Emotionally Unavailable Man: 52 Signs, Causes & Ways to Make Him Love You

Do you think that you might be with an emotionally unavailable man? Are you confused? If you need to know for sure, here are the signs to look for. 

emotionally unavailable man

What is the definition of an emotionally unavailable man? It is someone incapable of caring for you emotionally. When we fall in love, we convince ourselves that love conquers all.

What it doesn’t conquer are feelings of loneliness and despair. Falling in love with a man who can’t love you or support you when you need him most is one of the most difficult things to overcome. 

What is the best way to survive being with an emotionally detached man? Avoid falling in love with him, to begin with.

What is emotional unavailability? 

When someone is emotionally unavailable, they have difficulty sharing their emotions and being receptive to the emotions of other people. They even struggle with feeling their own emotions without denying them or shutting down.

Some of the characteristics of an emotionally unavailable person include things like:

1. Acting cold, distant, and aloof

2. Difficulty talking about feelings and emotions

3. Lack of emotional intimacy in a relationship 

4. Getting defensive when asked to change or emotionally connect with others

5. Inability to understand and relate to others’ feelings

6. Tendency to shut down or avoid topics that require emotional expression

7. Withdrawal from people or situations that might elicit emotional reactions

While emotional unavailability can look different from person to person, some people can be emotionally unavailable to some people, but not to others. [Read: Am I emotionally unavailable? 32 signs you are & the fastest ways to fix it]

What causes someone to be emotionally unavailable? 

Having an emotional connection with someone can be very healthy and rewarding. So, why would someone avoid having that in their relationships? Several factors cause someone to be emotionally unavailable.

1. Emotionally unavailable parents

Many emotionally unavailable people had parents who were also emotionally unavailable.

The parents weren’t able to respond to their emotional needs. So, they learned to suppress their emotions and minimize others’ so that they can’t be rejected and neglected again by other people.

2. Traumatic events

Maybe they have been through a traumatic event such as divorce. This kind of event can cause people to shut down emotionally to function daily. They think that if they feel their emotions too deeply, then it could be difficult for them to live their life.

3. Past relationship experiences

They might have been in relationships before where expressing their emotions has caused them to have negative consequences.

Their partner might have punished them and this forced them to learn that expressing their feelings is dangerous for them. [Read: Emotional abuse – what it is & 39 signs this relationship is breaking you]

4. Social and cultural factors

Many people think that showing their emotions and feelings is a sign of weakness. And of course, no one wants to feel that way. So, they develop strategies and patterns of responding to their emotions by shutting down or pressing any signs of being emotional.

Three types of emotionally unavailable partners

Not all emotionally unavailable men are the same. There are three main ways that this aversion to emotions can manifest in relationships.

1. The Jester 

Whenever you show emotions that they cannot handle, they turn what you say into a joke or trivialize the subject matter. They are uncomfortable with talking about feelings, so they think it is easier to lighten the atmosphere by trying to be funny.

2. The Fixer

They always try to step in and fix your problems. This is usually because they are afraid of their emotions, are keen to stay in control, or think the responsibility lies upon them to ensure that others are happy. [Read: 34 big relationship red flags most people completely ignore early on]

3. The Counselor 

If you tell them something is upsetting to you, then they may retort with high-level, incomprehensible concepts, rationalizations, or self-help wisdom. They may think they’re trying to help you, but all they are really doing is deflecting emotions.

The appeal of the emotionally unavailable man

Many women have fallen in love *or in lust* with emotionally unavailable men. You might already be familiar with the type: men who don’t want a committed relationship or don’t believe in that thing called monogamy.

On paper, these types of men seem to be the stuff of many women’s relationship nightmares: men who would cheat at the drop of a hat, and men who think emotions are just a ton of baggage to carry. 

And yet, a lot of women have found themselves to be caught in the enticing trap of the “asshole effect.” [Read: 52 reasons why women stay in abusive relationships & how to get out]

What is the asshole effect, and how appealing is it to women? 

There are certain traits in the male character that appeal to women. One of these key characteristics is confidence. Women are instantly drawn to a certain man who walks into a room with his head held up high. This man has absolutely no insecurities and he shows it.

