10 signs you’re in love with someone who is emotionally unavailable

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Ever felt like you’re head over heels for someone, but something’s just not quite right?

Like you’re all in, but they’re kind of holding back?

You might be in love with someone who’s not ready to get all emotional.

And that’s tough, because while you’re dreaming of a happy future, you might just be setting yourself up for a big letdown.

So how can you know for sure?

Keep reading to find 10 signs that show you’re in love with someone who’s emotionally unavailable.

1. They’re Great at Surface-Level Chats, But Deep Conversations? Not So Much.

You know that feeling when you want to talk about something that’s really bugging you or share your deepest dreams and fears? And then you get met with a quick change of subject or a vague response?

Well, if this is a pattern, it’s a sign.

You may notice that the person you’re falling for can talk for hours about movies, the weather, or even gossip, but they dodge anything that gets too close to emotions or feelings.

It’s like they’re stuck in small-talk mode, 24/7.

This can be super frustrating when you’re ready to go to the next level emotionally but find that they’re still hanging out at the shallow end of the pool.

2. They’re All About Spontaneity, But Planning Ahead? Forget About It.

You get a text from them at 9 PM saying, “Hey, wanna hang out?” And sure, those spontaneous meet-ups can be fun and exciting. It’s like you’re both living in the moment, and who doesn’t love that?

But here’s the kicker:

Whenever you try to plan something a week or even just a few days in advance, they’re always “not sure” or “will have to check their schedule.” It’s as if they have a calendar filled with secret missions or something.

Why is this a red flag?

Being spontaneous is cool, but a person who’s emotionally invested is also willing to commit to future plans.

If they’re always keeping it loose, it may mean they’re not too keen on sticking around for the long haul.

It’s like they’re keeping their options open, and that can make you wonder where you really stand.

3. They’re Hot and Cold, and You Feel Like You’re Always Guessing.

Ever felt like you’re riding a rollercoaster but you never even bought a ticket?

One day they’re texting you like there’s no tomorrow, filling your day with smiley faces and inside jokes. You go to bed thinking, “Wow, this is really going somewhere.”

Then, poof. Radio silence.

You find yourself checking your phone way too often, even wondering if something’s wrong with it.

You play it cool, try not to appear desperate, but inside, you’re a mess of questions. “Did I say something wrong? Are they okay? Are they losing interest?”

This kind of inconsistency is more than just confusing; it’s a gut punch to your emotional well-being.

When someone is all in, you’ll know it. You won’t have to decode texts or overthink silences.

So if you’re constantly guessing where you stand with them, it might be because they themselves don’t know—or don’t want to know. And that’s a tough pill to swallow.

4. They’re Super Supportive, But Only When It’s Convenient for Them.

They show up for you in ways that make you think, “Yes, this person really cares about me.”

Maybe they help you move, or they listen to you vent after a tough day at work. You start to think you’ve cracked their emotional safe, and they’re finally letting you in.

But hold on a sec.

Ever noticed that their support has a time limit or seems to fit neatly into their own schedule? Like, they’ll help you practice for a job interview but won’t pick up the phone when you actually need emotional support at 2 AM.

This kind of selective availability can mess with your head.

You get these moments that feel like emotional progress, only to realize later they were just situational perks.

It’s like they’re there, but not fully. And love? Well, love is about being there even when it’s not convenient.

So if you find that their support feels more like a scheduled program than a genuine connection, you might be in deeper waters than they are willing to swim.

5. You Feel Like You’ve Got a VIP Ticket, But Only to the Preview Show.

Ah, the honeymoon phase. Everything’s a blast, from the laughs to the late-night phone calls.

For a moment, you might even trick yourself into believing you’ve found your forever person.

And why not? They make you feel special, like you’re the one person they’ve let into their private world.

But as time goes on, you start to see the cracks.

You hear about family gatherings you’re never invited to, or friends you’ve never met. It’s like there’s a whole other level to their life that remains off-limits to you.

You start to wonder, “If I’m so special, why don’t they want to share more of their life with me?”

Here’s the thing: Being someone’s “special guest” feels amazing, but only up to a point.

If you’re not making it to the main event—the deeper, less polished parts of their life—then you’re likely not as integral to their world as you may have thought.

Feeling like you’ve got a permanent VIP ticket can be flattering, but love isn’t about exclusivity; it’s about inclusivity.

And if they’re not letting you into the full picture, maybe it’s time to ask yourself why.

