When I ask my clients to explain why their past relationships
have not worked out, most tell me their past partners have been
"unavailable." When asked for a description of an unavailable
partner, they have listed some of the following behaviors:
Uncommunicative; keeps secrets; doesn't talk about feelings;
doesn't talk about his/her life; doesn't have time for the
relationship; wants a relationship on weekends only;
geographically distant and doesn't want to change the situation;
doesn't want a commitment; doesn't want to move to the next step
in the relationship.
Do any of these behaviors remind you of your past or present
relationship partner, or even of yourself?
Each of the behaviors above can be categorized as either a gap
in communication, a gap in the amount of time each partner wants
to spend together, or a gap in the level of commitment. These
gaps are what make one partner feel the other is unavailable.
But what if there is no such thing as an unavailable partner,
but rather what one partner perceives as an "available enough"
I believe we each have a different need for intimacy, for
availability from our partner. If we connect with a person whose
need for intimacy is drastically different than ours, we will
struggle and suffer in the relationship. This is why it's
important to understand your own need for intimacy in order to
accurately assess how much intimacy you need in a relationship.
This is why it's important to get to know the person you are
dating, to get to know his or her need and capacity for intimacy-
before you get involved.
Answer the following questions to assess your need for intimacy:
·Describe the behaviors of a partner who is "available enough"
·On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of each of the following do
you need from a partner?
-Depth in the communication
-Personal space/apart time
-Depth of connection
·What needs to happen in a relationship for you to feel you
have enough intimacy?
·Do you want to be in a committed relationship?
To gain even more insight into your need for intimacy, look at
your past relationships. Was there a gap in what you wanted and
what your partners were willing to give? Did you get the right
amount of closeness, distance, communication and commitment?
So how do you recognize a partner who is "available enough" for
you? Listen to your dates and watch their behavior. They will
communicate clearly who they are and what they are looking for.
If your date says he is not interested in a committed
relationship, and you know you are, then he is not "available
enough." If she says she loves her life working 80-hour weeks,
while you want someone with you every night, she is not
One key point to remember is that most people you date are not
the right partners. Work on attracting a partner who wants
similar things as you and has a similar value system. It will
become easier to select out those who are not right for you.
They are simply not "available enough." Once you begin viewing
relationships in this way, you will be free to attract a partner
who is "available enough."
(c) Rinatta Paries. This article was originally
published by Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries in the
Relationship Coach Newsletter, one of many relationship
resources you can find at www.WhatItTakes.com. Other resources
include relationship advice, quizzes, coaching and classes.
Visit www.WhatItTakes.com and learn to become a True Love
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