Consider Yourself Warned: 8 Signs You’re Dating An Emotionally Unavailable Man

October 31, 2012  |  
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Trying to build a relationship with an emotionally unavailable person can be an extremely draining and frustrating experience. Although there are many who attempt to tear down the walls in an effort to win the heart of their emotionally unavailable love interest, most fail and wind up with their hearts broken in the process. At times, the signs of a person struggling with these emotional issues can be pretty apparent. Other times, they can be masked and mistaken for something else. Are you unsure if the guy you’re seeing is emotionally unavailable? Check out these signs and hopefully you’ll be able to come to an accurate conclusion.


He’s difficult to catch up with

Have you ever dated a guy where it was almost impossible to consistently get in contact with him? There will be one week where you two speak every night for hours on end and then he doesn’t return any of your calls or text messages for the following month? Was he always canceling plans last minute? According to a 2011 mental health article featured on, the emotionally unavailable are more than likely physically unavailable to the people in their lives as well.


He’s unreliable

Is he one of those wishy washy people who you are learning that you can’t rely on for anything. Are you realizing that his word means almost nothing? Does he promise to help you  move or give you a lift when your car is in the shop, but when the time comes he’s nowhere to be found. Does he agree to attend functions or outings with you and then turn around and do a no-show? The emotionally unavailable sometimes find it hard to be there for others, especially in their times of need.


He refuses to talk about his feelings

Granted, most men aren’t jumping at the opportunity to bare their souls to you. It’s just not how they’re wired. However, it is abnormal when he never shares what he is feeling. If after months and months of dating he’s still throwing walls up and shutting you out when it comes to his feelings and even seems to get a little irritated or uncomfortable when you choose to share yours, chances are he’s emotionally unavailable.


He rarely shares anything about his past 

Is your guy like the mystery man who seems like he came out of nowhere? Do you frequently ask yourself why you don’t know much about him or where he came from? What are his parents like? What kind of childhood did he have? If you have been seeing your guy for awhile and still don’t know the answer to basic questions about who he is, chances are something is up.


He avoids discussing your relationship

Does he tense up whenever you’re looking to discuss the relationship and the direction that it is going in? Is it almost impossible to get him to open up about his intentions and where he would like to see you two in the future. Does he have a hard time maturely discussing or addressing issues that concern you or even him regarding your relationship? His failure to communicate could be a sign of his emotional unavailability.


He gives up once you give in 

In a very interesting article featured on, author Ben Wils shared that in some cases, emotionally unavailable men will stop pursuing a woman once she gives in and let’s him know that she’s interested. He went on to share: “Emotionally unavailable men have a push-pull strategy. They tend to pursue you hard toward the beginning. But once you let them know they’ve won you over, they pull away and often disappear for a week or two. If he has a consistent pattern of disappearing, this is a serious red flag.”


He shows no interest in getting to know your family

Meeting the family is a pretty huge step in romantic relationships. It’s a step that says “I believe that we have potential and I trust you enough to introduce you to the people who mean the most to me.” If you’ve been dating a guy for a substantial amount of time and he still seems pretty reluctant about meeting your family or allowing you to meet his, relationship experts suggest that this is a sign of emotional unavailability.


He pretty much tells you he’s not ready

When a woman is interested in a man, she is tempted to rationalize any and all of his actions to fit in with her wants. For example, when a man tells her he isn’t ready to be in a relationship, shouldn’t that explain everything? Nope, because she thinks his actions say otherwise. She thinks she can change him to want to be in a relationship. One golden standard that you should always enforce in dating is this: make sure his actions and his words match up. If they don’t, he’s emotionally unavailable.

Jazmine Denise is a freelance writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise

All photos are courtesy of Shutterstock

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  • Ray C

    I don’t know if I can agree with the one about not wanting to talk about the relationship. Maybe I’m emotionally unavailable and I don’t know it, but I think that goes right along with the tip of men prioritizing marriage less than women. Some women act like they want a man to have some great revelation every time they talk. Women always want to know where things are going. If a man at least considers who possible wife material, to be honest we’re not going to have much more to say on the matter. We’re not that good at elaborating and we get annoyed when we’re constantly asked to elaborate more and more or explain our feelings more and more on a topic.

