Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is Your Man Emotionally Unavailable?

Written by Lauren K. of Love Kudos

As a continuation of our segment on the Walking Wounded, we are now going to give you some pointers on how to deal with the emotionally bruised male. Some of you may disagree with me and I welcome all well thought out, respectful discourse. Bring it on!

I personally feel if you start to notice more than two of the below symptoms listed by Relationship A to Z, I recommend that you RUN.

Run far away and delete him from your cell phone until he has sought some professional counseling or time has healed his wounds.

Women tend to be more open to treatment during a relationship, while men tend to be more open to therapy and change outside of a couple's relationship. Keep this in mind before you get involved with an emotionally stunted or emotionally unavailable man. If he tells you he is having a hard time getting over his Ex or that he is in professional turmoil, you can still be his friend, but do not try to heal his wounds with intimacy. You will more than likely end up being a victim, and will not get your needs met in the relationship.

From the website, Relationship A to Z,"Have you ever had an elusive relationship with an emotionally unavailable man? Somebody who was probably attractive, self-confident, funny, successful, and made your heart skip a few beats? Perhaps you shared a lot in common with him and underwent an exciting emotional experience while interacting with him. You were sure that there was a promising beginning of a great relationship. However, the relationship went so far and no further. Maybe he refused to commit to you; maybe he kept remained distant and remote; maybe he insisted on calling you his 'date' and not his 'partner', 'girlfriend', or 'spouse'; or maybe he placed you at the very bottom of his priorities. As long as you were tolerant, the relationship stayed the same. As soon as you became demanding, you started to grow apart."

Lauren adds, "If his idol is Mr.Big from Sex in the City, from the early seasons, dodge a bullet and RUN." He most likely will never give you the key to his place or his heart, and you can forget the idea that he will ever allow you to leave your make up remover at his place.

image from

Well, if your current relationship resembles any of the above qualities, this is not in any way shape or form, a HEALTHY relationship. At best, you are living in a fantasy that he will snap out of his "emotionally distant phase" and be a great boyfriend. In defense of the emotionally bruised male,  many of these men do not realize how hurt they are from their previous relationships or the family dynamic they grew up in. Although more than 40% of first time marriages end in divorce, it does not have to be you. A little statistical math for you, "43% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.” This sounds pretty depressing, but there is a bright side. The divorce rate has decreased since the late 1970's and if you wait to marry after your teen years, you have a greater chance for a "FOREVER" marriage. Surprisingly, greater female educational attainment is a bigger predictor for success more so than one's income status.

When you start to see too many red flags that do not jive with the way you want to live your life, perhaps you should deal the single card, and check out of that bad relationship game. Limit your relationship risk is my recommendation. If you have a pattern of trying to rescue the walking wounded, perhaps you could also benefit from seeking counseling. Although, there is no fool proof way to know that the person that you date, court, and possibly live with will remain the same person with the same values for their lifetime. People change, and you can either change with them or grow apart. A relationship is never stagnant. Please keep this in mind.

I would like to respond to a comment Love Kudos received,
"Good to hear you're doing a post on dealing with men with emotional baggage. I went on a date with a guy - the first meeting was great. The second date, we went to a really nice restaurant and during coffee - the fun ended, and he began to tell me all about his emotional problems, how he blames his parents for his insecurities, and basically that he thrived on getting in fights with his past girlfriend, who he wanted to marry. Suddenly, the parts about him being intelligent, interesting, and having good taste all became tainted. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt - but to no avail, I could not let go of those negative comments."
Kudos to our reader. She should not feel bad that she did not want to get involved with a man incapable of moving on, who thrived on drama with his Ex, and who blamed others for his own insecurities. No one is perfect, but you should not open up about your emotional problems on date #2. Refer back to appropriate dating behavior from previous blog entries, such as first date tips in first date ideas. Eventually, the skeletons do come out, but Love Kudos recommends steering away from in depth conversations about Ex's for at least the first 3 - 4 dates.

If your date does ask about your past relationships early on, it is ok to give a quick summary of your recent relationship status. The highlight's reel ...

Example 1: "I was recently divorced and it ended on amicable terms. We are fortunate that we separated before we started a family."

Example 2: "I have not been in a long-term relationship in a couple of years. I have spent the last couple of years exploring what I am looking for and working on my career. Relationships have not been a high priority. However, I am open to starting one now if I meet the right person."

Example 3: "I ended a relationship about six months ago with someone that brought me down. I am thankful that I got out before I lost myself completely. I have come to terms to why that relationship ended and know what I am looking for in a partner."

Bottom Line:  If the man you are dating is a classic textbook case of the emotionally unavailable man, steer clear. Sorry... If you're a man that feels stuck and has commitment issues, do something about it, but don't prey on innocent women looking for the real deal. Dump the baggage to make room for someone new.

Written by Lauren K. of Love Kudos



Adam K. said...

I liked the way you stress the importance of being emotionally mature and ready for a relationship. Obviously some men just need to mature, others need to address their issues from the past. I always hated Mr. Big for being willing to give everything to the woman he loves except himself, his heart. That is one of the worst male stereotypes I know. I think the bottom line, for women, is know when it is time to part ways.

Anonymous said...

As the article almost points out there's an overlap between men and women. For example, I'd gladly go to counseling to deal with the past even though or because I think it unfair to my girlfriend that I put her through all the doubt. My experience is also the opposite of the article, the girls I've dated wouldn't go to counseling to deal with their past while in the relationship - acting more like the "guys" in the article.

Shelley P. said...

Great pic of Carrie and Mr Big! That's exactly who I thought of for the "emotionally unavailable" man.

Anonymous said...

I met someone recently through on line dating that seemed sincere and said he wanted a relationship. By the second date, I started hearing about an ex girlfriend he was still seeing (and note she was now married and had a family). By the third date, I was drilling into more around this and realized this guy was still hung up on his ex including still having some sort of relationship with her. I told him I needed to move on and then was told he wanted to be friends, still see me and that romance was not all that important. I declined that offer as I know he will never be able to give me (or anyone else) the relationship I am looking for. This is not my first time through this, but I have learned to be clear with people early on and not be afraid to assess their emotional availability. I encourage anyone, male or female to be watching for the signs early on about a persons emotional availability when you are first dating and and to not be afraid to ask tough questions up front. Then be brave when you know if they are in this place and move on. People do heal, they just do it in their own time and space and often with professional help.

Sexual Communication said...

Thank you for providing great info about the issue. I am an admirer of your website. Keep up the good work.

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