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Are They Emotionally Unavailable? DON’T CHASE, Do THIS!

 

Have you fallen for someone who just can’t give you the same affection back?

Emotionally unavailable people are the relationship version of junk food. You know it’s bad . . . but your addiction keeps you going back for more.

This is nothing more than a formula for heartbreak. In today’s new video, I dive into the psychology behind why we’re attracted to emotionally unavailable people, and why just because something’s scarce (such as someone’s attention) doesn’t mean it’s valuable.


Before we get into the video—which is going to be about why it is that we chase emotionally unavailable people and what we should do instead—have you signed up yet for my March 19 event called the Love Life Reset? If you’ve been struggling in your love life, if it’s not where you want it to be, maybe for a long time it’s felt like disappointment after disappointment, or perhaps you’ve come out of a long-term relationship and found yourself single again in a season of your life where you didn’t think you’d be on your own again and you have no idea what it’s like to date in this current landscape, this event is going to show you how to hit reset and start a new and productive approach to finding the kind of healthy love you want to find.

Go to lovelifetraining.com to sign up. It is completely free. It’s going to be a live event. That live event is going to happen once only, so come join us.

All right, let’s begin.

Emotionally unavailable people. Have you had this experience—you go on dates with people you either feel no chemistry with or people you feel tremendous chemistry with, but then when they’re flaky, distant, inconsistent, when they tell you they’re not ready for a relationship, when they pick you up and put you down and leave you, not knowing where you stand, you start to obsess over them? You can’t stop thinking about them. You really, really want them. It’s the kind of person where you might come to me and ask: “What should I do about this person?” If this is you, I want to tell you that you are not alone. If you keep getting attracted to people like this who are emotionally unavailable, it can come from two different places.

The first one is simply an economics—a false economics—that can happen to anyone, which is the mistake of thinking that because someone is making themselves rare and scarce, and in some cases, absent, then that must mean they are more valuable.

And I’ve said this in a video before—this is to me like the difference between diamonds and air. When we think of diamonds, we think “really valuable.” Air? Boring. But air, we take for granted, because we have it despite the fact that it’s the thing that if it got taken away, we would last a matter of minutes. If our diamonds got taken away, we’d be diamond-less, which is to say, we’d be fine. Diamonds feel really valuable because they’re scarce and therefore expensive. Air is everywhere, but we take it for granted.

And I think that translates directly to our love lives. There are people who act like diamonds—rare, difficult to obtain—and we start thinking they must be valuable as a result. Meanwhile, a lot of the time, we find ourselves ignoring the much healthier person over here who actually wants to date us, who’s straightforward, who calls when they say they’ll call, who actually shows up for us in our lives.

So everyone is capable of doing that, not just people who have something deeper going on.

But there is another reason why we get attracted to emotionally unavailable people, and that’s when there’s something deeper going on: If we find ourselves throughout our lives consistently going for a certain kind of person who makes us miserable, who makes us unhappy, who gives us constant anxiety, who makes us feel this pendulum between massive anxiety and unhappiness and feeling unsafe and not knowing where we stand, and then the elation, the ecstasy, the euphoria of feeling loved by them and getting their attention when they come back. 

If we keep getting attracted to these people, it’s because there is something familiar in that pattern to us. Maybe we were raised in an environment where we got taught that that’s what love is like. It’s capricious. It’s there one minute, not there the next. And when it comes back, it feels so good. When it’s not there: “Oh my God, I’m so unsafe.” Then it comes back again: “Oh my God, that feels so good.”

And notice, by the way, the pattern of that. There is an addictive pattern to that. They call it the trauma bond, right? I feel miserable, but then you come back and you make me feel amazing. And of course, the next time I’m miserable, I hold on for that next hit of when I’m going to feel amazing again, the next time you text me. And I’ll suffer through those terrible lows, the hangovers, for that next big high that I am going to get from you.

By the way, this is literally something that I talk all about in my new book, Love Life. So those of you who have already ordered this, you’re going to read all about me talking about not only why we chase unhealthy love and what it does to us, but how we can take an approach to finding the right kind of love. If you haven’t pre-ordered it, go to lovelifebook.com and grab yourself a copy.

