10 Steps To Help You Deal With An Emotionally Unavailable Person
We all want to be loved, to be understood – emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Emotional availability is what makes a relationship successful and healthy. Emotionally unavailability means the inability to maintain emotional bonds in a relationship.
Emotionally unavailable people tend to keep their relationships casual and distant which can cause unsustainable relationships.
If you’re dating someone for some time and find that you have plenty in common but you notice something’s off. Your partner shies away from heart-to-heart conversations, emotional intimacy, and avoids discussing their hobbies and interests. Well, if you’ve experienced this, then you might be dating an emotionally unavailable person.
If you find yourself in similar situations, then here is a guide for you! Keep reading to know what it means to be emotionally unavailable, emotionally unavailable signs, and how to deal with someone emotionally unavailable.
What Does It Mean To Be Emotionally Unavailable?
When you’re dealing with an emotionally unavailable person, every step in the relationship can feel like taking a step backward. If you’re an emotionally available person, then every action of your emotionally unavailable partner can make you feel lonely, invalidated, and rejected. If these issues persist, then these feelings can turn into depression and anxiety.
Being emotionally unavailable means that a person is unable to express and understand the emotions of others – whether they be partners, workmates, family members, or friends.
Emotionally unavailable people are scared of intimacy and while it is nothing wrong, it simply means that they lack the emotional bandwidth to connect with others.
Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Person
1.They Don’t Communicate Well
Maybe they are slow texters and respond to your texts days later. I mean, it’s pretty common and doesn’t necessarily mean they are emotionally unavailable. However, if your partner leaves you guessing on their mode of communication (including the when) then there’s a chance they are emotionally unavailable. An emotionally available person will make the effort to connect with you and communicate well.
2.They Avoid Deep Conversations
When you’re with an emotionally unavailable person, you may realize that at every deep or heart-to-heart conversation, they seem to shut themselves off. If they avoid conversing and discussing issues related to your relationship and commitment, then they are probably an emotionally unavailable person.
3.They Are Uncomfortable With Emotional Intimacy
Emotionally unavailable people often disguise themselves as independent and self-sufficient, however, in truth, they are uncomfortable with being vulnerable. If your partner is scared of emotional intimacy and often seeks space to manage their fear, then they can be considered an emotionally unavailable person.
4.They Avoid Labels
If your partner is pretending to not be in a relationship (when in a relationship), then it can be a sign of emotional unavailability. An emotionally unavailable person avoids putting labels in a relationship. They may also avoid “defining” the relationship and talk about the expectations. If so, then your partner may be an emotionally unavailable person.
5.They Are Not Clear About The Wants
If you’re left guessing what your partner wants from you and the relationship, then they are not ready to be emotionally available to you. The phrase, “walking on eggshells” suits well in this case. You’re always worried about what they want from you and you are left wondering if they will reach out to you or not. If they don’t open up easily, then you may be dealing with an emotionally unavailable person.
How To Deal With An Emotionally Unavailable Person?
1.Spot The Signs
The first step to deal with an emotionally unavailable person is to spot the signs. The signs can be subtle so keep an eye out for them. Some of the most glaring signs of an emotionally available person can include:
- Avoid talking about emotions and feelings
- Invalidating others’ feelings
- Getting defensive in a conflict
- Irregular communication or being vague
- Being insecure about their relationships
2.Know The Causes
Next, you need to be aware of the type of emotional unavailability your partner is struggling with. In some cases, emotional unavailability can be short-term and can be caused by a change in priorities or witnessing a traumatic event. In other cases, emotional unavailability can be a choice and the cause can either be a mental health condition or a fear of intimacy. Know these causes before moving forward.
3.Do They Accept Their Emotional Unavailability?
To deal with an emotionally unavailable person you need to understand if the other person accepts their lack of emotional availability. Confront them about their behavior but keep in mind that confronting them can backfire and they may turn things around to sabotage their relationship. Observe closely and then voice your concerns. Avoid demanding change as you can’t change someone. Let them be and take steps at their pace.
4.Focus On Yourself
You need to focus on your feelings as well when dealing with an emotionally unavailable person. You need to understand how their behavior is affecting your emotional health. It’s important to express your feelings to your partner and help them see how their emotional unavailability is affecting them, you, and your relationship.
5.Don’t Manage Their Feelings For Them
You are NOT responsible for their feelings! Nor for their lack of emotional unavailability. If your partner pushes you away, emotionally, then it can be because they’re upset so don’t force them to open up or manage their feelings and emotions for them. Take a step back and let them manage their emotions on their own. Be supportive but let them take charge.
Couples counseling or even individual counseling can help. Seeking help to understand and express emotions is OK. While it can be a tough decision to make, it can be the right step. A therapist can help shine a light on the relationship and help identify patterns that may be affecting your relationship.
7.Give Them Space
As I said in a previous point, take a step back and let your partner be in charge of their emotions. Support them but give them space. You need to make sure your partner understands your expectations and goals but that’s it. Give them space to grow and show up when needed. Don’t give ultimatums though. If it comes to ultimatums then the relationship has been dragged on for longer than expected.
8.Are You Enabling Their Behavior?
Ask yourself; are you enabling yo=our partner’s emotionally unavailable behavior? Keep in mind that it is NOT your fault nor your responsibility to fix their behavior but it is important to keep in mind if you are enabling their behavior. This kind of enabling can come from a lack of boundaries and being unclear in your wants and goals. Take a look inside and make your decision.
9.Are You Emotionally Unavailable Too?
Many times we’re attracted to emotionally unavailable people when we are emotionally unavailable. So ask yourself; are you emotionally unavailable too? Check-in with yourself and understand your feelings. If you notice a pattern of dating emotionally unavailable people, then you can work through your feelings with a professional and break the cycle.
10.Consider Letting Go
Letting go of a relationship isn’t easy and takes a lot of courage, strength, and effort to do so. You need to understand that if your emotionally unavailable partner is not putting conscious effort, then you can’t do it for them. In such a situation, consider letting go of them. Ask yourself; can you be happy if your partner’s behavior continues? Explore your wants and needs and figure out what you want.
Emotionally unavailable means the inability to express and connect with one’s emotions and those of others. If you find yourself in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable person, then you can deal with them by understanding the signs and causes.
Connect With A Professional Counselor Today With BetterHelp
I hope the above steps on how to deal with an emotionally unavailable person help you. For more, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on social media. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section below.