Tuesday, March 27, 2012

...spotting emotionally unavailable men...


Is there such a thing as an emotionally unavailable man?

Do some men purposely withhold their feelings, their approval and their attention?

Do the ones who do it, mask some insecurity they have about their own inadequacies? Or do they really just not feel as much as other people and therefore don't see the need for displaying their emotions?

What kinds of things make a man emotionally unavailable?

Does he has a wife, girlfriend or sleeping partner? then he is emotionally unavailable.

Is he is hard to reach; and go hours, days, or even weeks without feeling like he has to communicate? When there is finally communication, does he makes it seem like there is something wrong with you that you wanted more communication? Is there is no explanation for the lack of communication? Is there is no flow between one conversation to the next? Do you feel like things are stopping and starting a lot? If you have no idea when will be the next time you two will communicate, he is emotionally unavailable.  

If he wants you to keep an open mind, wants no labels, boundaries or definitions of the relationship, he is in fact, emotionally unavailable. 

If he doesn't want to talk his feelings, about where you fit into his life or how he sees your relationship, he is emotionally unavailable. 

So, it would be uncomfortable if your guy has one or two of these traits, but it is time to do some serious evaluating if he has all of them. Take a deep breath though, because you are not going to be able to change him. All you can do is start seeing the signs that you are with an emotionally unavailable guy, decide how to proceed, and take the steps to dissolve the relationship. But bigger than that, is you have to figure out if you have a habit of dating this kind of guy. If you see a pattern you must start changing your habit. Also there may also be a correlation between the emotionally unavailable man and the men that can develop abusive tendencies. After all theses men may reason that you knew what you were getting when you got together with them; and that their abuse was something you drove them to because you wanted something from them they couldn't give. Though not all emotionally unavailable men become abusers, but some do. The underlying issue for you as a woman who wants to develop healthy relationships, is why would you want an emotionally unavailable man either way?

I can only blog about this because I have been there. But what can you do about it? After all isn't there times when he is charming, sweet, and maybe even romantic? Maybe. But if you are starting to feel badly, unsatisfied and overtly insecure after your communication with him, it may not be you, it may be him. The insidious thing is you cannot tell if he is clueless or doing these things on purpose. Which can leave you second guessing yourself.

I have dated guys who had a couple of the traits. I also have been in the unenviable position of dating a guy who had all of the traits; and it was very hard to assert myself and insist on better treatment. Why? Because the emotionally unavailable guy will usually turn the tables on you and make it about your faults, instead of just owning that they refuse to become available to you. And if you are damaged enough, you may bend over backwards trying to prove to him that it was your demanding, needy insecure nature that pressured him and caused him to withdraw. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Emotionally unavailable guys were that way before you and will be so after you; which means its ok to leave them. It is more than ok, it is really all you can do to protect yourself.

You have a right to break up with someone if they are with someone else and they did not tell you. 

You have the right to politely ask when you will hear from them again. You have the right to expect some sort of flow from one conversation to the next. Rest assured, if he wanted to get to know you, he would make his communication steady and reliable. 

Any desire to stay away from definitions, labels or boundaries simply means he doesn't want to commit to giving you what you need emotionally; and from such, you have a right to flee. 

When the time comes to discuss emotions, you have a right not to feel like you are pulling teeth to get a healthy exchange. If you don't know if he sees you as a girlfriend, it is acceptable and emotionally healthy to ask and expect a clear, decisive answer. In fact I will go one step further, if he wants you to feel secure, cared for and protected emotionally he will provide a lot of this on his own without having to be asked, pinned down or chased. And if you do have to assert yourself, for any reason, he will be proud of you for doing so, not ridicule you or make you feel badly. 

If you need immediate assistance for an abusive situation, dial 911. 
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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