  • EyeKantSpeell

    Emotions??…what the hell are those things??…what point do they serve??…just a waste of energy I guess

  • Boss Lady Toyz Número Uno


  • And we wonder why women go into relationships thinking they know a man. WOMEN CAN’T TELL WOMEN ABOUT MEN! Thats just what I’ve learned.

  • bobbyv

    Women ignore the signs all the time since they to pressed for a man to make then happy instead of making themselves happy first… just like them thirsty women @ online dating since sentence is always not looking for games, liars, one nights stands.. that means that Minnie mouse took the cheese bait every time…

  • Tiza

    This article is a piece of junk! I absolutely agree with Maria….”he’s just not that into you” and stop looking for excuses

  • men are emotionally unavailable because women are emotionally manipulative.

    • DeepThinker

      How can she manipulate a man emotionally when a man is not even open to receiving what she has to offer?

      • similar to how one avoids getting hit by a car without first standing in the middle of the street.

  • Maria

    Rename to “8 signs you’re dating a man who is not interested in you

  • York

    #7 is the biggest one, IMO. Be wary of anybody who is rushing into a serious romance, talking about boo status in the first week. Most likely they’re excited because you’re new and shiny and they don’t know your nuances. But wait until you demonstrate the least amount of annoyance or disagreement about anything….next thing you know he’s explaining to his boys how he felt disrespected and had to leave you alone cuz you insisted on 2% milk and he’s partial to red cap milk.

    • LOL.

    • Dichu eba realy lub mehSteebie

      Bwahahaha! So true!

  • JaneDoe

    I thought I could write a book on this topic but this flips were pretty much on point.. Very on point.

  • Meyaka

    It’s not about being emotionally crippled or unavailable , he is not into that girl,this remind me if at least 3 women right now,but I’m learning how to keep quiet about people’s romantic life.

  • shaj

    1Val you may be right about that. I just experienced this. A guy I’ve been dating on and off for over a year told me he was emotionally unavailable. I asked him to explain and he said he was married before and wasn’t ready to get emotionally involved with anyone. Which I understand, but I also felt it was BS. As soon as I tried to define the friendship, things totally changed. Le’t’s just say we now have little to no contact.

    My thing is, if you’re not emotionally available, don’t lead people on.

    • Jay

      Guys who are emotionally unavailable don’t lead ppl on. Women are the ones who get caught up. Once an emotionally unvailable man sees the signs of a woman getting to the point of wanting more then they demonstrate behaviors like the ones listed.

      • shaj

        I agree with you to a certain extent. However I think it works both ways. The man has a responsibility as well. Which is why communication is important. It’s okay to let someone know you just want to be friends. But let it be known early on, so the other person doesn’t feel lead on or get caught up.

        • DeepThinker

          Yes, they (men) should, but they are not wired like us. I’ve known guys to take women on nice trips and to him it was wanting to have a good time, but to her it meant something serious because he spent big $. All along he was seeing other women and she knew it but she thought she meant more because she was higher on the totem pole. Men express themselves differently sometimes they are scheming sometimes they just assume we know what’s up based on their actions.

          • Ray C

            I agree. I get so tired of women talking about all the stuff a man will do when he is really interested. I would tell any woman to question a man that does all these things for her and doesn’t really know her. If you think it’s not good for a women to have sex with someone she barely knows, what makes a man taking a women on trips and getting her hair done that her barely knows some how a good trait. Some women don’t realize that big spenders do it for themselves not the woman. They want to say “look at what I bought her.” They want a trophy. They want a new possession.

        • Lisa, Memphis

          I agree.

    • resheart

      … so he told you he was emotionally unavailable and you didnt believe him… claiming BS???? and…. he’s the horrible person now o__0 ?

      • shaj

        No, I think you’re missing what I’m saying. No, I totally believed him when he told me, I’m saying it’s BS, because I believe it’s an excuse and he’s not into me, which is fine. I don’t think he’s a horrible person at all. I just believe we should have communicated our intent from the beginning. Lesson learned.

        • DeepThinker

          Most men act like scared little boys when faced with telling a woman something they think will disappointment them. Some women don’t take it too well either.

  • 1Val

    He is not emotionally unavailable. He just doesn’t want her.

    • JaneDoe

      I agree with you on this.. Even an emtionally unavailable man can’t resist a woman who he connects with. He might not want to jump right into a relationship but he certainly wouldn’t give up the opportunity to see what could possibly happen.