"Well that blew up in my face." My straight friend texted me that one early morning the other day. I was just waking up and ottering on SCRUFF (catching up on all the late-night callers as usual) when I was met with his message.
His situation was a usual occurrence: bad luck with women as of late. This was a result of his disinterest in pursuing relationships, and these girls were reacting poorly. Understandable as their feelings may be, according to him (and I believe him), it’s not about them as much as it is about his own life and career.
He continues, "I’m emotionally unavailable."
I also believe this to be true.
Three years ago, I might have reacted to his statement with disdain. After all, I had been on the receiving-end of a “ghosting” that summer. My guy’s disappearance (after nearly three months of dating and hooking up) was a result of his own emotional unavailability. Interacting and being involved with someone like that was exhausting. I felt used, cheated, and worst of all unwanted.
But I was 25, and the three years since then have given me a lot of perspective. Like maybe I shouldn’t have posted a scathing blog post where I pseudo-stalked the guy at his restaurant in hopes of confronting him (even though he wasn’t even there). Maybe I should have just remained calm, and said to myself, “It’s actually not me, it’s him, and that’s okay.”
After being involved with another emotionally unavailable dude (also young/immature/cowardly, but I'm not bitter or anything) derailed my romantic dream in 2014--and then once again in 2015 (yes, he followed up a year later to really screw my romantic fantasies)--I quit dating in the hopes of meeting “the one."
Dating just became a routine. A method to have a nice night with a stranger, maybe eat dinner, drink a cocktail, and fool around.
Basically, after all of these bum, soulless dudes, I became what I was vehemently against--emotionally unavailable. How could I do this? How could I be such a hypocrite?
Well, life isn’t easy.
Best friends pass away, your parents age and go through major surgeries, your career shatters and you have to reassemble the pieces. So much stress and energy is used on things like that already that opening up your heart to a stranger seems dangerous, not to mention tiresome.
So you close up.
Yes, you might go on a date, you might smile and say you’re okay, and you might fuck, but you have no obligation to anyone but yourself.
Here's the thing, though...That doesn’t mean you get a free card to be dishonest. That’s an important part of all this.
If you are feeling unable to be open and willing, then you must lay this out at your admirer’s feet. You must draw the line clearly in the sand, so there is no miscommunication. If they continue to pursue whatever proposal you've laid out, it is their choice, and your conscience can be clear.
Take this time of solitude to figure out what you desire and need in your life to be content.
For the most part I believe we cannot be okay with commitment until we are committed to ourselves. As we’ve all heard before, you must love yourself before loving another. It may sound trite, but that doesn’t make it untrue.
And when you’re feeling super blue about where your faith in love has gone, don’t forget your heart will not remain closed forever. It will open back up slowly but surely, or in an instant like a crack of thunder and lightning.
Alexander Rose is a writer and Scorpio living in Los Angeles. He's completely unwilling to settle for less.