Is this man available?

If he’s married, he’s unavailable. If he’s living in a de facto relationship, he’s unavailable. If he’s dating someone else or he’s grieving the loss of his last relationship, he’s unavailable. Sound simple? It is simple, but sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees.

Sophie met a man at work. They flirted a bit. They went out for a drink and then had dinner. They spent the night together. He said he was living with his girlfriend, but they were finished and they were only waiting for the right time to sell their flat before they finally went their separate ways. Sophie was smitten, so she believed him. But after a few months, she became suspicious because there were no signs of the flat being put on the market and there seemed to be many occasions when this man was spending time with his “ex”. He said it was just to keep the peace at home. Every time she confronted him, he told her that she knew the lay of the land before they started seeing each other, so she should just be patient.

Daniella was incredibly attracted to her friend’s boyfriend. She tried to ignore her feelings, but when it became obvious that this guy felt the same way, she gave in and told him how she felt. He was pleased, but he made it clear that he didn’t want to hurt their mutual friend. He suggested that they wait until he had time to break it off gently. Unfortunately, the time was endless. If Daniella asked him what was happening, he accused her of not being a good friend and said that he would do it in his own time.

Yaz was newly separated when she caught up with an old friend who was also newly separated. The chemistry was apparent straight away. Both believed that finding each other at this point in their lives was fate. After a few months, Yaz introduced this guy to her children. He was attentive and the children grew to like him. He wouldn’t introduce Yaz to his children. He said it was too soon, that the children weren’t ready. He said the same thing a year later. He began to see less and less of Yaz because he wanted to spend time with his children every weekend. Yaz supported him spending all the time in the world with his kids, but thought it was about time they all met. Every time she suggested they think about moving in together or taking all the children away for a holiday together, he said that he couldn’t do that to his children. They began to fight more and more as the months turned into years.

Obviously, there are just as many unavailable women as there are unavailable men. Either way, the moral to these stories is: No matter how much you love someone and they love you, a relationship can only work if you’re both able to commit.

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