Emotional intimacy makes me want to run away, far far away, like a couple of hundred miles away. I struggle with meaningful connections in all spheres of life. And I don’t make much of love and attachment. Who am I? An emotionally unavailable man. And if you’re in love with him, then you would be hard pressed to spot the signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you.
If this kind of man is a constant presence in your life, you know how unreadable he is. You’re probably trying to decipher his feelings toward you, that too, rather unsuccessfully. Plucking petals hasn’t done the trick and neither has your BFF been able to guide you. You can stop wondering what to do next because I’ve come to your rescue with the answer key to decoding these signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you.
This specially curated list will help you understand whether the man in question’s got love on his mind or not. Love makes fools of the best of us and he’s not immune either. Accidentally or intentionally, he’s been dropping signs all over the place. I’m just giving you the glasses required to spot them.
Can Emotionally Unavailable Men Fall In Love?
Anyone can fall in love, including an emotionally unavailable man. Their low emotional bandwidth doesn’t disqualify them from experiencing feelings of love, affection and care. (How they handle those feelings is a different ballgame altogether.) However, I can understand where your confusion stems from. After all, isn’t it difficult to read the signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you?
While this kind of man is falling in love with you, his knee-jerk reaction will be to dismiss those feelings. The number one reason behind this is his belief that emotions and drama go hand in hand. In an attempt to ‘uncomplicate’ his life, the emotionally unavailable man will never act on his emotions. So, it’s not that he isn’t falling in love – he just never lands.
Being in a relationship with him is as challenging as it sounds. He will struggle with the fundamentals of support, the components of trust and many other such qualities. Loving an emotionally unavailable man will demand patience and perseverance. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s take up one thing at a time and address the question of the hour: What makes a man emotionally unavailable?
What Makes A Man Emotionally Unavailable – According To Research
Let’s talk about what makes men emotionally restrictive. According to a study aptly titled ‘People say men don’t talk, well that’s bullsh*t’, men said that due to the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, “they did not always feel comfortable sharing or discussing their thoughts and feelings with others. Even in close social circles, gender roles can be policed and contested. Normative masculinities often run counter to acknowledging and experiencing mental health problems. For example, expressing emotion such as sadness or crying may reduce masculine standing whereas emotional control or expressing emotion through anger may enhance masculine status.” This naturally leads to a fear of intimacy.
The study further says, “One man described how opening up about mental health was often seen as a sign of weakness and resulted in being ridiculed and ostracized by peers. He recounted, “I told a mate that I was coming [to a men’s group] and he laughed and I haven’t spoken to him since.
“Another man, as part of the study, explained how he believed that discussing mental health may result in a greater prevalence of problems.” Do you now see what happens when you ignore an emotionally unavailable man’s mental health? If you need help from a mental health professional in order to deal with this, Bonobology’s panel of experts is only a click away. You deserve access to stigma-free care.
As per the study, “Such internalized experiences of mental health made it challenging for men to conceptualize and express what they were feeling and their level of well-being. For some, it was particularly difficult to know how to act, when circumstances in their lives such as relocating, divorce, work stress, and shrinking social networks built up and accumulated as unresolved problems…The propensity for men to immerse themselves in their work and/or men’s lack of emotional awareness results in them neglecting their mental health.”
So men don’t access safe avenues, maybe apart from their female close friend/partner/male best friend, where their emotions are taken seriously and discussed without judgment. They stay trapped in the vicious cycle of toxic masculinity. This is why dating an emotionally unavailable man becomes difficult. Even in friendships, an emotionally unavailable man wants to be friends with those who don’t push him toward deeper intimacy and he can maintain superficial relationships without the mutual expectation for warmth and reliance.
Apart from gendered conditioning, stigma around feelings, and mental health issues, other factors that can cause emotional restrictions in men are:
- Trauma response due to adverse life events
- Lack of complete trust in their partner
- Lack of a support system/care
- Lack of an appropriate outlet/platform/medium for emotions
- Fear of commitment
- Sex as the sole focus
- Lack of self-awareness
- Lack of self-esteem in a man also makes him emotionally closed off
If you care about a man like this – whether he’s an emotionally unavailable man who wants to be friends with you or you’re dating an emotionally unavailable man – it’s important for you to get an insight into what makes him who he is. If you’re in love with him, remember that you can’t (and shouldn’t) change him overnight. This will need a slow and steady approach. So are you ready to learn how to get an emotionally unavailable man to chase you and fall in love with you? (Yes, with patience, it’s actually possible!)
