emotionally unavailable man

14 Painful Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Man

It was discouraging and draining…

But worst of all, it slowly ate away her self-esteem.

There were nights she would cry her heart out because of the emotional pain and feelings of being absolutely starved of affection and love.

The mixed messages were always very confusing.

Christy was in a relationship with someone who was showing signs of an emotionally unavailable man.

When they first met, they connected so well because they were both divorced. Their partner cheated.

At first, things were great. But along the line, she noticed that Samson really struggles with emotions and talking about them.

She would express her desires in the relationship.

Like, more intimacy, time and affection and all.

But his work projects would always come in the way.

He intentionally kept their relationship at a low intensity to avoid intimacy.

At first, she thought it was her fault.

Maybe she wasn’t working just hard enough to show her love and affection for him.

But the harder she tried, the more she met with strong walls.

And the more anxiety-ridden their relationship became.

She was lonely and isolated. It was so exhausting.

In their three years of relationship, there were rare moments she felt truly nurtured, appreciated,

Understood and loved…and passionately desired by him except during sex.

No deep conversation and talks about the future whatsoever unless initiated by her.

Just regular conversation anyone could have with a neighbor or even a stranger.

Samson made future plans without including her.

He treated her as if he didn’t want her in his life but would tell her he loved her very much and that he’s never been so open with someone.

Christy almost lost her mind in the relationship.

Perhaps you suspect you’re in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable man. And you want to know the signs.

And you’re thinking to yourself, Is he emotionally unavailable?

What does it mean to be emotionally unavailable?

I’ll answer those questions in a minute, but first, let’s look at…

Some heartbreaking characteristics of emotionally unavailable men you must know.

14 Painful Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Man

1. Your Feelings Are Invalidated.

Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Man

Men who aren’t in touch with their emotions often do a lot of unconscious work to push big and complex feelings aside.

They aren’t aware, can’t understand their emotions, let alone express them.

As a result, they don’t handle emotional reactions well when in a relationship.

Often, emotionally unavailable men’s partners are told they’re too sensitive or overly dramatic.

This can lead to a vicious cycle where you’re labelled as overly emotional.

while they’re pegged as rational and stable,

When, in reality, you, the ‘overly emotional’ one, is holding all of the painful feelings for you both.

This can make you feel like you’re the problem.

You may feel unwanted, frustrated, invalidated or even “wrong.”

For example, you could be vulnerable and open up to them about something deeply personal,

And they might not respond with empathy, leaving you wondering if you’re the issue.

It’s perfectly normal and healthy to desire a deep, personal, and trusting connection with our partners.

However, you may not be able to accomplish this with an emotionally unavailable man.

Keep an eye out for signs of emotional abuse and manipulation,

Such as when they use your insecurities against you, gaslight you, or guilt-trip you.

These warning signs should be taken seriously because a 2013 study found that

Emotional abuse can be just as harmful as physical abuse, contributing to depression and low self-esteem.

2. They Pull Away When Things Get Deep.

Emotionally unavailable men are more likely to associate closeness and intimacy with being hurt,

So the more you try to connect with them, the further they will pull away.

The more you fall for and express your love for them with words and kindness,

The further they will distance themselves from you.

3. They Send Mixed Messages.

Remember the story I shared earlier, right?

Samson never made future plans with Christy.

He treated her as if he didn’t want her in his life but would tell her he loved her very much and that he’s never been so open with someone.

Of course, that was a lie.

Emotionally unavailable men are extremely confusing.

They could come at you so strong and then disappear.

They might say they like you, want to spend time with you or see a future with you but can’t commit to anything right now.

You may focus on the positive aspects of the message,

While ignoring the fact that they aren’t ready to commit or hoping that they change their mind.

If they say they want a relationship and then say they don’t,

It could be a sign that they aren’t ready for a serious healthy relationship.

How someone acts toward a potential partner is heavily influenced by their readiness to jump into a new committed relationship.

Unsurprisingly, singles who said they were ready were more likely to show interest in a specific person,

Act with the intent of starting a relationship, and engage in flirting and physical contact, according to a 2018 study.

The study also found that people who have had previous negative relationships,

Such as being cheated on, are less likely to be ready for a committed relationship.

4. Their Communication Is Inconsistent.

You may notice that communication is rarely consistent or timely when attempting to connect with an emotionally unavailable man.

You never know when they’ll contact you.

