Men who are emotionally unavailable often display these 8 behaviors (without realizing it)

There’s a world of difference between being aloof and being emotionally unavailable.

The difference, you ask? It’s all about intent. Being aloof may just be a personality trait, but emotional unavailability is often an unintentional defense mechanism.

Men who are emotionally unavailable tend to exhibit certain behaviors, frequently without even realizing it.

Emotional unavailability can be tricky to spot. I’ve spent years studying relationships and helping people navigate through them. Through my work, I’ve identified patterns that can help you identify emotional unavailability.

As you read on, I’ll share some common behaviors of emotionally unavailable men, that they themselves might not even recognize. Here’s to better understanding and healthier relationships.

1) They avoid deep conversations

In my years of studying relationships, I’ve found that emotional unavailability often manifests as an aversion to deep, meaningful conversations.

Here’s the deal: we all shy away from tough conversations from time to time. But for emotionally unavailable men, this is more than an occasional discomfort. It’s a consistent pattern.

You see, deep discussions often bring out feelings and emotions. And for someone who’s emotionally unavailable, that’s a no-go area.

They would much rather stick to safe, surface-level topics. Anything that requires them to tap into their emotions is skillfully avoided.

But remember, it’s just one sign. Don’t rush to conclusions yet.

2) They keep you at an arm’s length

It’s been said that “Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity”.

In the context of relationships, emotionally unavailable men often use distance as a tool to avoid intimacy. It’s not always physical distance, sometimes it’s emotional distance.

Now, I’m not implying that needing some space is a sign of emotional unavailability. We all need our “me time”, right? But there’s a fine line between healthy space and consistently keeping a partner at arm’s length.

In my personal experience, I’ve seen men who are emotionally unavailable often build invisible walls around them. This helps them maintain control and avoid vulnerability.

If you recognize this, it sounds like it’s time to have a heart-to-heart about emotional availability. Communication is key in any relationship!

3) They’re hot and cold

A common behavior I’ve noticed in emotionally unavailable men is inconsistency in their attitudes. One day they’re all warm and affectionate, the next day they’re distant and unresponsive.

You feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster, right? Trust me, I’ve been there too.

Their unpredictable behavior can leave you second-guessing yourself and your relationship. You might start to wonder if you did something wrong without realizing it.

In my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I delve into this issue in depth. I share insights on why emotionally unavailable men behave this way and offer practical tips on how to cope with such situations.

Are you experiencing this hot-and-cold dynamic in your relationship? It might be a good time to check out my book for some helpful advice.

4) They’re often charming and sociable

Now, here’s something that might surprise you. Emotionally unavailable men can often be the life of the party. Yes, you heard that right!

You see, being emotionally unavailable doesn’t necessarily mean being antisocial. Quite the contrary! Many emotionally unavailable men are charming and sociable. They’re great at casual conversations and can make anyone feel special in a crowd.

But here’s the catch. Their charm often stays at the surface level. While they can easily engage in social situations, they struggle to form deep emotional connections on a one-on-one basis.

If your man is a social butterfly but struggles with emotional intimacy, it could be an indication of emotional unavailability. It’s not necessarily about how many people they can charm, but how deep they can connect with you.

5) They avoid commitment

Here’s a behavior that hits close to home for me – avoiding commitment.

I remember dating a guy who was charming, funny, and caring. But when it came to discussing our future, he would always change the subject or joke it off. It was as if the mere thought of commitment sent him running for the hills.

This aversion to commitment is common among emotionally unavailable men. They might enjoy your company, but the thought of being tied down scares them.

Whether it’s dodging discussions about the future or shying away from labeling your relationship, this fear of commitment can be a tell-tale sign of emotional unavailability.

Keep in mind though, everyone moves at their own pace. It’s important to have open and honest discussions about your expectations in a relationship.

6) They rarely show vulnerability

Let’s be real here. Showing vulnerability is tough. It requires us to open up, to expose our raw emotions, and that can be scary.

This is especially true for emotionally unavailable men. They have a hard time showing their vulnerable side. It’s like they’ve built this impenetrable fortress around their emotions, and they guard it fiercely.

They rarely talk about their fears, insecurities, or anything that makes them feel vulnerable. It’s easier to keep those emotions locked away than to risk being hurt.

The fact is, vulnerability is not weakness. It’s a strength. It’s what allows us to connect deeply with others. 

7) They struggle with empathy

Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being’s suffering. Not a career. Not wealth. Not intelligence. Certainly not status.”

In my experience, I’ve found that emotionally unavailable men often struggle with empathy. They find it hard to understand or share the feelings of others.

I recall a time when I was having a particularly rough day and my then-boyfriend just couldn’t grasp why I was upset. It felt like he was emotionally tone-deaf, unable to connect with my feelings.

This lack of empathy can leave you feeling lonely and misunderstood in your relationship — because empathy is the heart of a deep, emotional connection.

8) They’re often self-centered

Now, let’s be brutally honest here. Emotionally unavailable men can often be self-centered. Their world tends to revolve around their needs, their wants, their feelings.

You might find yourself constantly adjusting to their schedule, their mood swings, or their preferences. It’s like you’re orbiting around their world, and your needs take a backseat.

This self-centeredness isn’t born out of malice but rather a lack of emotional capacity to consider others’ feelings and needs. It’s a coping mechanism that allows them to avoid getting too emotionally entwined with others.

But remember, a relationship is about mutual respect and consideration. If you’re constantly feeling sidelined or neglected, it might be time to reassess your situation.

Final thoughts

That wraps up our exploration of behaviors often displayed by emotionally unavailable men. Recognizing these signs early can save you from a lot of heartache and confusion.

Remember, it’s not your job to fix someone who’s emotionally unavailable. You can’t pour from an empty cup and you must take care of your own emotional health first.

For more insights on this topic, I’d recommend checking out my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship. It offers a deeper understanding of emotional unavailability and provides practical tips on dealing with it.

Here’s to healthier and emotionally fulfilling relationships for all of us. Stay strong, stay hopeful, and remember, you’re not alone in this journey.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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