The Plight of Falling for Unavailable Women

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I really hope the last woman that I dated will end up being the last unavailable person I date. Unavailable has somehow become my type, right alongside brunettes, intelligence, dark brown eyes and a super cool butt. It’s the worst feeling, to be with someone who is unavailable. I keep answering the phone even though you NEVER EVER answer an unavailable call.

It’s a hard addiction to break after you’ve consistently been with unavailable women. The issue is me and I know that because I’ve been to one therapy session in my life. I guess I’m attracted to pain, like a woman watching Nicholas Sparks movies alone on the premiere. My law of attraction includes unanswered texts, girlfriends with boyfriends and flakiness.

I was with my ex for two years. We lived together. We had a dog together—well, she had a dog, and when we broke up it felt like Losing Isaiah: Dog Edition. That’s an entirely separate open letter/unsolicited blog entry. I knew I wanted to be with her after our second date. We went to a super gay screening at the Director’s Guild in Los Angeles, and my heart was pounding. I was sitting next to her, rather, sweating next to her. She was weathered, and that was attractive. Not in a weathered face kind of way, weathered in life experiences, old for her age. I was DTF and DTLTTS (Down To Live Together Too Soon).

She was skeptical. She didn’t date blondes. She found a lot of my “charms” immature, she wasn’t into my style, she thought I should wax. She questioned her decision to proceed into the frumpy-childlike-Arian unknown. She even dated another woman for the first couple weeks just to be sure. She was unavailable and wasn’t ready for this jelly, but I wanted to win. I wanted her to choose me over that other woman. I was taller, funnier and determined to win this relationship. We would celebrate by victory walking her yorkie into the sunset each and every night. Sure, I’ll eat gluten-free food. It’s fun spending a lot of money on food that tastes gross! (Note my retraction of the previous sentence: Gluten is heaven, and I gave it up for an unavailable person.)

We broke up, eventually. It took so long to actually break things off, so when we finally did rip off that metaphorical Scooby Doo Band-Aid, I got over the relationship faster than food poisoning. The dog and I are a different story. (CALL ME—for real doe.)

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Three months later and I’m loving my new, single, homeless life. I’m staying with friends and watching 1,000 cats around Los Angeles, and working out like I’m Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. There were a lot of nights of me crying in my friends studios, but I was also watching a ton of documentaries on my ex-girlfriend’s Netflix account. So the tears were a little less salty. With a new bod and new documentaries under my belt, I was finally feeling more like me again.

The old me would hook up with friends on occasion. I accidentally started hooking up with a friend at a baseball game. You’re probably wondering what “hooking up at a baseball game” entails, but the point is, here we go again. At first I’m hesitant. I’m not into her. I’ve known her for three years and kept a real casual, distant, and mostly working relationship . What’s going on here? Ahh, yes, it’s a rebound of course. Oh wait, it’s a long rebound. That’s cool, she’s nice. The shot was from downtown and it’s a brick. I hate missing—wait, hold up—don’t tell my shooting coach, but this is fun.

Of course it’s fun. She’s fun. She’s kind. She’s available. Well, no, that’s not true. I mean, she’s not in a relationship, but she is very unavailable. She isn’t ready for anything after being burned a year earlier. She’s still getting back to the basics. We both act like we are available, and therein lies the the mind fuck.

“I’m not ready.”
“It’s OK, I’m patient.”
“Let’s go to Austin together.”
“Huh?”

I start falling, because I’m really into her now. I still don’t really know why. It’s out of the blue but she has all the qualities and the prettiest eyes. Why though? Who cares? It’s natural and it’s happening. That’s love, I guess. I let myself do this, because I really, really don’t want to suppress that emotion. I jump without a parachute, because it’s exciting. Until you hit the ground—SPLAT!

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I’m basically in my late teens (I mean, I still have some acne) and really into young, hip rappers from Chicago. I was listening to a lot of Chance the Rapper at the time. While she felt indifferent, ditched our plans and was confused when I sent her flowers, I kept thinking about my favorite Chance lyric:

What’s better than trippin’ is falling in love.

She was trippin’ and I was falling. I convinced myself she would kill the busy signal and become available for me, eventually. I guess I assumed you had to trip to fall. Apparently, she was on a long trip, and had a different destination all together. I just wanted her to be ready to see me. I wanted to be on the same note, but we were playing different songs. My song was by Tracy Chapman, probably.

It ended when I got back from a long trip to Chicago. We were never girlfriends anyways, just doing that thing where you are acting like you are. I had to roll my suitcase out of her apartment, which made it seem more dramatic than it was. That said, as I rolled down her driveway I mumbled to myself “What a colossal waste of time.” I knew right away that I had chased an unavailable person yet again. Fuck. You idiot. That was three months of stupidity. Real fun, care-free, blog worthy stupidity.

My friends say I see the best in people. It’s true. Swipe right. I get burned because I believe people and I want to rescue these puppies like a goddamn she-ro. I guess the jaded alternative seems like an even sadder existence.

I don’t know why unavailable people are so attractive to me. I know I’m competitive. I was a three sport athlete for fucks sake! I like working for it. I should stop. In my recent dating history, I’ve been with: a recently divorced woman for two years (we made out the night her divorce was final), a woman available to all of the drugs and not me, a woman who needed to be with herself, and a woman who had a death grip on the aftershock of her last love. I want to be unavailable to these unavailable people.

Yet I can’t stop being interested in them. WHY SO PRETTY AND SMART, UNAVAILABLE PEOPLE?

I mean, we all have a history. At my age (72), every new person I date has been down and out, heartbroken, ready to die for love that probably ended on e-mail. We’ve been through it. We all need time, too. We aren’t all going to be right for each other. If you are going to be with me, you have to be available. Emotionally. Physically. Basically, DFTF (Down For Tom Foolery), and any other words that end in -ally. I feel like a make up commercial, yelling “I’M WORTH IT!” but hey, at the very least, and informercial yelling “I HAVE NO TIME FOR THIS.”

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Being with someone who is unavailable isn’t fair. After it ends you’ll feel like you have the worst vulnerability hangover that water can’t help. You might feel like you were stupid for letting them in when they weren’t letting you in, but you aren’t. You are just at the wrong doorstep, maybe the wrong building. We’ve all played the unavailable person role as well, I mean, I was unavailable to every guy I dated for an unknown reason (lack of boobs). At some point the flirting, the games, the flaky behavior makes for shitty behavior. It’s equally my fault for letting them into my life as it is their fault for coming into my life. And staying. Leave, please.

Do I regret telling the last unavailable gal that I’ll wait for her like Noah did in The Notebook? And that I would write her a letter (or e-mail) every day for a year? No. I mean, she had no context of my declarations because she hadn’t seen The Notebook, but still. Can we talk about that? How anyone in this world who loves love hasn’t seen that movie disturbs me. I’ll just try my hardest to save my vegan cheesy movie lines for an “avail.” Because if she’s a bird, I’m a bird, and if I’m a bird, then the fact that I’m typing with these big, clunky wings is very impressive.

Mo Welch lives in a cabin with her two golden retrievers. She has gray hair and glasses.

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