Being in a relationship when you are fully available to your partner and he or she is not, can be a sign of trouble. In this article, find out the warning signs of an emotionally unavailable partner and, if it’s the case, how you can change your lifestyle.
It can be difficult to comprehend and deal with emotionally unavailable people because healthy relationships are built on transparency, honesty, mutual respect, and trust. There are moments in a relationship when we try to rationalize our partner’s conduct by creating excuses for them and believing that if we give them time, they’ll change. Patience and understanding are necessary, but not if you’re dealing with a person who can’t reciprocate emotionally.
9 Signs of Emotionally Unavailable Partner
1. Emotional Unavailability
The inability to sustain emotional ties in a relationship is known as emotional unavailability. A lack of involvement can take many forms, the most common of which are aloofness and disinterest. As a precautionary measure, here are eight critical symptoms to look out for if you suspect your partner of being emotionally unavailable.
2. They aren’t ready to talk to you.
That they don’t communicate or show you their true sentiments can be one of the most typical indications of emotional incapacity. So, despite your best efforts, they are unable to open up and be honest with you about what’s actually on their minds.
For example, instead of telling you about a horrible day at work or a disappointing night out with friends, they opt to keep their feelings bottled up inside and not express themselves to you. The problem of emotional unavailability and alienation becomes obvious when your partner is ambiguous and difficult to understand.
3. They’re uneasy with your emotions
When you share your sentiments with someone who is emotionally unavailable, they will not be supportive or receptive. When you open up and be vulnerable, if your spouse seems uncomfortable, put off, frustrated, or withdrawn, this indicates that they are not excellent at handling emotions—both their own and yours. This is a symptom that your partner is emotionally unavailable if they aren’t ready or able to be there.
4. You have no idea what their past is.
It’s not uncommon for this type of individual to be evasive when it comes to discussing their past. It’s vital to remember that having a successful relationship means that you and your spouse openly share with one another and get to know one another on a deeper level, even if they don’t reveal every single detail of their relationship history and life narrative.
Even if they refuse to share any personal information about their past with you, it may be a sign that they are emotionally closed off from you if this is the case. Choosing to be a closed book is a significant red flag.
Furthermore, if they refuse to talk about their personal life but you learn they’ve never been in a committed relationship, that should serve as a red flag. As a professional couples therapist Brooke Sprowl puts it, they are afraid of intimacy.
5. They use sarcasm quite frequently.
There’s a sarcastic tone to everything they say, don’t you think? An emotionally unavailable person avoids dealing with raw feelings by making things into a comedy instead of expressing anger, fear, sadness, or disappointment. It’s usual for the emotionally unavailable to use a joke or warn their partner not to get emotionally invested in a topic as a way of controlling a debate, a professional psychotherapist explains.
So even if your partner is sad and heartbroken because they were passed over for a promotion, they’ll make a joke out of it and laugh off in front of you so that they don’t have to deal with or talk about how they truly feel. A person is emotionally isolating themselves from you when they employ sarcasm as a defense mechanism and chuckle instead of being honest.
6. Weaknesses in Commitment.
In most cases, an emotionally unavailable individual will not be able or willing to fully commit or be loyal to another person. To avoid dealing with the emotional aspects of a long-term relationship, this type of person prefers to keep things casual and ambiguous.
To avoid having to fully invest in a relationship, those who are emotionally unavailable tend to switch partners frequently. This can be an indication that someone is emotionally unavailable if you want to move further in your relationship but they prefer to remain unattached, friends with benefits or keep their options open.
Find out about your partner’s thoughts and feeling by talking to them. To prevent wasting time on someone who doesn’t share your goals, you need to communicate well.
7. You’ll never be able to get to them.
The more emotionally unavailable someone is, the more probable it is that they’ll withdraw themselves from you physically too. It’s possible that they’re emotionally unavailable if they repeatedly disappear and then resurface, take an eternity to react to texts or place huge gaps between dates.
8. Instead of emotional closeness, they prefer physical closeness.
The need to be physically intimate with you before an emotional connection has been established is also prevalent in this sort of individual. Darlene Lancer, a marriage and family therapist, advises people to be wary of sexual cues that are offered too early.
Emotionally unavailable partners often chose physical closeness over emotional intimacy in order to avoid dealing with the messiness, seriousness, or complexities that emotions can bring to a relationship. If they frequently engage in physical contact with you in the midst of potentially emotional and sensitive conversations, this indicates that they are emotionally disengaged individuals.
9. They are never willing to put out any effort.
All of us want our spouses to accomplish more, but a person who never puts in the effort is a red sign. They anticipate being let down, therefore they don’t make the effort. The person you’re dating may be emotionally unavailable if you find yourself preparing and following up on every date.
If you’re intimately involved with someone who makes you feel good but are incapable (or unwilling) to meet your emotional needs, you may be with an emotionally unavailable partner.
A one-sided relationship with someone who can’t support or love you in the way you deserve is exhausting. Not to mention, it could even toe the line of a specific type of emotional abuse, called gaslighting. If the person shows no signs of changing their habits, think of moving on as an act of self-care. It’s tough to give up on someone you want, but it will be a lot less painful if you part ways early.
But, if your heart of hearts believes that your partner is struggling with opening up or being responsive to your emotions, then “they may just need help to learn how to tolerate and understand feelings,” Jeney says. There’s room to ask them questions that will help give you clarity on their hesitations and/or learn what affection means to them. Just remember to be gentle and patient, and try not to get all heated up.
With a concerted, mutual effort to progress—bonus points if your partner goes to therapy!—it’s possible to have a future together. “A person might be able to break down the walls of someone who has some willingness to slowly take out the bricks,” Feuerman says. “It is ultimately up to them to become more emotionally accessible, present, and engaged.”
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