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Is He Emotionally Unavailable? 9 Relationship Experts Reveal the Exact Signs of an Emotionally Unavailable Man

Is He Emotionally Unavailable

# 1. Look for the 5 signs below


If you’re seriously looking for a long-term love partnership, along with working to make sure you’re emotionally healthy, you’ll want to find a man who is also open and able to have relationships.

Being single or uninvolved with someone means only that a man is socially available, but not necessarily that he’s emotionally available. Spotting men who are is more art than science, but you can learn a great deal by being observant and paying attention.

1. Check out his relationship record.

Don’t interrogate, but as you get to know him, ask about his previous relationships. Look for long-term ones which seemed to go well, but simply didn’t work out. If he has lots of short-term relationships or none at all, this may (but does not necessarily) mean that he might be afraid of commitment. On the other hand, some guys are just shy and have high standards.

2. Listen to what your friends and his friends say about him.

If his friends make comments about how he’ll never settle down, it may be that they know him better than you do. If your friends are leery about his intentions or ability to be honest, open and loving because of what they pick up about him, pay heed to their warnings.

3. Don’t work harder than he is to keep the relationship afloat.

Although you’re not looking to check off how many times he’s called you versus how many you’ve texted him, you want to feel that your guy is putting as much effort into making things work and getting closer as you are. If you’re doing all the heavy lifting and he’s making excuses, it may be because he’s not emotionally available.

4. Be aware of his saying he wants to get closer to you, but doesn’t walk the walk.

Many men (and women) harbor mixed feelings about commitment, both wanting and fearing it. There’s nothing abnormal about having and sharing these feelings with each other. However, if you’re dating someone who insists you’re the one but doesn’t make you feel like it or says he wants more out of the relationship but isn’t really moving toward that goal, proceed with caution.

5. Watch out when a man only wants to have fun and can never get serious or talk about feelings.

Sure you want a guy who knows how to have a good time, but if he laughs everything off, especially when you want to talk seriously, that’s a red flag. You want someone who can enjoy himself, but who also understands that life is full of important conversations and that healthy communication means connecting to his own emotions and to yours.

The more you observe a man’s behavior and look for signs of emotional availability, the better you’ll get at spotting men who aren’t ready for a serious romantic relationship. And the better you’ll get at spotting men who are.

Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed. –

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# 2. Watch out for the 7 signs below


I’ve had my share of emotionally unavailable men (EUM) and dealing with them is most definitely crazy making!

Believe me when I say they come in all shapes, sizes, personality types and economic levels. When I didn’t yet know what “emotional unavailability” meant, I had a terrible time understanding what the heck was going on in those relationships. They were constant sources of pain and suffering because what I desired from my partner I did not receive. No matter how understanding, caring and available I was, nothing helped to promote better connection. I was always confused, terrified and hurt.

I taught myself to recognize emotionally unavailable men and bypass this excruciating experience and so can you!

The key is to believe what you are seeing and NOT make excuses or justifications for it. Here’s how it goes:

7 Ways to Spot EUM:

1. Inconsistency – One moment you are the best thing that ever happened to him and the next moment he is cold and disconnected. He charmed his way into your life/heart with his attention, affection and compliments then drops off the planet. What you came to “love” about him no longer exists.

2. Words and actions don’t match – He will talk a good talk, but will not walk it. He may tell you he loves you, but his behavior will speak otherwise. He may say you are a priority, but clearly has many priorities that come before you.

3. One-sided relationship – The relationship as a whole will be all about him. He will try to convince you that your experience matters, but his actions will fall short every time. You will eventually see that there is really only one person that matters in the relationship and it isn’t you.

4. No deep conversation – Any conversation centered around what you are not receiving or his inconsistent behaviors will be shunned, cut short or non-existence. Alternately, he may “show up” for conversations, but you will not feel resolved through his words.

5. Excuses and blame – He will not take responsibility for falling short in the relationship and/or have a mountain of excuses for his behavior. He may attempt to invoke pity from you or conversely blame you in some way. For example: One EUM I dated first attempted to gain my pity by acting overwhelmed and busy (when I knew it was untrue) and when that didn’t work, I was told I was “too good of a communicator.” Huh? I still laugh about that one.

6. Non importance – You will not feel important to him. No matter what you do, how good you do it or how wonderful you are, you will not feel important. He will gladly accept your charity, but will not have true gratitude for all that you are.

7. Anxiety and fear – You will not feel emotionally safe with him. The relationship will be a source of strife in your life. You will always be trying to interpret his actions and “figure” him out. Real love doesn’t feel like that.

