Friday, April 17, 2015
"On Fire": Do You Tend to Lean Towards EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE Men?
I'm going to share verses from a few men in the Bible. Do me a favor, take a moment and think about what all of them have in common:
"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
And Adam said: 'This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'"---Genesis 2:21-23(NKJV)
"Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, 'I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.'
And Laban said, 'It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.' So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her."---Genesis 29:18-20(NKJV)
"Then he said, 'Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman. Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you—good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the Lord lives! Lie down until morning.'"---Ruth 3:10-13(NKJV)
Did you catch it? Off the top of my head, these are three men who are biblical examples of what it means to be in a relationship with someone who is *emotionally available* rather than a person who is *emotionally unavailable*.
I thought about this after reading an article entitled "We’ve Got to Stop Procrastinating in Unavailable Relationships". The entire piece is pretty profound and very insightful. I'm going to share a significant portion of it here:
Why do we want to commit to the person who doesn’t want to commit? Why do we claim that we’re committed to people who may offer the least likely possibility of commitment?
There’s no such thing as a one-sided committed relationship.
How can we be in a committed relationship with somebody who is essentially leaving us hanging? Aren’t we just setting ourselves up to fail? Aren’t we making love into a battle for supremacy?
Why do we want to communicate with partners who don’t want to communicate?
Why do we want a relationship with the person who has made it patently clear that they are only in it for the sex or whatever?
Why do we want to settle down with somebody who is already in a relationship or married?
Why is it that we feel that we’re being at our most ‘available’ and vulnerable in an unavailable relationship?
Surely, if we truly wanted to be available and vulnerable, we would engage with people who want to expand and evolve emotionally with us?
There’s no real risk in us doing what we’ve done before, especially if it keeps us ‘safe’, it gives us an iron-clad alibi for the things that we feel are wrong with the world that have prevented us from doing differently, and it also allows us to secretly accept failure from the outset and corroborate an existing narrative.
When we truly seek to know and love ourselves, to be emotionally available and to have a mutually fulfilling relationship, we have to “meet” people in the sense that yes, we do need to be vulnerable in order to be and do all of these things but when we do it with like-minded folk, it is far more fulfilling. This is different to making ourselves ‘available’ in some pretty excruciating ways in the hopes that if they realize that we’re always there that they’ll either feel bad about their actions towards us or for not feeling the same as us, and then give us what we want. Do we really want to guilt somebody into doing the “right” thing?
At some point, we have to have a very honest conversation with ourselves and what we may find in amongst our fears is a fear of failure and of course, a fear of rejection.
We’re procrastinating in unavailable relationships.
By waiting around for others, we avoid having to put ourselves out there. By getting ‘overqualified’ in unavailable relationship experiences, it’s about fear of not being “good enough” as if to say that if we put in enough hours and get a degree in trying to figure out others, that we’ll eventually be worthy of either a relationship with them or a relationship with available people. We keep trying to prove that we’re worthy.
Of course if we persist at what we’re doing, we just wind up depleting our self-esteem.
Constantly making ourselves available to someone who is emotionally unavailable sets us up for unrealistic expectations (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message), causes us to not value our time as much as we should (and none of us are getting any younger--James 4:14) and can end up depleting us of our self-esteem (we are supposed to love our neighbor *as ourselves*--Mark 12:30-31). Putting all of that together brings a new meaning to the following Scripture, wouldn't you say:
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."---Matthew 7:6(NKJV)
Here's why I say that...
Another article that I checked out on the topic shared these signs of an emotionally unavailable person:
10 Signs of Unavailable People
1. They are married or in a relationship with someone else.
2. They have one foot on the gas pedal, one foot on the brake.
3. They are emotionally distant, shut down, or can’t deal with conflict.
4. They’re mainly interested in sex, not relating emotionally or spiritually.
5. They are practicing alcoholics, sex addicts, or substance abusers
6. They prefer long distance relationships, emails, texting, or don’t introduce you to their friends and family.
7. They are elusive, sneaky, frequently working or tired, and may disappear for periods.
8. They are seductive with you but make empty promises — their behavior and words don’t match.
9. They’re narcissistic, only consider themselves, not your needs.
10. They throw you emotional crumbs or enticing hints of their potential to be loving, then withdraw.
At first, some of these signs may be more obvious than others. It’s tricky: we tend to show our best selves in the honeymoon stage of a romance. It can take time for a person’s unavailability to emerge. That’s why it’s eye-opening to look at a partner’s relationship history. Who he or she was previously with reveals volumes about their capacity for intimacy now. Beware of rationalizing, “I’m different. This person would never be that way with me.”
And here's another article that shares signs that *you* may be emotionally unavailable:
You’re repulsed by available guys
You’re in love with a fantasy
You crave chaos
You cut and run
You’re afraid to commit to plans, jobs, and goals
You’re very busy
Does the Word tell us that "love is patient" (I Corinthians 13:4-NCV)? It most certainly does. At the same time, the Word also speaks against stubbornness and being hard-hearted. Psalm 81:12 speaks of God giving stubborn people over to their own counsel (Proverbs 12:15 says that's what fools do, by the way; seek their own counsel). Isaiah 46:12 speaks of stubborn people being far from righteousness. Proverbs 28:14 says that a person with a hard heart will fall into calamity (and that ain't good). And being emotionally available? Although there are a myriad of reasons and factors that may be the underlying cause, to be that kind of person is *still a choice*. To not want to get help to become more emotionally available (Proverbs 24:6)? Yep. *Also a choice*.
My point in sharing all of this is that although we are called to love, when you're striving to romantically love an emotionally unavailable person, take it from me, sometimes you can find yourself doing what is only God's job. Only God can turn a heart of stone into flesh (Ezekiel 36:26) and even then, a person still has to choose to want to receive God's "heart surgery". To continue to "plant seeds" on hard soil (Matthew 13:18-23) or fallow ground (Hosea 10:12) is not being a wise sower.
In other words, it's one thing to represent agape love (we all should), but the intimate kind of love that is shared between two married people? Look, marriage comes with its own set of challenges when *both people* are totally committed. And the true point of dating is getting to know if someone is "courtship worthy" so that the two of you can ultimately make the transition into engagement and ultimately into marriage.
All of those articles provide some great soul food for thought.
I know some wives who are married to emotionally unavailable men...
I also know a few men who are married to emotionally unavailable women...
And one thing that they all have in common is that they ignored to warning signs before their wedding day.
You and your future beloved deserve more. And better.
Over the next few days...
Take some time to ponder (Proverbs 4:26) your pattern in relationships...
Are you drawn to the Adams, Jacobs and Boazs of the world?
Or guys who are emotionally unavailable?