15 Subtle Ways Emotionally Unavailable Men Show Love And Affection

You might’ve fallen hard for a guy, but he’s been keeping you at a distance. Maybe he even straight-up told you that he’s unavailable. It can be hard to figure out if he’s ever going to let you in. Although emotionally unavailable men might have a fear of rejection or intimacy, they can—and do—fall in love. So, here are 15 subtle ways that emotionally unavailable men will show you love and affection.

1. They tell you how they feel.

Although emotionally unavailable men might struggle with commitment and relationship labels, this doesn’t mean they won’t tell you what they’re feeling. They’re open with you so you always know where they stand, and this shows you how important you are to them.

2. They text you right away.

There’s a reason why you fall in love with emotionally unavailable men—they don’t leave your texts hanging. They clearly like you, so they’ll be clear about wanting to chat with you and know how to make you feel like a million bucks. If they did this when they met you, they’ll amp it up when they want to take things further.

3. They pay attention.

Emotionally unavailable men might struggle to commit, but that doesn’t mean they’re not in tune with what they’re feeling. And, they’ll be in tune with your feelings when they feel for you. You might not be able to talk to other people about your problems, but you can talk to them.

4. They respect your boundaries.

Men who struggle with commitment will respect your boundaries because they’re so aware of their own emotions and needs. But, this is also how they show that they respect and love you. It’s about meeting each other halfway!

5. They start letting you in a bit more.

You can tell that an emotionally unavailable man is starting to catch serious feels for you when they start letting you into their thoughts and emotions more. Even just talking about his bad day is a huge sign that he’s becoming more vulnerable around you.

6. They’re paying attention to details.

He might pay attention to details about you, and maybe this was one of the first signs that he was into you. So, maybe he remembers the project you’re working on or the book you’re reading, and he asks you about it.

7. They’re willing to compromise.

Since he almost lost you to some other guy because he wasn’t ready to open his heart, an emotional man will be willing to compromise more to show his love. He’ll be thoughtful of your needs and be willing to make some sacrifices.

8. They enjoy quality time with you.

The emotionally unavailable man in your life might’ve had to start out as friends with you because he wasn’t ready for a relationship. So, he loves quality time with you and will want to spend lots of time with you. However:

9. They respect your need for space.

An emotionally unavailable man knows his boundaries and needs for space. So, he’ll respect your space too. For example, when it comes to determining the pace of the relationship, he might prefer the slow burn.

10. They talk things through.

If you knew from the start that your emotionally unavailable man wasn’t a done deal on anything serious, chances are you had open communication. But now, he’ll show his affection and love by continuing to keep those channels open so you can stay on the same page.

11. They use “we” instead of “I” sentences.

Although he might hold back a bit and take longer to open up to you, an emotionally unavailable man will show his love by what he says about you and the future. For example, if he says “we” instead of “I”, it shows you that you’re a priority to him.

12. They focus on the present moment.

Since they want to take things slow, they might want to focus on the present moment instead of rushing through the dating stages. This is how they show they’re being attentive and making the most of your time together.

13. They tell you how much they love spending time with you.

After spending time with an emotionally unavailable man, they’ll send you a text to show you how much they love being around you and having you in their life. If the guy’s not ready for anything serious, this is probably what makes liking them so frustrating!

14. They tell you they want to change.

It’s a really good sign that they’re keen on something real with you when they tell you that they want to change. So, maybe they’re in therapy to deal with their commitment issues or they’ve worked through previous trauma—whatever the case, they’re manning up.

15. They’ve started being more romantic.

man woman riding bike outside

You’ll see that the emotionally unavailable man in your life is keen to have a relationship when he starts being a bit more romantic. So, he won’t take you to a burger joint for dinner but a candlelit venue instead. He’s thinking in terms of love, baby!

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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.