So, you’ve been talking to this guy and you enjoy your conversations but you’re getting worried that they never go deeper than mere flirting.
You’re now thinking he might be emotionally unavailable but you just can’t stop being attracted to him.
And then you ask yourself, “Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements?” Yeah, exactly like the song.
If you’re confused about what to do, here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding emotionally unavailable men and what you can do when you get stuck with them.
What are some of the signs that a man is emotionally unavailable?
1) He avoids deep conversations
Sure, he likes flirting and making you feel superficially good. He also likes small talk and random conversations to make you think he cares. But when it comes to real sh*t, he instantly clams up.
There’s something about deep conversations that makes him all bottled up like he’s afraid of drowning when he explores his deepest thoughts and emotions.
He likes talking to you, but he also wants to keep you at a distance.
And the more you try to pry him open, the more he closes himself up to you.
2) He always keeps you hanging
An emotionally unavailable man is unavailable in other aspects as well.
Is there a date you’ve been planning for weeks, but he always has an excuse to postpone or reschedule?
Does he ghost you for days, not replying to your chats or texts, and then appear again out of the blue?
If he’s physically unavailable and inconsistent in connecting with you, then there’s a huge chance that he just doesn’t want to invest in you emotionally.
But what if he’s just busy?
Remember, there’s a fine line between finding time and making time.
Someone who’s emotionally ready to get to know you better and take the next step with you will make time, despite his busy schedule.
3) He doesn’t want to label your relationship
If he leaves you second-guessing about where you stand in his life, then it’s a huge red flag that he’s emotionally unavailable.
There are many forms and stages in a romantic relationship.
But if he doesn’t even want to define where you’re currently at and where you’re going, it most likely won’t develop into a healthy relationship.
If labels suffocate your guy, something’s wrong with the way he processes his feelings and experiences.
He might not be emotionally ready to be with a romantic partner at all.
Why is it hard to ignore an emotionally unavailable man?
Dating an emotionally unavailable man is exactly one of those things that you advise your girlfriends against, but you, yourself, can’t escape when you’re the one in the situation.
Here are the reasons why:
1) He is technically off the market but currently single
It’s such a conundrum, isn’t it?
You feel like he’s not emotionally ready for a commitment and he might have even spelled it out for you, but you know he’s still single.
There’s a huge chance, right?
You just can’t ignore the fact that he’s literally available, although not emotionally, so you still wait for him to develop some kind of feelings for you.
Letting him go might mean he just might fall for another girl, and you don’t want that to happen.
So, you wait it out and see where this thing would go.
And even though he’s emotionally unavailable, you’re still hoping that someday he’ll realize that you two are meant to be.
2) He complements your emotional reservations
You totally understand where he’s coming from.
You might justify that he’s emotionally unavailable because he isn’t over his ex-girlfriend yet or he had a traumatic experience in his past relationship.
So, you resolved that you’ll wait for him to heal because you have some emotional healing to do, too.
When you, yourself, aren’t emotionally available, there’s a higher chance that you’ll gravitate toward emotionally unavailable men as well.
It’s the safer choice for you — it’s good if it works out and it’s expected if it doesn’t.
There is no actual emotional investment from both parties. And you’re okay with it because deep inside, you’re afraid of getting hurt.
3) He gives you the fantasy of the perfect life
An emotionally unavailable man is often uncomplicated — at first glance.
He loves fun, avoids drama, and lives in the moment. Sounds like your ideal guy?
He makes it look like going through life and relationships is a breeze. He shows you the best facets of his world while glossing over the negative ones.
He makes you forget that love and commitment are both necessary ingredients to make a relationship work.
And guess what: he lacks both of those.
But you’re already trapped in the illusion of a perfect life with him, dreaming of a future that you haven’t even talked about and fantasizing of being together with him.
That’s why you can’t just ignore him and let him go, even though you know that he’s emotionally unavailable.
4) You just love the chase
It’s no secret that many women love the thrill of the chase when dating.
You crave what you don’t have. You go for the excitement of uncertainty.
Dating an emotionally unavailable man probably feels like a game to you, even though you don’t want to admit it.
If he falls, you win.
That’s when flirting becomes a power play of seeing who gives in first. You’re testing the waters if this emotionally unavailable man will become emotionally ready for you soon.
But the truth is he also loves the chase, and soon you’ll be the one who’s losing the game.
And it’s only a matter of time until you realize that you’ve been wanting more, but it’s only just a shallow game to him.
5) You think you can fix him
You’re staying with this emotionally unavailable man because you believe he can change for your sake.
You’re thinking that one day he’ll wake up and realize that he has feelings for you. So, you put every effort in your undefined and unlabeled relationship in the hopes that he’ll reciprocate your feelings.
But, hear this: if he doesn’t want to change at all, you can move heaven and earth and nothing will change.
If he doesn’t recognize his emotional unavailability as something that needs fixing, then there’s nothing you can do about it.
Beware, though, because being with an emotionally unavailable man can turn into a difficult and abusive relationship when your feelings are at stake. Things can turn toxic when only one person is investing emotionally and the other person is not.
What can you do when an emotionally unavailable man comes into your life?
You might like the chase and the thrill of liking or seeing an emotionally unavailable man, but you know that this has to stop at some point.
Let me ask you this: do you really want to be with a guy who seems emotionally detached and doesn’t care about your feelings?
If you want to get out of your relationship with him but don’t know where to start, here are some things you can do when you are with a guy who is emotionally unavailable:
1) Focus on the negative side of the guy and the relationship
You might be having a hard time getting out of the relationship because you constantly look at the bright side and hope that he will someday change.