6. When You’re Upset, They Make It About Them.

Everyone has bad days or moments when emotions are running high. In a healthy relationship, this is when you lean on each other.

But what happens when your attempt to talk through your feelings turns into a monologue about theirs?

Maybe you’re upset because they canceled plans at the last minute, and instead of acknowledging how this affects you, they go on about how stressed they are.

Now, you’re the one comforting them, and your original issue? It’s swept under the rug.

Look, relationships are a two-way street. There’s no room for one-sided emotional trips.

If they can’t sit down and really hear you when you’re down, without flipping the script to focus on their own narrative, then you’ve got a problem.

It’s harsh, but someone who constantly turns your emotions into a spotlight for themselves probably isn’t ready for the emotional give-and-take that real love demands.

7. They’re Always Around, But Never Really Present.

It’s a weird feeling, right? They’re sitting right there on the couch next to you, but somehow it feels like they’re miles away.

Sure, you’re spending time together—watching movies, eating dinner, maybe even sharing a bed. On paper, it looks like the ideal relationship scenario.

But here’s where it gets tricky.

You start to notice that even when you’re together, they’re often distracted.

Whether they’re glued to their phone, engrossed in a video game, or just seem to be in their own world, you feel like you’re just sharing space, not really connecting.

Sometimes, physical proximity can be deceiving. Just because someone is around doesn’t mean they’re emotionally invested.

A loving relationship involves more than just occupying the same space; it requires engaging, sharing, and really being present in the moment.

8. They Always Keep the Emotional Door Ajar, But Never Wide Open.

You’ve probably heard phrases like, “I’m just not ready for something serious,” or “Let’s just see where this goes.”

These are the classic lines that give you just enough hope to stick around. You think, “Maybe they’ll come around. Maybe they just need time.”

And for a while, that seems like enough.

Every now and then, they might throw you a bone—an affectionate text, a deeper-than-usual conversation, or even a hint at future plans.

Just when you start to doubt, they give you just enough to keep you holding on.

This sort of emotional breadcrumbing can be really confusing. It keeps you stuck in a kind of relationship limbo where you’re neither just friends nor fully committed. And that’s not fair to you.

Real love doesn’t involve constantly questioning your status or wondering if the other person is as invested as you are.

If they’re keeping that emotional door only slightly open, it might be because they don’t intend to fully step through it.

9. You Find Yourself Making Excuses for Them—A Lot.

Your friends and family ask about your relationship, and you find yourself covering up for them. “Oh, they’re just really busy with work right now,” or “They’ve had a rough past, so they’re a bit guarded.”

You’re the ultimate hype person, defending their emotional absence like it’s a badge of honor.

But deep down, a part of you knows.

No matter how many excuses you make, you can’t shake the feeling that if they wanted to be fully there with you, they would be. Work, past relationships, or whatever it is—none of it would matter.

It’s hard admitting that to yourself, isn’t it?

Because it means acknowledging that the person you’ve invested so much in—emotionally, mentally, maybe even physically—isn’t investing the same way in you.

Making excuses for someone is often a sign that you’re trying to paint a picture that aligns with your wishes, not the reality.

And while it’s natural to want to see the best in someone you care about, it’s also crucial to see things as they are.

10. You Feel Lonely, Even When They’re Right Next To You.

It’s one of those nights where you’re both on the couch, maybe even under the same blanket.

The room is filled with the sound of the latest Netflix hit, but your mind? It’s filled with questions, doubts, and a loneliness that doesn’t quite make sense.

Isn’t the point of being with someone to not feel alone?

That’s the heart-wrenching part. You could be in the same room, the same bed, or even locked in a hug, and still feel miles apart.

That physical closeness tricks you into thinking you’re connected when, emotionally, you’re like parallel lines—close but never really meeting.

Love shouldn’t leave you feeling isolated. It’s about a connection that transcends physical presence;

it fills emotional gaps and provides a sense of companionship that you can’t get just by being next to someone.

If you’re feeling lonely despite their presence, it might be the loudest sign yet that you’re in love with someone who’s emotionally unavailable.

Love is complex, and every relationship has its challenges. But loving someone who’s emotionally unavailable adds a layer of difficulty that can be soul-draining.

Recognizing these signs is the first step towards deciding how you want to handle this emotional puzzle.

It might not be easy, but remember—you deserve a love that’s as invested in you as you are in it.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor 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 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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