Intelligence also attracts women. They are drawn to men who can hold intelligent conversations. It’s like foreplay to them. Men who could effectively talk about what appeals to a certain woman’s interests, like art or literature, are certainly using their intelligence to their advantage. 

Women are also attracted to men who display a strong sense of leadership, the types who can lead a group in the right direction.

The above-mentioned traits are certain characteristics of men that have nothing to do with being your typical nice guy. These characteristics are those being displayed by the assholes of the world. [Read: Confident or cocky? 16 subtle signs that split an arrogant & modest man]

Why do women fall for emotionally unavailable men?

So, why do women continue to fall for these jerks who would ultimately break their hearts and leave them devastated? Here are five reasons why the jerks seem to win the dating game so often:

1. A woman’s self-esteem is crucial when it comes to choosing relationships

Not all men are jerks to begin with, in fact, some of them might have experienced some form of rejection in the past, and this is a sort of retaliation to cover up whatever hurts it brought upon them. 

Still, there are those who were born to be jerks, and their chemical makeup reeks of it.

Women who find this sort of man to be appealing may suffer from low self-esteem issues, as they feel that their relationship “couldn’t get any better than this” or “they will never find a better guy than this one.” 

Low self-esteem can lead to poor choices when it comes down to choosing relationships. It would leave you crying after being left hanging once again. [Read: How to quit being manipulated in your relationship]

2. Women seem to love “the chase” 

While it is true that men love the thrill of the chase, the absolute truth is that women love the chase as well. 

Though only a few women would admit it, they experience a real rush when they pursue what they want the most. In this case, the object of desire is the emotionally unavailable male.

Now, these women aren’t the “stupid floozies” that society has perceived them to be. Rather, they are women who seem to think that getting their hands on a man like this will give them a sense of validation.

After all, getting something that you know you could never have leaves this sort of impact on you, doesn’t it? [Read: Stop chasing him – why guys run & why you shouldn’t chase them]

3. Women believe that they could “change the guy” 

When a woman enters into this type of relationship where the “sweet girl” falls in love with the stereotypical “bad boy,” she goes about thinking that she could “change him.”

He’s a philanderer? She thinks that she will change him into the most faithful man that you have ever seen. He’s an alcoholic? She thinks that she will turn him sober by the time she is through with him. 

Many women, especially those who find themselves to be entering serious relationships for the first time, think that they could tame the “beast within.”

Sadly, these women will come to realize that people would only change if they want to change. 

There is such a thing called “free will” after all. This would then leave the women who love bad boys to realize that only the guy calls the shots when it comes to changing his behavior. [Read: Relationship deal breakers to watch out for]

4. Women tend to go for people who replicate the rejection that they had when they were children

Now, don’t go thinking that this is some overused psychobabble! A great number of women who fall for the elusive emotionally unavailable male tend to have a lot of rejection issues during their childhood. 

It might have been some form of attention that they might not have received from one or both of their parents. These women might have faced rejection from their peers while growing up, as well.

Getting into a relationship with emotionally unavailable men might be a way of proving to themselves and to the world that they are not entirely unlovable because the type that would typically reject them has finally started dating them. 

Sadly, this compensation for the love they didn’t get in their childhood makes them think that the guy’s emotionally distant and potentially abusive behavior is the price they need to pay.

5. We always want what we can’t have

Remember the time when you were in elementary school, and your parents told you that you couldn’t have a cookie? 

The more your parents told you that you couldn’t have those cookies, the more you wanted them. So, you decided to sneak into the kitchen and have your fill of cookies. That’s what’s going through the mind of a woman who wants that unreachable guy.

The challenge of acquiring the unattainable will always have an effect on her. The emotionally unavailable male becomes a challenge, a conquest that would ultimately make her feel validated.

Emotionally unavailable man signs to watch out for

These are the 33 signs of an emotionally unavailable man. If you sense them, beware, and get out as quickly as you can. [Read: The biggest giveaways of an emotionally unavailable man]

1. He loves himself more than you

If he always puts himself first, then it is likely that he always will. 

Being in an emotionally stable relationship requires that someone put the other person ahead of themselves once in a while. If you notice that he is always first on his list, you are with an emotionally unavailable man.

