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15 Signs You Are in A Relationship with Someone Emotionally Unavailable

Thanks Jo Sutch

Emotionally Unavailable: 15 Signs You Are in A Relationship with Someone Emotionally Unavailable



Too often in dating and relationships we find ourselves dating individuals that may not be ready or willing to commit to a relationship, are already in a relationship, or are emotionally unavailable to sustain the relationship.  The latter poses unique stressors on dating and relationships as it can either prevent the relationship from developing or interferes with its growth. Someone who is emotionally unavailable generally possesses traits that prevent and or undermine any attempts or effort made to build and sustain a relationship. Emotional unavailability can present itself in different ways as those that may be emotionally stunted can exhibit challenges surrounding commitment. Those in a romantic relationship often struggle with enhancing the communication with their partner, deepening the intimacy level with their partner, and expressing or meeting the needs of their partner. One of the first indicators of an emotionally unavailable person includes commitment issues that may compel them to avoid close intimate relationships. The second indication that someone may be emotionally unavailable involves the individual not being able to provide his or her partner with the emotional support required to create a bond allowing them to feel loved and connected. For those emotionally unavailable, emotional distance can be viewed as a reprieve from emotional pain and discomfort, which makes loneliness and frustration a constant companion.

Individuals that pursue or engage in a relationship with those that are emotionally unavailable find themselves giving more to the relationship than they are receiving. Unfortunately, those that are “givers” in this type of relationship will seldom receive gratitude or acknowledgment by their partner of the personal sacrifices made for the sake of the relationship. In order for a relationship to be successful both partners must be willing and available to commit and devote time to its maintenance. A confusing part of being attracted to someone that is emotionally unavailable, commitment-phobic people is that the emotional or sexual chemistry can feel so strong. Adding to the many challenges of being in a relationship with someone emotionally unavailable include those that are emotionally available making compromises they normally wouldn’t make in order to make the relationship work. Negative behaviors and attitudes are also tolerated by the emotionally available in an effort to compensate for the things the other partner is not contributing to the relationship.


Here Are 15 Signs That May Indicate You Are in A Relationship with Someone Emotionally Unavailable:

  • They are narcissistic or otherwise self-absorbed, only considering their own needs and interests rather than that of a partner.
  • You give more to your partner and the relationship than you receive
  • Your partner does not show up for you. Showing up does not simply include being there physically but emotionally as well. You have to ask yourself can I count on my partner’s emotional support even if he or she does not agree with my decision.
  • Does your partner’s interest seem to generally focus on sex rather than building intimacy and emotional bonding in your relationship?
  • Does your partner have competing obligations, relationships, etc. Is he or she currently in a relationship or married?
  • They appear unable or unwilling to work through normal relationship challenges.
  • They threaten breakup every time a conflict arises.
  • They prefer or are content being in a long distance relationship, i.e., they see nothing wrong with communicating via emails, texting, skype, etc., as distance is something that they crave.
  • They are seductive and provocative with you but their promises are empty. There is an obvious discrepancy in their stated words and actions.
  • Emotionally unavailable people are typically full of excuses and indecisiveness. When you try to make plans with an emotionally unavailable person, it’s like trying to swat a pesky fly, tiring and frustrating.
  • They never inquire about you or seek to identify or understand your needs.
  • They do not communicate well, often perceiving a difference of opinion as a fight or conflict.
  • They seem to be the master of throwing emotional curveballs, hinting at the possibility of connecting on a deeper level, professing love, then withdrawing.
  • Your relationship is lopsided. Your partner has met your friends and family but you have not met his or her friends and family.
  • Your partner is unwilling or unable to commit to you or the relationship.

Although it is safe to say some of the signs listed above may be more obvious than others. However, once signs become visible they are worth a second look. We need to remain cognizant that if a partner is not able or willing to meet us halfway for the betterment of the relationship this can be indicative of the overall course and quality of the relationship. We typically show our best selves in the honeymoon stage of a romance, skillfully wearing a mask that hides anything we perceive to be negative or offensive. It can take time for a person’s emotional unavailability to emerge, making it difficult to determine with accuracy how this person will and can contribute to the relationship. For this reason, it is important to not only explore your partner’s romantic past but openly discuss it as well. By exploring a partner’s relationship history provides a better understanding of how he or she viewed and participated in the relationship as well as contributed to the end of the relationship.


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