Ask Stef: Why Do I Always Fall for People Who Are Unavailable?


Stefanie Marshall

Dear Stef,

Why do I always fall for people who are in relationships? The person I'm interested in now has a significant other, though it sounds like things are not going well. The one I dated before that was married. I always know it's a bad idea. I've seen When Harry Met Sally ('He's never gonna leave his wife!') but I still go for these relationships. Seriously what gives.

Always Unavailable


Dear Always Unavailable,

I went through a very sticky phase in my life where every man I was attracted to was unavailable.  Mostly it was like your situation (girlfriend, married, etc), but emotionally unavailable worked just as well.  I beat myself up over it.  I cried out to the universe, “WHY ME?!” And then one day, someone slapped me in the face with a comment so cemented in reality that I thought I was going to vomit on the spot:

“Stef, you keep going for these guys because YOU aren’t really ready for a relationship. You want a crush and some gooey feelings, but you aren’t ready for the commitment to come to fruition.”


Oh. Wait. Okay. Yeah, that makes sense.

Now, I don’t know much about your situation. Perhaps you aren’t in the same boat I was. You could be having a terrible string of bad luck. However, in situations like these, you have to give your subconscious a little more credit.  There is an underlying reason why this keeps happening. You just need to dig a little for it, and be open to accepting whatever that reason is. Maybe you can make a list of what all these recent people had in common. (The good and the bad.)  Then from that, compile what you would really want in a person you COULD date. One who isn’t already attached to another person, or who is incapable of attaching to anyone.

In addition, what do YOU want in general? In life? Are you happy in every other aspect? Do you love your job? Are you spiritually centered? Are you working towards any goals? Sometimes the timing for a relationship isn’t there because we aren’t in a place to handle it. I've been there. Are you?

Let me end this by saying the most important thing: more than anything I’ve said so far, you deserve someone who isn’t going to have you as their “sidepiece”. You deserve someone who will be honest and open and communicative. You deserve a person who wants to give themselves as wholly to you as you would to them. If you always remember that, this vicious cycle will retire itself sooner rather than later.


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