Related Reading: Confused About A Guy? 18 Tips To Help You
Tips To Make An Emotionally Unavailable Man Fall In Love With You
Rhonda, a 25-year-old claymation artist, shares, “I’m dating this wonderful guy but he’s not very open about his feelings for me. Sometimes, I lay on my bed at night thinking of what to text an emotionally unavailable man like him that will get him to pour his heart out. I know he likes me a lot. I can see it in his actions and the way he’s always there for me. But a girl’s gotta wonder. Do emotionally unavailable men miss you when you’re not around?” She sighs, “I’d love to get romantic ‘I miss you’ texts from him someday.”
It’s hard to spot the signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you. And though Rhonda’s boo adores her, relationships need reassurances now and then. Looks like she and you can use some tips on how to get an emotionally unavailable man to chase you. Let’s do this.
- Know what to text him: Let’s figure out what to text an emotionally unavailable man to first lay the groundwork for trust and love, shall we? Here are some examples:
- Hey, I miss you. I hope we get to spend more time together soon. I love your company
- I want you to know I’m a safe space for you to come and talk to, about anything at all. Your well-being is important to me
- I’m having a really tough day, and you’re the only one who I wish I could speak to or meet. Your presence is so comforting
- I noticed you like sketching. Do you want to join me at a casual meetup where we all just sit around and doodle? (This is for him to express his emotions in his preferred medium)
- Do not ignore him: When you ignore an emotionally unavailable man, he might be hurt but he might not express the same. It’ll just further reinforce his belief that showing his feelings to you is not a safe idea. So you do NOT want to do that. Here’s what a guy thinks when you ignore him
- Do not try to get a jealous reaction out of him: If you’re trying to crack open this guy by learning how to make an emotionally unavailable man jealous, then it’s better for you to stash that plan at the door. If you make him jealous, you might just turn him off and make him withdraw further
- Don’t criticize his lack of emotional unavailability: He never hid this part of him. You knew this would be a challenge. So you can’t pester him into writing romantic songs for you. Give this time. If you accept him lovingly, it will help him accept himself
- Be a safe space and deconstruct toxic masculinity: If you’re emotionally mature and open, it’ll tickle him to follow suit. Be someone who believes that men should be able to access the full range of their emotional spectrum without judgment. Share social media content with him that centers around healthy masculinity. Be encouraging and validating toward boys and men around him. Be there for him when he needs you so he knows it’s okay to rely on others. If he believes you to be a safe space, you’ll soon see signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you
- Let him vent: Hold space for him. When he finally opens up, don’t try to censor or structure his conversation. Don’t try to interrogate him. Validate where he’s coming from. This is not the time to dismiss or question his thoughts
- Thank him: Thank him every time he shares something very vulnerable with you. Tell him how much it means to you that he trusts you with his emotions
- Express your love fully: Don’t hold back. God knows ‘he’ does. So you need one partner in the relationship who can be a healthy role model for a loving partnership
- Repair if trust has been broken: You can no longer see any signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you because you might’ve broken his trust and he’s taken it hard. Ask him what you can do to get him to trust you again, and follow through on it
- Suggest a therapist: A therapist is a great idea, whether your guy has always struggled with emotional expression, or if his emotional withdrawal has been a result of a recent trauma. Talk about the benefits of counseling with him without imposing it on him
- Encourage him to create a safe space for himself: Does he like to write? Read? Paint? Make sure you encourage these activities. These are great outlets for emotions
- Validate his darkness/insecurities: If those are the aspects he can’t deal with and hence doesn’t emote, show him gradually that you love him WITH all the glitches and heaviness
- Appreciate his light/strengths: Let him know what makes you feel respect, affection, or love for him. He has more chances of telling you how he feels about you when it starts from you first
- Be intimate: He may struggle in the emotional intimacy department, but you don’t, right? Show him how it’s done. Share your vulnerabilities, give him hugs, kiss his cheeks, hold his hands, tell him you love him. But don’t expect too much in return, at least not initially
Related Reading: Expert View – What Is Intimacy To A Man
If this works, you’ll soon watch him fall in love with you, completely and openly. Remember when Rhonda asked, “Do emotionally unavailable men miss you?” Once your guy gives you his heart and faith, you won’t have to wonder about this ever again. He’ll tell you himself.
