This week’s question comes from Paula:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
I hope you can help me!
Here’s my pattern…every single time I allow myself to TRULY love a man and trust/become vulnerable/believe he loves me back – he leaves!
All different types of men, wildly variable circumstances and timelines, but each time I chose to love – they leave. Of course the ones I don’t care about I can’t get rid of.
I just want to know, do men only want what they can’t have?!?
Thanks for reaching out to us with this question that is clearly causing you a lot of frustration. The belief that men want what they can’t have is actually a limiting belief. It’s not at all in alignment with the truth.
There’s a part of you that knows we are correct because you stated there are men that you can’t get rid of who pursue you for a relationship.
The first step out of this conundrum is to realize that the problem is not what you think it is.
When Men Are Ready They Will Pursue A Woman They Desire
They will move the relationship forward. They will ask for a commitment. And they will stick around through good times and bad.
Men who are not ready for a relationship will do none of these things. However, they still want companionship and even intimacy with a woman they are attracted to – especially if the woman is doing all of the work. Many of these men will not even admit to themselves that they are not emotionally ready for a long-term relationship.
Men who want what they can’t have are certainly not ready for a relationship, but this problem is not gender-specific. It is just as likely for men to want what they can’t have as it is for women. Both men and women can fall into this pattern of having a burning desire for what is unattainable.
The information you shared leads us to believe that the problem isn’t about whether or not the men you are dating are ready for a relationship because the issue is not with men at all.
The big clue in your question is your statement that, “The ones I don’t care about I can’t get rid of.”
There are plenty of men around you who are interested in a relationship with you. It’s just that you don’t find them attractive. This tells us that there is something off in your selection process. Ironically, it seems there is a part of YOU that is attracted to what you can’t have.
The Real Reason You Are Struggling Has Nothing To Do With Men
This struggle is inside of you. You have a subconscious program that believes that love feels like abandonment (or some such thing). Whatever the specific language of your subconscious limiting belief, it is at odds with what you want.
The subconscious mind is designed to keep you alive, and therefore it will continue to draw you towards similar experiences. You will attract what is familiar.
This is why so many women who grew up with physical and emotional abuse in their childhood then select partners who are also abusive.
When abuse and trauma are present it’s easy to see the pattern and where it originated. Unfortunately, without such egregious circumstances, your patterns and strategies may be very difficult to identify.
Right Now What Is Familiar To You Is Not What You Want!
There is a discrepancy between what you desire (truly loving a man who is able to commit to you long-term) and what you have experienced (each time you choose to love, he leaves). As long as you have this inner conflict, you will continue to struggle to create the long-lasting love you desire.
What your heart desires may be the exact opposite of what you experienced as a child, or it can simply differ by shades of gray – either way, you’ll find it difficult to experience the kind of love you want simply because it is unfamiliar to your subconscious mind.
It is your subconscious that highlights the men who are not interested in a long-term relationship with you so that they appear attractive to you, and the men who are interested in a relationship appear unattractive to you. There’s no juice, no spark with the latter because it doesn’t feel “right” to you. The man who wants what he can’t have is familiar to you.
We Call This Subconscious Program For Love: Your Love Imprint®
This strategy for love is created in your family of origin when you were a small child between 0 and 8 years old. You see, as a child you need to feel loved and safe in order to survive. And you will take on any behavior in order to feel loved and safe, even limiting beliefs about who you are and your place in the world.
All children take full responsibility for their parents’ behavior because you don’t have the capacity to think of it any differently. You think, “What is wrong with me that my parent is behaving this way?” You take on a limiting story about yourself and that story becomes part of your identity. This wound becomes the basis of Your Love Imprint®.
Your Love Imprint is comprised of your limiting beliefs, mental/emotional patterns, and behavioral strategies around giving and receiving love. It even determines who you have the spark of attraction with!
The real kicker about your subconscious mind is that it does not have the capacity to judge. It’s like it has two buckets, one with all of your experiences, and one with everything else that you haven’t experienced. The first bucket contains all that is known and therefore familiar. The second bucket contains all that is unknown and therefore is considered unsafe to the subconscious mind.
