Tips For Relationships: 7 Signs He’s Emotionally Unavailable
Wanda, a friend of mine, had just gotten out of an extremely toxic relationship.
She met her ex through her job at a marketing convention last year. “He was one of the keynote presenters and his charisma drew me in,” Wanda told me.
She went on: “After a couple of drinks, I mustered the nerve to give off some flirting signals. Sure enough, he got the hint.”
Things got hot and heavy pretty quickly after that. They got intimate the week of knowing each other, and Wanda got caught up in the tide of romance.
“The weird thing was that he was so quick to pile on the praise. He made me feel like I was the perfect woman even though he barely knew me!” Wanda shared.
She reflected: “I should have paid attention to that. But how can you resist someone telling you all the stuff you’re dying to hear from a guy?”
Then the cracks started to show. Her Knight in Shining Armor suddenly flaked out on Wanda and only popped up when it suited him.
When he went off the grid for days at a time, Wanda found it easier to squeeze water from a rock than getting a single text out of him. All the while, he was sweet as ever – when he found time to see her.
“He wouldn’t even tell me where he was. All I got was some vague, half-assed excuse about dealing with personal or work stuff,” She said with a sigh.
Eventually, it came to a head and Wanda couldn’t take it anymore. She felt like she was the crazy one because her soon-to-be-ex was so calm about his infuriating, flakey behavior.
So she finally put her foot down and asked him to come clean with where she stood with Mr. Elusive. He admitted that he “wasn’t ready for a relationship” and “had baggage.”
Plus, he was seeing other women.
Fast forward to today, and Wanda is asking me what was “wrong” with her for falling for a guy like that.
I did my best to assure her that it’s easy for anyone with a pulse to fall hard for someone who makes you feel like you are soulmates.
Even if all the signs state the exact OPPOSITE.
Love can be a doozy for sure. Meeting someone new triggers a rush of hormones that can make it hard to see straight.
That’s often the case with many of us – which is why we often don’t see (or ignore) the dealbreakers that come up in the relationship.
Being in love is crazy fun, but you should be cautiously optimistic if any of these signs come up:
Don’t Count On Him – Sign #1: He never tells you how he’s feeling
Occasionally, a well-adjusted guy will say he “doesn’t want to talk about it” if he’s a had a long day at work. But that’s only until he gets some “me time” to decompress before getting into how his boss is on his case about that sales presentation.
Most men need that tiny bit of time to find their bearings in their own way, like cracking open a cold drink and putting their feet up for a while.
A man SHOULD be down to reveal that hidden side of ourselves to a significant other, even if he’s not the most articulate guy. Don’t write him off if you see him making an EFFORT to open up to you.
The best thing you could do is help him come out of his shell, so to speak.
But if your guy simply refuses to open up the tiniest bit about what’s bothering him – or sharing ANYTHING on his mind in general – then you have a problem.
He’s probably not feeling that sense of closeness with you. Or he’s just an emotionally distant dude.
Either way, this doesn’t create stable ground for a flourishing relationship
Move on with your life – Indicator #2: He’s sketchy, flaky, always late, unreliable…
Comedian Aziz Ansari made a joke about how frustrating meeting people can be. He ranted about folks who would literally back out at the last minute, or couldn’t make plans if their lives depended on it.
According to him, he feels like “a secretary for this really shoddy organization, scheduling the dumbest sh*t with the flakiest people ever.”
But how do you know if your guy falls under this category?
Maybe you’ve met one of those spontaneous, free spirit types that like to keep things fresh and exciting. If he’s springing surprise dates on you (like tickets to your favorite band), that’s a GOOD thing.
That means he’s still MAKING PLANS for a wonderful experience for you both.
That’s worlds apart from a guy who can’t commit to any sort of definite time or date to see you. When does show up, he’s an hour late on account of some lame excuse.
And if he’s seeing you only when it suits HIS schedule, chances are he’s not taking the relationship as seriously as you are.
In his mind, tomorrow will somehow take care of itself despite ZERO effort on his part.
Remember, know the difference between a little unpredictability and being unreliable.
Time to jump ship – Sign #3: He says he’s not going to get married/have kids
Like Wanda’s ex, the “I’m not the marrying type” dude will make it clear that he’s vetoed the idea of getting hitched at some remote point in the future.
