My Lover Is Unavailable For The Holidays


You fell in love and the holidays are here. But your lover is unavailable for the holidays.

On the milder side of this problem, your lover can’t be around because he or she is working far away on the holidays. Maybe your lover is in the military and in another country. Or he or she is with his or her family for the holidays somewhere far away.

On the harder side of this love-life problem is the lover who can’t be with you because he or she has a wife or husband, lover, or family who can’t know anything about you.

When someone’s unavailable, but you know he or she is exclusively ‘yours’, coping with unavailability is easier. When your lover is away with someone else who he or she is still committed to or hiding you from, unavailability is obviously more painful and harder to cope with.

The holidays always pull and push us in the direction of love. Wanting to be close to the people we love gets stronger during this time of the year. If you find yourself in a love-life situation where your lover is unavailable for the holidays, and it’s difficult to cope with the absence, your pain may be telling you that something needs to change in your love-life.

If the reason for his or her absence does not threaten your relationship, you’ll miss him or her, but you’ll be able to tolerate the wait. You know in your heart that your lover will be back in your arms at some point in the future.

If your lover is not available because of a commitment to another person that threatens or limits the growth of your relationship, you’ll feel more hurt because of the doubt you can have about the future of your love relationship. When in love, it’s important to read the ‘messages’ you heart is giving you.

The messages you’re receiving usually show up in the form of your ‘feelings.’ When something happens in your love-life that creates pain, you’ll need to think about whether your pain is the feeling of missing your lover, or the feeling that your love-life needs to change.

If you’re in a love relationship with someone who is married or committed to another person, chances are you’ll be alone for the holidays. He or she will have to keep up appearances by being with his or her spouse (and children) during the holidays.

This reality will hurt. It will hurt because you’re in love with someone who can’t be yours at these special times. It’ll hurt because the love you’re getting is limited by your lover’s other relationship. It’ll hurt because you aren’t getting what you need.

Remember, changing your lover’s heart is impossible. I’ve been in the counseling business in one form or another for over 30 years and I’ve never seen a real change in someone brought about by someone else’s will.

A person changes because he or she wants to change not because someone else needs him or her to change. That’s the rule. When you’re hurting yourself by loving someone who can’t love you back, your pain is the feeling of loss mixed with your frustrated need to change.

It’s the pain of not getting the love you need. Your heart knows the promises you’re getting are empty and your hope is unrealistic. If you find yourself in this kind of love-life situation, the best advice I can give you is to ‘follow your heart.’

In this case, your heart is telling you in the language of heartache, to change your love-life. It’s telling you to go find what you need somewhere else.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan

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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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