Emotional Unavailability

Being Involved With An Unavailable Partner 

Below are some common assumptions from the viewpoint of those who have been involved with the emotionally shut down, disingenuous, or evasive.  Every one of them is an indicator for you to use as a cue to figure out why you are in this kind of relationship so that you can follow through by using Deletion Protocols and Rescripts to remove the reasons you tell yourself  to make it ok, the cross purposed beliefs, and/or programs and modeling.

While not recommending entering into one sided relationships, there are some key issues to examine to ascertain why you might be tempted to get involved with a person who is not there for you, why they are in your life at all… particularly if you keep attracting the unavailable, and what are your own trigger points regarding emotional unavailability.

1- If you have worthiness issues from being criticized or rejected early in life, you may have thought no one could ever love you and be thrilled someone does. If you have no self respect or self appreciation based on beliefs such as, I have to settle for who ever comes along, I’m lucky to have anyone, I don’t deserve a full time partner, I’m ugly, I’m stupid, I’m fat, or any one of hundreds of variations on feelings of inferiority, that would explain two things; why your mind energy, the frequencies emanating from your thoughts, keeps attracting in people who are half there and half somewhere else, and why you settle for them instead of selecting a fully functioning, attentive, loving partner.

2- If you have beliefs such as it is normal and expected for me to grow up and get married, there is something wrong with people who don’t get married, aren’t in relationships, live alone, have never been married, I am a failure if I can’t maintain a relationship, etc. then these are beliefs that don’t serve you and may be causal factors in your settling for an unavailable person. They should be deleted so they stop creating life experiences for you.

3- Your family of origin may have modeled this type of behavior and you adopted it as a program early in life. And this modeling may have been from either the perpetrator’s perspective or from the recipient’s perspective.

4- You may have false or negative beliefs about the nature of relationships, how the opposite sex operates, thinks, or treats people.

5-  You may have your own emotional unavailability.

                 You may want companionship but only on your terms. When you feel like catering to someone, you are happy to have company. You may want a friend when you need one but don’t really want to be bothered with people when you are feeling self sufficient. When you feel like being alone for long periods of time, that is what you want and need. You don’t really suffer from loneliness except maybe for family members.

If you are like this and it works for you without hurting others, you may just decide not being in a long term committed relationship is more appropriate for your personality type. In this way you will not build up false expectations in other people. If you are a self sufficient, goal oriented person who is too busy for a full time relationship, but somehow you notice people keep falling in love with you and trying to coerce you into fulfilling their expectations for marriage or live in arrangements, you may want to look into your own behaviors that may be giving out signals that you can’t and don’t really want to follow through on. If you are a habitual flirt but you know you don’t really want a relationship, then stop flirting or put your cards on the table up front. Forewarned, forearmed as they say.

If you can’t help coming on to people, being overly friendly and building up false hopes in others, promising your time, effort, and attention and then feeling remorseful and wanting to cancel later, it is time to look at your motivations and your ambivalence closer. We are all frequently ambivalent but when our indecisiveness, inability to say no, wishy-washiness, or whatever the underlying cause is of you letting people down on a regular basis, do something about it.

                 You may be emotionally shut down believing feelings hurt too much to indulge in and therefore it is better to wall up my feelings behind a wall.

                 You may have beliefs about the opposite sex that make you disrespect them while still being attracted to them. 

                 You may have been deeply hurt in childhood by being abandoned or through the death of a parent.

                A first marriage or relationship may have been full or lies and deception and you find you have serious trust issues that prevent you from letting others get too close to you.

It is for these reasons that when someone presents with relationship issues, I always review with them what their beliefs are in three different areas, self worth, the opposite sex, and love, marriage, and relationships. Each of these categories overlap and cross index each other when creating and when dealing with relationship issues.

Something can be done about all of these reasons that may be causes in a pattern of attracting, and acting on, emotionally unavailable relationships. Deletion and rescripting with opposite beliefs will stop the pattern and immediately and turn your relationship life around by attracting available people who respect you, are able to make commitments, and have honest
feelings for you.

The statements below may be what it looks like and feels like to be in one of these relationships, but I would not “presume” that the conclusions drawn are absolutely valid. As I said above, there’s always an underlying reason a person is unavailable, mostly childhood hurt, rejection, criticism, or abandonment leaving them afraid to take a chance on letting someone in.

This article about this contradictory predicament that many people find themselves in is research combined with my book, Transform Your Life Instantly. It is ironic that the most loving generous people often pair up with those who are psychologically shut down and unable to return the fullness of what they are receiving. If you’ve ever been in love alone, you know just what I am talking about.

You are involved with an emotionally unavailable man or woman. Emotionally unavailable people are hard to get close to and even harder to stay close to. They don’t want a “normal” relationship–they want to be alone, with other people, or off doing their own thing–which invariably does not include you. [These are all signs that it is time to re-consider what you are doing in this quasi relationship.]

How do emotionally unavailable people act?

