If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re emotionally available or not, this article is for you.
When you look back at the patterns of men you have dated or been in a relationship with, do you remember having said any of these things to your friends, therapist or family?
- “He’s not willing to commit.”
- “He’s asking me why I can’t just let things flow naturally?”
- “He’s still super obsessed with helping his ex.”
- “He drinks a little too much. Well, honestly, he drinks a lot.”
- “He lives far away and isn’t willing to talk about the future.”
- “He’s into me and then he pulls away. I’m so confused.”
If the answer is yes, then you are most likely dating or in a relationship with a man who isn’t emotionally available.
What does it mean to be emotionally unavailable, really?
When you are dating someone who is not emotionally available, it means that they have a fear of or a block to emotional intimacy. And, to be clear, being able to spew the details of your childhood trauma or discuss the ins and outs of how his ex made him feel, does not equal emotional availability. In order to be truly emotionally available, he must be able to do the following:
3 Signs Your Partner Is Emotionally Available
1. He Can Identify His Feelings.
This looks like the ability to first recognize that he is having a feeling. If you ask a man, ”how do you feel?” and he tells you what he is thinking, he may not be able to even feel feelings as sensations. Often a man who is unavailable will tell you thoughts without even realizing that he is not able to identify a feeling. Or, he will avoid the question completely.
2. He Can Articulate and Express His Feelings.
This looks like using words to describe feelings, thoughts or sensations he is having at any given moment. At the most simplistic level, this might look like, “I’m feeling sad or scared because this conversation feels like something that happened to me when I was younger when my mom left.” It is not, “My mom abandoned us when we were kids,” followed up by a torrid tale of the details. Telling the story about something is not the same as using words to describe a feeling he is having now. While he may be able to feel a feeling, he is still unavailable unless he can figure out how to articulate them in an appropriate way.
3. He Can Manage His Feelings
An emotionally available man can also manage his feelings to the level that he can express them appropriately, and respond rather than react (meaning he can remain somewhat calm and grounded during difficult conversations) more often than not. When a man can manage his feelings he can move past default behaviors and engage in productive problem solving conversations. He can also practice skills like empathy and compassion. And finally, he can listen to others and share his own experience too so that the listener feels heard and understood.
In contrast, an emotionally unavailable man is super defensive, says you are ‘too needy,’ won’t ever commit or even talk about his feelings or the relationship, or is hot and cold with you. Dating or being in a relationship with someone who is unavailable feels like you are getting merely crumbs, are misunderstood, and feels emotionally unsatisfying. Finally, it will leave you feeling confused AF.
That said, the most important thing for you to do is to understand what you can do when you recognize you are attached, or are attaching to, someone who is not emotionally available as a romantic partner.
Why Am I Attracted to Emotionally Unavailable Partners?
I know that hurts to hear.
But even if you have a lot to give, can talk about what’s happening, and feel deeply hurt by his actions, it does not mean you are ready to be in a healthy relationship with a guy who can give you what you want. The reason you attract these kinds of unavailable men is because in some way part of you knows that he will never give you what you need emotionally. And, as a result, it makes it easier at an unconscious level for you to also hold back a part of yourself. At an unconscious level, like attracts like.
Go back and read the definition of what it looks like to be emotionally available. Does that sound like you? Maybe just a little? If yes, the best gift you can get to begin to solve this problem is awareness. Next, consider taking a dating break and look at how you can start to work on being more emotionally available yourself. Here’s how:
How to Become Emotionally Available?
- Start to recognize feelings. Feel them in your body. Learn how to name them.
- Practice expressing yourself. Share your feelings with others.
- Then, explore ways you can begin to manage your feelings in a healthy way.
Taking these steps will start to build inner confidence and self trust which are all part of feeling emotionally empowered and grounded and eventually emotionally available. And from that place, you will soon discover that your ‘picker’ has been fixed and you are more firmly headed towards finding your ideal romantic partner.
Want help to become emotionally available and fix your picker, watch our free training HERE.