And as such, the relationship frequently feels as if it is on their terms and you are merely a bystander.

Early communication quality can be a significant predictor of future relationship success.

A 2017 study discovered that communication in the early stages could influence future relationship satisfaction.

Furthermore, early satisfaction with communication may lead to a more amicable partnership later.

5. They Hardly Commit To Plans.

signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you

When possible plans are approaching, they may leave everything up in the air,

Leaving you wondering and waiting for a text or phone call.

Or, if you bring up future plans, you may notice that they become uncomfortable or uninterested.

However, this isn’t always the case with someone willing to be vulnerable:

Most of the time, if they like you and are emotionally available,

They will make sure you know it through consistent communication and their enthusiasm for planning future dates or activities with you.

6. Things Are Kept At Surface Level.

As time goes by, a relationship has to progress beyond exchanging details about how your day went, what’s on Netflix, and where to get dinner or drinks.

The emotionally unavailable man never goes too deep with you.

And even when you ask about their work, they just say, ‘it’s fine,’ or when you ask about family, they say, ‘My parents are great.’

Obviously, this kind of person isn’t looking for a long-term relationship,

They prefer to keep things superficial, so they don’t get too attached.

One subject that is completely avoided?

The future.

7. They Chose Physical Intimacy Over Emotional Intimacy.

This type of person wants to get physical with you before establishing an emotional bond.

Be wary of sexual cues given too early.

Emotionally unavailable partners frequently prefer physical intimacy to emotional intimacy,

To avoid dealing with the complications, messiness, or seriousness that emotion can bring into a relationship.

If they tend to get physical with you in the middle of potentially deep,

Emotional, and personal conversations, it’s a sign that they’re emotionally detached.

8. They Don’t Talk About Their Past.

Men that are emotionally unavailable are rarely open, honest, or straightforward about their past.

While they don’t have to reveal every information about their dating life or personal life,

It is vital to remember that having a good relationship necessitates openly sharing and getting to know one another deeper.

Nevertheless, suppose they want to keep critical aspects from their past fully hidden from you.

Because they refuse to tell you more about their lives, it may imply that they are emotionally disconnected.

It’s a major red flag when someone decides to be a total mystery.

Take it as a red flag if someone doesn’t try to open,

But you find they’ve was never in a meaningful or monogamous relationship.

They are afraid of intimacy.

9. They’re Unavailable…Literally.

Call it—benching, breadcrumbing, ghosting, zombie-ing or whatever…

But if you’re not sure if you’ll receive a reply from them that day, the next day, three days later, or at all,

That’s actually sending a pretty obvious message.

We are all busy. Aren’t we?

But if they genuinely want a relationship, they will make time for you and always respond,

Even if they’re busy but will call or text you later or something.

The truth is, they’re not emotionally invested enough if they don’t care to give you an update or kind enough to understand you’re busy yourself.

10. They Play Games

The whole goal about being in a commitment is to avoid “dating games.”

For instance, not immediately messaging or making hazy plans.

Not showing interest. Acting aloof and all.

However, the emotionally unavailable man continues to play games during the early stages of dating or even when in a relationship.

When meeting someone new, playing games requires not being straightforward.

However, for emotionally unavailable men, you’ll soon discover that their communication styles are erratic.

They decide when and when not to answer your call,

And they wait long periods before responding to your text, all of which are warning signs.

11. They Avoid Conflict

Working through misunderstandings and challenges is crucial for growth in any loving relationship.

But emotionally unavailable partners avoid any form of tension at all costs.

This can take many forms.

They may avoid discussing concerns,

Make everything appear trivial, dodge by pretending everything’s great, or act as though nothing occurred.

It’s tough to develop a real connection when there’s an emotional barrier like this.

12. Often Self-Centered And Needing Attention

If you’re in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable, everything revolves around them.

They don’t consider your feelings, ask about your day,

Or inquire about your thoughts and dreams.

They ruminate on their own problems, expecting you to meet their needs every time.

And then, when they’re feeling better, they’ll often move on without asking what your needs might be.

And do you have any idea what might happen while they’re doing this?

You risk overlooking your own needs because you’re preoccupied with theirs.

13. They Get Defensive And Are Quick To Anger.

what does emotionally unavailable mean

Men are allowed to be angry in social situations.

And anger is frequently the default response when situations get uncomfortable with an emotionally unavailable man.

