In previous posts I discuss various reasons that the guy you like, goes on hiatus. Most likely he isn’t feeling it anymore, or sometimes he is feeling it. In fact, he’s feeling it so badly he needs to take some time to process his feelings.
There is also the guy (or gal) that is simply emotionally unavailable. As a result, there’s nothing you can do to get them to really commit. I mean commit to loving you and letting you in. Letting you into their world where they aren’t perfect. This person is simply unwilling or unable to be real. He or she can’t open up and be vulnerable. You may be in a committed relationship with this person, but achieving true intimacy will be impossible. If you’re in a relationship with a person who is emotionally unavailable, it can be one of the most lonely and heart breaking places you can be be.
How do you know if someone is emotionally unavailable?
For me, there’s a few pretty quick tells when you’re beginning to get to know someone. Do you ever meet someone and look into their eyes when you’re having a conversation and there seems to be nothing there? In other words, their eyes appear vacant, or you get a blank stare. There are other signs as well.
When you’re talking to the person, does that person constantly avert their eyes away from you? Is it hard for you to get eye contact for more than a few seconds?
Do you feel like there’s a constant interruption in the flow of your conversation? Worse, can you even have a conversation? Does it feel more like you’re talking to yourself even though they’re sitting right across from you?
There are some other pretty quick tells. These are evident pretty early when you get to know someone.
People who are emotionally unavailable have a hard time connecting with people. The first part of connecting with another person is literally by locking eyes. It doesn’t have to be for minutes on end, but you know what it feels like when you’re talking and the other person is clearly not focusing on you.
People who are emotionally unavailable have a very hard time even having a true conversation in general. What do I mean by a true conversation? I mean a conversation in which there is a back-and-forth dialogue. A conversation where two people are talking to each other, listening to each other, and responding to each other based off what they just heard. Not basically ignoring the other person, while they wait for what they want to say next, or worse constantly interrupting you. A true conversation is not when someone is talking at you.
Are they clearly not really interested in what you have to say? This is a sign that the person you’re speaking with is emotionally unavailable. Now, this is different than talking to someone who is distracted by something. I don’t mean if you ‘re talking to your spouse or friend and they‘re in the middle of something. Maybe checking their phone for work updates, or an important call. (they just can’t be doing this ALL the time)
I’m talking about when you’re on a date, or you’re relaxing and hanging out, and it doesn’t feel like you even exist.
Are your conversations always light? Do you generally keep it light in your conversations, or are you able to discuss deeper issues. Do you talk about the important things in life? Your fears? Your dreams?
When you’re struggling with an issue, are you dismissed? This is a big one for me. If you can’t seem to discuss what you’re struggling with in your life, then it will be difficult to relate to him or her on a deeper level. Are you told, don’t worry it will be okay, and then the conversation is quickly switched back to that person? What’s going on in their life? What went on during their day? Does the person even ask how your day went? Do they immediately jump into all the bad that went on with them that day? Is it always about how someone wronged them? Are they always the victim?
If someone is always the victim, then they are emotionally immature, and therefore emotionally unavailable.
Is the topic at hand always about the other person? Do you feel like you know everything about this person and their daily struggles but you never seem to get around to yours? Is it always about the other person and how it makes them feel? Is it always about what’s going on in their life?
People who are emotionally unavailable find it very difficult to think of something from another person’s perspective. It’s always about how it affects them.
Are you generally the one listening and not talking? Do you feel like it’s not a two-way conversation, and you’re often interrupted and unable to finish a thought? You may be with someone who is emotionally unavailable. Did you point out that you don’t prefer a certain behavior from the other person? Maybe they said something that hurt your feelings? Maybe their behavior is causing you stress and you pointed that out? Did that person immediately jump down your throat and attack you? Did that person immediately lash out at you? You may be with someone who is not only emotionally unavailable, but who is also unable to take a good look at him or herself.
