Home Psychology I'm 42, still single, and have been emotionally unavailable in my relationships my entire adult life. It's time for me to apologize.

I'm 42, still single, and have been emotionally unavailable in my relationships my entire adult life. It's time for me to apologize.

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I'm 42, still single, and have been emotionally unavailable in my relationships my entire adult life.  It's time for me to apologize.

As a 42-year-old entrepreneur with homes in Dubai and Bangkok, I have always enjoyed my jet-setting, single lifestyle. It’s a whirlwind of business meetings, late-night brainstorming sessions and the exhilarating high of closing a deal.

Relationships?

They were always in the rearview mirror and took a back seat to my business ventures. I have always been upfront about this with potential partners, clear about my emotional unavailability and my focus on my work.

But as another year comes to a close and the pace of life slows down for a moment, I’ve had time to reflect. I’ve realized that a confession is in order: I’m 42, still single, and have been emotionally unavailable in my relationships my entire adult life. It’s time for me to apologize.

For years, I prided myself on being honest about my emotional unavailability. I believed that by setting expectations early on, I could save potential partners from heartbreak later. But when I thought about it, I realized that this honesty might have been a defense mechanism: a way to avoid getting into a relationship and protect myself from hurt.

It’s not like everything is black or white when it comes to relationships, far from it. But maybe it’s time for me to allow myself to be hurt, to dive deeper into relationships and open myself up to possible heartache. After all, growth often comes from pain. I may be an old hand at business, but when it comes to relationships, it’s clear I still have a lot to learn.

How I masked fear of commitment with honesty

My entrepreneurial journey started in my early thirties. This was around the same time that I started noticing a pattern in my romantic relationships: I was emotionally unavailable. I revealed my individuality and valued my independence. My career was my top priority and I made sure everyone who came into my life knew this.

Over time, I began to use my honesty as armor. By letting potential partners know about my emotional unavailability early on, I thought I was saving them and myself from future heartache. “I’m focused on my career,” became my default statement, a phrase that allowed me to keep relationships at arm’s length.

Looking back, it’s clear that this so-called honesty was actually a way for me to avoid the vulnerability and commitment that come with deep, emotional connections. It was a way for me to maintain control, to maintain the upper hand.

In the next section, we’ll delve deeper into a common belief that shapes how many of us approach relationships—a belief that has greatly influenced my own perspective thus far. We will explore why this is not as simple as it seems and why it may be time for a change in thinking.

Challenging the faith: clarity from the start

The common belief, which I have always subscribed to, is that we should set clear intentions for a relationship from the start. That things are black or white. You’re either in it for the long haul or you’re not. This kind of thinking led me to believe that by disclosing my emotional unavailability in advance, I was doing the right thing.

But life and relationships are rarely that binary. They are full of shades of gray, unexpected twists and evolving feelings. My perspective challenged this belief because I realized that my “honesty” was simply a defense mechanism against commitment and vulnerability.

In retrospect, my emphasis on clarity from the start was not necessarily a sign of respect for others, but rather a way to maintain control and avoid deep emotional involvement.

As I continue my journey of self-reflection and growth, in the next part I will explore how I came to this realization and what steps I took to address my emotional inaccessibility.

Embracing Vulnerability: My Journey to Change

Overcoming emotional inaccessibility was not easy. But once I recognized my fear of commitment and vulnerability, it was time for a change. I started by giving myself permission to feel, to be vulnerable. I realized that it’s okay to let go, to not always be in control.

I’ve put more effort into my relationships, allowing them to evolve naturally rather than trying to dictate their course from the start. It was awkward at first, like walking through a strange, unfamiliar area. But it was also liberating. I no longer hid behind a mask of ‘honesty’ and ‘clarity’.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to be honest about your intentions or feelings in a relationship. But it’s important to ask yourself why you do that. Is it to protect the other person, or is it to protect yourself?

If you’re reading this and you’re in a similar situation, know that it’s okay to acknowledge your fears. Embrace vulnerability – it could be the first step to a more fulfilling relationship.

Taking a step back: the bigger picture in personal growth

As I’ve struggled with my emotional availability and navigated the complexities of relationships, I’ve come to a few important insights.

First, taking responsibility for my emotional state, regardless of whether it was my “fault,” has been crucial. This change in mindset has enabled me to reclaim my personal power and deal more effectively with other life challenges.

Second, challenging societal expectations and norms has been liberating. I’ve realized that much of what we consider “normal” or “acceptable” is influenced by societal conditioning. Recognizing this has helped me live my life on my own terms, with a clearer sense of purpose and direction.

Finally, acknowledging my dissatisfaction and facing the reality of my situation has been of utmost importance. It’s easy to fall into the trap of blind positivity, but real growth comes from facing the reality of our lives head-on.

Here are some important points to remember:

  • Take responsibility for your emotional state.
  • Question societal expectations and norms.
  • Acknowledge dissatisfaction and face reality.

It wasn’t easy to embark on this journey of self-exploration and growth, but it has reshaped my reality in ways I could never have imagined. If you’re facing similar issues, remember that it’s okay to take a step back, question societal myths and expectations, and reshape your reality in ways that align with your true natural

Above is a video I shared a few years ago in which I apologized for being emotionally unavailable. It was a pivotal moment in my journey towards self-improvement and emotional openness. If you are struggling with similar issues, I hope this can provide you with some insight and guidance.

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