2. His father treats his mother poorly

We all learn by what we see. If you see that his father treats his mother badly, or that they don’t have the type of emotional relationship that you want for your future, then proceed with caution. 

Often, when it comes to guys, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

3. He doesn’t have a close relationship with his mother

Psychological studies have revealed that it is typically the mother’s influence that will shape the emotional well-being of her son

If his mother is either non-existent, or there is no close relationship between the two of them, he may likely have never learned how to have an emotionally close relationship with someone. 

After a certain point, that may no longer be able to be learned. Don’t have enough contact with his family? Try: Clear signs it’s the right time to meet the parents

4. His mother is a cold or demanding woman

If his mother is an emotionally cold woman, he is probably missing the ability to bond closely with someone. That will leave him with diminished skills to have an emotionally mature relationship with another woman. 

Paying attention to the relationship between him and his mother, and her relationship with other people is integral in determining whether or not he has emotional availability.

5. He doesn’t want to get married

If he keeps saying that he doesn’t want to get married, you have to stop convincing yourself it is because he just hasn’t met the right woman yet. 

Most men who are at an advanced age and don’t want to get married aren’t interested in having a close relationship with anyone. It isn’t that the right woman hasn’t come along—it is that he isn’t capable of loving someone in that manner.

6. He keeps his money separate

If he is unable to share his money or monetary possessions with you, then chances are good that he is not going to be capable or willing to share his emotions and feelings with you, either. 

Emotions are not that far from possessions. If he wants to keep things to himself, that will likely carry over to other areas of his life. [Check out: How to stop fighting over money in a relationship]

7. He won’t give you a key

Someone who doesn’t want to share their home with you is probably not going to share their life with you. When someone keeps you separate from their day-to-day life, that means they aren’t willing to let you in. 

That can lead to you always feeling like you’re on the outside. Feeling isolated is the biggest sign of being with an emotionally unavailable man.

8. He doesn’t care when you cry

Most men hate to see women cry—especially their wives. If he is totally okay with watching you cry and not stepping in or, even worse, making you cry and not feeling bad, that is a really bad sign.

Caring little for the feelings of the woman he is with is the cornerstone of being emotionally unavailable.

9. You don’t feel satisfied after confiding in him

If you start to talk to him and feel more confused, ignored, and isolated afterward, then he is not sharing your feelings. Talking at him is not the same as talking to him. 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are just oversensitive. If he isn’t responding to your emotional cues for help and support, that is a sign he either doesn’t get it or does and doesn’t care. [Read: Clear signs you can’t trust the guy you’re dating]

10. He doesn’t have any empathy

If you notice that he has no empathy for other people not only in his life but in society, that is a sign that he is emotionally unavailable. People who are lacking the basic social skill of empathy can’t have a mature emotional relationship, because they just don’t get it.

11. He calls people names

Grown adults who call others names usually do not have the emotional capacity to understand how they affect people. [Read: Toxic people – 48 warning signs and the best way to deal with them]

If they don’t get the saying “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” then they aren’t ever going to get how you feel or why you need emotional support or love.

12. He puts others down to make himself feel better

The first sign of narcissism is that they have to put others down to make themselves feel better. Narcissists are incapable of having an emotionally stable relationship. 

They are literally lacking the capacity. If you notice that it makes him feel better to make others feel worse, he is likely not going to be able to bond with you on an emotional level. [Try: 16 reasons why your boyfriend is so mean]

13. He is still in love with his ex

If he is still pining over his ex, he is not emotionally available to move on and be with you. Being emotionally connected to someone else negates their ability to give their heart to you. 

It is best to stand back and let him resolve his feelings, or try to get closure than to play second fiddle to someone else.

14. He hasn’t ever had a relationship that worked

If he insists that every girl that he has gone out with in the past has been “crazy,” you should ask him if they were crazy when he met them. 

Although some guys do have a type that can be a little high-strung, if he hasn’t ever had a relationship that worked, you have to wonder what his part in the mix is. [Read: Ways to quit attracting unhealthy relationships]

15. He doesn’t have any close friendships

If he has the inability to have a relationship with other people, both men and women, that is probably because he isn’t emotionally available to those around him—even friends. 

