Unobtainable Boy Toys

In Dating, Mental Health on January 10, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Finding holes in hearts shows us better how and where to patch them.

Dear Yenta,

I have constantly fallen into a pattern of choosing guys who are emotionally unavailable, yet continue to stay with/obsess about them. Why is this? How do I break this pattern?

-Vapid Dates

Dear VD,

I would say half the humans in the world do what you do, and the other half somehow found a way not to. You are not the only fool in love, I guarantee. That being said, there is a deeper implication to choosing emotionally unavailable humans to whom you willingly hand over your heart. It is like putting your eggs in an obviously broken basket.

In the words of the great Jenny Lewis, “You are what you love, not what loves you back.” When you choose a lover, you are always subconsciously aware of what they will hold for you. Their heart is a mirror of your own. People are wise, even if they don’t always admit it. You know from a lifetime of living what mannerisms, facial expressions, body language and general demeanor imply in a potential partner. Whether we pay attention to what we know is a whole other story.

The problem is rooted in your own heart. Subconsciously you wittingly choose to love people who are unavailable, choosing the love you think you deserve. What are you trying to tell yourself? As Martin Buber suggests we ask in The Way of Man, “Where art thou?” This is a simple question, one meant not to chart a GPS location, but a more emotional and metaphysical grid. Where are you? What drives your thirst for these partners?

When choosing unobtainable love it is often a way of revealing that a piece of your heart may be wounded. As Jenny Lewis sings:

This is no great illusion
When I’m with you I’m looking for a ghost
Or invisible reasons
To fall out of love and run screaming from our home.

Perhaps you aren’t ready to be loved, and by choosing these men, you are physically illustrating the state of your own interior. That, and cutting love’s aorta before it even begins to pump any blood. Ie, you choose the love you think you deserve, which is not love at all.

One way to cure this habit it to watch yourself. Get all Buddhist on your mismo, and begin to observe your thoughts around men, your drive for desire, your reasons for choosing each partner. Watch, breathe, release judgment, notice, observe. Click here for very basic meditation instruction. Your life choices are trying to reveal something to you so you can, in fact, find a partner that loves you as much as you love them. A broken heart is just a bump on the road to learning how to really love yourself and, eventually, another.

For more clues, evaluate your past, bring on the Freud, and begin to look at what patterns raised you. Was one parent always giving and the other taking? Is your model for love one based in neglect and/or abuse? Or is it less complex? Are you simply not ready for love, and therefore attempting to jump in based on social expectation, and sinking dreadfully because of a lack of preparedness?

Only you know your heart, where it has been, and where it wants to go. Intimacy can be really difficult if your trust was broken along the way, and choosing love as torture might just be an old habit that does not want to die. Check in and see what love means to you, if it is about support and growth and a sense of safety, or if you are still living the wild high school edge of pining for the senior boy that was out of reach, but the thirst was thrilling enough.

To pose your own anonymous question, click here and send your e-mail to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com.

  1. […] Loving the Unobtainable « Your 27-Year-Old Yenta :always-subconsciously, for-you, great, jenny-lewis, the-great, the-words, will-hold, […]

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