Tale-Tell Signs You're Dating An Emotionally Unavailable Man

You fall in love with the emotionally unavailable father figure.

You’re dating a really nice man. He seems like “marriage material”; he’s financial stable, gentlemanly and reliable, but he’s uncomfortable talking about himself. You think he’s worth the effort and you try to pull him out of his shell.

One night, after a third highball, he gives you a glimpse into his heart. He tells you about his bitter divorce, a hyper-critical ex, a financial fiasco or a hurtful childhood. You’re drawn in by his sad stories. You think he’s beginning to open up to you. You think you are “good” for him, you think you can fix him and you fall in love with him—and then he pulls away from you.

The courtship of an emotionally unavailable man can be baffling and deflating. A seemingly great guy pursues you. He calls you, he asks you out and he says and does things to pull you into a relationship. He is courteous and attentive, and he wants to sleep with you. But when you give yourself to him—he withdraws his affection and his pursuit and you are bewildered by his sudden change of heart.

Experts say that many emotionally unavailable people want a serious relationship but their emotional baggage prevents them from making an intimate connection. Some are untrusting; they fear rejection or they have a fear of being controlled. Men especially are afraid of “losing” themselves in a relationship and they will subconsciously, or even knowingly, erect barriers to avoid emotional intimacy—or sabotage a relationship.

WARNING! You can’t change a man who is emotionally crippled and he will break your heart when you try.

If you are dating a man with these behaviors, you need to cut and run:

  • He comes on strong in the beginning, but after he gets your attention, or you sleep with him, he backs off with his affection, phone calls and pursuit. When you question him about it he gives you an excuse; he blames “timing.”  He tells you “if only things were different, you’d be the perfect girlfriend.” “It’s not you,” he says. “It’s me.”
  • He admits to being commitment-phobic. He acts like he’s totally into you—but he claims “he’s not over his last girlfriend or recent divorce.” He says, “I’m not ready for a relationship.” If you continue seeing him, you have accepted his “sleep-over-non-relationship” terms.
  • He has poor relationships with women, his mother and daughter(s). He’s angry at his ex-wife or ex-girlfriend because she left him, or she nailed him financially. Or he still loves her. Either way—he still has strong feelings for ex, making him emotionally unsuitable for a relationship.
  • He is rigid about his schedule (a sign he may be seeing someone else). He determines the momentum of the relationship; he sets up when and where he will see you.
  • He takes the relationship too slow; after months of sleeping with him he doesn’t take the relationship forward. You’re not sure if you are “couple” or you’re just hanging out.
  • He is resistant to involving himself in your life. He ignores your requests to participate in the things you want to do. He never takes you around his friends and he doesn’t introduce you to his family.
  • He relies on text messages, instant messaging and email for the majority of his communication with you. Most of his messaging is idle chatter. You keep thinking he will ask you out—maybe he will; more likely he won’t.


He is shallow …

  • Your conversations are trifling and superficial. You are vulnerable with your thoughts and feelings. He tells you just enough to keep you in a go-no-where relationship. When you try to talk to him about the status of your relationship, he tells you what you want to hear or he skirts the issue. You constantly wonder where you stand with him.
  • Phone conversations with him are frustrating and trivial. He may call semi-regularly or he calls to say goodnight. He performs like a dependable, caring partner but his dialogue feels mechanical and impersonal and his tone is lukewarm and reserved. When he hangs up you ask yourself, “What heck are we doing?”
  • You feel uncertain when he leaves your house. You’re not sure when you’ll hear from him again. He leaves you hanging—even though you’ve been dating him for a while.

He leaves you feeling emotionally void …

  • Your relationship feels like a “push and pull” game. One day he really likes you, and the next day he disappears or shuts down. His behavior creates an addictive relationship. You feel he cares about you, so you keep trying to figure him out. When he withdraws from you, you suffer from his rejection and you instinctively seek his approval and validation.
  • His compliments don’t feel authentic; you find yourself “fishing” for his praise and validation. You seem to always hug and kiss him first.
  • He leaves you sexually frustrated. His foreplay is perfunctory, minimal or non-existent. He doesn’t take time to pleasure you during sex. He doesn’t cuddle, touch or hold you after sex. You feel unfulfilled, lonely or sad after you sleep with him. He may even creep out and go home after sleeping with you.
  • He says he wants to get married, but there is no sign of a ring, no mention of a date and years are going by. Some men will cough up an engagement ring, but put off the wedding date indefinitely—that’s because he never intends to marry you.

He withdraws but he keeps you dangling …

  • He doesn’t call when he is supposed to; he disappears and then resurfaces with little or no explanation.
  • He lives out-of-town and he texts you flirty and sexual messages. He may call you and have long conversations, but he never mentions coming to see you. He says he is coming to see you—but nothing ever materializes.
  • His pursuit subsides; you seem to initiate the dates. He pulls back or he disappears; you text or call him to restore the relationship. His behavior leaves you confused and it makes you want him even more.
  • He doesn’t answer your calls and he fails to return your calls/texts/emails/Facebook posts/tweets—or he calls you several days later when it is convenient for him.
  • He no longer asks you out, but he calls or texts you on his way home from work, after happy hour or late at night. Your relationship has turned into a “booty call.”

If a man continually makes your heart ache, you are constantly confused about how he feels about you and you’re are uncertain about your future with him—you need to dump him for a man who will make you feel adored, safe and valued.

READ ALSO: Do You Stay Or Should You Go: Loving An Emotionally Unavailable Man


God Please Fix Me TrilogyDo you repeatedly fall in love with men who maltreat you? Based on true events, God, Please Fix Me! can help understand WHY you commit to men who are emotionally unavailable and abusive.

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