Choose Unavailable Partners?

Home » Choose Unavailable Partners?

Choose unavailable partners? Psychoanalysis may be helpful in overcoming this difficulty. Here an example:


Don, talented professional, considers psychoanalysis because he consistently ends up with girlfriends who are unavailable.


Don, a talented, professional man, in Washington, DC, seeks psychoanalysis. In his mid-thirties, he purports to want a family. Yet, he continues to seek out partners who are unavailable. Eventually, they “dump” him saying that he is too demanding. He worries about being “too needy”.

During his evaluation with a psychoanalyst he comes to understand that, actually, he is excessively tolerant and generous. In fact, he always gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, second chances – and, even, third chances. As he describes his childhood it becomes apparent that growing up he consistently assumed a caretaking role with his parents; this continues to this day, where his parents who are both healthy continue to rely on his as their de facto handyman. In contrast to his love relationships, he reports longstanding, fulfilling, friendships that dating back to his childhood. He adds that his friends characterize him a “generous and caring friend”. In the career arena, he is happy and satisfied. However, he feels that he has not always gotten the promotions that he believes that he deserves.

In consultation with a psychoanalyst, he begins to recognize that his dissatisfaction in his relationships and his workplace share a similar pattern. That is, he says, “good guys finish last”. Similarly, he is able to see that with his parents, he has always subordinated his own needs to theirs. He begins to think that this pattern of over-functioning might be part of his difficulties. A friend of his who would “choose unavailable partners” has been working with a psychoanalyst; now the friend is in a good relationship. Therefore, Don wonders whether he might benefit from psychoanalysis.

I am a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst and a Clinical Psychologist who practices 1.5 miles from the Washington, DC, border. If you are seeking an evaluation for psychoanalysis, I welcome your call: 301.656.9650.

Dr. Lynn Friedman

Dr. Lynn Friedman, Ph.D., FABP, is a Clinical Psychologist, a Supervising and Training Analyst, and a Clinical Supervisor in full-time, private practice. She provides evaluation, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis as well as supervision to psychoanalysts-in-training and other mental health professionals. Beyond this, she is a board certified, psychoanalyst who teaches at Johns Hopkins University and the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis.

I'm interested in exploring a consultation with you, what's my next step?

I am providing online psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, clinical consultation, supervision & career counseling. I am eager to return to the office as soon as it feels safe to do so. If you are seeking consultation from a Psychologist in DC, feel free to call me: 240.483.3530. Here's what happens when you call for psychotherapy or psychoanalysis.