I have complained a lot about dating emotionally unavailable men in my life. I see myself as an emotionally intelligent person. I’ve been in therapy for most of my life and I’d like to think I get myself pretty well at this point. But lately, I’ve been questioning that. If I’m so emotionally available then why have I consistently attracted men who are NOT emotionally open? I know there are men out there who are in touch with their feelings. They exist and they are not mythical creatures. But I’ve met so many dudes who shut down when an emotion comes out. I would get continually frustrated by this behavior and then one day it dawned on me:
THIS IS ABOUT ME.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I brought these relationships upon myself. What I’m saying is that maybe I’m not as emotionally open as I think I am. There is an intensely private part of me and I barely share with anyone. To access this part I have to feel incredibly close to you. And this is hard for me to do; especially with men. I don’t really know why this is. And seriously, I should know by now because I’ve been in therapy for 999 years. I’m still trying to figure that out. But then again, this is a deeper issue to uncover.
We all have emotional scars. There are things that prevent us from being as emotionally open as we would like to be. And that’s how I feel about myself. In order to be able for me to show love to someone, I need to heal my emotional wounds that I’ve experienced in romantic relationships throughout my life. Man, that sounds like a shit load of work. I know that it will result in more healthy relationships moving forward, but who wants to look at their flaws?
So yeah, maybe I’m not as emotionally available as I thought I was. I can’t complain about emotion availability from another person if I’m not presenting my own emotions on an emotion platter. I still feel strongly that in order for me to express my emotions I need to feel safe. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but I do know that if I feel heard I’ll continue to talk about my feelings. There’s nothing quite like feeling invisible. I know that the priority for me in a romantic relationship is to be with a partner who hears me.
There will inevitably be miscommunications in long term relationships. That’s completely natural, but it’s how we work through those moments that determine the success of your relationship. My struggle has been to express myself in a way that is not heated. I want to get my point across and when I feel like I’m not being heard I get frustrated and angry. Then I start repeating myself and that never works. Who wants to hear the same shit over and over again? I know that this isn’t a great strategy but I find myself doing it anyway.
So I’m trying to change. I’m attempting to open that box inside my heart that wants to be loved, even though it feels weird and foreign. There’s a lot to unpack there, but I know it’ll be worth it.