This is the person who is either unwilling or unable, to look at how their behavior affects others. This person is extremely sensitive and as a result very defensive.
Does the person you’re with feed on drama? When you constantly need drama in your life, it means you’re looking for validation. It means that deep down you feel a void. Instead of dealing directly with the issue creating that void, you create other dramatic events as a distraction.
There’s a lot of other signs but these are the ones that stand out to me. These are the pretty quick tells, that you may be with someone who is emotionally unavailable.
Does that mean they’re a bad person? No, not necessarily, but if you’re looking for peace in your life, it will be difficult to achieve with this person. This person is either not able, or willing to deal with their own internal weaknesses and instead seeks to find weaknesses in others.
Will he or she ever be emotionally available?
Possibly, but it has to happen when they’re ready. It cannot be forced. It’s a personal revelation that can potentially occur, however, it happens at different times for us all. For most of us, it’s when we hit rock bottom. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it will happen. It takes a lot of strength to improve yourself. When you want to improve yourself, it means you have to acknowledge the things about yourself that aren’t so great. You have to acknowledge the ugly that we all have. That is very difficult for some to do. Some are never able to do it. Sadly, it’s not because they can’t, it’s because they don’t think they can. In fact, these people don’t actually like themselves and so they don’t think they deserve it. It’s a real shame. It’s a real shame, because it’s never to late to decide to be better.
These people have a hard time seeing their strengths so they are extremely sensitive to criticism. Deep down, this person is already aware of their weaknesses, but not strong enough to face them. It’s easier to dismiss and ignore, than it is to acknowledge and address.
Some people don’t have the internal strength and find it easier to place the responsibility on external factors. It’s never their fault. There’s always an excuse. These are often the people with the mind-set that you’re either with them, or against them. There’s no gray area. Gray area means that there is no direct fault on another party. Gray area means there’s reason for evaluation of one’s own thoughts and belief structure. Gray area means looking within instead of focusing on the external.
Are you mentally exhausted after being with this person? You may be with someone who is emotionally unavailable. Emotionally unavailable people have no internal bank to draw from so they feed on yours. You literally feel like the life is being sucked out of you. Do you find yourself mentally drained after being with this person? Are you exhausted after spending significant amounts of time together? You may be with someone who is emotionally unavailable.
What should you do?
Be kind and continue to tell this person what you need. Deliver the message kindly and with the understanding that you truly care about this person and only care about their happiness. After all, if you truly care about someone then you owe it to them to speak the truth. If they don’t want to hear it, it’s not your fault. Nobody can blame you for not trying. They simply aren’t ready to hear it. You can only tell someone what you need, and if they can’t provide it, then you have to make a decision. You have to decide how much, and for how long, you will continue to let this person feed off of you.
If you’ve just started dating…run! Seriously, find someone who has their life together. Don’t try and fix this person. You can’t.
Sadly, the kind of person who feeds off another, will eventually dry you up. If you think the person will stick around forever, you’re wrong. Even if they do, it’s not really a person who is sticking around, but rather a shell of a person. It can become a very lonely and depressing relationship. It’s lonely because eventually you realize, that you aren’t really in a relationship, but you’re simply occupying the same space. There is no connection. You are simply a source of which to draw from. You will eventually dry out, and then this person will find another source.
Emotionally unavailable people aren’t bad people, generally. They’re actually afraid. They’re horrified of what might happen if they open up and become vulnerable. It’s sad. It’s sad because everyone has the potential for happiness. Everyone has the potential for love and deep connection. You must have the connection with yourself first. In order to have that connection with yourself, you have to see yourself for who you really are, faults and all.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. You are worth loving. Are you with someone who is emotionally unavailable? Don’t be a door mat. Love yourself. Ask for what you need and if you don’t get it, have the strength to walk away.
Everyone deserves to be happy. Everyone deserves love. Love yourself first and then, and only then, can you truly love another.
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