If you say, “You appear to be upset today,”

He will react defensively and reactively.

“I’m not upset.” Don’t say anything about how I’m feeling.

You have no idea what you’re talking about.

Whenever he feels trapped, threatened, or vulnerable, he usually becomes defensive and angry.

And that’s because he uses his anger to keep you from poking into his feelings.

14. They’re Rarely Self-Aware.

Men that are emotionally unavailable do not devote much time to self-reflection and personal development.

They have no desire to grow in self-awareness and empathy.

These types of men have a hard time taking a step back to consider how they affect others, particularly their partners.

They are considerably more concerned about achieving goals and maintaining control.

Though, they enjoy the prospect of spending time with you. You can give them security, comfort, and belongings.

However, they are unable (or unwilling) to do so for you.

They may want for a stronger relationship, but the risk of losing their guard is too big.

They have difficulty expressing emotions and feelings.

As I mentioned, they’re conformable talking about superficial stuff.

You can’t even scratch the surface of their emotions, no matter how hard you try.

They become apprehensive about discussing their true feelings of love, pain, shame, guilt,

Or any other emotion that may make them appear vulnerable or “weak.”

And that’s because they’ve developed the ability to ignore and deny their negative emotions and have become emotionally “colour blind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Emotional Unavailability?

Simply put, emotional unavailability is the inability to form and maintain emotional bonds in a relationship.

It can appear as a lack of commitment, indifference, or distance.

According to therapist Alyson Cohen, LCSW,

“An emotionally unavailable man has difficulty receiving love and other deep emotions from others.”

It’s difficult for him to comprehend “others” feelings because he’s unable to understand his own.

He’s also not aware of the impact his aversion to intimacy has on a potential partner.

That’s emotional unavailability man.

What Do You Do If You’re Dating An Emotionally Unavailable Partner?

Except you’re fine being with a man who isn’t entirely committed, if not you should think about calling it quits.

If your partner exhibits any of the signs in the article, it’s time to do some deep introspection

Ask yourself:

How far will you deprive yourself of what you desire?

How long will you give up energy that would be better spent elsewhere?

Do you consider yourself to be worth more?

What are you waiting for if you believe you deserve better?”

What Causes Emotionally Unavailability?

Anxiety stems from fear, and fear is one of the primary causes of emotional unavailability:

Fear of intimacy, being overwhelmed, being hurt, being judged,

Having an irrational fear of death, and/or being exposed as less than who they portray themselves to be.

How Do You Connect With An Emotionally Unavailable Man?

It takes effort on both sides of a relationship to feel safe enough to share freely and openly.

So, how can you help your partner be completely present?

1. Know yourself and manage yourself.

2. Get clear and take ownership.

3. Communicate instead of acting out.

4. Be patient with him and with yourself.

5. Stop fighting and start teaming up.

Does An Emotionally Unavailable Man Miss You?

Even after the relationship has ended, you wonder why he couldn’t connect emotionally.

It’s the same dilemma you faced while you were together.

It’s lonely without him, but the relationship is lonely as well.

He was aloof and unreadable.

You’re starting to wonder if he even notices you’ve left.

Being in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable man is problematic daily,

But he will miss you if he ends the relationship or you do.

When you’re in a relationship, it appears that he doesn’t care enough to work on it, leaving you to manage both of your emotions.

Signs An Emotionally Unavailable Man Misses You

1. He tries to win your trust back

2. He shows initiative in fixing the relationship

3. He becomes more attentive

4. He apologizes and admits he made mistakes

5. He asks for another chance etc.

How Can A Man Who Is Emotionally Unavailable Fall In Love?

Being emotionally unavailable does not rule out the possibility of falling in love.

However, it implies that they will struggle to recognize it or express their feelings. That means you’ll be fighting an uphill battle.

Final Thought

Please know that I’m sending you visual hugs and warm wishes wherever you are reading this page right now.

I am convinced that as you gain awareness and skills,

You will be able to and will invite more fulfilling relationships into your life.

You will have it as long as you are committed to your heart and emotionally healthy relationships.

Sure it will take some time, but your dedication to your emotional health and love life will get you there.

Nelson Whetat is a dating coach who is fascinated by human psychology and passionate about helping single women understand men, increase their desirability and attractiveness so they can get their dream man. He’s also a marketer and direct response copywriter who enjoys crafting attention grabbing and emotional compelling content and stories to sell digital products

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