Here’s what I told Wanda: when a guy tells you this, take it as a sign to move on – NOT as a challenge.
A lot of women have fallen for the fantasy that they can be the special lady in his life who finally got him to change his old ways. Don’t go do down that rabbit hole.
Instead, take his statement at face value and start planning your exit strategy.
This isn’t the guy you’re looking for Sign #4: Complains endlessly about his past relationships
Watch out if your guy gets a kick out of trashing his ex. Especially when he gets into the gory details of the breakup or he paints himself as some hapless victim of his evil ex-girlfriends.
Keep this in mind: a decent dude will admit his own shortcomings on SOME level. He has to confess at least a contribution to how things went wrong.
Or at the very least, he’ll describe the breakup to the effect of “we wanted different things.”
So, playing the blame game in a failed relationship is a bad sign. Tread lightly if he makes it look like it’s NEVER his fault.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, he might just not be the best judge of character…”
That IS a possibility, I’ll give you that. After all, there’s going to be SOME hard feelings involved when it comes to someone you used to date.
However, he should STILL have a reasonable perspective on how it ended.
Keep in mind that speaking ill of an ex like it was your job is whole other ballgame.
It’s NOT meant to be – Sign #5: Fantastic sex – which you mistake as intimacy
Physical intimacy can grow into something deeper with the right conditions. Hey, compatibility in the bedroom is a good start, there’s no arguing that.
You STILL have to remember though that just because he’s a wizard in the sheets, it doesn’t automatically mean he’s going to commit to you.
Even if you’re feeling the spark between the sheets, take a second to consider the following:
– Does it seem ALWAYS feel like a “Wham bam thank you ma’am” affair after doing the deed? Do you feel like his interest levels go down once he’s gotten what he wanted?
– Is he only concerned about the next time you’re going to hook up, and nothing much after that? Maybe that’s all he can bring to the table – watch out if he NEVER talks about your relationship.
Keep this list handy to figure out whether or not your guy is going to stick around after he’s done basking in the afterglow.
Have you packed your bags yet? Sign #6: You feel like you’re riding an emotional rollercoaster with him
Being in love means feeling those butterflies in your stomach and that hot rush of blood to the face. Let’s be honest – that’s 90% of the reason why we get into relationships in the first place.
Then there’s the kind of ups and downs that only serve to raise your blood pressure. Some people actually enjoy going through this emotional wringer, but I have to tell you that it’s unhealthy.
If you’re simply enjoying the electricity you generate when you’re together, knock yourself out.
Just don’t confuse it with a guy who makes you feel like garbage at a given moment only to lift you back up right after.
That’s what Wanda went through with her ex. It took her a while to realize that she wasn’t getting anywhere with him treating her inconsistently.
It’s time to think about making a graceful exit if your guy is bouncing back and forth between tearing you down and praising you to the high heavens. No amount of flattery and superficial worship is worth the emotional torment that follows.
He’s checked out of the relationship – Sign #7: Can’t meet or sustain intimacy
This last one’s easy because there’s nothing cryptic or ambiguous about a man who avoids intimacy outside of the bedroom. Think twice if he’s deliberately keeping his distance when you guys are out in the open.
Let’s face it – you could have a problem if he’s acting like he doesn’t know you in public. He might seem tense when you try initiating physical contact and flinches (or even scold you!).
If he’s showing the other signs of emotional unavailability PLUS this one – you’d best head over to greener pastures.
On the flip side though, some guys aren’t just aren’t huggers. He might just be used to showing his love in other ways, like doing stuff for you or making you feel safe.
That’s why you should hold off ditching him if you can see that he’s got the capacity for love.
If he’s only showing one or two of the signs we talked about, there might be a glimmer of hope just beyond the horizon…
There are cases where you can still crack a guy’s “password” if he doesn’t seem like a hopeless case.
You see, every man has a defense mechanism to protect himself from bad relationships. Naturally, he’d want avoid of all that pain if he could – so he stonewalls you – hiding behind his love “password.”
If you know how to crack this code, you’ll skip all the drama and form a passionate connection with him.
You can do this with Forever Yours. It’s the quickest way to get past his defenses and spend your time together doing what REALLY matters (instead of forcing him to validate the relationship).