Emotionally Unavailable: 10 Signs to Recognize in Your Partner
 
 
 
 
 
 

10 Signs Your Partner Is Emotionally Unavailable

/ 10:01 AM December 01, 2022

It is common to hear the phrase “emotionally unavailable,” but most people don’t know what it means. It could have been in a movie, a family show, or maybe even an argument between the lovely couple next door.

Healthy relationships are built on love, communication, and compromise, among other things. What all these have in common is emotion because it requires emotion to display and affect these qualities in your partner. Being with someone who doesn’t can be quite frustrating.

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Identifying the warning signs early is good so that they can be addressed. Some people have even been told that they are emotionally unavailable without properly understanding what it entails. If you are trying to find out about emotionally unavailable signs, you are in the right place.

What Does it Mean to Be Emotionally Unavailable?

It means to be unable to share or feel emotions, to be unresponsive or indifferent to someone else’s emotions, or to be uncomfortable feeling and expressing one’s own emotions.

When someone doesn’t respond to their partner’s expressions of affection, cues, or needs, such a person is said to be emotionally unavailable. Such a person finds it difficult to express or receive acts of love or be intimate with their partner.

10 Signs of an Emotionally Unavailable Partner

10 Signs of an Emotionally Unavailable Partner

People express emotions uniquely, so identifying emotional absence can be tricky. Sometimes people don’t realize until it’s too late. The following emotionally unavailable signs can help you detect it in a partner.

1. They don’t communicate consistently.

We are all aware that proper communication is one of the pillars of any committed relationship. For any relationship to be solid, communication must be solid too. 

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An emotionally unavailable partner will be difficult to talk to, conversations will be scarce, and the ones that occur will be filled with tension and maybe even awkwardness. They may take hours or even days to reply to texts or claim to be busy even when they’re not.

2. They avoid conversations that go deeper.

An emotionally unavailable partner would generally avoid conversations or topics that are intricate. They would sway the discussion in their favor or avoid it altogether.

This is not a good sign. If a person cannot hold a conversation of value with their partner, this might indicate disinterest. When your partner begins to act this way, it is another red flag to look out for.

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3. They feel overwhelmed or smothered by emotional intimacy.

Sometimes partners can falsely advertise themselves as independent and not need the support of anyone. This is a direct contradiction of a relationship where two people grow to rely on one another.

It is normal to want a little space in a relationship. But when your partner avoids acts of intimacy with the excuse of being crowded, this may indicate underlying issues like insecurity or past trauma.

4. They avoid labels.

Some people often find themselves with partners that refuse to define the relationship. This may mean that the person doesn’t entirely value you or the relationship.

It may be that they do not want to be associated or tied in with you if your partner refuses to acknowledge the relationship.

5. They seem to want perfection.

An emotionally unavailable partner always looks for perfection, even in the smallest things. You may think it is a better trait than this, but rather an opportunity to criticize your partner’s actions.

This may make it seem like your partner is hard to please when they are just looking for ways to make you feel bad about yourself to make themselves feel good.

6. They go from hot to cold.

Emotionally unavailable partners tend to be unpredictable with their actions. One minute they could be flashing rage, and the next, they could be completely uninterested or indifferent to their partner.

This can be unsettling for most, not having access to their partners because of unpredictable mood swings. This, of course, is a bad sign in any relationship.

7. They are unclear about what they want from you.

Sometimes people may find themselves in relationships where they never fully understand their partners’ desires, whether they need attention, space, or reassurance. 

Some partners deliberately make themselves unpredictable to their counterparts or prefer to hide their intentions, and these are the makings of an unhealthy relationship.

8. They don’t compromise their time.

Long-term relationships are all about sacrifice. A partner should be able to make compromises for his\her counterpart. Compromises are understood to be inconveniencing you to reach a middle ground where everyone is satisfied.