And let’s get back to the video.

We can get into a cycle where we consistently confuse the anxiety that someone makes us feel with love and passion.

Wherever that comes from for us, you may or may not have done that kind of excavation on your past and how you were loved as a child by your parents or caregivers, but wherever it comes from, what happens is our nervous system gets wired for a certain kind of experience, and it starts looking for more of that kind of experience. So if it’s these high highs and low lows, and that’s what’s familiar to us, that’s what our bodies, our minds, our nervous system goes out in search of. And when it recognizes the familiar, it latches on to it. “I feel crazy about this person. I feel terribly anxious, but amazing when they text me. This must be love. This must be important.”

We confuse the anxiety and the unknowing, the uncertainty, the oscillating between high and low . . . with love. And it’s not love. It’s a feeling that we have become addicted to.

So what we have to be conscious of is, right now, this thing that I keep saying is love or is the right person can actually simply be looked at through the lens of addiction. And when we’re in that place of addiction, the problem is, we find it hard to appreciate something that might be better for us, something that might be far more valuable, someone who might give us a kind of love that in the long run would leave us happy and peaceful.

I think of it like if you had someone addicted to drugs, and on the day they quit, you sat them in front of a gorgeous sunset and said, “Isn’t that amazing?” It would be very difficult for that person to appreciate that sunset.

Now, a sunset is amazing. It’s awe-inspiring. It makes us feel connected to nature, the transcendent nature of this planet, of the universe, of how small we are. This exquisite experience of being mindful in the presence of something greater. But if you show that to someone on the day they’ve just come off of the synthetic highs of drugs, it cannot compare, it cannot be appreciated.

And that’s really, really important for us to connect to, because in that example, it seems very clear that one of these things is a recipe for unhappiness and the other one is very beautiful, very important. But in our love lives, it can be harder to see things in that way. The healthy kind of love that would make you happy is something that can only be appreciated once we have regulated our nervous system and once we have, as Chris Bailey puts it in the book How to Calm Your Mind, “decreased our dopamine baseline.” 

Because we get ourselves on this dopamine cycle with people in our dating lives, and the more we get attached to dopamine, the more we feed that addiction, the higher our baseline gets. And so we now need the chaos, we need the massive highs, we need the passion, the love bombing that people often give us, we need that drama in order to feel the thing we think we want to feel when we’re in love.

Instead, when we can detach from that, we can begin to lower our dopamine baseline, and from that place, begin to appreciate new things.

Now, how we do this in practice is one of the things I’m going to be talking about in two days on the Love Life Reset.

So if you’re reading this and thinking, “I relate to this so much, and now that I look at it through the lens of addiction, it’s starting to become clear that there is a problem here that won’t go away on its own without conscious and intentional effort and a new approach,” then this event is for you. It’s about a new approach that’s going to bring you the kind of healthy love that will make you happy but will also make you feel peaceful.

Come to lovelifetraining.com, and sign up now for free. The event is happening in two days. I do not want you to miss it. It’s only happening live once. So come join us, lovelifetraining.com, and I’ll see you on March 19, 2024.

Thank you so much for watching, and I can’t wait to see you there.

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13 Replies to “Are They Emotionally Unavailable? DON’T CHASE, Do THIS!”

  • Dear Matt, you described very well what happened to me in almost all relationsships in my last 10 years. Before, when Ivwas younger, it felt different. But infact, what I was always searching for was /is infact those rollercoaster feelings.
    Rationally, I also know why. But what to do about the traumabonding? Meanwhile I am only interested to understand what’s going on in myself and about finding a new love I don’t care anymore.

  • Yes, it’s my trauma bond that gets me into these difficult relations or situationships. I was so done with my trauma after the last situationship, that I’ve searched for help again, since this really has to stop. I’ve told myself with the last one: “it’s okay to have a nice time with him, although he clearly stated that he doesn’t want a relation”. But doing so I ended so caught-up in his web, that a good man was not able to reach me.
    It really is an addiction. The weird thing is that I have no issue in standing ground or making sure my needs are met professionally.
    Why is it so difficult privately?

