7 Signs of an Emotionally Unavailable Man, According to Psychology

The early stages of a relationship can be both exciting and confusing, right?

On the one hand, it is fun and exciting to get to know someone better and discover new feelings with them. But on the other hand, it is difficult to read someone you don't know very well.

What about when your instincts tell you that something is wrong?

Your feelings grow, but they don't show much affection. They seem distant and indifferent. Are they just playing it cool to keep your attention or are they emotionally unavailable?

This is where psychology can help us. While every man is different, there are some common signs to look for that indicate he's emotionally unavailable.

Today I'm sharing seven of those signs to help you recognize when your man isn't emotionally there so you can make the best relationship choices for yourself.

Do you recognize any of this in your husband?

Let's start.

1) They give you mixed signals

Is there anything more confusing and frustrating than a guy who gives you mixed signals?

It's like one day he's all about you, messaging you and talking to you. The next day you can't get two words out of him.

This inconsistent communication is typical of an emotionally unavailable man. “They can quickly make the transition between engagement and detachment,” as outlined by Dr. Danielle Roeskeclinical psychologist and relational psychoanalyst.

If your man runs hot and cold with you and shows inconsistent behavior and communication, this is something to be aware of and could indicate that he is emotionally unavailable.

2) They don't like deep conversations or talking about their feelings

It is normal not to tell your life story during the first date. However, in order to have a relationship, you have to get to know each other on a deeper level.

And this means we need to have deeper conversations and talk about feelings.

This is not something that emotionally unavailable people find easy, so they are likely to avoid it for as long as possible.

Elyakim Kislev, Ph.D., sociologist and author explains, “One way emotional unavailability can manifest is through a lack of emotional expression or difficulty talking about feelings.”

If the time has come in your relationship to go a little deeper and your man seems resistant or simply unable to go along with you, this is a telling sign about how available he is emotionally.

3) They will not commit to future plans

How far in advance is your partner willing to make plans with you?

If you've watched the TV series, 'How I met your mother', you probably remember Barney Stinson's golden rule about sticking to plans.

Tea date-time continuum, as he called it, states that you never make plans with a girl further in the future than the time you dated. Personally, I found this to be a great guide in the beginning of relationships. But it's up to you to decide what's best for you.

It's important not to jump into a new relationship, cope first and make a lot of plans that will never happen because you didn't make it to the second date.

But you need to see progress as time goes by in your relationship.

If you notice that your man is unwilling to commit to future plans, even small ones like weekend plans or a day out in a few weeks, this could be a red flag indicating that he is emotionally unavailable.

4) They have a track record of short-term relationships

Have you talked to your partner about their relationship history?

If not, now might be the time to have that conversation.

Although we sometimes prefer not to dig into the past, understanding your man's relationship history can tell you a lot.

If they've had a string of short-term relationships or no relationships at all, this might be something to note.

As explained by Psychology today“A history of short-term or superficial relationships is another potential sign of emotional unavailability. Someone who is emotionally unavailable may have a pattern of starting and ending relationships quickly.”

Understanding their past can greatly help you understand your potential future, so be brave and ask the question.

5) They show no empathy

Carl Rogers, American psychologist who made popular Empathy in the 20th century suggests that “empathy is the ability to understand someone else's experience in the world, as if you were that person, without ever losing the sense of 'as if'.”

Think about your relationship so far: Has your husband shown you empathy all the time?

During disagreements, he listens to you and acknowledges your feelings, even if you have opposing opinions. Or if you are stressed at work, he can comfort and support you. He understands you.

If you haven't seen examples of this type of empathy yet, it could mean he's emotionally unavailable.

6) Extreme emphasis is placed on being independent

A common theme among people who tend to lack emotional availability is their overemphasis on independence.

While independence is healthy in any relationship, being overly independent can mean:

  • He doesn't turn to you for emotional support
  • He thinks he can handle everything himself.
  • He prioritizes his wants and needs over yours or what's best for the relationship.

Sounds familiar?

Emotionally unavailable people often have one avoid attachment style and it is common for these people to lean toward extreme independence in relationships, as opposed to a healthy amount.

They “value independence over interdependence,” as outlined by Annie Tanasugarn Ph.D.a psychologist who specializes in attachment.

The bottom line: If your partner overemphasizes his independence, it could tell you about his lack of emotional availability.

7) It's all about the physical stuff

It's great when you have a direct physical connection with someone, right?

But we all know that for a relationship to stand the test of time, it must also have an emotional bond.

Very often, emotionally unavailable people will only focus on the physical things in a relationship, but then they will avoid the emotional side of things completely.

“They may prefer casual sex or superficial relationships,” as noted by Psychology today.

The point is: we need both physical and emotional intimacy for a strong, healthy relationship. It's not a bad thing if there's a great physical connection between the two of you right away.

But if you don't see it develop over time, it could be a sign that your man is emotionally unavailable.

Final thoughts

There you have it, 7 signs to look out for that indicate your man is emotionally unavailable.

How many of them resonated with you?

Remember that different relationships develop at different speeds, and just because you're not there yet with an emotional connection doesn't mean you won't get there.

Keeping these signs in mind will help you ask the right questions at the right time for you and your partner.

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