I’m Emotionally Unavailable, but I like you…

Help Wanted:

Single Black Female Seeks Love while Being Emotionally Available

It was a typical Monday on my commute to work when it hit me—I’m emotionally unavailable. I’ve said it before, but the actual realization hit me like bricks. I’m not sure what triggered this realization, but it took everything to hold back my tears. They say the first step is admitting. 

I knew that I was still holding past trauma to some extent. I’ve learned that I never give 100 percent of myself to anyone even when I’m truly interested. My fear of being hurt causes me to dissociate from actual romantic feelings at times. Do I enjoy the company of other people? Of course, but I shut down whenever I see emotions are becoming apparent. I knew my past trauma changed my view on love; I just never knew how deep I needed to dig to get to the roots. After entertaining emotionally unavailable men, it made me realize that I was attracting what I was. These men didn’t want a relationship because deep down, neither did I. These men didn’t want to open about their feelings because neither did I. My years of being loved incorrectly had made me fearful of being loved healthily. So, when anyone gets close to that, I shut down and emotionally check out. Or I find myself overcompensating to prove that I’m capable of being a good woman. Being emotionally unavailable has become my defense mechanism to being hurt. If I never let you in then, I never have to worry about you disappointing me. However, I’ve realized that I desire love, but I want to control it. My emotional unavailability is due to me feeling like I have to control how relationships play out. It took me a while to realize that I was seeking validation from the connection more than anything.

I think the real fear is knowing being loved correctly requires me to be vulnerable. I’ve feared being vulnerable for years because I equated vulnerability to being foolish. Yet, the truth is that I lacked and ignored my boundaries in those other relationships. Disregarding my boundaries is what put me in a position to feel foolish. I realized during those times, I never stopped to self-regulate how I was feeling. I never stopped to hold those people accountable when they slighted me. So, I internalized my thoughts, insecurities, and emotions to satisfy someone else, who was probably just trying to figure it out like me. The actuality is that love can’t be controlled; it’s a natural energy that moves as it should. It doesn’t need me to position it or tell it what to do. I am simply just a vessel for that concept, and I should accept it as it comes. 

I’m learning that I can revisit the past, but I cannot dwell there. Dwelling does not serve me in this season. I cannot change those past circumstances. Currently, I’m working towards becoming the love I desire for myself. I am emitting the love I seek. Therapy and spiritual counseling have made me genuinely evaluate how I navigate in relationships. Being loved correctly should not feel like a crime or a punishment. I’m tired of running from the very concept I desire—love. The marathon is over, I’m placing by baton down, and sitting on the sidelines to recover. I have to open myself to allowing someone’s son or daughter into the place I’m afraid to share. I’m changing the narrative for myself each day and in due time I’ll be putting out a different ad for help wanted.


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