Not many people want to be friends with someone who doesn’t care. [Check out: Signs you’re dating a self-obsessed narcissist]

16. He lacks compassion

The guy who doesn’t feel bad for hundreds of people who got laid off, or a nation that got hit by a tsunami, likely doesn’t have the emotional capacity to care much about many people in his peripheral. 

You may be special, but no one is that special. If he just doesn’t have the compassion to give, he can’t be passionate or available to you.

17. He avoids you when you are upset 

If you say you had a bad day, and his answer is, “Okay, I will see you tomorrow,” then you are dealing with someone who doesn’t want to be bothered with your baggage. 

If he wants nothing to do with your issues at all, then he is not going to be the best emotional partner you can choose.

18. He doesn’t want to hear about your day

If he never asks or listens to how your day was, there is a reason: he doesn’t want to get involved. 

That isn’t just about being self-absorbed, but not wanting to form an emotional tie to you. To share feelings is uncomfortable and something he doesn’t want any part of. [Read: How to stop selfish people from hurting you]

19. He won’t go with you to family gatherings

If he doesn’t want to share in your family gatherings, then he sees being with your family as a commitment he isn’t ready for. If a guy doesn’t want to be with you when you are with your family, that is because he doesn’t want to become emotionally attached.

20. He won’t confide in you

If you spend your time together trying to figure out what is going on in his head, that is a whole lot of wasted energy. Because if someone wants you to know what is going on, they will involve you.

If you think it is just because you don’t know him well enough yet, beware. If a guy doesn’t share upfront, he isn’t someday going to open up like a book. That is going to leave you feeling lonely and unwanted.

21. He never asks you questions about yourself

If he doesn’t know your favorite color, what you like to eat, or who your best friend is, then he doesn’t really care much about you emotionally at all. If he asks you about you, then he is going to get tangled up in something that he clearly wants no part of.

22. He thinks that child rearing is best left to a woman

A man who doesn’t think he has a place in the emotional well-being of his children is not only leaving the emotional state of his kids by the wayside—he is going to do the same with you. 

Not only is he saying he doesn’t want ownership in the kid’s emotional well-being, but he is also telling you that he is going to be of no support to you, either. [Read: Misogynistic men – what it is, 48 signs & psychology of a sexist women hater]

23. He doesn’t care when you are sick

If he doesn’t offer to help or bring up some soup when you are sick, he is not going to suddenly start caring about you. If, at the very least, he doesn’t come by for days to check if you are still breathing, he is not emotionally invested in you.

24. He won’t say “I love you” 

If you have said “I love you” more than three times with no return, he is not ready to have an emotional relationship with you. He is holding back his feelings for a reason. He isn’t available.  [Next, read: 16 signs it’s time to move on and end the relationship]

25. He never says he is sorry

If, no matter how bad you feel, he never says he is sorry, that is a sign that he can’t put himself in your position, or that he doesn’t care about how you feel.

26. He is a poor communicator

This means that they are unwilling to share their thoughts and feelings with you and prefer to keep things locked up. [Read: How to get a guy to open up and share more with you]

27. He is full of excuses

Whether it is explaining why he had to cancel on you yet again, or telling you why he just cannot see himself committing right now, he will be full of reasons why he cannot give you what you need.

28. He runs from serious commitments

They detest long-term plans and choose to avoid discussions about the future, no matter how great the relationship is going.

Unfortunately, men with emotional problems are plenty. Most of the time, it is hard to weed them out from the mass of other eligible bachelors on the market.

It all comes down to trial and error and if you are unlucky enough to snag a man with emotional deficiencies, you just have to deal with it. [Read: Sure signs the guy you’re dating has the fear of commitment]

29. He’s a big talker

Men who are emotionally unavailable tend to not only brag about themselves but unabashedly place themselves on a pedestal.

He will also tend to brag about materialistic things such as the amount of money and stuff that he has, influential people he knows, how much he spent on his latest gadget, and other ridiculous things that should mean nothing.

Talking big also extends to empty promises. He will make a million promises and follow up on none. 

30. He’s an attention whore

Men with emotional deficiencies also love the spotlight. When it comes to them, there is no such thing as being modest or taking a step back and allowing someone else to bask in the limelight. 

