You Always Want What You Can't Have

This blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s Cindy Nigro, MFTi.

You always want what you can’t have…  Does this phrase strike a cord with you?   Many clients find that they have a history of falling in love with unavailable people and wonder why this keeps happening over and over again.   You end up feeling inadequate and like there’s something wrong with you. Well, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you but lets take a look at a few reasons why this might be happening.  Gaining awareness and insight can help change the way you think about love and relationships and will consequentially change negative patterns of behavior.

Why do you keep falling for the unavailable person?  We are usually attracted to people who remind us of our first love.  If your first love was an absent or emotionally unavailable parent, then you may only be attracted to unavailable people, and this is the only kind of person you pursue. You may do this out of familiarity despite the pain it might cause later on.

Perhaps you are looking to fall in love with the person of your dreams. Since no such person truly exists, you may project your fantasies onto someone and then see in that person only what you want to see.  Unavailable people are a good target for this kind of projection because you never really get to know them. They are whoever you want them to be.

Finally, chasing after someone who is unavailable can be exciting. It can really get your adrenalin going, not to mention libido. You may go after unavailable people because you are addicted to the chase.

The outcome is never as you hope or imagine and here’s why.  While the unavailable person may not necessarily see themselves the way that they are, on some level they recognize that they aren’t treating you too well, and your failure to walk away sends a clear message. A message that you don’t care enough about yourself and they in turn wonder how they can care enough, when you don’t.

The best way to break the cycle of chasing after the unavailable is to truly love and respect yourself.  You deserve someone to be available to you and you deserve emotional reciprocity.  Hopefully as time goes on Mr. Unavailable will seem less attractive.


Elana Clark-Faler
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