Dance & Daddy Issues

awareness battles change discomfort emotions growth health heartbreak lessons perspective rejection rise transformation Nov 05, 2023

Choosing a career in dance is basically choosing to become comfortable with rejection. I can’t even tell you the amount of “Nos” I have received in my career. And the closer you make it to the end, the more painful the rejection gets. Yet, with any dance rejection, I find it nowadays “pretty easy” to wave this feeling of rejection off and away from my body. I believe instantly I’m either for the job or not and I remind myself of my beliefs that everything happens for a reason, which makes me instantly able to surrender to the outcome of this rejection. I trust what’s meant for me won’t miss me and what misses me is not meant for me. And just like that, I’m able to let go and move on.

Yet, with men, entirely different story!

Their rejection doesn’t always represent a hardcore NO like my dance rejections, but I’ve basically been a pro at dating emotionally unavailable men who always choose me but not really choose me. Yet, when I move myself once again in such a “rejection-filled experience,” I do everything but let go, surrender or move on. Yup. The chapter of my attraction to guys who have the face of selfish lovers aka fuckboys was a real and big part of my life. 

Super confident and charming but not reliable. Amazing to be around but not so fun to be apart from, as communication was anything but good, clear or consistent. In the moment, they make you feel like you’re their everything, yet out of sight is out of mind. Good talkers with great vision but barely create actions. Spontaneous, adventurous but unpredictable. They make you lean into idealizing everything they say or do while they are the most incredible manipulators who know how to draw you in deep, but not deep enough to truly connect on a consistent real-love level. I mean, you basically keep chasing an illusion and you start to romanticize things that don’t even translate as love, connection or care. When they ignore you, you think it’s time to reach out and lean in, and the more cold or distant they get, the more you start sharing. The list goes on. It’s basically an idea of love that keeps you thirsty, no matter how much you drink. You might be wondering: why did I think this was attractive? I’m not sure what dopamine mixed with oxytocin hormone spell I’ve been under.

The patterns I realized I have… are that I’m willing to let myself be mistreated just so they don’t stop ‘loving’ me… On top of this, I had to ask myself: why was I letting my self love and self worth be decided by men? Why was I giving them the power to decide whether or not they would validate me by showing me if I was worthy enough (to be loved) or not… Way too much power to give away. Sounds crazy, right? You know why. Because it is crazy!

Imagine doing this for a big part of your adult life. Every guy was a band aid on top of another band aid, on top of another band aid, right above the wound that was already there since the day I was born. The more emotionally unavailable they got, the more I would show love, in the hope that they would realize I’m worth loving, until there was nothing left of me. 

But, this past year, I finally decided it’s time to take all the band aids off. It’s time to look this 33-year-old wound in the eye, to cut out the old, face and fix the pain, rinse it with salt, cleanse it with self-love and dance it out of my body.

I had to come to terms with the fact that as long as I choose to stay with the selfish lovers, I stay part of this cycle. I figured out that maybe I was not emotionally available myself, because as long as I keep choosing this type of man, I basically fool myself and show myself I’m not emotionally available either, each time I decide to spend time with them.

This may not be happening on a conscious level but, gosh, once the subconscious mind had this figured out for me, I truly no longer could choose to continue to make the same choices, while hoping for a different outcome. You know they call this insanity, right? Therefore, I decided that emotionally unavailable men or selfish lovers should no longer feel familiar but that it actually feels pretty fucked up! 

Through my own trauma (unhealed inner child wounding) and insanity, I did make progress, which is the reason why I finally came to this point in my life where I had to take ownership of my part in this insanely fun yet very painful, heartbreaking, interesting dynamic love life of mine. What was I doing? I pretty much kept dating the same person with a different face. Do I want to become the number one in dating emotionally unavailable men, narcissistic sociopaths or selfish lovers? Hell no. So, something had to give.

In the beginning, men always tell me I’m so likable or so easy to fall in love with, but I no longer add value to these words, as I choose to be with someone who doesn’t just easily fall in love with me but someone who makes me feel easy to love, all the time. And this is when I realized where the source of the problem lies. It’s me! And, it started the day I was born. I simply have daddy issues, because the first male in my life didn’t make me feel easy to love either.

The first time I met my dad I was 8, and I didn’t really have contact or a real connection with him until I was 18. As much as I know that my dad loves me, he never showed it or made me feel like he loved me until I showed up as an adult and put in the work to build a connection with him so he could truly love me. He was emotionally unavailable. I felt like I had to show him that I was worth loving by putting in all the effort; I would fly to him, I would call him, I would ask him, I would tell him, I would plan the father-daughter dates etc. I had to work for this relationship. I had to have courage to be able to enter this relationship. I had to fight to feel seen; I had to fight to experience his love.

As an adult, I was dying for the validation of my dad. What could I do to make him see me so I could prove to him that I was worth loving? I had to make it happen to experience a connection. I had to give love to feel love. Because as much as I know he has always loved me, he did leave me right after I was born. He chose me by putting me on this earth, but didn’t really choose to be my father until I worked hard for it (or at least that’s how it felt for me). And this is the feeling which is familiar for me. This is the feeling that gave me my first experience of a connection with a male: one who loved me but left me. Sounds pretty emotionally unavailable to me.

So, the more emotionally unavailable the men are that I’m attracted to, the more I become drawn in. And just because this feeling feels familiar, I had to come to terms with the idea that this doesn’t mean it is the right feeling. I also realized most of them are just as broken, unhealed and dealing with mommy issues, which made them, at the time, the “perfect match” for me.

This is the year I no longer romanticize any lover who fails to be emotionally available. I no longer idealize a lover who fails to communicate with care. I no longer go out of my way to prove to someone my worth. You either see me, or you don’t. You either love me or you don’t. You either choose me or you don’t. Just like dance, I’m either for you or I’m not.

I’m so grateful for growth. I’m grateful for realizing that I’m just as responsible for these painful outcomes as these men are. If I choose to no longer give emotionally unavailable men access to me, they no longer can have a negative effect on me. And through that choice alone, I open the doors to the emotional availability for myself, which therefore will attract emotionally available men into my life.

I will no longer convince somebody of my love but I will attract love through my self-love. I realized; I needed a perspective shift: authenticity over mystery. Just because my relationship with my dad was challenging yet became valuable doesn’t mean that something has to be challenging to become valuable. Something can simply be valuable, yet have some challenges. A whole different approach.

I believe there is nothing more beautiful than being with someone who gets you, understands you, sees you, and loves you without reservations. Someone who wants to be available, someone who wants to be around you, someone who is not afraid to show their love for you. Like a friend of mine shared with me: “Solange, you don’t want the spark, you want the fireplace.”

If this relates with you, then I hope this is a reminder for you to take a step back. Move yourself into spaces where you feel welcome instead of having to prove your worth to be welcomed in or worthy to be loved. Do your inner work, face your deepest pains, be honest with yourself and simply give all that love you so freely give away, back to you. Surround yourself with the people who are naturally drawn to you and who make you feel better instead of leaving you feeling worse. Be with the people who want to be with you. Be with the people who make time and space for you. Be with the people who are healthy for you. The best part of trial and fail is that you can’t unlearn your lessons. Once you’re awake, the alarm bells will go off sooner and sooner and you’ll be able to see sooner rather than later the green lights and recognize the red flags.

P.S. I’m not saying emotionally unavailable people can’t love you; they will just never love you enough to truly choose you, as they simply love their own lifestyle more. It’s as easy as that. (So easy, it only took me 33 years to figure out. Oops!)



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