Most often after having experienced a relationship like this, we will turn the “failure” inward.

We will blame ourselves for not being able to be what he wanted and may even try to perform cirque de soleil tricks to captivate and keep him. I want to remind you that you did nothing wrong! It is so vital not to make his behavior about you! His behavior is stemming from his very own private set of deep wounds and fears that you are not privy too and you cannot “fix” him. A person with these issues will have to want healing and change before he will be ready for a committed relationship.

Remember, you matter. You deserve a reciprocally loving relationship and the sooner you let go of this one, the sooner you will find what you are looking for.

Kristen Brown, Author & Certified Empowerment Coach –

# 3. Observe how he communicates


He communicates, he is respectful, he is consistent, and most importantly, he wants to be my mate.

Are you wondering how to spot an emotionally unavailable man, well, that is easy, just learn to recognize an emotionally healthy one. If you do this, it will save you the time and heartache of investing in a relationship that has no promise for a healthy future. Start by evaluating, evaluating, evaluating. Men are always revealing themselves, it is our job to pay attention to what they are and aren’t telling us. What lies beyond the surface? Make sure your perception is lining up with reality; don’t get caught up in fantasy land.

If you are in a relationship, and it feels good to you, then it already has potential. But, to make sure that it will be a healthy, long lasting relationship, ask yourself the “how” questions…

How does he communicate?

An emotionally available man will be open to disclosing his feelings as they pertain to himself, you, and others. Emotional intimacy is accomplished through sharing, and if both parties are not reciprocating, there can be a breakdown of communication over time. Sharing is crucial for growth and understanding.

In addition to disclosure, active listening must take place. Each person must truly listen, and not just hear what is being said. Let’s not forget about needs; make sure he knows what he wants out of life and your relationship. Make sure there is compatibility.

Second, how does he show respect to others, especially women?

An emotionally healthy man will respect himself, as well as have thriving interactions with others. Evaluate how he interacts with the women in his life because the way he treats them will predict how he will treat you. In this case, you are not the exception to the rule. If he treats his mother with respect and love, then he will incorporate those same behaviors into your relationship. Respect yourself by expecting and demanding respect in your relationships.

Finally, how consistent is he?

Emotionally healthy men stick to their word by following through on what they tell you. If he says that he will be somewhere at a certain time, he will be there because he respects you and your time. He wants to provide a stable relationship for you and himself. He is consistent with his communication; there is no hot and cold behavior.

An emotionally healthy man knows that for any relationship to flourish, there needs to be consistent, ongoing communication and effort. He wants to make the effort because he has a desire to be your mate. If you do these outlined steps, then by default, the quality of your relationships will improve.

Robin Ennis, LMSW, CPC –

# 4. Look for the 3 signs below


Looking for love? Waiting for Mr. Right? How to tell if Mr. Right is really Mr. Wrong.

It’s easy early in relationships to ignore the red flags that pop up, to make excuses for the things he does. After all you just met right? Wrong! You are getting hunches and red flags for a reason. Something is off with Mr. Right. So, before you fall head over heels how do you know if Mr. Right is emotionally unavailable?

1. Does he listen when you talk? Is he empathic? 

When you vent or express something that is bothering you, is he actively listening or does he just glaze over it and start talking about himself? And if he glazes over, his he changing the subject or trying to relate? If he’s changing the subject chances could be he is emotionally unavailable.

2. How does he react to you crying? 

It’s natural to feel uncomfortable when someone cries. It’s also natural to want ease their discomfort and get them to stop crying. So, how does he react? Does he hug you, hand you a tissue, say nice things? Or does he ignore you? Tell you to get over it? If he can’t comfort you when you are upset, he might be emotionally unavailable.

3. He can’t handle emotions. 

This is the big red flag and it if waving in the air, run! How does Mr. Right express or handle emotions? Is he open or closed? Does he express his emotions? Is he okay with you expressing emotions? If Mr. Right is always happy, that’s indicator that he may be emotionally unavailable.

We become emotionally unavailable for many reasons, fear of hurt, vulnerability, and rejection.

If Mr. Right really seems like Mr. Right than ask him, talk to him. Why does he seem emotionally unavailable? If he can’t or doesn’t want to discuss it, then maybe it’s time for a new Mr. Right. A Mr. Right who can be there for you emotionally because you deserve man that can!

Margaret Bell, MA, NCC –

# 5. Explore if you are emotionally unavailable first


“Relationship is surely the mirror in which you discover yourself.” Krishnamurti

The key is not to learn how to spot unavailable men “out there” If you keep meeting them you are an expert at finding them in a crowd. The key is to understand why you are attracted to them in the first place. After all, even George Clooney has settled down and married.

