How To Deal With Emotionally Unavailable People: 11 Steps

This is where the loop from childhood plays out in adulthood. Our partner doesn’t fulfill the need we lacked growing up, which leads to the same, familiar conflict and suffering we experienced as a child. We develop instincts that become our chemistry compass—pointing us in the direction of who we find attractive or repulsive. So, if growing up you didn’t have a positive model of what a healthy, loving partnership looks like, it can be challenging to know what love feels like. Emotional availability describes the ability to sustain emotional bonds in relationships.

Does an emotionally unavailable man have feelings?

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You cannot force your emotionally unavailable spouse to be more receptive; change only occurs when he is ready to work toward generating it. Expressing their feelings, an emotionally unavailable man may also find it difficult to relate to the emotional needs of others. While this doesn’t necessarily imply that they don’t care about your feelings, they may lack the emotional maturity necessary to recognize and respect your requirements. Also, emotionally unavailable people frequently find it difficult to express their wants, regrets, objectives, and desires.

He sabotages the relationship

However, rather than judging yourself for something you may have done wrong to drive them away, analyze the guys you choose to date to avoid the same mistake. There is a good probability you were seeing someone who was emotionally cold and unreachable. Still, because of your great attraction to unavailable men, you disregard the warning signs and give it a shot.

She’s not emotionally consistent

P.S. This applies for the sweet little gestures, too. Say you pick up their favorite Sweetgreen salad on your way home, to show them you’re thinking of them and want to make them happy. They’ll eat the salad all right, but they won’t understand or fully appreciate the sentiment behind it. They will choose to remain a closed book, no matter how hard you try. They might not always stick to the plan or care to be a part of the celebration or meetings. They will care more about their interests than restructuring the plan according to other people.

People who are emotionally unavailable tend to confuse their partners with their inconsistent behavior. They vacillate between being very hot and into the relationship one second, only to go totally cold the next. If someone makes you feel safe and comfortable one day, only to disappear for a week—this person is likely not emotionally available to you. While the temptation to come back when someone comes out of the rough may be great, it can ultimately be quite damaging to you.

Her writing focuses on politics, culture, relationships, and health, and she has been published at Bustle, PopSugar, Reader’s Digest, and more. She has a degree in communications and creative writing from Le Moyne College. Your partner hasn’t attempted to change after several conversations. Someone’s emotional unavailability is not your fault, nor is it your responsibility to fix, but it is important to think about how you might be enabling this behavior.

“One of the reasons we might be attracted to emotionally unavailable people is because one or both of our parents was emotionally unavailable,” therapist Elizabeth Cush, MA, LCPC, tells Bustle. Another sign that your partner may not be ready for an emotionally mature relationship is they aren’t intentional. According to Powell that means you don’t know where you stand with them and they haven’t let you know. You feel like you’re an outsider in their life and they don’t make an effort to include you. “Their overall lack of caring is apparent because they seem consistently indifferent,” she says. “There is no ‘perfect partner,’ but there are red flags to watch for that suggest a person may be unable to engage in a serious relationship,” psychotherapist Laura Dabney, M.D., tells Bustle.

Instead, they’ve used their past relationship experience to learn more about how they can be a better partner, as well as what they’re looking for in a future partner. They have realistic expectations for a healthy relationship, and they don’t compare you to their ex. Emotionally available people can put how they’re feeling into words. When your partner shares their feelings with you, it shows trust. On the flip side, your partner might find it hard to talk about their feelings if they didn’t grow up in a culture or environment that encouraged vulnerability and self-expression.

Now at any age, even a man at 80 can do the work to forgive his parents, but if he hasn’t done that, the odds of you finding him to be emotionally available are very small. Gigi Engle is a sexologist, certified sex coach, and feminist author. As a sexpert for Womanizer and brand ambassador with Lifestyle Condoms, she promotes and teaches about pleasure-based sex education, masturbation, and safer sex practices. She also serves as a Pleasure Professional with, where she teaches a number of classes centered around pleasure, sexual health, and confidence. Someone who doesn’t want to share anything truly impactful about themselves is rarely someone who wants to have a serious relationship.