An emotionally unavailable partner would want you to fit yourself into their plans no matter the cost to you but wouldn’t want to do the same. They value their own time and schedule over their partners.

9. They don’t like making plans.

You may find that your partner doesn’t like to make commitments, no matter how little. Dinner dates or shopping plans often get shrugged aside with excuses. 

All this says is you are not a priority to them and don’t see the need to do anything together.

10. They are generally selfish.

In a relationship, a selfish partner always puts themselves and their needs first. This can come in many forms and behaviors. For example, things always have to go their way, or they want to control everything.

Or maybe they want to be right all the time or even threaten to end the relationship when offended.

Is it Bad to Be Emotionally Unavailable?

Is it Bad to Be Emotionally Unavailable?

Nobody likes people who are emotionally unavailable, but if you fall into this category, it means you have some work to do.

Personal development requires conscious effort, and you can stop being emotionally unavailable. If left unchecked, it can create unhealthy relationships and toxic environments for partners.

Why am I Emotionally Unavailable?

There are several reasons a person can be emotionally unavailable. It could stem from one of several factors, such as:

Temporary Situations

Emotional unavailability doesn’t have to be an innate part of a person. It can arise due to current circumstances such as depression, a demanding career, grief, or a medical or mental condition. Sometimes a person may go through a rough patch, which will tell in their relationship.

Childhood issues

How a person grows up can significantly affect how they treat and interact with others. Childhood trauma can be one reason people cannot be emotionally available to their partners. 

If a person doesn’t get much affection and love in their early childhood, they may emulate this pattern of living, and as an adult, their relations with romantic partners may very well follow this pattern.

Lack of interest

A lack of interest in the relationship can also cause emotional unavailability. If a partner is without interest in a relationship, they will not bother to put in the effort required to keep the relationship alive and healthy. This is often characterized by distancing and unwillingness to communicate.

How to Stop Being Emotionally Unavailable? 

Being emotionally unavailable doesn’t have to be a permanent, incurable disease. It is a problem that the individual can fix only if they are willing to commit to making changes on a personal level. Here are some tips to try if you’re finally ready to become emotionally available to your partner.

Acknowledge and identify the cause.

The first step to fixing any problem is accepting that there is a problem and identifying its cause. If it is temporary, then you may need some time, but if it is something more innate, then you may need to try counseling.

Open up and involve your partner.

It would be helpful to try opening up to your partner, expressing emotions, and communicating how you feel. It will be easier to gain their support if they can see that you are also making an effort to become a better person and partner.

Consult a therapist.

Seeking professional help in situations like this is typically a no-brainer. Emotional unavailability is not something a couple can always fix on their own, and therapists are there to offer support, guidance, and advice.

How to Deal with an Emotionally Unavailable Man?

How to Deal with an Emotionally Unavailable Man?

As a concerned partner who may be in it with a man or woman that is emotionally unavailable, it may be difficult, frustrating even, to tolerate and cope with such a person. 

Recognize the signs.

There are usually tell-tale signs of an emotionally unavailable partner, and thankfully this article has been able to outline and clarify them.

Do not take it personally.

Remember that he has his issues, and unless he is willing to go through them with you, you should not let them be about you.

Know when to let go.

No matter your relationship history, your mental health must come first. It would help if you did not blindly believe that he will change for you without any effort.

Once you realize that nothing is working or that your partner isn’t putting in the effort to change, you must let go and find someone who cherishes you and your relationship.

How to Not Be Emotionally Unavailable?

Being emotionally available becomes a thing of effort if one’s past or childhood events don’t affect them. If one wants to be emotionally available for their partner, one has to make a conscious decision to be there for their partner, in words and action.

The Takeaway

You may find that you’re in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable or even labeled yourself as emotionally unavailable. Identifying and acknowledging this is only the first step.

You and your partner can commit to working on yourselves and becoming better. These experiences are opportunities for us to grow as people, become even better versions of ourselves, and thus become even better partners.

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