Their ego is usually huge and this prevents them from being modest, even if it’s just for a moment. 

There is nothing wrong with being comfortable in various social settings and if you find a man who is a social guru and can get along with people from all walks of life, then good on you. [Read: 16 attention whore signs to watch out for!]

31. He has a shady history

There is no denying that emotionally unavailable men tend to have questionable pasts. The experiences that they have undergone may have unconsciously led them to behave the way that they do in the present.

Knowing why and how he was single when he met you may explain why he behaves the way he does. For example, if he was traumatized because of a cheating spouse, it is not surprising that he wants to take it slow with you. 

However, if you hear through the grapevine or from the horse’s mouth that he was the one who did all the cheating, pick up your skirts, run off into the sunset, and leave him in the dust. [Read: Why do men really cheat? – 3 big reasons and 27 more!]

32. He has a vague attitude

He is probably super vague when it comes to discussing his thoughts, goals, feelings, and future with you. Or he sidesteps these issues every time you ask about something he is uncomfortable talking about.

Do not jump to conclusions if he does not immediately share every little emotion with you, especially in the early stages of the relationship.

33. He focuses on sex too much

As much as you may love sex, when you are seeking a stable and long-lasting relationship, it is obvious that sex should not be the number one priority.

He might give you all the sex that you could possibly want and need and not commit any other way. Unless you are fine with being his booty call girl, do not delve any further into the relationship.[Read: Signs you’re being subtly manipulated by your partner!]

How to deal with an emotionally unavailable man

Now that you know the signs of an emotionally unavailable man, how do you deal with him if you have one in your life? Here are some things you can do.

1. Recognize the signs

The first step is to know the signs – which is what you’re doing by reading this feature!

Once you are familiar with all of them, you will be able to spot them right away. That way, you can either avoid dating one or go into the relationship armed with information.

2. Set boundaries

When you’re dating an emotionally unavailable man, you need to be upfront and set boundaries. You can’t play games in a relationship like this. Just be direct with what you want and need. Make sure he knows your expectations and don’t expect him to figure them out on his own. 

3. Don’t take it personally

Many women think the reason their man is emotionally unavailable is that there is something wrong with them. [Read: Why am I so sensitive? How to stop being sensitive and grow a thick skin]

But that’s not true. He is emotionally unavailable with everyone in his life – not just you. That’s because it’s his problem, not yours.

4. Know when to let it go

Many women can’t be happy in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable man. So, whether it’s a fight, a situation, or the whole partnership itself, know when to let go. Sometimes it’s better to walk away than to torture yourself by being unhappy.

Can an emotionally unavailable man change? 

Anyone can change if they want to badly enough. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy – or even likely. [Read: Should I give up on him? 25 signs he won’t change or be a good fit

With that said, if they don’t like being emotionally unavailable and see it as a problem in their lives, then they will be more likely to change themselves. But if they don’t see it as a problem, then they won’t change.

Regardless of whether or not he wants to change, you need to realize that you can’t do it for him. So, don’t try to change him. If he feels like he wants to be more involved in your feelings, then he’ll try to do it.

All you can do is encourage and praise him for doing thoughtful things because he might not realize that it’s important. Tell him when he does things like ask about your feelings, you really appreciate their effort. 

This encouragement might help him to change. But it’s also important to give him time and space to address his issues and behaviors. [Read: 16 signs that stop a person from making a serious commitment]

He can also try therapy to see if the assistance of a trained professional will help him change. Therapy can help to find the source of his anger and hurt and teach him how to redirect his feelings.

Can an emotionally unavailable man fall in love? 

Just because a man doesn’t find it easy to recognize or express important emotions doesn’t mean he doesn’t experience those emotions at all. [Read: When a man falls in love – how men fall in love and the stages]

So, emotionally unavailable men can fall in love. They might just have a more difficult time recognizing when it happens and putting their feelings into words.

Emotional unavailability usually is rooted in a deeper fear of intimacy or rejection. And these fears can complicate and compete with their experiences of love.