This part of you is wired to keep you alive – and that’s it. Since you’re alive right now, and you’ve made it this far, your subconscious assumes that if you keep experiencing the same circumstances, you’ll continue to say alive.
However, if you step into the unknown, and therefore unsafe territory, your subconscious will react with resistance and will strive to return you to what is familiar.
So your subconscious doesn’t know if your current circumstances are positive or negative, it just knows that they are familiar. It doesn’t have the capacity to know if you are alive and blissfully happy, or miserable and suicidal. Its only purpose is to keep you alive.
You can never truly thrive in life when you are focused on just staying alive and surviving. This is just the basic foundation of what is necessary without any of the goodies that create a life well-lived.
Everyone who has changed their circumstances considerably has all made the adjustment to move into unfamiliar territory. It’s common to hear from motivational speakers, “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”
When it comes to matters of the heart it’s not so simple. We think of love as something that is mysterious, that we have no control over. Yet, ask anyone who has been married for any length of time and they will unequivocally tell you that lasting love is a choice.
To make things even more confusing, there is contrary information about how to find love everywhere you turn.
Here’s The Deal: YOU Are The Common Denominator In All Of Your Relationships.
YOU are the one constant. So if you’re unhappy with your results thus far, it’s time for an internal change.
Continuing to see the problem as men who want what they can’t have, instead of realizing the problem is actually inside of you, will leave you feeling powerless and at the mercy of finding only this type of man attractive.
You may have tried going against type. Dating those men who are gung ho about you – those men you don’t find attractive (and who are unfamiliar). Unfortunately, that will not move you towards your goal of long-lasting love either. Chemistry is a necessary ingredient for love to last.
Your GPS for love needs to be recalibrated. This is not something that you can think your way through. It is about having an experiential shift. Once you have a new experience, you cannot un-have it – just like riding a bike.
The Solution Is To Reconcile The Difference Between What Is Familiar And What You Desire.
The desire you have to share your life with a man who gets you, who will stand by you, who desires you as much as you desire him, exists in your conscious mind. This desire is not in alignment with what you experienced as “love” in your family of origin.
Your parents loved you in the way in which they were capable of loving you. Often this falls short of how you wanted to be loved. Additionally, all the events of your childhood were assigned a meaning by that child version of you, with her view of the world.
The meanings you assigned to the events of the past as a little girl determine how you feel about yourself when it comes to intimate relationships – and often times do not play out in other parts of your life. In essence, it’s the child version of you that created your belief system for your own personal GPS for love.
We speak to women all the time who tell us that when it comes to love it’s like they are a completely different person than in every other part of their life.
When it comes to love, we often hear things like, “Girls marry their father, and boys marry their mother.” We find this is much too simplistic and that human beings are much more complex than that.
Both parents (whether they were both present or not) played a role in determining Your Love Imprint®. Both parents helped you shape the kind of men that you’re drawn toward and find attractive.
Right now, as a grown woman, you are selecting men who reflect back to you the same energetic dynamic of love that you experienced in your family of origin simply because that is familiar to you.
Ask yourself what happened in your childhood that led to you believing that love is out of reach, that you can’t win someone’s love and approval, that the feeling of abandonment is familiar. You can dig even deeper and discover the limiting beliefs you have about yourself that make it feel like love is not available for you.
Doing this investigation is the first step to Creating Love On Purpose®. Discovering your internal blocks can give you some deep insight into why love feels so difficult. Then you can begin the work of dismantling those beliefs and strategies. This is the key to transforming the kind of men you find attractive when you meet them out in the world or online.
Want to know more about how your subconscious filters your experiences into familiar and unfamiliar?
Check out our master-class: Why Love Is Easy For Some And Hard For Others – we can assure you the answer is not at all what you think.
We are here to be your guides to the soul-satisfying, long-lasting love you desire.
Love and Abundance,