We’ve all been there.
You think you’ve met the most perfect man, everything is wonderful, he dotes on you night and day. Then all of a sudden the honeymoon period comes to a crashing halt without so much as a hint about what went ‘wrong’. You wrack your brains why this ‘great guy’ has turned into an Icicle.
Don’t worry you’re not alone!
Some of the most beautiful, kind, strong women I know have fallen victim to these Conmen. Here’s how the scene plays out in a nutshell.
- Boy meets girl.
- Boy comes on strong.
- Girl isn’t sure if she likes him.
- Boy bombards/chases/lavishes girl.
- Girl starts to come round.
- They start a ‘relationship’.
- Boy turns cold.
- Girl can’t understand what went wrong and chases, pushing boy away more.
- Girl becomes infatuated which feeds boys ego.
- Girl gets fed up and gives up.
- Boys ego is hurt he resumes chasing her again.
- Girl thinks this time there will be commitment.
- Boy buggers off again.
- Girl is heartbroken and either chases him again or starts the same cycle with a new boy.
Sound familiar? Don’t stress we can break the cycle!
This type of man can smell vulnerability a mile away, it’s an instinct they seem to be born with. If you secretly wish a Knight in Shinning Armour will appear and rescue you from your life then your in jeopardy of becoming a target. A partner should be the cherry on the top of an already wonderful and fulfilling life, if he’s the foundation then you’re on serious shaky grounds!
Of course they don’t come with a sign on their head saying ‘Unavailable’. In fact they initially give the impression they are ‘Over Available’; so it makes it more difficult to decipher between a genuine gentlemen and a cowboy.
From my experience and other women that I know there’s been persistent symptoms that unavailable men display.
They come on strong!!!!!
You’re not too fussed about them. Perhaps you’re still trying to get over the last unavailable guy. But they are charming … very charming! They give the impression they have life figured out, they have a successful career, they are comfortable in their own skin. All of these things are very attractive to a woman seeking outside validation, and probably things she wishes for her own life.
But I have learnt the hard way this is all smoke and mirrors. They hide behind a character and seem to struggle with or be scared of the truth and letting people see who they really are. (Possibly they don’t like themselves too much).
Most of the time their success at work is somewhat fabricated or at the very least exaggerated. If you dig a bit deeper, or speak to their work colleagues you will normally find big massive holes and inconsistencies in the boastful story you have been led to believe; even if they do have some level of success. I’ve dated guys in the entertainment industry and idolised them as I believed I wanted to be where they are (now I realise I really don’t!!) I was exposed to their work and had to use my own acting skills to say how much I ‘enjoyed’ it. Unfortunately by that point I was already hooked and ignored what my intuition was telling me. I concluded ‘I’m probably just wrong’, and tried to repress the facts. I’ve was instructed by one guy to tell people had the privilege of knowing him, you can imagine that cringe worthy moment when they had no idea who he was. Complete Bullsh*tter in more than one area of his life clearly.
As for being comfortable in their own skin… no…they’re not. I know they exude confidence and share their ‘vulnerable’ side with you, but 9 times out of 10 its a strategic move rather than coming from a place of authenticity. The blow of realising you’ve been duped (maybe again) is a bitter pill to swallow. But keep in mind your openness and willingness to love will one day be rewarded by the right man who doesnt fear the truth or showing you who he really is; and that ladies is what you call strength in a man. Lot’s of woman have fallen for this scam, it’s not a reflection on you, and it’s certainly not your fault. You can’t change someone like that, no woman can. They have to face their own demons themselves.
Another red flag is pressure. I’ve even been called ‘prude’ or ‘old fashioned’ because I wanted to take things slowly, they claim to find you so incredibly irresistible they can’t resist you any longer. This is Bullcr*p, if a guy respects you and wants to get to know you better he will wait until you’re comfortable. Full stop.
