To have a satisfying relationship with someone, both of you need to be emotionally available.
An emotionally available person is honest with themselves and others, accepts their emotions, and understands that healthy relationships are built on trust and intimacy that deepen over time.
Unfortunately, some people find it hard to open up to others.
They may fear closeness, experience a sense of detachment from their own emotions, and may be unsure whether they want a relationship.
If you are dating someone like this, you are in for a rollercoaster ride.
By learning how to spot the early signs of emotional unavailability, you can avoid wasting your time with men who aren’t in the right headspace for a relationship.
Watch out for these 8 signs:
1. He doesn’t seem to have any close friendships
An emotionally unavailable man isn’t usually good at sharing his deepest feelings and most private thoughts with anyone, including his friends.
He might have a few buddies he has drinks with occasionally, but no one he can confide in when he’s facing a serious problem.
2. He isn’t very affectionate
Non-sexual affection – for instance, holding hands in public – feels threatening to emotionally unavailable men.
It builds intimacy, which frightens them.
If you raise the issue, he will probably tell you that he “just isn’t naturally affectionate,” or he might say that you are unusually needy.
3. He blows hot and cold
Have you ever dated a man who seems really into you one day, then aloof or even disinterested the next?
Blowing hot and cold is a behavior designed to keep you at an emotional distance, and undermines any possibility that true intimacy might develop.
Emotionally unavailable men like spending time with women, but they are terrified by the thought of entering into a relationship.
They might tell you that they aren’t over an ex, or that their parents’ divorce scarred them for life, but it comes down to the same thing – they don’t want, and can’t cope with, normal relationships.
4. He isn’t keen to introduce you to his family, friends, or colleagues
Emotionally unavailable people like to compartmentalize their lives.
They often find the thought of integrating their social groups extremely uncomfortable; in fact, the thought makes them vulnerable.
In some cases, they don’t even like the thought of their parents meeting their friends.
5. He lives in the present moment
A man with healthy relationship habits won’t hesitate to let you know that he wants to build a future with you.
An emotionally unavailable man will often refuse to discuss the direction of your relationship, or he will tell you want you want to hear and then retract it later.
He won’t even consider how his lies make you feel.
6. He makes frequent references to how much he loves his independence
If he drops not-so-subtle hints about how much he enjoys living alone, how he never wants to get married, or how he doesn’t want to commit to a woman, listen to him.
Take him at his word, because he means what he says in this instance.
7. You feel uncertain of where you stand
He doesn’t want or need a steady, committed relationship.
However, rather than telling you this outright, some emotionally unavailable men will give you just enough attention to keep you hanging around in the hope that he will suddenly change.
He will often leave you feeling confused and unsure of his true intentions.
You probably won’t feel able to have a conversation with him about where you stand, because he will just change the subject.
8. He sometimes goes days between calls and messages
When someone likes you, they don’t want to risk losing your attention.
A mature man will keep in touch, ask you questions about your day, and take the initiative in setting up dates.
An emotionally unavailable man, on the other hand, will only contact you sporadically – usually when he wants an ego boost or sex.
What should you do if you are dating an emotionally unavailable man?
If you notice these signs, it’s time to take a step back and get realistic about the status of your relationship.
Life is too short to waste on men who jerk you around, avoid important conversations, and seem confused about their own desires.
A man like this is unlikely to change.
Your best bet is to focus on finding someone who is genuine, open, and honest.
It can take time to find a healthy partner, but they will be well worth the wait.