What does it mean when we refer to someone as being emotionally unavailable?
“Emotional availability describes the ability to sustain emotional bonds in relationships.” -Healthline
You likely sense it as well. You may feel like the connection is missing and are starting to realize that the person you’ve been pursuing for months just wants a surface level relationship.
However, there are other signs that you can pay attention to early in the early stages of dating someone to ensure that you aren’t emotionally investing in someone who won’t invest in you.
#1. You/your feelings are never the priority
There is nothing like the realization that someone isn’t going to prioritize you.
I have been in the situation many times when it became clear that what I thought was a relationship was completely one-sided.
If you try to bring up how you are feeling you will most likely feel them withdraw because they don’t want to deal with it.
If you realize that you are always compromising for someone and there is no balance you need to realize that you just fit into their life when it’s convenient they aren’t going to change their routine for you.
#2. They are all over the place
A few years ago I had a huge crush on someone that seemed to like me too… kind of.
We would hang out for days at a time and then he would disappear. I wouldn’t hear from him for weeks and then suddenly he was at my doorstep.
I put up with the behavior much longer than I should of even though it left me confused, anxious, and extremely heartbroken. It turned out that in the end, he simply didn’t know what he wanted but he was also a mess when it came to his personal and professional life.
If someone's life is all over the map then they are most likely not going to be able to get to the place you need them to be. Timing is everything and some people aren’t in a place for a committed relationship.
#3. Plans with them always transpire last minute
I can’t tell you how many times I have held off on making real plans because I had a “maybe” plan with a boy that was keeping me on the hook.
I would make continuous excuses as to why they kept me on the back burner instead of admitting the truth to myself.
You can play the denial game of blaming things on their supposed “fear of commitment: or them being “busy” but here’s the truth.
If someone likes you they will make a plan with you. If someone isn’t willing to make a plan with you then there is no reason to sit around and wait for them because they don’t respect your time.
#4. Things move at the speed of light
Once I was standing in line for a bagel during college when a cute guy told me he liked my hair and that I was cute. After that, he walked over, ate breakfast with me, and was completely charming.
Two days later he was my boyfriend. I’m not even joking. After two days I let him become my boyfriend.
How was I even surprised to find out I wasn’t his only “girlfriend?”
If someone charms and moves fast with you it’s normally because they love the game of the chase/are looking for another sexual conquest.
Someone who is emotionally available is going to take the time to know you before declaring that you’re their soulmate.
#5. They tell you straight up
This is rare but it has happened. A few years ago I went on a couple of dates with a guy that I was extremely interested in.
However, he revealed to me on our second date that he had recently gotten divorced, had gotten married young, and wanted to travel soon.
Now, he didn’t tell me “I’m not emotionally unavailable” but he might as well have. I knew he wasn’t looking for something serious and so I made a decision. I decided to enjoy the night for what it was. Because of that, we ended up having a great evening and going our separate ways with no hurt feelings.
My ending message for you is, pay attention to the signs.
If someone says they don’t want to be monogamous, or that they don’t do relationships, don’t waste your time trying to change their mind.
You deserve someone that wants to be with you, will put the effort forward to spend time with you, and is emotionally able to give you what you need.