The next step is to answer this: What are the signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you? Read on to know the inner workings of his heart and mind. You’ll know whether you were reading into things, or if he is into you for real.
15 Signs An Emotionally Unavailable Man Is In Love
“Have you ever been in love? Horrible, isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.” These words by Neil Gaiman seem to have come straight out of an emotionally unavailable man’s rulebook. This is precisely how they view love – a hotchpotch of drama, sadness and inevitable heartbreak.
Keep his perception in mind as you dive into these indicators below. You’ll understand why they’re a big deal from where he’s coming. Here’s presenting (drumroll, please) the signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you.
1. There’s a readiness to change for the better
This is the most positive indicator you can see. Emotional unavailability is often accompanied by ignorance; the man doesn’t know his own roadblocks. But if he’s beginning to love you, there will be a certain amount of self-awareness that will guide him to change. You’ll see him making an effort to alter his ways. The emotionally unavailable man will neither be in denial nor defensive. And this is a trait that distinguishes selfless love from selfish love.
2. He’s willing to share his life
Here’s an area he doesn’t usually excel in. This is because an emotionally unavailable man can’t see the point of making space for others in his life. But you’re different… He wants you to see the private side of him along with his past. You will probably know more about him than most people – little details, his likes and dislikes, fond memories, childhood stories, and so on. Don’t peg this as insignificant. It’s one of the biggest tell-tales of an emotionally unavailable man in love.
Related Reading: Positive Relationship: Psychology, Signs, And Benefits
3. Commitment is on the cards – Signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you
You can be certain of his feelings when there are signs of commitment. And this doesn’t have to be a major event like moving in together or getting married; he’s serious about you if he uses terms like ‘we’ and ‘us.’ The lone wolf mentality is evaporating because he sees you in his future. An emotionally unavailable man usually avoids labels but he will work on his commitment phobia for the relationship you share.
4. He’s okay with being vulnerable
I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. It takes a lot of courage and affection for him to open up to you. Crying, expressing distress, or admitting he’s sad, is a huge thing for him. If you’ve got access to this facet of his personality, he feels comfortable enough to put away the strong-man image with you. An emotionally unavailable man in love will make you his safe space.
5. It’s not just about the sex
Like I said before, he probably has a history of avoiding labels or getting ‘tied down.’ No-strings-attached relationships or friends-with-benefits have been his go-to options so far. But if you’ve come to hold a place in his heart, your relationship has WAY more to it than sex. He wants to meet you and do things because he likes you, not because he’s in the mood for some action. This is one of the clearest signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you.
6. He’s following through on his promises
If he said he’d make it to the dinner with your colleagues, you can count on him to show up five minutes early. There will be congruity in his words and actions. Stephen Richards wisely said, “Promises are only as strong as the person who gives them…” And the love for you is making a better person out of him. Gone are the days of blowing someone off with fickle promises.
7. There’s consistency in his behavior
What’s one of the best signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you? He’s doesn’t blow hot and cold. Like any mature and well-functioning individual, he is consistent in his behavior with you. There won’t be any on-again-off-again phases or instances of ghosting. All this ultimately boils down to respect; he’ll value and respect your time and energy. His whims and fancies won’t dictate the workings of this relationship.
8. He doesn’t shy away from emotional intimacy
Go back and read the first sentence of this piece. If an emotionally unavailable man gives compliments and affirmations, engages in deep conversations and builds trust in the relationship, he’s fallen head over heels for you. Yes, emotional intimacy might not come very naturally to him, but he won’t run at the first sight of it. Give him some credit for trying – it’s not an easy road to walk. Aren’t these signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you very insightful?
9. What are the signs an emotionally unavailable man is falling in love? He values your perspective
So far, he’s led his life in a very self-sufficient manner. The perspectives of others haven’t really mattered much to him. So when you told him that his presentation could use a few changes before it reached the client, he might have been baffled, but he listened. Why did your opinion weigh so heavily on his mind? Simple – because he loves you. He takes your perspective into consideration before making choices. Quite sweet, I say.
