Here’s Why You Chase Unavailable Men (And How To Stop)

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Those of us in the TZR office who are single seem to have the same issue, which is that we only like the guys who don’t necessarily like us back as much as they should. The reasons for this lack of availability on the part of the man or potential partner vary: Sometimes it’s because he’s recently divorced, or he’s broke or, and let’s be honest, he’s just not that into us. Whatever the issue, it’s clear that chasing this type of man is not productive if one actually wants to be in a healthy and happy relationship. Though we think the reasons one might fall into this pattern vary by individual, we wanted to seek out any universal truths that may lie behind this bad behavior. So, we asked relationship coach Laura Doyle, NYT best-selling author of The Surrendered Single and The Empowered Wife , to give us her take on the phenomenon. Here, her thoughts on why we chase unavailable men (and how to stop!).

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Girl, You're Better Than This

Why Are We Attracted To Unavailable Men?

"Anytime a woman is doing the chasing it’s a sign that no one has ever taught her about her feminine gifts, like magnetism. We women are the sexier sex—the ones with the fancy tail feathers. Men are reliable fans and a 24/7 noticing service, which is why you see ladies' night at the club but never gentlemen's night. This is such great news if you want to feel desired, because you can’t feel desired when you’re chasing." — Laura Doyle

We would caveat that no one likes to feel like they're being aggressively chased, which is definitely something to keep in mind the next time we find ourselves sending a late-night, try-hard text to someone who hasn't responded to our last three or four such messages.

How Can We Tell If A Man Is Unavailable?

"The magic of using magnetism to attract a man instead of hunting for one is that you’re the one auditioning him for the role of your boyfriend. You’ve already made the cut because he’s asked you out, so you’re in. Now it’s his job to impress and delight you. Of course other men are also competing for your attention and affection, and the more available he is the better his chances of winning. A man who is not available is going to be less competitive because he can’t devote the time." — Laura Doyle

This rather obvious truth never occurred to us: If someone has asked us out or is asking us out, we don't have to do anything but see if we like them, because they've already expressed interest. On the flip side, if they're not asking us out, well... duh.

Do Our Actions Ever Make Men Become Unavailable?

"My husband became unavailable early in our marriage because I was telling him how to dress better, what to eat for lunch, and what to do at work, so I had become a porcupine wife. But I thought he was the problem and I nearly divorced him.

I had also gotten caught up in the responsibilities of working, cleaning, paying bills and had stopped being the goddess of fun and light that he originally fell in love with. I was more like the goddess of Wikipedia who knew everything and told him so. So I had everything to do with why he never wanted to spend time with me, or even make love to me. It was heartbreaking! When I learned the Intimacy Skills and went back to being the woman he fell in love with, he couldn’t get enough of me again. When I was complaining, critical and controlling, that was gone. Fortunately, anyone can learn the Six Intimacy Skills that contribute to playfulness and passion. Relationships are mirrors reflecting what we’re bringing to the party. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror, but I had the power to change that, thank goodness." — Laura Doyle

In everyday life, it can be hard to be a "goddess of fun," but we think the premise holds up, regardless—no one wants to feel like their partner is their parent... right?

How Do We Stop Chasing?

"Just practicing receptivity makes you ten times more attractive. I gained such confidence from strengthening my receiving muscles—learning to smile and say only “thank you” when someone offers me a gift, compliment or help—instead of always trying to pull my own weight. It increased my sense of deserving." — Laura Doyle

Wait, you mean we're supposed to be letting potential romantic partners spoil us? In 2017, we feel like we're lucky to get a text, let alone a gift, but we like where her head is. The next time someone wants to treat us to dinner, a massage or a compliment, we're going to let them.

How Can We Recognize An Available Partner?

"There are two powerful questions that women can effectively navigate by, and they are: 'How do I feel?' and 'What do I want?'

One woman was on a dinner date and it was going well. Her date asked her if she would like to go to the movies with him next, so she asked herself those questions and she realized she was tired, but she wanted to go so she said, 'I would love to, and I’d love a cup of coffee so I can stay alert.' Her date made it his mission to get her that cup of coffee. It’s hard to go wrong when you’re asking yourself those two questions, because desire is the seat of personal power, and knowing what you want and honoring it will draw it to you.

When you’re coming from feelings and desire, you’re playing to your strengths, and your date, boyfriend or husband is going to find that attractive because they'll know how to delight you. I’ve asked thousands of men how important it is that their date, girlfriend or wife is happy and they all say the same thing: It’s very important, or it’s imperative! So being someone who’s able to be pleased is very attractive and will activate your partner's 'hero' instinct and it will be completely obvious by his devotion that they're available." — Laura Doyle

Bottom line? Be you, and you will attract the person who wants you. Anyone else isn't worth your time, girl!