5 Signs He’s Emotionally Unavailable

Dayana Sabatin

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When you first start dating him, everything is effortlessly flawless.

He responds to your messages promptly, takes you out to dinner, looks deep into your eyes, and makes you feel like there’s something there.

The first few weeks are wonderful; you feel like maybe this could really be something. You think you’re in love. You even texted your best friend that you think you found the one.

But, just as you feel like everything is going swimmingly, something odd happens.

He stops responding. Two, three, four hours go by, and you don’t hear a word from him. Then, when he finally emerges, he says something along the lines of, “going out with a few friends tonight, sorry, rain check on dinner.”

You start to think that maybe you did something wrong, he’s never canceled on you before, but maybe he just needed some guy time. You brush it off and try not to think about it. You’ll see him tomorrow.

Except that… you don’t even hear from him the next day. Weeks go by, and it feels like everything has taken a drastic left turn. Your perfect guy turns cold towards you, absent, it takes hours to get a hold of him, and when you do finally see him, he seems disinterested and distant.

You ask him if everything is okay, you don't want to be too pushy, but it feels odd that the guy you were falling in love with has suddenly become so mundane and distant.

He shrugs your question off with some excuse, “I’m tired,” and you leave it at that.

You know that something is wrong, but you just can’t help it. You stay with him despite the warning signs; you’re convinced that the disconnect you feel isn’t that big of a deal. He was perfect when you first met, so you know that he’s capable of being that perfect and sweet guy again.

So you wait, and you stay. And you take what little breadcrumbs he offers you along with the little attention he seldom devotes to you.

But in all honesty, it’s getting frustrated. You’re tired of trying to read him; you’re tired of not understanding what it is that he wants. You’re starting to think that maybe… just maybe, the problem isn’t you. Maybe he’s just emotionally unavailable.

Here are 5 signs to look out for.

He’s always making an excuse to avoid hanging out.

Excuses are his second language. Or, maybe his first.

Every time you ask to make plans, he already some set up — without you. Whether they be with friends, coworkers, family, or even an ex, which you found out about just recently — he’s never available now.

In contrast, when you can squeeze yourself into his schedule, he somehow always manages to push you right back out.

He’ll cancel due to an emergency, or he’s feeling unwell, or he double-booked (an honest mistake, he says), and every single time he promises to make it up to you.

And yet, despite you giving him multiple chances, the cycle never breaks. Plan, ditch, reschedule, flake, and repeat.

He never involves himself in your personal life.

Can you recall any occasions that he’s asked you about your personal life?

He probably doesn’t even know that you have a sister, or a dog, or parents for that matter. In fact, he knows nothing about you because he’s never bothered to ask.

Anytime you text him: “how are you?”

He never responds with: “x, y, and z. How about you?” He only cares about sharing a recount of his day.

When you tell him you had a rough day, he doesn’t ask why. When you’re clearly emotional or frustrated, he shrugs it off and doesn’t question your mood.

Any droplet of empathy or a conversation that’s anything more than surface-level is always off the table.

He always talks about his past relationships.

Everybody has their own past, and they’re entitled to talk about their previous relationship history. Still, it seems like he always has to bring up private details about his past relationships.

It’s almost as if you two are casual friends, and he’s just chatting about his old flame that he clearly still thinks about — intimately.

You’ve never brought up your previous dating history, and yet somehow, you’ve managed to find his 3 ex-girlfriends on social media because he’s not only mentioned their first and last names, but he’s shown you pictures too.

You feel uncomfortable and insecure. And you can’t help but feel like you don’t live up to any of them every time you end the date.

He says he’s “not ready” but never fails to ask you to spend the night.

The majority of your time together, you feel good.

You may even feel like you’re emotionally connecting with him, you feel like you’ve not only scratched the surface, but you’ve uncovered layers to him that (you believe) nobody else has.

Who else knows what his favorite color is?

Who else knows what he likes to eat for breakfast?

Nobody! You’ve asked him so many questions, and you’ve spent so much quality time together that you genuinely feel like you’re finally getting through to him. You’ve even managed to sneakily leave your toothbrush at his house because you’ve spent the last 3 nights there.

But, when you finally get the courage to ask him about your relationship status, he looks deep into your eyes with that solemn gaze you can’t get enough of, and he says:

“I'm not ready for a relationship.”

He’s a hit-it-and-quit-it type of guy.

The first time you had sex, it was good. You benefitted from it.

The second time, meh. The third was better, but after that, it’s been a steep decline.

In fact, he’s never really asked you what you like or don’t like. Every time you go back to his place, your makeout sessions shrink; sometimes, he doesn’t even bother taking your shirt off and feeling you up. Instead, he just sort of does his thing and finishes in under 5 minutes.

At first, you thought he had a little bit too much to drink; maybe he was just tired. But now, every single time you guys have sex, you go home empty-handed.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all dated people that don’t respect our feelings and just string us along despite knowing we want more from them.

These are just a few of the many signs to look out for. When you decide to get serious with someone, you should never settle for less and stay simply based on how they acted initially.

Don’t allow yourself to become a person who thinks they can change someone out of their natural habitat. If the person you’re with is not respecting your feelings and not reciprocating them, you need to understand that they’re simply not the right one for you.

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Freelance writer sharing thoughts on self-improvement, productivity, and success.

Santa Monica, CA
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