For them, falling in love feels very scary or threatening. So, it’s their instinct to try to avoid it entirely. When it seems like you are getting closer to them, they might pull back to protect themselves. [Read: Feeling unloved – 51 ways we feel less loved and how to feel love again]

Not only do they not find it easy to identify the feelings of love, but they might also have a difficult time demonstrating affection with words. They might not say “I love you” or tell you how much you mean to them.

Instead, they might show you with their actions like doing something nice for you or buying you gifts. 

How to make an emotionally unavailable man fall in love with you

If you’ve declared your feelings for a special man in your life but he didn’t seem to quite reciprocate the same intensity or enthusiasm, what would you do?

A. Make him fall in love with you to speed things up.

B. Wait for him to become ready.

C. Run away.

Since you’re reading this feature, your choice is probably A.

Every case is different, and if you believe in the man you’re dating, you shouldn’t feel bad about your decision. There are actually many relationships that start this way. 

But before embarking on your quest to woo your emotionally unavailable guy, make sure you’re willing to invest in something that could potentially lead to nothing.

Here are some ways to make your emotionally unavailable guy fall head over heels in love with you and become emotionally open to you. [Read: Does true love exist? 21 signs to recognize it and make you a believer]

Phase I: after the confession

This phase usually starts the moment after you realized you wanted to take matters into your own hands. You are still a “cool girl” with the patience of a mother teaching a 2-year-old how to use the potty.

1. Be his friend

What if the “excuse” he gave you for not being able to commit is not really an excuse? What if he’s really going through a tough time? 

If you really care for this guy, then be his friend. Be there when he needs someone to talk to or give him a box of his favorite cookies when he’s cramming for his presentation. 

This will give him a glimpse of who you are as a person and what you are like in a relationship. If he’s going through something very serious, do your best to avoid putting pressure on your non-relationship.

2. Don’t chase him

Let him chase you, instead. As outdated as it may sound, men still love the chase. If you’ve been too available to his invitations – or worse, if you’re the one who’s always initiating them – slow down.

You don’t want to be the eager beaver in a relationship. Trust us, being the one who’s always chasing will wear you down and make you feel less attractive.

Since you already know that he wants to take things slow, wait for him to initiate things.

Are you scared that if you stop communicating, he’ll totally forget you? If you’re still in Phase I, chances are he will get curious as to why you stopped texting him, and this will make you more attractive to him. 

Follow his pace no matter how slow it is. In fact, make your pace slower. [Read: Whoa there! Signs you’re coming on way too strong]

3. Get busy

Try to keep yourself busy with other activities so you won’t be tempted to send him another text message. Really, this applies to all relationship types. Focus on yourself and your own hobbies if your partner seems to be entranced in their own.

Your emotionally unavailable guy will soon notice how in charge you are with your life and will probably start to fear that you’re enjoying life so much without him that he’ll end up losing you. Seeing a woman doing her own thing is very attractive.

4. Open up

What if the reason he’s not open to you is that you’re not open to him, either? [Read: How to be vulnerable in a relationship, open up, and 28 secrets to grow closer]

So be open with him. Share what’s on our mind or tell him a secret. Vulnerability builds intimacy. If he’s listening intently to what you’re saying and sharing his own secrets, it means there’s hope for you. 

But if he has zero enthusiasm when you reveal important things about yourself, it’s a sign that he is not into you or that it would take a lot of hard work from both of you to achieve the connection you’re yearning for.

Phase II: the assessment phase

A year has passed since you confessed and you’ve already done all of the things above. All of the old problems and excuses have already been resolved. 

You’re now tired of your non-relationship, but you’re still hopeful that he’ll one day make things official. This is the time you need to assess him, his feelings toward you, and your feelings toward him.

5. Date other men

If it has been a year and you’re still in the same place, maybe it’s time to go out on dates with other men. [Read: Self-discovery after a breakup – how to happily move on]

Some guys might only make it official if they see the girl arm-in-arm with another man because they can’t stand seeing her with someone else. This is a rather sneaky move, but hey, if it’s been a year, you’d better find out if he’s ready.

If being with another man doesn’t make him jealous, it’s your sign. Instead of asking him questions about your relationship, it’s time you ask yourself if you really want to be with this guy. 

