If He’s Showing These Signs, Don’t Expect Him To Be Emotionally Available

Dating a guy who seems to have put up an emotional wall between you two is taxing, to say the least. But it’s not always easy to figure out from the start if the man you’re with has some serious troubles breaking the surface when it comes to his feelings. Be on the lookout for these signs that he prefers to keep his emotional depth as shallow as possible:

  1. He changes the subject every time you want to have a serious talk. Whenever you start to have a serious discussion about your feelings, he starts going on about something else. You can’t seem to get anything out of him, even when you bring up his childhood dog you know for a fact he loved like a son. All you get is an excuse to talk about something else. You’ve probably stopped talking about your feelings around him since you’ve realized how awkward he gets.
  2. He struggles with addiction. Since he can’t face the demons within, he numbs any feelings of hurt through some sort of addiction. Whether that be alcohol, drugs, video games or even work, he’s using an outside distraction to convince himself that he doesn’t have any deep-seated emotional issues he needs to address.
  3. He doesn’t have any close friends. This is a huge sign your BF is never going to open up. Sure he might have friends, but does he have close friends? If you hear him talk about one of two particular friends on a regular basis, then it’s safe to say he’s able to form deep, meaningful bonds with people. If you rarely ever hear him mention any friends, then chances are he doesn’t have any that are close.
  4. The second you start crying, he freezes. If you’ve ever cried in front of him, you’ll know right away whether he is emotionally closed off or not. Sure, he might have given you a light pat on the back and even a little “hey, cheer up buddy” kind of grin, but he’s not actually there for you.
  5. He’s not a good hugger. Watch when he hugs people — is he doing that hollowed-out stance with his arms stretched out as wide as possible so as to have as little physical contact as possible with the other person? Do you feel coldness or a stiffness in his body when you hug him? This is a huge sign he’s got a wall up.
  6. When you ask him about an emotional moment in his life, he shuts down. Have you ever asked your BF about his past, only for the conversation to end in an awkward silence that seems to last an eternity? All you wanted to know is whether he was bullied in middle school, but he won’t even open up to you about it. How can the relationship move forward when you know nothing about his life?
  7. He’s quick to argue. Instead of recognizing and respecting your feelings, he automatically jumps to starting a fight. You don’t mind an argument every now and then, but whatever happened to solving problems through discussion like mature adults?
  8. He’s always on his phone. Another form of addiction. Whenever he’s feeling exposed, nervous, sad, whatever, he busts out his phone to numb his emotions. We all do it. The question is does he do it excessively? If so, you might have a tin man on your hands.
  9. He responds logically when you are feeling emotional. When you come to him with something you’re upset or angry about, the first thing he does is tell you why you shouldn’t be feeling it. He’ll name off a laundry list off all the reasons you should stop crying right now. It’s undeniably frustrating, but just remember — he’s doing it because he doesn’t know how to feel.
  10. He’s a really good liar. Have you ever caught him in a lie? A man who lies to you is often guilty of lying to himself — namely about his own emotions. Whenever he gets that pang of sadness, anger, or shame, he’ll convince himself that he’s fine — even though he isn’t.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.