A lot of the time, it’s the kind of guy you wouldn’t look at twice. Or maybe there is a spark; either way their relentlessness is somewhat impressive. If I could pursue the gym with that amount of energy then I’d be a very happy gym bunny! You become a conquest, and the driving force is their ego. Look, I don’t want to mud sling (too much) I’m sure in their odd way they had warm feelings for you, but unfortunately it’s just not good enough. I used to get jealous and think ‘why can they commit to that woman and not to me?’ But then I heard on the grapevine they didn’t their treat partners very well either because the problem lies in them, not you. Thank God we didn’t become official because it sounded like hell! There are many reasons they commit for a while …mutual friends, timing, getting older or the other woman liked him more in the first place . But I’ve realised people can still be unavailable in a ‘committed’ relationship, and more often than not, they will be putting the feelers out for potential prey even then.
Be careful of the way they speak about ex partners, if this makes your shackles go up, that’s not a good sign and you should consider aborting ship! They use overly sexual ‘jokes’ and ‘comments’, and proclaim to be God’s gift to women (can we keep the receipt please?). They speak about their ‘conquests’ and hint towards being a ladies man (this may also be done quite subtly). An egotistic attitude in this manner is disrespectful to women and reeks of insecurity rather than sexual prowess.
Sometimes there’s a spark, and other times feelings develop over time. A lot of time I thought I liked a guy, but actually I’d been worn down by a relentless unavailable ego. If I’m honest I was lonely and male company was nice so I was flattered by the bombardment of compliments, now I realise these men are shape-shifters. They transform themselves into whatever you want or need just so long as they get what they want.
But you must take responsibility for choosing your own partner. I’ve found myself chasing and fretting over a guy I didn’t even like that much in the first place! It’s the feeling of abandonment that I cant handle. If I honestly look at my history I didn’t take much responsibility for my partner choices. I’d go as far as to say I never had any true and authentic feelings for any of them. Sure, I had warm feelings towards them, but these guys were transitional. I probably need to look at my own tendencies in the objectification of men. Even though when they ‘abandoned’ me I felt like my world was falling in on itself, I could forget about them within a day if another unavailable man came along. As long as I had someone who was prepared to morph into the role of ‘Knight in Shinning Armour’ I felt I had a lifeline. In actual fact the AWOL behaviour ignites the ‘Fantasy relationship’ because they become whoever you want them to be without having to face reality.
There’s always a honeymoon period when you are getting your needs met, and it’s exciting, and you feel like you’re on the same page then… BAM!! That coffee date you’d arranged with him, he’s forgotten about. ‘Oh that’s not like him, I’m sure he was just busy or something’… you let it slide. Then his texts to you change; they used to read more like a romantic novel, flooded with kisses at the end and declarations of love but are now blunt and short. Completely out of character right? He drops in just enough appetisers to keep you hanging on. This is weird? It must be something you’ve done wrong? So you confront him and he flurries you with a mass of apologises and excuses which sound valid enough?? By this time you’ve fallen and want things to go back to how they were. And in my experience, I just couldn’t handle the fact it’s happened again.
This is the perfect storm for obsessions to seep into your mind and highjack every thought in your head. It brings up past toxic feelings of abandonment, and fears that you’re not good enough and unlovable. This is all crap no matter how convincing or set in stone it tells you it is! The more the girl chases the more distant the boy becomes; he can become distant because he knows she’ll be there if he decides to come back whilst possibly keeping his options open. She tries to ‘fix’ the situation but does more damage than good whilst losing her self respect in the mean time. She acts as the perfect ego boost, doesn’t set boundaries so he doesn’t need to put in a fraction of the work he did before; he has her ‘under control’ to meet his selfish needs.
It’s best to try and suss red flags out before it gets to this level as when the obsession kicks in itself it’s a slippery slope from there.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression that ‘no one can love you until you love yourself’. I agree with this to a certain extent. I think loving yourself is a continual journey with no ‘end point’. There will always be that inner critic trying to sabotage your thinking, life challenges and knock backs that compromise how you feel about yourself. But I think you should at least like yourself enough to know you deserve to be comfortable and loved in a relationship. The more unavailable men you attract the more your boundaries are lowered as you are so desperate to be loved. But I’m sorry, those boundaries have to be pushed right back up! There ARE wonderful men out there who won’t make you doubt yourself, sleep with other women, put their needs first or whatever else they do. It’s not cool and you know it!