This is the first thing you need to break.
Instead of always focusing on the positives, look at the negatives.
Remember the times when he put his interest over yours. The instances when he did things that he knew would hurt you. The date nights he stood you up.
And all the times when he made you feel like you weren’t part of his priorities, decisions, and future plans.
Let go of the handful of good things he did for you and look at the thousands of times he has let you down.
Stop looking at him through rose-tinted specs and start being realistic about your situation.
That’s when you’ll realize you deserve so much better than a guy who couldn’t commit emotionally.
2) Remove all your contacts with him.
It is very important that you delete his number, ignore his texts and calls, and even block the guy on social media so that you can finally move on.
If you keep on talking to him, he might try to manipulate you once again — sweet-talk you into having an almost-but-not-quite relationship with him.
And you might never get out of the relationship if this happens.
Remember your goal: Forget about the guy.
If you keep letting him pull your strings through chat or text, you will have a hard time reaching your goal of burying him in the past.
Every woman has a different way of moving on, but this step is certainly a big help.
And no, you must stop yourself from cheating yourself. Like you deleted his number but you already memorized it, tempting yourself to leave him a message every time you think of him.
That’s not how it works.
Practice self-control when it comes to him. Just stop communicating with him because it isn’t worth it.
3) Focus on yourself
Because an emotionally unavailable guy knows how to draw you in, make you dependent on him, and keep you coming back for more, you might start believing he’s all you need.
Yes, there will be times when you’ll miss him and may want to contact him, but please do not give in to the temptation.
Instead of making a mistake, a.k.a. calling him, just meditate or reflect on this situation.
What have you learned from this relationship? What do you need to change?
What things should you look for in your future relationships? What are the red flags you should avoid?
Better yet, be in a relationship with yourself first.
Do not look for your self-worth in other people.
Validate yourself. Remember that you are worthy of love regardless of your relationship status.
As cliché as it may sound, it is better if you fall in love with yourself first before finding someone you can have a romantic relationship with.
If you love yourself, you know your worth and what you deserve.
Take yourself on dates, pamper yourself, shop your heart out, and do things that will make you happy. The happiness and love you have will surely radiate and attract the right guy for you.
4) Stop justifying his behavior
It will definitely be hard to let him go if you keep rationalizing his actions.
You keep making excuses for how badly he treats you — he might just be in a bad mood, or he’s still learning to get in touch with his emotions, or he’ll change soon.
You’re sticking to these justifications like a mantra or a prayer. But you need to face the reality that he might not change, no matter how much you try.
He isn’t Mr. Perfect who’s going to sweep you off your feet. He isn’t the guy of your dreams.
He isn’t healthy for you and the relationship you’ve been dreaming of.
What does this mean for you?
Breaking the illusion that he’s the perfect guy can feel like a bucket of cold water. It’s harsh at first, but you’ll soon realize how refreshing it is.
The sooner you start seeing him for what he is — emotionally unavailable and avoidant of serious relationships — the sooner you’ll get to move on and find someone better.
5) Listen to your friends
Your closest friends always want what’s best for you.
If you’ve been sharing your love and dating problems with them, you know they have been warning you against him.
But did you listen?
Are you following their advice?
If not, then you have to knock some sense into your stubborn head. Your friends don’t want to see you getting hurt or find you wallowing in self-pity after a heartbreak.
It’s difficult to follow sound advice, especially when your heart wants you to go the opposite way, but you have to trust them.
Because if you’re infatuated, or worse, in love, your decision-making gets faulty.
And that’s what friends are for — to anchor you back to reality and make you see that an emotionally unavailable man is a poor choice for a partner.
So, if you haven’t talked to your friends about him yet, it’s about time to do so!
6) Do a self-check on your emotions
Truth bomb: we get attracted to people of the same wavelength.
It may be on the physical, mental, or emotional level — there’s just something about him that draws you in because you know you’re similar, if not exactly the same.
So, when an emotionally unavailable man comes your way and you get attracted to him, it’s most likely that you’re dealing with your own emotional demons as well.
How can you get a reality check on your emotions?
There are different ways to go about self-reflection.
You can ask yourself which aspect of your personality resonates most with him and why. Or you can look into your inner self and explore the feelings you’ve been keeping in for so long.
Do you really want to be with an emotionally unavailable man — experiencing all the fun and excitement minus the trappings of commitment?
If you can get clear about what you want, then you can finally decide if you want to continue going out with him or leave this almost relationship.
A word of caution about emotionally unavailable men
Let’s get this straight:
An emotionally unavailable man is not necessarily evil. This article isn’t made to antagonize every guy who fits into this category, but rather to help you understand the workings behind their thoughts and emotions.
They might just be working their way into deciphering their emotions or they’re just not ready for a serious romantic relationship at this point.
It doesn’t mean that their whole personality is bad and you should avoid them at all costs.
It just means you need to know and acknowledge what exactly it is you’re looking for in a relationship, and what you have to do when a guy who seems wonderful at first falls short of your expectations.
That being said, you are free to decide whether to pursue a relationship with this kind of man or to find someone who can better communicate emotionally and spiritually.
After all, it can hardly be called a relationship if it lacks the emotional aspect of it.
Regardless of what you decide to do, always know that you are strong and beautiful. A guy is just an addition to your life — someone who complements you rather than completes you.
As you actively search or wait for the right guy to come along, do not forget to take care of yourself and always aim to be the best version of you.
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