Dating Emotionally Unavailable Men Doesn't Need to Suck

Dating Emotionally Unavailable Men Doesn't Mean You Will End Up Miserable

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If you are a single woman over 30, chances are that you have found yourself dating emotionally unavailable men. The fact is that more emotionally unavailable men circulate in the dating scene at that age. Those who are not emotionally unavailable are already in a relationship or they choose not to date because they are not ready for the full emotional intimacy. 

While some women who date these guys learn their lesson and move on, some of us keep falling for those same types of men, those who are somewhat elusive, those who distance themselves as soon as you start feeling safe to explore deeper intimacy with them. Super frustrating, huh?!

But, it's not all gloom. You can actually use this situation and learn so much about yourself and your needs if you are dating emotionally unavailable men. Read more to find out what you need to look for. 

What dating emotionally unavailable men is like

dating emotionally unavailable men

At the beginning of the dating or relationship, all is well. That is because you are not feeling attached yet. He courts you, contacts you, and arranges the dates fairly regularly for the standard that you think should be at that point of the relationship.

Perhaps they feel as if you are not hooked yet, so they too feel more comfortable pursuing you. The problems start when you start falling for one of emotionally unavailable people. What happens then?

That's when your anxiety goes up. You start overfunctioning, and worrying, but he starts distancing from you. You soon realize that he wants to keep things casual and undefined. This is definitely a red flag you need to consider, especially if you want commitment and marriage.

If the relationship continues to the next level of exclusivity, you will still feel as if you are pursuing him for more time, intimacy, expressions of love, introducing you to his family, etc. There will always be a part of him that is not there for you in the way you need him to be. Emotionally detached people can be married and be great husbands, but you will always feel that something is missing in your love life.

We are talking about men with avoidant attachment, but that doesn't mean that they can't acquire secure attachment. The situation is difficult if you both have insecure attachment. People with anxious and avoidant attachment attract each other, but they also trigger each other.

How do you feel about yourself when dating an emotionally unavailable man?

Perhaps you wish he would contact you more often. You wonder if he too has a desire for a long-term relationship. Emotionally unavailable men simply like this current state of the relationship. They feel safe not getting close and keeping it casual.

At this point, women want to broach the topic, but they are afraid that doing so will repel the slow-moving guy. You may go back and forth on this, questioning if something is wrong with you for wanting more. This is how your anxiety builds. If you have an anxious attachment, your desire to make it work increases. 

dating emotionally unavailable men

Many women express that they feel:

  • needy
  • clingy
  • obsessive about the relationship
  •  wanting to "seal the deal" with this particular guy
  • wanting to move the relationship to the next level
  • constantly wondering about self-worth
  • feeling less than because this guy doesn't pursue the relationship at their pace
  • feeling angry at yourself because you allowed yourself to chase this person 

There are so many other ways in which women describe this difficult situation. It's important to remember that you may be primed to react this way due to your attachment trauma in most triggering situations. And romantic relationships are one of the most triggering situations when it comes to attachment trauma.

What does it mean to be emotionally unavailable?

There are different ways in which many emotionally unavailable people function in relationships and in general life. It's important to remember that becoming emotionally unavailable was an adaptation to some kind of emotional trauma in childhood or later in life. This doesn't mean that emotionally distant men are not interested in love and relationships. It's not an easy task to figure out if you should enter a committed relationship with this person. It all goes back to your own well being and knowing what your limits and needs are.

Very often emotionally unavailable men may have an avoidant attachment style. When these kinds of people start growing close to others, they freak out and often show distancing tendencies.

Signs of emotional unavailability

At the beginning, when you just meet these kinds of people, you may enjoy their company. They are often charming and everything is OK until you start falling in love. That's when you develop a desire to deepen the relationship. This triggers his avoidance and he'll want to maintain things at a slower pace.

Following are some signs that a guy isn't ready to take the relationship to the next stage:

  • Avoiding physical intimacy
  • Overworking
  • They don't express their emotions
  • Sabotaging when the relationship is going well 
  • Very early they say that they like to keep it casual or see wherever it's going

These are just some of them and you can find so many men. However, you need to be aware that there are those who are definitely not ready for a relationship with you while others may be potentially good prospects.

