Is Your Partner Emotionally Unavailable? 7 Signs to Consider
Positive Relationship

Is Your Partner Emotionally Unavailable? 7 Signs to Consider


We live in a time where dating can be tough. Many of us have experienced disappointment because of the numerous times things don’t exceed beyond the talking stage! You might have felt frustrated being stuck there. Today in this article we are going to talk about emotional unavailability, a red flag many of us get attracted to! From this article, you will recognize the signs that someone might be emotionally unavailable and what emotional availability exactly is.

What is Emotional Unavailability?

An emotionally unavailable person is unable to sit with their feelings, regulate them, or even express them in front of others. This leads to an inability to establish and maintain emotional connections in relationships. They have challenges in forming intimate connections with a person beyond a point and they tend to have cold feet when things get real. 

Read More: Psychology Behind Relationships

They can be very social and appear to be very interested in the start but when things get serious they drift away or become emotionally distant, hence many of us experience them ghosting. Even if an emotionally unavailable person gets into a relationship he or she may struggle to meet the emotional needs of their partner. It can be very challenging to know that if a person is emotionally unavailable in the beginning. Let us look at some signs that will help you save your time.

Signs that a person is emotionally available:

  1. Emotionally distant: You notice that they hardly express their feelings to you. They feel uncomfortable when you share heavy emotions with them. They might avoid discussions that require vulnerability or get into deeper emotional topics.
  2. Fear of commitment: They might give flaky answers when you ask them “Where is this relationship going”. That is why most people don’t progress things after the first three months. They might avoid committing to the relationship by saying that they want to keep their options open.
  3. Inconsistency: They are inconsistent with their actions. Sometimes they might take initiative and make efforts but after a while, they may get distant again.
  4. Very little empathy: They might not show compassion and empathy toward your feelings and emotions and often disregard them. This happens because they have difficulty managing their own emotions. They might always take a rational and practical approach in situations,  downplaying emotional aspects. 
  5. They don’t take initiative or effort: You might not see them taking effort as much as you do. They might pretend to be busy and not reply to you in time. They rarely take the initiative to meet up and plan dates.
  6. They don’t open up to you or trust you: They might be insecure about being vulnerable to anyone because of past experiences and might build a wall to guard their true emotions.
  7. They don’t meet your emotional needs: They might not match your emotional needs of support, vulnerability, trust, intimacy (emotional), communication and commitment, etc. 

Related: I Love You But I Can’t Commit!

Dealing with Emotional Unavailability:

It is very difficult to handle someone emotionally unavailable. Emotional unavailability is not a fixed trait and can be changed. But it is important to note that it is not our responsibility to change a person. If you are eager to work out things between you and your partner then the most important thing to look for is if the person is making efforts to change. You should consider this only if you see consistent efforts otherwise you will hamper your well-being. Communicate effectively that your needs are not being met and set strong boundaries. If the person is not open to change then consider cutting that person off.

Related: How to communicate about intimacy issues?

Apart from this, understand why you keep attracting these kinds of people, are you struggling emotionally and always settling for the bare minimum? Don’t be hard on yourself and try to break unhealthy patterns to attract an emotionally available person.

Lastly don’t feel ashamed or worthless because of another person. You deserve all the emotional needs that you desire, you are not “too much”! Don’t blame yourself for their inability to connect. You are worthy of love. Practice self-care and prioritize your well-being.

How to attract emotionally available partners:

  • Have clarity: It is important to know what you want. There are so many people ending up in toxic relationships because they only focus on what the other person wants. Make a note of what makes you happy and what are your needs and expectations.
  • Communicate those needs: After recognizing your needs communicate those to the other person. The right person respects those needs and does not ridicule you for having those. Set strong boundaries and express when you feel that those have been violated.
  • Don’t get attached too soon: Before you commit to any person or get attached to them emotionally make sure that you know them well. Observe for a while if their actions are consistent. Don’t chase for butterflies and chemistry, rather look for a partner compatible with you on different levels.
  • Don’t get into a relationship just because you feel lonely: Many times people get into a relationship to kill their loneliness, and this often leads to them settling for breadcrumbs and bare minimums. Try to deal with that loneliness and enter a relationship only when you feel that the person is genuinely worth it.
  • Become an emotionally available person yourself: Check if you are an emotionally available person yourself first. Try to build qualities like communication, vulnerability, consistency, trust etc within yourself. Notice if you have any negative patterns and try to break from them. 

If you feel that you are constantly attracted to toxic relationships then there must be some underlying issues. Overcome them yourself or with the help of a trained professional.

Emotional unavailability is something that many of us encounter. Dating does not have to be so overwhelming. If everyone takes care of their emotional health, and mental health and strives towards becoming a more secure individual then fewer people will be disappointed, and more healthy relationships can be fostered. 

References +
  • Beau, A. (n.d.). How to Cope With Someone Who’s Emotionally Unavailable. Shine.
  • Gillihan, S., PhD. (2023, October 31). What it means to be emotionally unavailable — and what to do if it’s affecting your relationship.

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