Attracted To Unavailable People: How To Break The Pattern

This post was updated on Apr 22, 2023

Most people desire some things that are out of their reach, and it’s no different with romantic relationships. People who are unattainable often spark others’ interest. They’re hard to get and many people enjoy the chase. This attraction may even verge on obsession, as the chase gets more and more intensified, the more the object of your affection slips away.

An unavailable person may exhibit love avoidant characteristics, could be in a relationship, or might not be interested in pursuing a committed relationship at all. Either way, being attracted to someone you can’t have can be deeply hurtful, especially if this is a repeating pattern. Therefore, it’s important to discover why unattainable people appeal to you, how to recognize that a person is unavailable, and how to break the pattern.

Does Being Unavailable Make You More Attractive?

Do you find yourself longing for people who slip out of your grasp? Are you more intensely drawn in the more they pull away? This is more common than you may think. 

While not everyone will experience this, some people consistently gravitate toward those who aren’t interested in their romantic advances. They keep pursuing the same person despite knowing that the chances of an actual relationship are slim. 

When you consider this, you could argue that unavailability does make you more attractive in the eyes of some people. Some may even take advantage of this by making themselves appear unavailable in a game of hot and cold.

How Do You Know A Person Is Emotionally Unavailable?

Why Are Unattainable People Attractive?

Some people find themselves constantly falling for people who are either not interested, in another relationship, or non-committal. Here are a few reasons why it may happen:

  • The challenge: Most of us want what we can’t have, so the fact that something’s elusive often makes it irresistible in our eyes. The desire to win someone over may put you in an unhealthy loop. You scramble to make the person notice you, receive some attention that gives you a temporary high, and then repeat the cycle. Because they only give you scraps and withhold the full scope of their affection, you keep trying to prove your worth over and over again.
  • The mystique: People are captivated by the unknown, which goes for everything, including romantic relationships. Since the person doesn’t fully give in, there’s a part of them that remains out of your reach. This can have a powerful effect on you, keeping you enthralled and wanting to know more. 
  • Deep-seated insecurity: In a way, it’s safe to have a crush on someone you can’t have. Since it’s unlikely that you’ll ever end up together, you can fantasize about them without exposing yourself to the messiness of a real relationship. You can think about them without coming clean about your feelings, which puts you in a sheltered position.
  • The potential to idealize: Since the person maintains a distance and you can’t get to know them well enough, you’re free to fill in the blanks any way you want. People generally tend to see their crushes through rose-colored glasses and if you don’t get a chance to dispel the idealized image of them, you may have a hard time letting go. 
  • The excitement of the chase: When a person keeps you at arm’s length, whether consciously or not, this may push you to compete for their affection. Some people see this as a type of dare, where they need to persist against obstacles, and this is what amps up the attraction.

How Do You Know A Person Is Emotionally Unavailable?

A person who isn’t emotionally available will usually act a certain way, including:

  • Being standoffish at times 
  • Giving lukewarm responses to your attempts at getting closer 
  • Not wanting to open up and talk about their feelings
  • Being unwilling to share anything too personal

These people are generally uncomfortable with their own emotions as well as sharing their feelings with others. Someone may act this way consistently, across all of the relationships in their life. On the other hand, people are sometimes simply not interested in pursuing a deeper connection, so they could be behaving like this because they don’t find you compatible.

How Do I Stop Being Attracted To Unavailable People?

Since it doesn’t typically lead to establishing a fulfilling relationship, being attracted to unavailable people can be a part of an unhealthy behavioral pattern. Here is what you can do to overcome it:

  • Get to the root cause of the problem: Recognize the main driving force behind your attraction to unattainable people. For example, you may realize that you prefer infatuation to an actual relationship or that your childhood wounds prevent you from giving a chance to a more available person. 
  • Reassess your notions about romance: Once you’ve identified the causes, you can work on changing your perception of romance. For example, you could evaluate the list of things you look for in a partner and decide to give a chance to different people.
  • Try things you wouldn’t have tried before: Expose yourself to new experiences and people to get over your latest unattainable crush. This may help you find novel approaches to your love life, too.
  • Be wary of your intuition: If you feel drawn to someone, ask yourself if it’s because you actually like them or if it’s just because they’re unattainable. Think about whether they could be a dependable partner instead of going after your gut feeling.
  • Allow yourself to feel loved: Running after an unavailable person may leave you drained emotionally. Also, many people who are attracted to unavailability equate romance with withheld affection. To overcome this, you need to rewire yourself to look for reliability, support, care, and partnership.

Who Can Guide Me Through Successfully Surviving Love Addiction Withdrawal?

The patterns you’re used to are often challenging to break. However, if you do, a whole new world of opportunities opens up. If you’ve come to realize that your pursuit of unavailable people is due to your love addiction, PIVOT can help. 

We can also shed light on many other issues, like how to recover from a breakup and get a fresh start, how to know whether you’re ready to commit and tie the knot, or how to have a better relationship with your partner’s friends.Take part in one of our coaching sessions for individuals to work on your specific issues or make reservations for our couples retreat to grow with your partner. Let us know what type of personal growth you’re interested in and let’s get started!