As Marilyn Monroe wisely said….
‘It’s far better to be unhappy alone, than unhappy with someone’
Whilst I don’t advocate being ‘unhappy alone’ I would say that its better to be on your own rather than searching for external validation. If you are unhappy I’d recommend taking a break from dating and work on your self. Then when you are in a better place you’re more likely to find a better man as you won’t be searching from a place of deficit.
After a while you’ll probably get bored of this situation being one sided. He always has an answer for everything, guilt trips you for calling bullsh*t and probably you’ll just get bored of playing cat and mouse. This is what I especially don’t like and I’m so happy this manipulative behaviour has actually been recognised and given a name.
Dictionary Definition: To cause (a person) to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation.
You become angry about this coercive, damaging behaviour your on the receiving end of; which may I add is insidious because of it’s subtlety. You’ve been pushed off the pedestal and made to feel invisible without any explanation. You can’t understand why? You’re so hurt and angry but you sit on it because your main goal is to try and get him back. Though it’s akin to sitting on a Volcano. If you do explode you’re shamed even more!
I think they must all read from the same ‘How to be an Unavailable’ book!
Here’s a few crackers I’ve heard over time. The main purpose of these is to make you doubt your own sanity:
- ‘I’m just going through a really tough time at the moment, I think you could be more understanding and patient’ (2 years later the exact same sentence).
- ‘I’ve got so much work on at the moment; I’ve got deadlines and pressure blah blah’ (Doesn’t stop you texting when it suits you and you want something though).
- ‘I’m good to you! Look how much I’ve done for you!’ (Would hate to see how you treat your enemies then).
- ‘I just want there to be honesty with us’ (After admitting he’s been with another woman…again).
- ‘We weren’t official’ (An explanation for being with another woman after declaring he can’t wait for us to be together).
- ‘I just need time’ (How does forever work for you?).
- ‘You just get angry for no reason’ (You’re right! I’m not like this with anyone else but still I’m clearly unhinged whilst you’ve been the perfect gentleman).
- ‘You’re so hard on yourself’ (Thanks you’ve contributed).
- ‘You’ve been through such a hard time, I can’t even begin to understand how painful it must have been to lose your Mother at young age. It probably explains the way you react to things they way you do.’ (Yup, he brought my Mama into it).
- ‘I’m not playing this game’ (Says the Game Master)
- ‘I was going to do this, or that’ (Don’t worry I’ll just sit here and twiddle my thumbs and wait for you to put action to your words…. 90 years later)
- ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ (Do you speak English? Because I do)
- ‘My ex was crazy’ (Probably because you made her that way!)
- ‘You’re paranoid’ (Ergh!)
This list goes on….
Also anything to do with talking up past relationships that he knows you wouldn’t like counts as manipulation. He was probably an arse to her too.
‘Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low-self esteem, make sure that you’re not surrounded by fools’.
– Sigmund Freud
Next stage you become fatigued by having the carrot dangled in front of your face and so you back off. You don’t think he notices; he does (after a while). Surprise, surprise he comes running after you again with his tail between his legs. He suddenly transforms back into the Prince Charming you were originally wooed by…funny that. You are convinced you were too harsh as your conscience is targeted. You decide to give him another chance (and another and another). The fairy tale is revived and after lots of making up you are high on feeling loved and beautiful because by this time you’ve put him on a pedestal and given him magical qualities. He is the gatekeeper of your self esteem.
Though unfortunately it’s never long before the original cracks start to show. Nothing has been discussed so resentments are still bubbling beneath the surface. But it’s such a whirlwind and you’re scared of making him run off again so you wait for the right time.
Alcohol is a catalyst for bringing resentments to the boil. I’ve been guilty of this MANY times. Evening glasses of Red Wine were slowly turning into bottles before I noticed it was getting out of hand. I would shake with nerves before meeting a guy I ‘liked’. I used alcohol for confidence, but to be honest it’s never really agreed with me. There’s Alcoholism in the family, so I think I’m sensitive to reactions and quick changes in mood (to the sip I can change). I wouldn’t class myself as an Alcoholic but it’s something I have to be conscious of.
