether you’re technically in a relationship or not). I’ve learned that the hard way.
Don’t let your loyalty keep you in a relationship. I’m definitely a ride or die chick *cue the song*. I’m extremely loyal. I think it’s cultural to an extent, but it’s also just who I am. Sometimes I think that is to my own detriment. I overstayed my welcome in previous relationships even though it wasn’t working because I wanted to try to work things out. I reiterate what I’ve said before: you can’t be in a relationship alone. If he is not unavailable then don’t feel as though you have to stay in a relationship to make it work. It’s not worth it. Save yourself the time and the tears. Go be a ride or die chick for someone that wants to be with you and do the work. You can’t expect something from somebody that they aren’t capable of giving you.
You can’t take on his baggage. Where in the world do I begin with this? I’ve done this so much! I’ve dealt with things that perhaps I shouldn’t have. For example, I have albinism, which is a genetic condition. I dated someone with another type of “condition” because we both have very misunderstood conditions (even though they are very different). I was really naïve. I don’t regret that relationship because it taught me a lot, but I was definitely in a relationship with him and his issues. It was very stressful. I was going through my own growing pains AND helping him deal with his issues. It was so exhausting! I couldn’t be a martyr. I couldn’t be his savior. I had to let it go. His issues began to impact me and I couldn’t take it anymore.
Don’t become jaded about love. Appreciate all the lessons that you learned in previous relationships: good or bad. They inform you of what you want and don’t want to deal with or what you can or can’t handle. I realize there are some VERY real deal breakers to be mindful of as I consider entering into a relationship. I used to be very hard on myself because of the choices I’ve made, but I know that is was all lessons learned and I’m grateful for that.
My final piece of advice is to be open because if you’re not then you’re continuing the cycle of being “unavailable” for the next person that walks into your life.
Check out my other posts on love/dating/relationships until the next installment of the Love Series: