How to Avoid Dating Emotionally Unavailable People

not a happy couple

We may think it only applies to that friend of ours that’s constantly dating players who aren’t looking to settle down, or that guy who gets cold feet after two dates, but emotional unavailability comes in many different shapes and forms. So what are the so-called “emotionally unavailable signs”? Are you maybe even displaying some of these signs yourself? Let’s see, shall we?

First of all, let’s note that there are plenty of people who have phases in their life when they don’t want to date seriously; rather they prefer to play around and explore people. That doesn’t make them emotionally unavailable, rather they’re respecting their own wishes in the present.

Secondly, everyone is likely emotionally unavailable at some point or another. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t date them, or that it’s a bad thing. If you have a stressful period at work, are really intent of achieving one thing or another, or are going through a period of change, or mourning, you might very well focus on that for a couple of months. There’s nothing wrong with that. It means that your emotions are focused towards that one thing and you don’t feel like you have space for anything else. If you are in that space, or meet someone who is in that space and they’re upfront about it, then that’s OK. If things don’t start to change after a little while, then there’s cause for concern, on the other hand.

Most emotionally unavailable men and women have been hurt in one way or another and, as a result, have withdrawn emotionally. They may be emotionally unavailable only when it comes to specific relationships, like romantic relationships, or they may overall be “hard to reach” emotionally. It takes different forms too. For some, it means they never really put words to their feelings, even if they tend to show some of them in various gestures. For others, it means that they can tell you almost anything, but they don’t emotionally open up to you. For yet others, it means that they simply focus on other things – their career, their hobbies, their house…that’s the focus. And, sometimes, in a backhanded way, they’re trying to show someone love through these things. They may not be able to open up and show love or ask for love, but they go build someone a house instead, or make enough money to buy one…

For some emotionally unavailable women and men, what they do is they turn the tables. It’s not that they don’t show emotions, but it’s rather that they associate with those who don’t. That way they never need to get too close or feel that they have to depend on someone emotionally, because they know they can’t.

So what’s the best way to avoid ending up in relationships where either you, or your partner, is emotionally unavailable? Well, the best way to avoid it is to become emotionally available yourself. If you seek to truly share life with someone, you won’t go after someone who is emotionally unavailable. And if you can see you’ve been chasing these people in the past, you must know, that somewhere you’re trying to avoid an emotional connection yourself, presumably due to a fear of being hurt. The thing is, that fear can have come from events early in childhood, from friends, parents and so forth. It’s not necessarily past relationships that made you scared of opening up emotionally, or depending on someone who is emotionally open with you. So have a look at your past – did you ever feel let down by people close to you? Sometimes seeing what caused it helps to undo it.

Funnily enough, it’s not love, or being emotionally open, that hurts. Rather, it’s holding onto something which hurt you that causes the pain. By opening up and feeling everything you often find you let go of that which no longer serves you. By suppressing it, you hold onto it. If something hurts emotionally, don’t be scared. Let it hurt. Then let it evaporate away. Avoiding the pain is not the solution. We all get hurt sometimes, that’s life, but life is also love. And the more you open up to that, the less pain you’ll have.

You can never entirely avoid pain, but the more love you have in your life, the less you’ll feel the pain. And when it comes, let it hurt, then let it go. Stay open. Let in more love. In the end, that’s the only thing that will truly make you happy.