I don’t know about you but my propensity to pick emotionally unavailable guys is about 95% percent. If I hadn’t met my current guy it would be 100%.
Why are we attracted to guys you are emotionally unavailable when all we want, more than anything, is to be loved?
That’s a topic for another blog so for today let’s look at how we can identify if a guy is emotionally unavailable.
#1 – He lacks self-confidence.
Years ago, I had a boyfriend who really, really struggled with his self-confidence. He had been abused as a child, struggled with holding a job, had a terrible temper that got him into trouble and had a failed marriage. His confidence had never been high but the past decade had worn him down.
When we first got together he was emotionally available in a big way. He couldn’t believe that someone like me could love him and he relished it. He showered me with words of love and tons of affection. I had never felt so loved.
As our relationship progressed, however, his emotional availability gradually became less and less. He still held on to me like a life preserver, like I was a physical manifestation of all that he could be, but he just stopped being able to give me what I needed to feel loved. He couldn’t love me but he refused to let me go.
Since we broke up, I came to learn that this man most likely didn’t believe that he deserved to be loved by me and so he wouldn’t even try. Perhaps also he believed that, because he failed at everything, our relationship would fail so he sabotaged it.
I saw such potential in him so breaking up with this broken man was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Doing so was important however. His emotionally unavailable was making me really question my own self-worth in the world. And that was not okay.
#2 – He drinks too much.
When I first met my soon to be husband there were two things that struck me about him. That he could drink A LOT, as much as me, and that he was wonderfully physically affectionate. Both of those traits were things that I was looking for in a man.
As the years went on, and I stopped drinking, a few things emerged that were very unsettling. The first was that when it came time to address feelings my husband just couldn’t cope. The first sign of a discussion about emotions and he would head to the fridge for a beer. Trying to talk to him about how I was feeling was impossible. As a result, I felt lonely in the marriage and we grew further and further apart.
The other thing that emerged was that my husband used physical affection to try to communicate his emotions. He was always touching me but his touch made my skin crawl. Looking back on it I realize it was because he was so out of touch with his emotions that his physical touch felt false.
His way of trying to express emotion when he really was emotionally unavailable was one of the things that ultimately destroyed our marriage.
#3 – He is narcissistic.
The definition of a narcissist is ‘someone with an excessive preoccupation with or admiration for oneself.’
Someone who is narcissistic is so preoccupied with him or herself that any kind of consideration or emotional availability is simply impossible.
Everything that happens in their life or their world is reflected back on themselves. If they are angry, they scream. If they are sad, they lash out. Because they are so self-obsessed they don’t feel the need to connect with their emotions. They are just fine, they believe.
Furthermore, to look at the emotions of another and feel something for them just doesn’t happen. Instead, they take note of how the other person’s emotions might be affecting them and that’s all they care about.
So, if the man you love is preoccupied with himself to the exclusion of others then he is a narcissist and will never have the emotional availability that you desire.
#4 – He works ALL the time.
We all know that person – the person who works 24/7, obsessively, who never has time for anything else, who is obsessed with their own personal success and doesn’t understand the need to turn away from their work towards another person.
Many people who are workaholics are like alcoholics in that they use their work to self-medicate whatever feelings they might be feeling. To feel feelings, or to understand the feelings of others, is just too painful to do and so they pour their energy elsewhere.
Another problem with workaholics is that they are also never present. Their physical bodies are always out of the house and when they are home they are usually preoccupied with work. Someone who isn’t present with you is never going to be emotionally available.
You can try, repeatedly, to get through to them but most likely without success. And that will leave you feeling lonely and ignored.
#5 – He has an unhealthy relationship with his mom.
I have been dating for 6 years now and if there is one thing that I have noticed out in the world of dating is that men who don’t have good relationships with their mothers are entirely emotionally unavailable.
The motherly bound is the earliest and the most profound bond in the human experience. Boys who don’t have that bond with their mother had stinted emotional development. They didn’t learn the inherently female traits of empathy, affection, trust and communication. Not learning those things sets them up for a life time of not knowing how to love and be loved in return.
In contrast, the man I am currently dating has an amazing connection with his mother. He visits her twice a week and watching them together is amazing. The love and respect that he has for her and what she has done in the world is written all over his face. The pride and admiration she takes in who her son has become in the world is palpable. The very bedrock of my man’s emotional availability was created by a woman who loved him unconditionally and who taught him what he needed to do and be to truly express and receive love.
How lucky am I to have found him?
The importance of having a man be emotionally available in a successful relationship cannot be understated.
If your man shows any signs of the traits listed above tread carefully. A man who lacks self-confidence, who is addicted to work or booze, who is self-obsessed and has issues with his mother is a man who is, and most likely always will be, emotionally unavailable.
If you want to have a healthy, happy relationship, a guy who is emotionally unavailable is not the guy for you.
So, let him go, move on and find the guy who makes your heart sing. Like I did….
If you have made it this far you must realize your guy is emotionally unavailable.
Let me help you, NOW, find your way out of the mess and find love before it’s too late!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here, and let’s get started!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.