Two types of emotionally unavailable men that you should be aware of

These categories are based on your consideration. Should you give them a chance or not?

The first category are people who are evolved and eager to love you, but they experience this trauma automation that causes them to withdraw. With some mindfulness on your part and ability to implement secure love creator strategies, you may be able to create a beautiful relationship with this person. Both of you can acquire a secure attachment style with proper nurturing of yourself, your relationship, and your partner.

The other category is men who are simply not ready for a relationship. If you dig a bit into their relationship history, you will find out that they are constantly circulating through the dating pool. They usually stay with someone until someone better comes along. They even may be in a relationship with someone because of some other benefit, not because they are emotionally attached to the person. For example, their partner may be a good stepmother for their children and when children grow up, there is no need to maintain this relationship. If you are in a relationship with this kind of person, you will always feel unfulfilled.

How to figure out if you should give him a chance

You will not be able to know it right away. Even if you have good chemistry with people from both of these categories, you need to know that good chemistry isn't the best predictor of happiness in a relationship especially if you are an anxious love seeker.

This is why it's essential that you tune into your own needs and desires. Couture Love Plan the third step in my Secure Love Creator framework. I use it to help my clients define how they want to be loved without feeling unworthy.

I also suggest women to date more people, so you can take your time and discern how it feels to be in a relationship with these people. I identify the five dating stages that will help you slow down your attachment process.

Women who complete the first three steps of my program are usually very capable of discerning who can be a good prospect. When they implement The Right Partner Radar, which is the sixth step of my program, they are capable of easily knowing who's the right partner for them without overthinking or confusion.

Finally, learning how to communicate from the place of self-love will help you see how these potential partners respond to your communication. Take your time and proceed with caution and engage in a lot of personal conversations. You will learn enough to make good decisions.

Consequences of trying to maintain a serious relationship in an

anxious-avoidant trap

What I’ve seen most anxious love seekers do is keep quiet and hope that one day their partner will wake up and love them the way they always dreamed of. Or, they utilize ineffective communication that just causes their partners to adjust their behaviors temporarily to keep the peace,  but emotionally, they may withdraw even more.

Basically they find themselves in this anxious avoidant trap cycle. He is distancing; you are becoming more and more upset, and then you two argue and reconcile for a short period of deeper connection, but after this, things go back to his distancing and your ever-growing bitterness. Every new cycle strips you of a dose of hope that things will become better until the relationship dissolves.

Emotional wellbeing when you are dating emotionally unavailable men

It's essential that you start taking care of yourself as soon as you see the signs of an emotionally unavailable person when you are dating. The reason why this is important is because being grounded and secure will help you make good decisions. Many anxious love seekers, women with anxious attachment neglect this and they keep trying to make it work with people who are not emotionally available. So many hope that the man they are dating will change eventually.

The problem with this approach is that it will be hard to develop adequate emotional connection with people who are emotionally unavailable.

Men fall in love by getting to know you and figuring out how they can contribute to your life.

  • Take active care of yourself. Learn to honor all those parts that feel wounded due to this relationship. Acknowledge the hurt. These younger parts of you can be healed   if you acknowledge them.
  • Learn to self-soothe when feeling triggered by his withdrawals. This will help you stay calm and communicate effectively. 
  • Communicate openly about your needs. Remember your needs are not shameful, but rather natural. Keep in mind that there are men that would be   thrilled to have your heart.
  • Learn how secure love creators manage this kind of situation.

How do secure love creators build intimacy in their love life even with avoidant men?

Secure love creators don’t become bitter when dating emotionally distant men

When someone is emotionally unavailable, it can wear you out. Anxious love seekers over function and this is what causes them to become bitter when they don't get the results they hope.

Secure love creators don’t allow themselves to become bitter. They know they deserve better and they learn how to communicate from a place of self-love instead of resentment. This kind of communication creates a powerful bond with the right partner. When you communicate from a place of self-love, you subconsciously communicate that you are strong and self-confident. This allows secure love creators to reach their partner even if their partner is emotionally distant.

