If you notice these 11 signs, you’re dealing with an emotionally unavailable person

Have you ever met someone who seems perfect at first, but as time goes on, something just doesn’t feel right?

They might be charming and funny, but they’re not really letting you in.

You might be dealing with someone who’s emotionally unavailable.

It’s a tricky situation.

You might feel like you’re the only one trying in the relationship.

Maybe you feel like they don’t understand or appreciate you.

But don’t worry, I’m here to help.

We’re going to talk about the top 10 signs that someone might be emotionally unavailable.

It’s not about blaming anyone. It’s about helping you understand and deal with this kind of situation.

So, if something feels off in your relationship and you can’t put your finger on why, keep reading!

We might just have the answers you’re looking for.

1. They’re Not Open About Their Feelings

The first big sign is that they’re not open about their feelings.

We all know that sharing how we feel can be hard sometimes, but it’s a big part of any relationship.

If you notice that they’re always avoiding the topic or changing the subject when feelings come up, this could be a sign.

Maybe you’ve tried to ask them how they’re feeling, or you’ve tried to share your own feelings with them, but they just brush it off.

They might say things like “I’m fine” or “Let’s not talk about this now”.

If this happens a lot, it might mean they’re not ready or able to deal with emotions in a healthy way.

Remember, everyone has off days and nobody is expected to be an open book all the time. But if someone is consistently closed off about their feelings, it’s worth taking note. It could be a sign they are emotionally unavailable.

2. They Avoid Serious Conversations

The second sign is that they always dodge serious conversations.

Maybe you want to talk about where your relationship is heading or discuss an issue that’s bothering you.

But every time you bring it up, they find a way to sidestep the discussion.

They might make a joke to lighten the mood, change the subject altogether, or become very vague.

If this is happening frequently, it’s not a great sign.

A person who is emotionally available will be willing to have these tough conversations because they understand it’s essential for the relationship to grow and thrive.

Someone who is emotionally unavailable, on the other hand, might avoid these chats because they’re not ready to fully commit or deal with deep emotions.

Remember, fear of conflict is common and everyone might avoid a tough discussion once in a while.

But if it becomes a consistent pattern, it could be a sign of emotional unavailability.

3. They Keep You At Arm’s Length

The third sign that someone might be emotionally unavailable is if they always seem to keep you at a distance.

This can be especially tricky because it’s not always obvious.

They might spend time with you, but there’s a feeling that they’re holding back, like a wall between you.

Let me give you an example from my own life. I was dating this person who was lots of fun to be around.

We’d go out, have a great time, but whenever I tried to get close, to really know them on a deeper level, it felt like I hit a brick wall.

They’d share surface-level stuff, like their favorite food or movie, but never anything more personal or deep.

When I tried to talk about it, they would say things like “I’m just a private person” or “I don’t like to talk about the past”.

And while everyone has a right to their privacy, in a relationship, it’s important for both people to open up and share with each other.

If someone is consistently keeping you at arm’s length, it could be a sign they’re emotionally unavailable.

4. They’re Hot and Cold

The fourth sign is that they’re hot and cold with their affections.

One day, they might be super affectionate, making you feel like you’re the center of their world.

The next day, they might be distant and unresponsive, leaving you wondering what went wrong.

This kind of behavior can be very confusing and unsettling.

It’s like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster, never quite sure where you stand with them.

This hot and cold behavior is often linked to what psychologists call ‘avoidant attachment style’.

People with this attachment style desire close relationships, but also fear them at the same time.

So they end up pushing people away even when they want them close.

If you notice this hot and cold pattern in your relationship, it might be a sign that the other person is emotionally unavailable.

Remember, consistency is key to a healthy relationship.

5. They Have a History of Short Relationships

The fifth sign might require a bit of detective work, but it’s worth paying attention to.

If they have a history of short relationships, it could be a sign that they’re emotionally unavailable.

There’s something deeply heartfelt about sharing your life with someone else, about caring for them and having them care for you.

It’s a beautiful thing, but for someone who is emotionally unavailable, it can be a terrifying prospect.

They might jump from relationship to relationship, never staying long enough to form a deep, emotional connection.

It’s like they’re always looking for the next best thing, or maybe they’re just scared of getting too attached.

Whatever the case may be, if they’ve never had a long-term relationship, it might be because they’re not ready or able to commit emotionally.

Remember, everyone has a past and people can change.

But if this is a consistent pattern in their life, it might indicate emotional unavailability.

When we love someone, we don’t just love them for who they are now, but for who they’ve been and who they’re becoming.

It’s important to be aware of these signs so you can make the best decisions for your own emotional well-being.

