It’s easy to be frustrated with someone who just never seems to give as much as they get. If you’re in this situation, you may be dealing with someone who’s emotionally unavailable and is, whether intentionally or unintentionally, using you for your efforts. Emotionally unavailable men often have a lot of steps left in their personal journey before they reach a point where they can be in a healthy relationship, so to avoid wasting time, keep an eye out for these signs and if you spot them, think again before getting involved.
He dodges all conflict, so encourage him to engage.
Conflict is a standard part of any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Avoiding and withdrawing from necessary conflict ends up damaging that relationship, as you need to confront some things head-on in order to overcome issues. An emotionally unavailable man will dodge all conflict whenever he can, attempting to make light of situations or pretend that he isn’t affected by negative instances. Encourage him to engage by addressing issues with “I” statements, and remove yourself from the situation if he decides to stonewall you.
He doesn’t talk about himself, so ask him about things he likes.
Emotionally unavailable men don’t want to discuss their lives, themselves, or anything about who they are. You can encourage him to open up by starting slow, asking about his hobbies and interests before delving into deeper topics. You can also open up yourself to show him that there’s a quid-pro-quo arrangement going on – you’ll tell him something if he tells you something!
He doesn’t respect your time, so don’t waste it.
A lot of men who aren’t emotionally available don’t respect your time. They cancel on you all the time last minute due to their own issues. They don’t want to invest their time in you and waste yours in turn. So what do you do? Stop giving a guy like this your time. You deserve to spend your time on people who actually enjoy it. If he wanted to spend time with you, he would.
He turns everything into a joke, so ask him what he truly feels.
In order to cover up serious feelings, emotionally unavailable men will joke around and make sarcastic comments to downplay their emotions. Don’t fall for it! Ask him how he genuinely feels about situations and share how you feel. Express that you value his input and want to hear what he thinks about different circumstances.
He invalidates your emotions.
Sometimes an emotionally unavailable man will be afraid of the fact that you have regulated, normal human feelings at all. He may try to invalidate or downplay what you feel, even when you express them clearly, directly, and reasonably. Don’t allow men like this to reduce your emotions. Stand by your feelings and make it clear that how you feel matters. If he doesn’t respect that, it’s time for you to leave. Never back down about how you feel.
He avoids deep conversations.
When a man isn’t emotionally available, he likely won’t want to have any deep conversations. Anything beneath the surface level can seem intimidating to him. Encourage gentle, simple discussions on subjects he enjoys before diving into more intellectual things. Once again, you want to make it clear that you respect his opinions, and if he has no interest in engaging with you, you shouldn’t waste your time here.
He goes from hot to cold.
Does the guy in your life go from being super affectionate to barely speaking to you in the span of a few short days? These dramatic swings are a classic sign of emotional unavailability. Don’t allow yourself to be jerked around like this. This is how men like this manage to trap you in situations where you constantly hanker for more interaction. If he can’t be bothered to be consistent, it’s time to call it quits.
He doesn’t put in the effort.
Men who don’t want to emotionally invest won’t invest at all. They won’t put any effort into building a relationship, doing nice things for you, or even improving themselves. He’ll take more than he gives and acts shocked or annoyed when you want more. Don’t go the extra mile for a man like this. Relationships don’t need to be perfectly even 50/50, but they should be balanced enough. You shouldn’t feel like putting in more effort will eventually convince him to do his part, because it won’t. Know when to cut your losses and don’t go the extra mile for a guy who won’t even meet you halfway.
He refuses to commit.
The hallmark of an emotionally unavailable man is a fear of commitment. If that describes the man in your life, it’s time to put your cards on the table and be upfront about your desires and expectations. This can give you both the chance to amicably part ways or find compromises. You want a committed relationship, and if that’s not what he’s into, that’s fine – but you need to move on with your life, so you need his honesty.
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