* They’re emotionally distant and extremely remote, except when courting.
* They’re too busy, sick, tired or preoccupied with other things. Their energy, time and life-force are all taken with other priorities.
* They frequently work a lot and don’t have quality time to spend with you.
* They’re not responsive. They ignore you and your requests, and they don’t try hard to make a relationship work.
* They don’t or won’t or can’t commit to a relationship.
* They may be extremely critical and judgmental, so you may have a hard time doing anything “right” in their eyes.
* They may flirt with other people, and may not value monogamy.
* They may watch TV or sports a lot, read, work-out, or otherwise be preoccupied with something or someone that routinely interferes with their ability to be with you.
* They may be addicted to some substance, such as alcohol, drugs or food, which renders them incapable of being present and truly available to another person.
* People already married or involved with someone else are frequently emotionally unavailable, regardless of what they
* They do not place a value on acting with honesty, honor or integrity in their relationships with others. They’re full
of excuses as to why they can’t be with you, do things with you, or be available for you.

If it seems that you routinely love your partner more than he or she loves you, that you express affection, care and commitment more
than you receive, presume that you are involved with an emotionally unavailable partner….[AND GET OUT. The kind of disrespect and lack of consideration or caring indicated in these statements has nothing to do with a real interpersonal relationship.]

Emotionally unavailable people may profess to love you and care about you, and they may make wonderful promises about your future
together, but they don’t follow through with believable behaviors that make you feel wanted and secure around them.
The term emotionally unavailable usually refers to those who create barriers between themselves and others in an effort to avoid emotional intimacy. Relationships with emotionally unavailable people are often depressing and distressing, as their partners end up feeling neglected, unloved and unwanted. Emotionally unavailable people will actually seek out relationships with others, but the problems begin when they are unable to commit fully to their relationships. Because emotionally unavailable people often behave as if they want to be in a relationship it’s important for people to be able to recognize the signs that a person is emotional unavailable.

Physically Unavailable
1. Emotionally unavailable people are difficult to nail down. Call them and get voice mail. Leave a message, and they wait for weeks to return calls (or don’t return them at all). Or, they don’t give out any contact information. Emotionally unavailable people are also unwilling to make plans or state their availability. And if they do make plans, they may forget and leave their partner hanging. No relationship is perfect, and even emotionally available people have jobs and obligations that interfere with their time with loved ones. And, in any healthy relationship two people should not be joined at the hip and a little autonomy is good. But the difference is that emotionally available people make time and, more importantly, they make themselves physically available to the people in their lives. Emotionally unavailable people do not.

2. People in relationships with the emotionally unavailable are often ignorant of large parts of their partners’ lives. A person involved with an emotionally unavailable person may never hear about a partner’s family or friends. He may not even know where his partner lives or what she does for a living. For that matter, he may realize that his partner doesn’t know anything about him either. In the first few days of a relationship, it’s normal not to lay all the cards on the table. People need time to get to know one another before they give out personal information. But, if after a couple of months, simple, mundane details of the person’s life are still a mystery, that’s a big red flag. Emotionally available people will let their partners get to know them, and they want to know their partners. The emotionally unavailable oftentimes do not.

Otherwise Engaged
3. They’re married or recently separated. Maybe they’re dating someone else–or they want to. Perhaps they just got out of a relationship. Whatever the case, someone who is already involved with someone is not likely to be emotionally available to another person. For that matter, they’re probably not emotionally available to the person they’re with either. There are also those people who actively seek out multiple relationships in order to avoid emotional intimacy with any one person. There are exceptions (and many polyamorous people will claim that they are emotionally committed to all their partners), but they are rare. In general, if another person is (or was recently) in the picture, it’s likely that emotional availability is not.

4. The nature of addiction makes addicts emotionally unavailable because the addiction takes precedence over everything else. Even in recovery, the addict is emotionally unavailable because he needs to focus all his energy on overcoming the addiction. As a matter of fact, most rehabs have a strict policy about non-fraternization, specifically for that reason. Relationships interfere with recovery, and recovery interferes with relationships. In some instances, people involved with addicts become addicts themselves (or develop codependent behaviors) in order to create a false sense of intimacy with the addict. This can make relationships with addicts not only painful, but many times dangerous.

Gender and Emotional Availability
5. There are several references on the web geared toward women recognizing and dealing with men who are emotionally unavailable. In truth, emotional unavailability is not gender-specific. The issue of emotional availability and intimacy is one of trust, which affects both genders. Emotional availability is also not a matter of gender roles or behaviors. It’s not about “getting in touch with one’s feminine side” or “sharing feelings.” It’s about being emotionally and physically present for the other person. It’s about both parties knowing that their partner is there for them and has their back. In relationships with emotionally unavailable people, that sense of security and trust does not exist.

Symptoms of  Emotional Unavailability

It is difficult to be in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable, whether it be a friendship, family relationship or a marriage, because you don’t feel enough of a connection with the person. A relationship is more fulfilling when you have a bond with the person outside of simple physical gratification.

1. Withdrawal from other people is a symptom of being emotionally unavailable. A person with this problem will likely have trouble bonding with people and may have many broken or superficial past relationships.

The Face
2. When a person rarely shows emotion in the face (sometimes called a “frozen” face), that is a symptom of being emotionally unavailable.

3. Someone who is emotionally unavailable will likely be disinterested or uncomfortable in conversations about emotions.

The Voice
4. Lack of passion or inflection in the voice when talking may be a symptom that a person is not emotionally available.

Don’t Help
5. An emotionally unavailable person may be aloof, stoic and insistent on dealing with all of his issues by himself or resolving all of his problems on his own.


Transform Your Life Instantly: Mental Erasers Make Your Mind Work for You Instead of Against You © 2005, Adele Tartaglia

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