I did dry January, February and March. It was quite difficult as I had to confront the issues that the Alcohol was disguising …. like shyness! I now limit myself to two drinks a week, and don’t drink when dating as I don’t want it to cloud my judgement and be swayed by the pretence of love bombing.
Boy uses girls anger and hurt as an excuse to pull himself away again, instead of realising the pain they’ve caused and working through it. Man up! Girl feels awful again and blames herself for his disappearing act. She then protests her undying love for a man she wasn’t too fussed about in the first place and probably to be honest deep down still isn’t. It’s the rejection that stings; it’s old pain rearing its ugly head. These relationships are transitional; this man could be anyone. I will say this again …. THIS MAN COULD BE ANYONE you just want SOMEONE to be there. In some ways your both using off each other like a toxic co-dependency.
You deserve to have a stable loving relationship. And that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a guy who is swaying too much the other and lets you treat him like a doormat. You deserve passion, attraction, kindness, trust etc… there ARE men out there who embody these qualities, there’s no reason other women get to have a man like this and you don’t. Don’t let your relationships be based on smoke and mirrors.
I’ve heard from friends the transition into a stable relationship is a bit rocky at first. Mainly due to the fact they’re over vigilant for clues things will go ‘wrong’ after years of dealing with unavailable men. But these guys stick around, so the girls insecurity starts to suffocate. These men know how to treat women; they respect your needs, and are worth holding onto. And dare I say Husband and Baby Daddy material.
There may not be as much intensity at the start; but after a while you realise you mistook intensity for intimacy instead of what it actually was… a wrong match.
There is the Man Code which still remains the Holy Grail in trying to figure out these mythical creatures. But I’m sure even if we did get our hand on this code, it would make the Rosetta stone look like Pre-school reading!
Love yourself, like yourself, think you’re funny, smart, kind and beautiful because you are. You have lots of great qualities to offer in a relationship. Remind yourself of the good things life has given you. Put recovery first, cut out toxic people, be compassionate to your pain and insecurities.
A note on insecurity. Protect your vulnerabilities, only time will tell if its ok to share them in a loving and safe partnership. Some men use your insecurity as a weapon, but if it’s minimal in the first place they have nothing to use. Boundaries are your shield.
Of course you can still get duped, my picker is still slightly out of whack. But I’m attracting nicer, more decent guys who I genuinely like from the start. I sniff out the imposters quickly instead of hanging on hoping he’ll rescue me. I’m the ‘Dame in Shinning Swarovski’ coming to rescue myself.
After you have worked on yourself your love life will probably go a little like this… unavailable, unavailable, available, unavailable, unavailable, available, available, unavailable…..then……..MR RIGHT!!!!
Unfortunately there are a few more frogs out there who need you to pucker up!
All will be well.
You will find love, and most importantly for yourself as well. Self esteem, and confidence is already inside you, it’s just clogged under layers of crap that other people have given you.
I want to do a shout out for these great women who have put their forces together and created a POWERHOUSE!
Natalie, I’ve been following for a while, she is the guru on relationships.
Having read her book ‘The Dreamer: And the Fantasy Relationship’. I related with this book so much to the point I felt empowered! But at the same time devastated to realise I’d been living in a bubble for such a long time. But when you know better you do better.
Zoe is a friend of mine, and an expert on anything to do with Mental Health; especially trauma. She also works as a Hypnotherapist in Harley Street.
These women are a dream team! I recently attended one of their seminars and my brain was throbbing by the end of it from having learnt so much. It was wonderful to see so many people in there wanting to learn and improve their lives and relationships. I was of course the cheerleader in the front row. See… (Blonde at the front).
Natalie Lue: https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/
Zoe Clews: https://zoeclews-hypnotherapy.co.uk/
They have all the social media information that you need. So it’s easy keep track of what these ladies are up to and upcoming events. And hey, you’ll probably see me there too 😀
Well I hope that was informative. I feel like I babbled for England so I’ll let you go.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Do let me know how you get on!