Related Reading: 15 Qualities Of A Good Relationship That Make Life Bliss
10. He takes accountability for his actions
This one definitely ranks high among the signs an emotionally unavailable man is falling in love. Owning up to his errors is a huge development in his personality. His willingness to assume responsibility suggests a long-term vision. He wants to become a better partner for you by working on his flaws. The first step to this is acceptance. He won’t indulge in gaslighting or romantic manipulation for calling out his mistakes.
11. You’ve met his social circle
Introducing your partner to your parents is always a positive step. If you’ve met his parents or friends, he wants you to stick around for a long time. An emotionally unavailable man doesn’t place much value in introducing his better half to his social circle officially. If he has done so with you, this is more than a casual relationship for him. Your presence has impressed upon him the need to be socially proactive.
12. He wants to know more about you
And not just because he has to – he’s genuinely interested and involved in your life. One of the subtlest signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you is that he’s improving the relationship by listening better. He won’t cut you off or get distracted easily – you will command his undivided attention when you both are communicating. Each opportunity to discover your interests is welcomed by him.
13. His definitions are changing – An emotionally unavailable man in love
Have you noticed a change in his approach to relationships? Didn’t he think of them quite negatively at first? Phrases like ‘unnecessary drama’ or ‘being single rules’ were the norm. But his definitions will undergo a change if he’s fallen for you. He finds the idea of dating appealing now, and marriage or commitment don’t terrify him. He’s begun respecting love in its entirety.
Related Reading: 5 Odd Signs That He Loves You
14. You’ve become a priority
Elisabeth Hasselbeck said, “Nobody’s life is ever all balanced. It’s a conscious decision to choose your priorities every day.” And now, he’s made you a priority in his life. An emotionally unavailable man usually displays signs of a selfish boyfriend, but being in love makes him selfless. He’ll compromise and make adjustments for you, even step out of his comfort zone. His time will belong to you and other things will take a backseat.
15. There’s a lot of support in the relationship
What are the signs an emotionally unavailable man is falling in love, you ask? He’ll support your decisions even if they don’t align with his vision. As long as they make you happy, he’ll root for your choices. There will be empathy from his end when he actually begins putting your wellbeing first. His emotional unavailability won’t stop him from wanting the best for you.
- It’s a challenge to date an emotionally unavailable man but we must first understand what makes men emotionally restrictive in our patriarchal culture
- There’s a stigma around men expressing their feelings and this affects their romantic intimacy as well
- Once you understand this, you need to be patient with him. He will develop faith in you and consider you his safe space as you start being vulnerable with him and allow him to do the same
- Accept him in all his shades, let him vent, be intimate with him, don’t ignore him or make him jealous, and be honest with him so he can be driven toward transparency too
- When he falls in love with you, he will open up, be vulnerable, compliment you, show commitment, follow through on his promises, and be consistent with you
Et voila! What did you think of these signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you? I hope they’ve given you the clarity you were seeking. You now have to decide the course of action – will you wait for him to ask you out at his own pace or will you give him a little nudge or maybe even make the first move yourself? Let me know how it goes in the comments section below. My very best wishes and lots of love.
There are two schools of thought here. One suggests that an emotionally unavailable man misses the function you fulfill in his life, not you as an individual. The second says that he isn’t that selfish – he does miss you genuinely. There’s some truth to both these answers.
‘Win’ seems to be an incorrect term. You can’t change someone overnight. There are a lot of unresolved issues at play when it comes to emotional unavailability. The best course of action is to be patient and empathetic while the man undertakes his own journey of growth. Loving an emotionally unavailable man isn’t easy.
Yes. Self-work always pays off. But this change occurs when the emotionally unavailable man acutely realizes that his current way of functioning isn’t healthy. If he’s self-aware and willing to put in the work, he can evolve emotionally. Read up on the signs an emotionally unavailable man is falling in love to understand how the change can occur.
If you really like him, you may want to go easy and not pressure him into committing to you in the first few weeks or even a couple of months of dating. That easygoing tone and calm needs to reflect in your conversations with him. Don’t double text him, for example. If you allow him the space to process every little stage of the relationship, there are more chances that you will eventually see signs an emotionally unavailable man is in love with you.