Jealousy doesn’t mean that he loves you, but it could lead him to make the move faster – particularly if he really loves you and was just waiting for the right time. [Read: Why you should be dating more than one guy at once]

6. Surprise him with a “no” 

Surprise him by saying no to something he expects you to say yes to. It could be a dinner date or a fancy getaway. This might make him wonder why you said no, and this may somehow threaten him.

The feeling he gets when you show him you’re not that into him anymore will drive him crazy. It will make him rethink the whole non-relationship and possibly make his move this time because he realizes he wants a relationship with emotional commitment.

7. Go AWOL

The line, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a cliché for a reason: it’s true. [Read: How to make a man chase you – 20 subtle ways to get him to fall hard]

Go on a vacation without letting him know, or just don’t communicate for a certain amount of time *preferably more than a week*, and see what happens.

Yes, this is a silly game that lovers play, but it is necessary in your case. And here’s another cliché: “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” 

Again, the truth. But when you do it, use that time to really enjoy being by yourself, and don’t do it just so you can manipulate a guy into having a relationship with you. [Read: Flirting like crazy and then going completely cold]

Phase III: the make or break

You’re in phase III when you’ve done all the things mentioned above and the emotional connection is still not there. 

He’s still keeping secrets, he’s still hot and cold, and he’s still not ready. By this point, you have lost all your patience, energy, and hope, and you start to question if he’s worth it.

8. Have another talk and focus on yourself this time

Tell him everything you want to tell him. It’s time to let your guard down and stop playing mind games.

Tell him how you honestly feel about him, how you honestly feel about the long wait, what you honestly want, and what you can’t tolerate anymore. Set deadlines this time, too. If he truly loves you, he can’t let you suffer a minute longer.

How to help an emotionally unavailable man

Emotionally unavailable men typically don’t know how to help themselves. They either need a therapist or the help of someone who loves them. Here are some things you can do to help. [Read: Emotional shutdown – what it is, why people feel it, and how to help them]

1. Early parent/child relationship 

Make him aware that his emotional unavailability probably comes from their early parent/child relationship. In other words, when caregivers deny affection and emotional support or reprimand the child for emotional expressions, they learn to suppress their emotions.

Help him dig deep and uncover some aspects of his childhood that perhaps made him emotionally unavailable. It won’t be easy for him to do this, so you will have to be very supportive and be his guide.

2. Attachment styles

He is probably not aware of the different types of attachment styles. If he is emotionally unavailable, his kind would fall into the “dismissive-avoidant” style.

This style is one in which the person feels insecure and therefore avoids intimacy and closeness with others. Being aware of the fact that there is an actual label to his behavior might make him feel better. [Read: Attachment styles theory – the styles and 19 signs & ways you attach to others]

3. Avoidant personality disorder

There’s a chance that he might also have an avoidant personality disorder, so you can make him aware of this too. A person with this condition avoids social situations due to fear of rejection and being judged by others.

People with avoidant personality disorder have chronic feelings of inadequacy and are highly sensitive to being negatively judged by others. Though they would like to interact with others, they tend to avoid social interaction due to the intense fear of being rejected. [Read: Avoidant attachment style – the types, 32 symptoms, and how to love one]

4. Cultural and gender influences

Some emotionally unavailable people grew up in families, cultures, or religions that don’t encourage emotional expression. As a result, being emotionally unavailable is a learned behavior because it’s a “value” of their group.

In addition to cultural influences, being a particular gender – especially a man – sometimes encourages people to suppress their emotions.

They think that being emotional is weak and that “grown men don’t cry.” [Read: The alpha male – 65 traits of a real alpha man and secrets to be one yourself]

Final thoughts

The biggest problem with an emotionally unavailable man is that it is difficult for him to change.

Whether he is emotionally incapable to be what you need on purpose, or because he lacks the emotional skills to be the person you need him to be, it makes no difference. [Read: Things you shouldn’t do to get a guy to like you]

If you find yourself in love with someone who is emotionally not there, and you’ve done everything in your power to help him, you either have to accept it or move on to someone who can make you feel more emotionally satisfied.

[Read: 15 types of toxic relationships you should avoid]

Remember, there are plenty of eligible men out there. So, if you find yourself falling for a man who is obviously emotionally unavailable, keep these signs in mind and do what is best for you no matter how difficult it may seem.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...