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Relationships

5 Signs of an Emotionally Unavailable Partner

5. They have a history of short-term relationships.

Key points

  • Emotional unavailability refers to a pattern of difficulty connecting with one's own emotions or with others emotionally.
  • An emotionally unavailable person may have trouble identifying and describing their emotions or may struggle to share feelings.
  • Physical and emotional intimacy can be a challenge for people who are emotionally unavailable.
Source: Engin Akyurt/Pexels
Source: Engin Akyurt/Pexels

Emotional unavailability refers to a pattern of difficulty connecting with one's own emotions or with others emotionally. This can manifest in a variety of ways and can impact an individual's ability to form and maintain close and fulfilling relationships if they want and choose to do so.

Manifestations of Emotional Unavailability

One way that emotional unavailability can manifest is through a lack of emotional expression or difficulty talking about feelings. A person who is emotionally unavailable may have a hard time identifying and describing their own emotions or may struggle to share their feelings with others. This can make it difficult for them to form and maintain close relationships, as emotional connection and communication are important aspects of any relationship.

Another way that emotional unavailability can manifest is through avoidance of deep or emotional conversations. A person who is emotionally unavailable may try to steer clear of topics that could lead to more intense or vulnerable conversations or may struggle to engage in these conversations even when they do occur. This can make it difficult for them to build trust and intimacy with others, as vulnerability and openness are often necessary for creating a strong emotional bond.

Emotional unavailability can also manifest as a lack of presence or engagement in relationships. A person who is emotionally unavailable may seem distant or detached from their relationships, and may not be fully present or engaged in the moment. This can make it difficult for others to connect with them emotionally, as it can feel like they are not fully present or invested in the relationship.

Intimacy can also be a challenge for people who are emotionally unavailable. This can refer to both physical and emotional intimacy, as a person who is emotionally unavailable may have difficulty opening up and sharing their thoughts and feelings with others. This can make it difficult for them to form close, meaningful relationships (romantic and a-romantic), as intimacy is often an important aspect of building trust and connection with others.

A history of short-term or superficial relationships is another potential sign of emotional unavailability. A person who is emotionally unavailable may have a pattern of starting and ending relationships quickly or may struggle to form deep and meaningful connections with others. This can be due to a variety of factors, including difficulty expressing emotions, difficulty with vulnerability and intimacy, or simply a lack of emotional connection with others.

5 Signs of Emotional Unavailability

Here are five signs that a person may be emotionally unavailable:

  1. They have a hard time expressing their emotions or talking about their feelings.
  2. They often try to avoid deep or emotional conversations.
  3. They may not be very present or engaged in their relationships and may seem distant or detached.
  4. They may struggle with intimacy, both physical and emotional.
  5. They may have difficulty forming or maintaining close relationships or may have a history of short-term or superficial relationships.

It's important to note that emotional unavailability is not a mental health disorder, but rather a pattern of behavior that can impact an individual's ability to form and maintain close relationships (of all kinds). While everyone has their own emotional needs and boundaries, it's important to be aware of how our emotional availability (or lack thereof) may be affecting our relationships.

Facebook image: shisu_ka/Shutterstock

References

Collins, Bryn. Emotional Unavailability: Recognizing It, Understanding It, and Avoiding Its Trap: Recognizing It, Understanding It, and Avoiding Its Trap. McGraw Hill Professional, 1998.

Kortsch, Gabriella . Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.

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