The unavailable man is the one who fears commitment, plays the field and would rather hang with his buddies.

But you see this guy and think “I’m the one. With me he will be different.” And you focus on their deeply buried qualities and ignore the obvious surface behaviors. Pause here.

Why are you doing this?

1. Fear – You are afraid of commitment and choose men who are incapable of committing so you do not have to face your own fears. Better to lose a relationship because he is immature than to explore your own commitment phobias.

2. Fixing – I see his inner potential, and I am going to help him become the man I know he can be. This is you trying to resolve old unmet childhood needs. It is a circle. If your father was unavailable because he was a workaholic or an alcoholic, etc. you find an unavailable boyfriend that you can “fix” and then you falsely fantasize that finally you will get those needs met.

3. Acceptance – Those unmet childhood needs, those holes, cannot be filled after childhood by anyone but yourself. You must accept that there is a loss, grieve it and learn how to meet your own unmet needs. Other people’s inability to love and give is not a reflection of your lovability.

4. Self-esteem – Deep down you don’t believe that you deserve love and attention so you keep picking men who are unable to give. “You see, I knew I was unlovable.”

5. Look in the mirror – It is never pleasant to turn the mirror toward yourself and reflect on your behaviors. But the only way to spot a man who is available is to become available and open hearted yourself. You must face your fears, meet your own needs and love and accept yourself. And then you will become a magnet to available men.

Margie Ahern, M.Ed. –

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# 6. Watch out for the below signs


If he shuts down or finds it hard to be with you when you talk about your feelings, or you find yourself feeling “needy” around him more so than not, then there is a possibility he is not available or able to connect with you emotionally.

This is not to say that the neediness may be more about your insecurities versus his emotionally availability, but it does serve as a signal, that he may not be able to connect with you at your level.

Check in with your own emotional stability, are you ready for an emotionally available man?

Because if you are finding yourself attracted to the charm and the elusive tendencies of a man, you can not emotionally connect to, then there is more to explore about you, and how it is you are attracted to someone that is not “there for you emotionally” in the first place.

In many cases, I see the tendency to be attracted to the elusive, emotionally disconnected individuals with those that have had divorced parents, or the “visiting parent” in their formative years. Take a look at your past patterns, explore your relationship with father or primary care givers, do you see patterns with how you relate to men as an adult?

Other clues:

  • He prefers electronics to connect versus face to face
  • He spends a lot of time at work or overly committed to the office, friends, projects, etc.
  • He has an addictive personality, perhaps porn or sexual liaisons (highly secretive) or substances
  • He is overly sexual with you (men do connect with sex, but emotionally if he uses it as a way to avoid feelings)
  • He travels a lot or has a “vacation home” (myth = he is married)
  • Listen to your gut, follow your heart.

Lisa Bahar, MA, LMFT –

# 7. Are you emotionally unavailable?

Projection is a fascinating phenomenon.

As I learned about projection on my spiritual path, I began to see it clearly in others, but it is tough to see in myself. This one, however, I know. I know exactly how to spot emotionally unavailable men.

For years, I ended up with men who acted like children, men who cheated, men who were irresponsible with money, men who wouldn’t make a commitment. I would wrestle with and overanalyze it. What was it about me that drew difficult men and drama-filled relationships?

Marianne Williamson once wrote,

“The problem is not that you met him, the problem is that you gave him your number.” OK, I get that. I shouldn’t give my number to emotionally unavailable men no matter how attractive they are to me. I really do get that, but how can I tell?

Then, I had an epiphany. I believed that emotionally unavailable men would change, once given the right kind of love and encouragement from me. I believed they could be saved.

So I fell in love with their potential, and suffered through all kinds of relationship hell until one day, I saw and owned the projection.

I am emotionally unavailable!

I want to be changed and saved!

I was projecting my deepest desires onto people who had no desire to be changed or saved. The question is not, “How do I spot emotionally unavailable men?”

Healing comes from owning the projection

Being attracted to unavailable men, and the pain that follows, is a crucial step in seeing the problem and bringing the false belief to light! I thanked God for the painful but necessary revelation, and offered my heart to Him. Make me an emotionally available woman, who trusts in the divine nature of all things.

From that place of faith and trust, unavailable men rarely show up anymore, and when they do they hold zero attraction for me now. No need to try to spot ’em. I’m changed, saved and ready for the real thing.

