After how much pain do we become ‘emotionally unavailable’?

16:20 Lissa Reed 0 Comments

  Most of us have gone out with some real jerks (Excuse my language, but it’s true) – I don’t know why; there is something about them that drives us crazy. Truth is, sometimes we fall really hard for them and at the end we always get our heart broken. But once in a while, every blue moon we are going to meet that one genuinely nice guy who is willing to love us unconditionally and treat us like a real lady. And of course… most of us will turn him down, because he’s just too nice! Well, this is Nathan’s story; that one amazing guy who walked in my life, and I’m embarrassed to admit, I turned him down.
  I met Nathan on a night out with Sandra, a really good friend of mine who I’ve known for years. We were a bit tipsy and on our way home when we bumped into him on the street. He started chatting us up and said he wouldn't let us go unless I let him take me out on a date. So being drunk and a bit light-headed, of course I said yes (please don’t judge me, who hasn't done things when they were drunk that they regretted afterwards). So I gave him my number, believing he will never text (maybe he was too drunk, or he would forget, or just be a typical guy!). Imagine my surprise when he did text, 3 days later, asking me out on a date. I was about to decline his invitation in a polite way (after all, he had seen me drunk, God knows how embarrassing that must have been and what impression he must have had of me), when Sandra texted me saying “Just give him a chance! It’s just a drink and if you don’t like him you never have to see him again”. So taking my friend’s advice I accepted, and next thing I knew I was on a date with this great guy, who made laugh, had a great conversation with me, gave me his coat when I was cold and walked me home.  So what was wrong? Why wasn't I happy? Despite that feeling of something-was-missing-but-couldn't-quite-understand-what, I went out with him on a second and third date and before I knew it I was officially dating him for more than a month. And he was a real gentleman. He adored me. He would call me every time to see if I got home safely, he wouldn't push me to do things I didn't want to do, he would talk to me on the phone when I felt lonely, he would come visit me whenever I had time and never complained when I cancelled on him. Javier told me “If you don’t marry him right away I will”, and I hated myself for not being in love with this guy who adored me and was willing to fly to the moon and back just for my sake.  He asked me several times why I was distant, or sometimes avoiding to see him for days, and of course… I didn’t have an answer. One day I remember asking him “What do you want from this… relationship?” and his answer was “To make you happy”. I almost burst into tears for not being able to fall in love with this man. One afternoon over coffee, my friend Vivi asked "So what was wrong with him?” and naturally I had no answer. Nothing was wrong with him, so I said (much to my embarrassment) “He’s just… too nice”.

  After dating Nathan for another couple of weeks, we broke it off (not to anyone’s surprise). I recall him calling me a ‘cold-hearted bitch, who will never fall in love’, ‘emotionally unavailable’, ‘distant’ and many other similar things before he slammed the door in my face, and I can’t blame him. Many of those things are not true; I had fallen in love before, more than once. That was the problem! And every time ended up with my heart in pieces. I never told him that of course. He was right though, I was too ‘emotionally unavailable’ (his words, I would never say that about me, but yes it’s true!).  So what was wrong? Up to this day, I am not quite sure of the answer. The closest thing to an answer that I can get, is that I have dated so many assholes (again sorry for the language) and I was so used to fighting over someone or struggling to be with someone, that I couldn't see a perfect potential relationship even if it slapped me right in the face. After my experience with Nathan, I was horrified. Mostly because he brought to my attention things about me that no one ever said before, but mostly because he got me thinking: How much pain are we really able to take before we become numb? Or even worse, before we shut down, and become ‘emotionally unavailable’? And when that happens, how, or worse of the worst, is it possible to 'let anyone in' again?  Almost a year later, I have to admit that I regret the way I treated Nathan and after he gave me a dose of reality by making me aware of the person I had turned into, I have to say that I would give Nathan another chance. But I never texted him again of course… I was too proud for that.
 So ladies, if you happen to bump into one of those (very few) truly amazing guys learn from my experience with Nathan – do not turn them down, because they are too nice. Open up your hearts to them and let them treat you like a lady deserves to be treated – every single one of us deserves to be treated like the lady she is (well maybe I missed my chance, but it’s not too late for you! Maybe I’ll get lucky again and meet another Nathan in another 20 years!). And one last lesson: never, ever keep your distance because you are afraid of getting hurt again. Yes, we are all afraid of that. But life is too short to wake up with regrets (and I should know, I regret it every single day), so take all the chances that you can get. If it turns out to be bad, well at least it’s one more experience. But you might fall in love and he might be the one!
 I hope you enjoyed this post and learnt from one big mistake (among the many) that I've made. Did you have any similar experiences? Did you ever turn down someone because he was just too nice? Or did you get your heart broken too many times and wanted to be on the safe side and not let anyone in? Comment and let me know what you think!

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