Why Do Women Love to Chase Unattainable men?

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I think the topic of this post pretty much speaks for itself. Women love to fall for and chase unattainable men. I don’t think women seek out these type of relationships on purpose, I think it’s more of a subconscious action to continue to seek out the familiarity that these relationships may bring to them.

Let’s take this to a psychology level. A lot of the articles I’ve read and personal reflection I’ve done, says that these self-destructing type of relationships can be rooted back to self-esteem. A lot of women who have a low self-esteem will gravitate towards relationships with men that will ultimately never commit to them. Psychologist Seth Myers says that women have the “following unconscious motive: If the unavailable man finally comes around and commits, they’ll—at long last—have proof that they are worthy.”

The “come here, go away” type of men that Monica Parikh refers to them as can also be used to create the start of self-growth and realization. Parikh takes a positive twist on things and says that though these type of relationships are not ideal, they can prove to be a good opportunity to look within. She explains that it’s a good time: “To examine our past. To get stronger. To speak our truth. To set boundaries. To become comfortable in being alone. To stop settling.”

So why do women (including myself) continue to turn to these type of relationships?

These two reasons stuck out to me the most are a little similar, but here they are:

  1. We haven’t healed from the past. This could be past relationships, past trauma or past heartbreaks of any kind. Regardless, these types of relationships give us the ability to have a surface level feeling of what an actual relationship would feel like, without us having to completely commit. Relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein says: “If you’ve suffered a heartbreaking loss, you may be loath to risk 100 percent of yourself again. By chasing someone who won’t fully commit, you can ‘play house’—dressing up, flirting, and sharing secrets. And, you can also avoid the risk that is inherent [to] real love and intimacy”.
  2. Childhood trauma. Anyone who’s taken psychology in university probably knows that our childhoods and how we were raised contribute a lot to how we turn out when we’re older. Aimee Hartstein again explains: “Many children suffer from heartbreaking neglect. Their moms and/or dads may have been emotionally unavailable—preoccupied with work, romantic entanglements, addictions, or mental illness. Children internalize the neglect, believing that they deserved the bad treatment. These children grow up and pick partners who are similarly distant or critical, reaffirming a feeling of unworthiness”.

Elite writer, Sabrina Alexis, explains it well. She compares these type of men to “super sexy shoes that are brutally uncomfortable”. When you see them, you need to have them but when you wear them you’re in agony. As soon as you take them off, you get some sense of relief. This feeling of relief doesn’t come from gaining something positive. It comes from removing something negative. This experience is the same as dating unattainable guys.

The constant knots in your stomach as you wait for the next text or the next sign that he might possibly care about you. And when he finally gives you some sort of reassurance that he does, it will quickly be grabbed away from you and you’re back in the uncomfortable shoes.

Alexis wrote in her article about an experience she had with this type of relationship. She was push and pulled over and over again until she finally hit her ending point. She decided to sit down and ask herself these questions: “What was I getting out of this relationship? Why was I so drawn to him, even though I objectively knew he wouldn’t be a good long-term partner? What had he even given me? I did a lot for him, but what had he ever actually done to show me he cared?”

Alexis’s answer was ‘nothing’, as I’m sure it would be for a lot of us if we stopped and asked ourselves these questions.

We get nothing out of unattainable men other than brief validation, temporary company and good sex only when it’s convenient for them.

Next, Alexis stopped and questioned herself why she kept going back to this man. What it was about him that kept drawing her in. She found that in her case, it went deeper than just the validation he gave her. He filled her void of being lonely.

Finally, Alexis asked herself what she was giving to the relationship. This one really hit me when I stopped and applied it to my situation. What was I giving to this man that I had chased after for a year, hoping that he would finally choose me? A few good laughs, the support if he ever needed it (which he didn’t), but realistically I probably gave him as much as he gave me. The only difference is I would have given him everything and he wasn’t willing to do the same.

These type of relationships are not worth your time. They are not worth your heartbreak or your sadness. Time is a precious thing and love is something that should be valued and shared equally between two people.

I hope this post is not only my rock bottom and end of these type of relationships but also for anyone who reads it.

-A

Articles I talked about in this post:
“Why You Keep Going After Unavailable Guys, As Told By A Relationship Expert” by Sabrina Alexis
“Why Women Love & Lust After Unavailable Men: Traumatic Love” by Seth Meyers
“Keep Attracting Emotionally Unavailable Partners?” by Monica Parikh

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