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  • Dr. Abby Cobey

How are dating unavailable men (people) related to abandonment issues?

Updated: Sep 18

There are lots of reasons why we date people who are “unavailable” and by unavailable we can mean that emotionally they aren’t checked-in to the relationship or more literally, perhaps the person is married or spends most of their time focused on work, friendships, interests outside the relationship leaving you feeling…. Abandoned!!


In our relationships we tend to repeat past relationship dynamics, usually the primary relationships from our childhoods. We don’t do this on purpose. Some therapists will tell you that you are repeating the dynamic over and over trying for a different outcome, I’ll probably also tell you that it feels familiar and therefor safe. The devil you know vs. the devil you don’t…. You will unconsciously feel attracted to someone who treats you the way you are used to being treated. It will feel familiar, feel like home, feel like you were made to be together. Watch out for that feeling.

One client referred to being addicted to the back walking away; as soon as someone says no to us, many of us are hooked and can’t let go, not because the person is so great but because we can’t tolerate the rejection. We’ll chase after that person just like we would chase after our parents if they left us somewhere unfamiliar as children.

Now how can we get past this? Get comfortable being alone. Be in your house or apartment without the company of TV and see how you feel. Just sit with yourself. Think. Meditate. Realize that you are self-sufficient. Take yourself out on a date. Get to a point where you can be alone without being lonely. The partner in your life will be an asset not a need fulfilled. Practice letting partners walk away; practice walking away yourself. When you are with someone, ask yourself if you like the way they treat you and ask yourself why. Be honest. If you find yourself making excuses, that’s a red flag.

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