Secure love creators don’t take it personally when their partner doesn’t give them the attention and affection they need and deserve

They understand that their partner may have a different love language. This understanding allows them to see their partners’ point of view too, instead of just focusing on their own pain. The benefit of this is that you can learn how to accept the love that your partner gives you.
Otherwise, your partner may wind up feeling defeated and give up as you don’t accept the love he already tries to give you. For instance, your partner may not be so expressive with his words, but he may show his love by doing things for you. Many anxious love seekers fail to notice and appreciate this kind of love expression.
It may take some growth for you as an anxious love seeker to get here, but if you want to create secure love, you need to learn how to see and understand your partner.

Secure love creators don’t expect their partners to read their minds, but they openly communicate their needs and boundaries

Although you may be afraid to express your needs openly, I want you to know how cool it is when you do it? By communicating your needs to your partner, you empower him to understand how much he matters to you. If he is your man, he will want to make you happy and this will cause him to develop a deeper affection for you.

Secure love creators don’t allow themselves to be guided by negative beliefs

Many insecure women tend to assume the worst because that cynicism served them and helped them survive. Don't beat yourself up if you too are cynical and have a hard time being positive. Your negativity is probably related to your upbringing and potential emotional trauma. So the cynical attitude was helpful in your life. 

But, guess what? You can always rely on it. Your cynical attitude can always be there to protect you from potential heartbreak. Instead, they assume their partner wants to make them happy instead of assuming that they are just narcissistic or whatever other attributes people use online today. Can you understand how different your attitude and approach will be when you have this positive disposition?

This approach will have a much better impact on your partner too. You are basically reinforcing your own healing and reminding yourself that you are worthy of love and that what you want isn’t something weird. This confidence usually makes your partner feel more secure with you because he realizes that he doesn’t need to take care of your emotions. You are the one who advocates for herself already and you are the one who sets parameters of what goes and what doesn’t go in your life. This shift in perception helps many emotionally distant men yield to more closeness with their partners.

Healing and growth opportunities while dating an emotionally unavailable man

dating emotionally unavailable men

If you are an anxious love seeker, dating someone with avoidant attachment will drive you crazy. This is why it's essential that you do your own part and take care of yourself. The following are some things that are essential if you want a chance to create a secure, healthy relationship.

It's important to remember that you will be attracted to someone who's emotionally unavailable. At the same time, you need to keep in mind that if you're dating this kind of guy, he will trigger you the most. Interaction with a romantic partner like this will trigger all those old emotional wounds and attachment trauma.

Essential steps to help you in creation of a healthy relationship

Here are some tips that will help you keep your head cool and potentially build a future together with someone who's not commitment-phobic even if he's emotionally unavailable.

  • Becoming clear of what you need and want as well as what your boundaries are. This clarity will help you avoid accepting negative views of yourself just because you want to grow together. There's nothing wrong with what you want.  
  • Learning how to recognize a partner with whom you can create a healthy relationship. Even if you're dating an emotionally unavailable man, he may want a serious relationship. It's not easy to figure this out, but your communication will help you here.
  • Learn how to communicate from the place of self-love instead of resentment. If you communicate like secure love creators, only then you can distinguish who's right for you. This kind of communication will help you build a deep emotional bond with the right partner with whom you can meet your emotional needs.
  • Learning how to understand others and being there for them. This is essential for the creation of secure love. Many anxious love seekers struggle to see their partners due to focusing on their deep emotional pain. Once you become empowered and able to see your partner, he may let go of fear of being controlled.

It doesn't need to be that hard

Dating emotionally unavailable men can be exhausting and soul defeating if you don't learn how to become aware of your own triggers that lead you to personalize his avoidant tendencies. However, if you learn to communicate your needs and boundaries, you can discover a potential to create a secure relationship with one of these guys if they are ready for growth and intimacy. 

On the other hand, you may decide that you may want to seek someone secure and ready to love you in the ways you need them to. Of course, this will depend on your own growth and readiness for secure love and deep emotional intimacy.

dating emotionally unavailable men

Is relationship coaching right for you? 

I offer online relationship coaching for high achieving women interested in sincere high quality men, men ready to give you their heart. 

Get exclusive access to my best tips about love, dating, and relationships in the free Academy Resource Hub and download The Accidental Singledom Checklist: Are You Standing in Your Own Way?

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About the Author

I'm dedicated to guiding women from feeling confused and frustrated to feeling competent and joyful when it comes to matters of love and romance.