Quit Chasing or Clinging to Partners Who Aren’t Making Significant Time for You.
This is a common pitfall in relationships and dating today. It’s one that results in much unhappiness, over the short and long-term.
Though both men and women make this mistake, it feels as though women do it more frequently.
That is, chasing, clinging to, waiting around for, and bending themselves to make concessions for partners who are unreliable, who cannot or will not make significant time for them, or who aren’t really around much.
Cases in point…
The guy or gal who responds to a text after several hours plus, their responses leaving much to be desired. And sometimes, they may not respond at all. The recipient, though, lighting up on receiving (finally!) a response. See, they do like and care about me, this recipient convinces themselves.
The man or woman who is flakey, unreliable, who commits to arriving or coming over at such-and-such a time, though is frequently thirty minutes, an hour, two hours late. Sometimes, they might not even show up, period. However, the times they do make an appearance? These are the best. If and when they happen. This person, convincing themselves that the time spent with this flakey person (when it actually happens) is worth the lack of respect and value toward them this person is displaying over the big picture.
The person who cannot commit or make up their mind. They like you…but they want to keep dating other people, even though you’ve been dating for months now. They might come out with you and your friends tonight…if they can make it. They may make an appearance at the dance…if they aren’t too tired. They could come to your birthday…if work doesn’t come up.
The workaholic who spends their usual 9-to-5 on the job, as well as hours following the workday (and the weekends) immersed in work. Leaving their partner on call and frequently in waiting, for the chance to nab little bits of time here and there with them, whenever they may allot for some time to do so. They just might be able to make some time for you…depending on all those work projects.
The person who dates perpetually unavailable people, in varying forms. Maybe she is married or he is going through a divorce in which he is still emotionally entangled with the soon-to-be-ex. Maybe he or she isn’t emotionally mature in the least. Maybe she is an addict, or he in the midst of financial ruin. All of these people are unavailable in various ways.
Unavailable: lacking significant ability, whether emotionally, time-wise, because of other life commitments, or personality issues, to be an emotionally mature, emotionally available, and present partner.
One who is able and willing to do at least half the work to be an engaged, healthy, respectful, and good partner.
One young woman I know has chosen a succession of boyfriends including the following:
Boyfriend #1: An emotionally unavailable, childish, and not especially kind man. Their relationship conducted, over the year plus they were “together”, largely over text and with limited in-person experiences together. That was her first love.
Boyfriend #2: He both, lived in another country, and insisted they be allowed to have sex with other people the entire time they were “together.” On her visiting the country in which he was residing for two weeks, he would keep her waiting for hours to hear back from him whether or not (and when) they might meet up. She would sit in the same café for hours to ensure she had Wi-Fi, phone clutched in hand and with bated breath for his text. Forgoing other opportunities for exploration and wasting her day away, waiting for him. Then, she would go running at the drop of a hat whenever he finally called.
Boyfriend #3: A smarmy, hardcore alcoholic at the mere age of 23. This was a rollercoaster of drama.
Boyfriend #4: The current boyfriend, for whom she moved across the country to “be with”, yet, he will be gone for something like nine months out of the next year. During which, she will remain solo in their shared apartment. Alone and in a new place, starting over from scratch.
This is a person who, though likely unconsciously, is continually choosing men who are not actually available partners. Either by active choice or because of other factors in these men’s lives. This is a person who chases and clings, instead of waiting for the person who is going to chase her. This is a person who feels a need for a partner in order to feel whole. And this is a person who bends herself into whatever these partners want her to be.
People like this, sadly, often settle.
They also, often, end up in unsatisfying relationships. Ones in which they spend much of their time waiting around.
Quit choosing people to date (and this goes for friend selection too) who cannot be bothered, who are too out to lunch, or are too distracted with other things, to be a present, engaged, reliable, quality partner to you. This does not mean “they are a great partner, during the times they actually show up!” It does not mean, “well, I love the time I spend with them, in the little bits of time we have together.”
Stop settling for people who give you bits and pieces. Stop sticking with people who keep you waiting around.
You can find people who will be thrilled to offer you far more.
How to find them? You must have the courage to release the ones who are not able to offer this. That makes room for the ones to enter your life who can and will.
You don’t have to settle for scraps.
It’s easy to become convinced and to make all sorts of excuses and concessions.
The truth, though, is that if you are brave and confident enough to look for it, and if you are strong enough not to settle, you can and will find people who will make the time. People who can be relied upon, who keep their word, and who value the time and feelings of others via this follow-through.
People who choose to be around, physically and emotionally, paving the way for you to create an actual relationship with them (as opposed to just little snippets and swatches of time grabbed here and there). And people who are thrilled to do so.
There are so many people out there in the world. Beyond your small town. Beyond your workplace. Beyond your limited circle of friends. You do not have to chase, cling to, and make concessions for those who are not going to make significant amounts of time, for those who cannot be relied upon, and for those who are too distracted.