  • I’m not afraid anymore, Matt said it’s all about taking risks, I accepted a guy and I’m in a relationship right now. Well am shocked,but happy, .but it’s happening. All thanks to you Matt and family.

  • I’m not afraid anymore, Matt you said it’s all about taking risks, I accepted a guy and I’m in a relationship right now. Well am shocked,but happy, .but it’s happening. All thanks to you Matt and family.

  • “We can get into a cycle where we consistently confuse the anxiety that someone makes us feel with love and passion.” (M. Hussey)

    Matt – that one sentence is so filled with clarity. Thank you for that. I’m very much looking forward to the LiveLifeReset.

  • Oh wow. This hit me hard. It’s been a crazy 1year and half. Having split from my ex but still staying in their life. We do everything together. Me in hopes of winning them back and showing my worth. But everything you said shows me… I’ve trauma bonded. They’re so quick ro reject or not respond to me or talk. Especially when they go away on month long jobs. When they’re back. I’m still around and here. And get that kick again and relief. I really have been trying to stop it. But like you say I need to make changes. I love them but I think it’s not real love anymore, it’s love of what we were in my head. Which never existed. I’m a Rollercoaster of every feeling about this. Not sure how go get out of it without hurting myself and that’s what I’m scared of. Cause I’ve been so depressed again as they’ve left and now I’m nothing to them again.

    1. Mel you’re worth more than someone’s partial attention….you’re valuable your time is limited you won’t get that time back. Don’t squander it on someone who isn’t prepared to make a commitment or at least be open about what they are willing to give. You’re the navigator of your own relationship you need to be in the front seat driving to your destination.. you choose where you are going and who is going to sit with you and share this once in a lifetimes journey of discovery…enjoy the ride don’t let anyone else deter you from your own desires and dreams.

    2. Mel you’re worth more than someone’s partial attention….you’re valuable your time is limited you won’t get that time back. Don’t squander it on someone who isn’t prepared to make a commitment or at least be open about what they are willing to give. You’re the navigator of your own relationship you need to be in the front seat driving to your destination.. you choose where you are going and who is going to sit with you and share this once in a lifetimes journey of discovery…enjoy the ride don’t let anyone else deter you from your own desires and dreams . You choose who is going to share that journey with you

  • I was seeing a guy for two months, he hit me up regularly we were going on dates and on our third date he mentioned he’d need to go at his own pace into a relationship because he was damaged by his last relationship. I said okay, no pressure. We were having amazing sex and I kept quiet about things for 6 more dates then I finally asked him what he was looking for, he said “I don’t know.” I was crushed. I left the bedroom and made myself some tea then I came back and told him “my love and kindness is unconditional but my body is not.” Then he got vulnerable and told me he was married before and he didn’t want to be in a relationship again. Then he asked me if he could give me an answer in a couple days I said no problem. Then he called me a couple days later and said he’s not ready, I told him “That’s fine, it seems like we want different things, and there were girls out there that only want casual sex. I am not one of them.” Then I told him that he’s a nice guy and we could be friends but to not hit me up for a hookup, he agreed. I really related to this video with the addiction. It’s been a week and I’m still having withdrawals from him. I’m a sober alcoholic and it’s equally as painful emotionally as kicking alcohol and drugs. Last night I kept waking up from dreams about this person and the scary part is, I’m not sure how much I even liked him, but now that he opened up the abandonment wound I’m obsessed with him. All I can focus on is getting him back. It’s so sad. Anyway I know just like my alcoholism, withdrawals take time. I’m proud of myself for ending it before I got hurt more because that could’ve been a threat to my sobriety. I’m just sad right now. Thank you for this video couldn’t have came at a better time.

    1. Thank you Julie for this, it helps me realize the ‘addictive feeling’ that we get from relationships is similar to drug and alcohol withdrawals and we can reassure ourselves that ‘this too will pass’ and we are looking for our amazing relationships and these commitment phobic men will not do! Thank you for sharing! And good for you for saying NO!

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