So, you’re dating this person for over 6 months, you have great sexual chemistry, you have everything in common but something feels bad in your gut. This person doesn’t seem to be too much interested in your hobbies or emotional experiences. In fact, they are so casual that you begin to wonder if they even like you. Something definitely is a little off although your involvement continues. So what’s happening in there? Are they even attracted to you or not?
Well the good news is that they probably are but the bad news is that this is the perfect description for an emotionally unavailable person. Most emotionally unavailable people struggle in their relationships because they fear emotional connection so they prefer keeping the distance and casual dating.
What makes a partner emotionally unavailable?
Unfortunately, it’s not very easy to spot emotionally unavailable people because they have a way of making you feel great about yourself and the future of this relationship in the beginning but they cannot connect intimately so usually after the encouraging start, they grow cold on you.
However, there are some signs that might help you recognize emotional unavailability:
They don’t like making plans
Emotionally unavailable people may agree enthusiastically to meet with you again but they don’t make any kind of commitments, not even small ones. So, if you ask your partner what day works for them to get together an they will answer with “let me get back to you with this”, keep in mind that probably you will never hear from them again.
They call the shots
If you are seeing them again, they will be the ones to choose the details of your date. Mostly, they will invite you to do something that aligns with their typical routine. So, if your partner makes you watch the last episode of their favorite show, although you’ve never seen one episode of it and they don’t seem to be receptive to your suggestions, you need to take a closer look to the relationship. Unavailable emotional people usually never ask what you like to do and they can even be irritated if you’re not going along with their plan.
You do all the relationship work
Are you the one that initiates all the conversation? Are you already frustrated that your partner never initiates plans with you or set up a date? Well, if you can’t remember the last time, they’ve sent you a text that is not just a direct reply, if you’re the one that does all the planning and calling, there’s a big chance you’re dating an emotionally unavailable person. They might like spending time with you but they are not willing to work for it so they will not make things happen. If your partner only meets you when it works out for them and they take days until they answer your messages, they are not going to get involved in this relationship.
They avoid the word ‘relationship’
Their fear of intimacy and commitment will make them draw back every time you try to build a relationship. Even if you go on dates and spend the night together or meet their friends, they still avoid talking about an official relationship. In fact, they will stick around as long as you keep things casual but as soon as you’re asking for security or validation they will withdraw.
You never seem to grow closer
Even if they openly shared all sorts of personal data and vulnerabilities in the beginning of the relationship, they always seem quite distant. They enjoy spending time with you, you feel as if they are the right person or at least a person who has the potential to be your partner but somehow things never get serious.
Should you try a little harder? No. This is where emotional unavailability will trap you and drain you until you’re too exhausted to continue. So if your partner avoids reciprocation, doesn’t invest time and energy into the relationship and reflects your feelings instead of talking about their own, you need to understand that you will not be able to connect with this person on emotional level. Pay attention to the people that mirror your emotions instead of sharing their own. If your partner can’t open up, they are emotionally unavailable.
They show up late or blow off plans
Most emotionally unavailable people have a subtle way of showing that you need to keep the distance: they usually show up late, they don’t keep their commitments or follow up something that they’ve promised to. Even if they apologize with sincerity, you need to understand that they won’t do any effort for you to fit into their life. They will only care about what they want and they will always prioritize their needs over the relationship.
Could I be the emotionally unavailable one?
If you’ve notices some traits in the above descriptions that resonate to your personality or if your past partners have pointed out some of the above signs to you, you are the emotional unavailable one.
Here are more signs to help you figure things out:
If commitment approaches, you will back out
Even if you were excited about a plan you’ve made, you’re not willing to give up your free time and will cancel the plan with your partner instead. If this often happens, ask yourself why you avoid spending time together.
You always keep your options open
If you want to commit to a relationship, you’ll need to focus on one partner and establish long-term goals with them without keeping your eyes open for greener pastures.
You are afraid to lose yourself in a relationship
Getting close to someone doesn’t necessarily mean that you will lose your independence. You don’t need to change your life for someone else but if you want to be in a healthy relationship you need to balance the romantic commitment with your personal needs.
You don’t trust people
If you’re afraid to expose your vulnerabilities to other people and prefer to keep your emotions for yourself you will keep ending up with other emotionally unavailable persons. Don’t change the subject or respond by shutting down when the other tries to get close to you, because you will only get back what you’re putting out there. If deep down you really want a committed relationship, make an effort to open up and express your feelings.