6. They’re Not There for You in Times of Need

We all go through tough times, whether it’s a bad day at work, a health scare, or just a time when we’re feeling down.

It’s during these periods that we need emotional support from those close to us.

I remember when I was dealing with a family crisis. My world was falling apart and I could barely keep myself together.

The person I was seeing at the time was emotionally unavailable, and though they were physically present, emotionally, they were miles away.

They would listen but wouldn’t really engage or offer comfort. It was like talking to a wall.

When I needed them the most, they seemed detached and preoccupied with their own world.

Emotional availability is about more than just being physically present.

It’s about being emotionally attuned to your partner, offering support, comfort, and care when they need it the most.

If you find that someone is consistently not there for you during tough times, it could be a sign they’re emotionally unavailable.

7. They Struggle to Say “I Love You”

The seventh sign is that they struggle to say those three little words: “I love you”.

Now, I’m not saying they need to declare their undying love after the second date.

But if you’ve been seeing each other for a significant amount of time and they’re still avoiding the ‘L’ word, it could be a red flag.

Love can be scary, sure. It’s a big, heavy word loaded with responsibility and commitment.

But it’s also a beautiful part of being human – allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, to care deeply for someone else, and to let them care for us.

If they’re consistently avoiding saying “I love you”, it might be because they’re scared.

Scared of commitment, scared of vulnerability, scared of getting hurt.

And while those fears are valid and common, they also prevent us from forming deep, meaningful connections with others.

So if you’re feeling like you’re always waiting for them to say “I love you”, it might be a sign they’re emotionally unavailable.

Remember, love isn’t just about those three words; it’s about actions, effort, and being there for each other.

But if they can’t even say it, they might not be ready or able to truly love you the way you deserve.

8. They Always Put Themselves First

In a healthy relationship, both parties should feel valued and prioritized.

However, if you notice that they always put their needs, wants, and desires first without considering yours, it’s a cause for concern.

An interesting fact here is that this behavior is often associated with narcissism.

According to psychologists, narcissists are known for their self-centered behavior.

They often lack empathy and struggle to recognize the needs and feelings of others, which makes them emotionally unavailable for a meaningful relationship.

It’s important to note that everyone has moments of selfishness; it’s part of being human.

But if they consistently disregard your feelings or needs, it might be time to reconsider the relationship.

A person who’s emotionally available will care about your happiness and make an effort to meet your needs as well.

9. They Keep Their Life Separate

The ninth sign hits quite close to home for me. It’s when they keep their life separate from yours. You know, when you’re a part of their life, but only to a certain extent.

I once dated someone who was like this.

We spent time together, enjoyed each other’s company, but when it came to integrating our lives, they always held back.

I never really met their friends or family. When I asked about it, there was always an excuse or a reason to delay it.

It felt like I was part of their life, but only in a compartmentalized way.

I wasn’t included in their broader life or their future plans. It was as if they wanted to keep their “real” life separate from our relationship.

If you’re seeing someone who keeps you separate from the rest of their life, it could be a sign they’re emotionally unavailable. In a healthy relationship, partners share their lives with each other – not keep them separate.

It’s about building a shared future together, not living parallel lives.

10. They’re Always Blaming Others

The tenth sign is a tough one to face, but it’s important. It’s when they’re always blaming others.

Maybe they blame their ex for their failed relationship, or they blame their boss for their career not taking off.

Whatever the case, it’s never their fault.

We all have moments when we play the blame game.

It’s easier to point fingers than to face our own shortcomings.

But here’s the thing – we all play a part in our own stories. If they’re always blaming others without taking any responsibility, it’s a cause for concern.

It might be that they’re not emotionally ready to face their own mistakes or to acknowledge their role in their problems.

And if they can’t do that, how can they be emotionally available for a real, grown-up relationship?

Remember, true emotional availability involves self-awareness and the ability to take responsibility for one’s actions.

11. They Avoid Making Long-Term Plans

The final sign of emotional unavailability is if they avoid making long-term plans with you.

If you’re talking about a holiday next year, or even just planning a date a few weeks ahead, and they’re always non-committal or vague, it might be a red flag.

Let’s be honest here – making plans with someone means you see a future with them. It means you’re ready to commit to them, at least to some extent.

If they’re always dodging long-term plans, it might be because they’re not ready to commit. Maybe they’re scared of the future, or maybe they’re not sure about you.

Either way, it’s tough to hear, but it’s better to know. If you want a serious, committed relationship, you deserve someone who can give that to you. Someone who sees a future with you and is excited about it.

Remember, recognizing these signs is not about blaming or criticizing anyone. It’s about understanding what you want and need from a relationship and making sure you’re not settling for less.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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