Kesta’s Love, Dating, and Relationship Advice Columnist, Jazmin Moral tackles this difficult question!
I had a guy who was really into me and pursued me for over 6 months. I was always honest with him that I just wanted to be friends. However, the minute he started seeing someone else I started pining over him, becoming jealous, and kicking myself for not giving him the time of day when I had the chance. Why is it that the more a guy (or girl) likes us the more we take them for granted? Are we meant to always like someone who is hard to get?
-Celosa in VA
There is nothing like knowing something is temporarily unavailable to make you want it even more (iPhone 5 anyone?)
So, yes, we are already conditioned to think that when something is too available, it must not be that good or desirable. But when it comes to your question, the full explanation comes from years of research in adult attachment theory. Here’s a crash course on the three “attachment styles”:
- Secure- tends to be reliable, consistent and trustworthy- not interested in playing games.
- Anxious- craves intimacy and worries a lot about their partner loving them back.
- Avoidant - thinks intimacy means losing their independence, sends mixed messages, and always runs when relationships get too close.
Secure types make up more than 50% of the population; however they take a very long time to re-appear in the dating pool because they tend to stay in long-lasting, committed relationships. While Avoidant types (only 25% of the population) are everywhere because they don’t last too long in relationships and are ready to start dating immediately after a break up.
The odds are you may have dated many Avoidant people and have become used to the guessing game that follows (getting mixed messages and analyzing every little gesture for clues that someone likes you). Sometimes we mistake this anxiety, the “roller coaster” feeling, with passion, or even “love at first sight” and end up with someone who is wrong for us.
Conversely, when an honest, open, ready for commitment, secure person (major catch in attachment terms!) comes along, someone who has a more anxious style may dismiss it because "there's no chemistry", everything’s too calm, it feels too boring.
Once your friend became interested in someone else you started experiencing the roller coaster feeling you've felt before with “hard to get” guys allowing you to finally feel the “sparks” and appreciate the qualities he had all along.
Next time you are ready to dismiss the reliable, "no-games" nice guy or girl, think again! There's nothing more satisfying than a drama-free relationship with complete trust and certainty that you are each other’s #1.
Jazmin Moral www.jazminmoral.com is a licensed clinical social worker practicing in Rockville. This column is meant for entertainment only and should not be considered a substitute for professional counseling.
If you have a love, dating, or relationship question, send it to us via our confidential online form at www.kestadc.com/love.