Sue Markovitch, Author and Life Coach in Westerville, Ohio –

# 8. Watch out for the below signs

Spotting emotionally unavailable men is a challenge but one you can meet.

Because you don’t have a crystal ball you are going to have to rely on your intuitive instincts. Yes, I can give you some helpful pointers, but in the end you are going to have to check in with yourself for clues that you are dealing with a man who will run from intimacy as fast as his little legs will carry him.

Some clues are:

  • You make excuses for him not returning calls or keeping his word.
  • He makes excuses for not calling you when he said he would, such as “I got really busy, I had a sore throat, my house burned down.” None of the above precludes his picking up his or the fireman’s phone to let you know why he could not keep his promise to give you a call.
  • You find yourself alone on a weekend because he said he would call to “set something up for the weekend” and he never did. Reread above excuses.
  • He vanishes for days at a time without letting you know where he is.
  • He over-uses alcohol and/ or drugs when he is with you. We all know that alcohol is a depressant and makes us less connected to others; pot dulls your senses, makes you more introverted and distorts your sense of reality. Being drunk or stoned out of reality does not promote emotional intimacy because you have to be present to connect emotionally.
  • He says “let’s meet at Joe’s place or Mike’s bar.” This is not a date; VERY BIG RED FLAG.

If you casually ask him how he feels about marriage he says something like ”oh, marriage is an outdated financial agreement,” or “getting married doesn’t insure that a divorce won’t happen so why bother.” This is a clue that he will run from commitment because he wants to avoid emotional connection.

You often feel criticized by him; he knows a better way for you to do things and does not hesitate giving unwanted and hurtful advice. His attention is on you so he does’t have to disclose his own vulnerabilities or emotions. He lacks self awareness.

You often feel controlled by him for above reasons.

Hoping things will get better will not help you.

Hope has a shadow side and this side is called “Denial.” Please look at the reality of your experience and save yourself unfathomable heartache as well as broken dreams by ending the relationship. Soon! There are good men out there who want commitment and who do not fear intimacy.

Sandy Roos, MA, MFT –

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It’s the #1 reason why men pull away. 

To be truly irresistible to a man, you MUST understand this gap, and the way feelings of love get confused and entangled in a man’s mind…

# 9. Watch out for the 4 signs below

If you find yourself saying things like “why doesn’t he call?” or “why does he just disappear for days?” you might be dating an emotionally unavailable man.

Men can be emotionally unavailable for all sorts of reasons, everything from traumatic childhood, suffocating mother, philandering father, explosive past relationships, selfish character, and so forth. It doesn’t mean they are not good people. They are often charming, intelligent, attractive, kind, and have many winning personality traits that lure you to his side. But if his taxi light isn’t on, he is not going to invite you in his taxi, no matter how fabulous you are.

Here are the signs to spot an emotionally unavailable man:

1. He tells you so.

Men usually mean what they say and say what they mean. If he explicitly tells you “I am not ready for a relationship”, that is not an invitation to try to fix him. Either run, or enjoy the casual dates with properly managed expectations.

2. He is married, or otherwise taken.

If he is still living with his ex-girlfriend or claims to be in a platonic, loveless marriage all the while claiming you are the perfect woman for him, he cannot possibly give you the emotional availability you deserve. If you feel that you really have a special bond with this man who claims to be “stuck”, then wait until he figures out how to become “unstuck”.

3. He is all about the chase.

Let’s face it, all men thrive off of the chase to some degree. It’s part of the male DNA and the pursuit can be a wonderful, natural thrill in the early states of a relationship for both men and women. Some men take this to the extreme and are only in it for the thrill. Once they reel you in as their prized conquest, they lose interest and move onto the next one. Proceed with caution when a man pushes for too much too soon and makes you feel like the center of his universe right out the gate.

4. “He is just not that into you” as the saying goes.

Listen, if a man is not calling you, texting you, and trying to see you on a regular basis, then he is just not that into you. This doesn’t mean you aren’t a fantastic catch or that you are doing something wrong. It just means that you aren’t right for him. If he does not show up for you regularly, then he is not emotionally available to you. Move on and find someone who appreciates all that you have to offer.

Remember, you can’t wave down a taxi that isn’t taking passengers no matter how magnificent you appear. If you are dating a man who frequently disappears, presents a pile of excuses, blames “timing” or shows up in your life sporadically, then consider that he is simply too emotionally unavailable to give you a healthy, mutually fulfilling relationship.

Carla Litto, MA, MFT –

Revealed: What Men Secretly Want But Will Never Tell You…

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