14 Signs An Emotionally Unavailable Man Is In Love With You

You might’ve read the title of this article and thought, “How the heck can an emotionally unavailable man fall in love?” Just because someone is emotionally unavailable, it doesn’t mean they can’t fall in love. It does, however, mean that they’ll battle to recognize it or express their feelings. Basically, that means you’re in for an uphill battle. Is an emotionally unavailable man in love with you? Here are 14 important signs that it’s happening and it’s probably complicating things.

What qualities do emotionally unavailable people display?

While not all guys who are emotionally unavailable will have all of these qualities, they’re pretty common across the board. If you notice them in your own relationship, don’t ignore them.

  • Avoidance of “deep” topics
  • Inability to express emotions
  • Inconsistency with words and actions
  • Fear of commitment
  • Self-centeredness
  • A string of bad relationships that all followed the same patterns

What are the signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you?

  1. He can’t speak about heavy issues. One of the classic signs that someone is emotionally unavailable is when they can’t seem to deal with or communicate about heavy, serious issues. This is super frustrating to deal with because you’ll be trying to engage and they’ll either be avoiding it altogether or trying to distract you. This is one of the biggest signs the man who is in love with you is emotionally unavailable.
  2. He doesn’t have serious relationships in his past. While it doesn’t really matter if a guy has tons of romantic experience or close to none, if a guy hasn’t had any serious relationships then he might not know how to deal with serious issues or commitment. Or, he might be emotionally unavailable – he might have avoided serious relationships because sooner or later he’d have to deal with serious issues.
  3. He freaks out when you get soppy.¬†When you try to talk to him about your feelings or where you want the relationship to go, he might become fidgety or nervous, or try to change the subject. Yup, he’s freaking out because he just doesn’t know how to deal with those feelings. If he can’t express his own feelings, he might not be able to handle yours.
  4. He isn’t physically affectionate. While he might have sex with you without a problem, he might hold back from physical affection because it usually has an emotional component attached to it. He has to keep you at a distance sometimes to ensure you don’t get too close emotionally. No wonder it feels confusing when he claims to love you, right?
  5. He can’t stick to plans. He gets nervous when he’s locked into plans. Why? It’s basically because of how he doesn’t want to make any commitments. This makes him feel trapped. You’re likely to see other examples in his life of how he avoids commitment, whether with his mates or career.
  6. He wants to be in control. Since he’s not going to be making plans with you ahead of time, he’s going to try to call the shots in your relationship. He will want to see you when he’s available, he’ll want to ask you out on a date when it’s convenient for him, and so on.
  7. He puts you on hold. He’ll always try to put issues on ice “for later”, such as when you want to talk about where your relationship is going or how he feels about you, but then “later” never actually comes. He always tries to dodge anything serious. He might even do this with anything important you want to talk about, even if it doesn’t concern him. This is because he doesn’t want anything more than a surface relationship.
  8. He loves you, but… While you might feel happy about him admitting to having feelings for you, he won’t be able to follow through on actions you need to confirm that he’s in love, such as making your relationship committed and official. He might tell you that he wants to keep things casual because the setup works for him.
  9. He’s a copycat lover. When you tell the guy how you feel about him, does it feel like he just repeats the same kinds of phrases back to you so that they’re not original and therefore don’t feel authentic? For example, maybe you tell him that you loved your first date so much and it was the best date you’ve ever had and he repeats your sentence. This could be his way of dealing with emotions without having to delve deeply into his.
  10. He’s unreachable. A guy who’s emotionally distant and unavailable is also going to become physically so, as a way to keep himself further away from you. So, you’ll find that you’ll be trying to text him and he’ll leave you on “read” for days, or you’ll confirm plans and he won’t be around.
  11. He lets you take the reins. Are you always the one asking him out on a date or texting him first? It sucks and can be draining. The thing is, he’s totally cool with this situation because of how he doesn’t have to initiate anything or commit, and can just flow with what you choose to do. This lazy-ass behavior is also why you might feel like he’s just going through the motions and you’re more invested in the relationship than he is.
  12. He blocks your emotions. You might not feel comfortable voicing how you feel about the relationship with this guy, but chances are that he dismisses your feelings in general. When you’re having a bad day and are crying about what happened, he’ll tell you that you’re too dramatic or need to calm down. Frustrating. Same goes for when you’re expressing how hurt you were by your BFF and he says that you’re too sensitive. He doesn’t want to deal with any difficult feelings.
  13. He won’t fight with you. When you fight with someone, then you know that things are really getting serious – you’re doing the hard yards to take your relationship to a deeper, more committed level. Based on that, you can see why this guy wouldn’t care about arguing with you.
  14. He’s all over the place. Another classic sign that the guy you’re dating is emotionally unavailable is that he’ll be inconsistent with his messages. He’ll be smooth and romantic one minute, then distant and cold the next. He’ll text you furiously for a few days, then you won’t hear from him for the next week. Just because he’s all over the show and probably confused, it doesn’t mean that you have to be dragged into it.

How to cope in this situation

Regardless of whether you’re also in love with him, it’s pretty much impossible to have a happy, fulfilling relationship with a guy who’s emotionally unavailable. So, how can you cope?

  1. Accept that his issues aren’t your responsibility. It’s easy to take it to heart when an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you, but all signs point to it being HIS issue, not yours. Not only should you not take his behavior personally, you also shouldn’t feel like you have to be responsible for fixing it. That’s his job.
  2. Be clear about your boundaries, expectations, and needs. It’s not his way or the highway. If he even wants a chance of making things work with you, he needs to respect your boundaries, meet your expectations, and fulfill certain needs. If he can’t do that, he can walk on.
  3. Prioritize yourself. He’s going to put himself first, and you should do the same. That’s not to say you shouldn’t give him any part of you, but he needs to earn it. In the meantime, you need to have your own back.
  4. Put some distance between you. While it’s unlikely your emotionally unavailable man is going to have an epiphany and become the perfect boyfriend overnight, you should back off while he thinks about what he wants. He doesn’t have to be perfect, but he will need to be committed to changing if he wants you to entertain him.
  5. Don’t try to force the relationship. If you have to do all the heavy lifting and make all the effort, you’re in a one-sided relationship. You deserve better, so demand it. Don’t force things that clearly aren’t working.
  6. Walk away if you have to. And chances are, you will have to. You need someone who’s on your level, an emotionally unavailable man will never be able to give that to you, no matter how much he claims to love you.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.