It should come as no surprise that we always want to be available to the unavailable. We want what we can’t have because it’s exciting. It allows for a chase, and we love the thrill that comes with a chase.
And it’s for these reasons that the emotionally unavailable always manage to catch our attention.
To be clear, there is a difference between a guy who's emotionally unavailable and a guy who's just a complete assh*le. There are guys out there who may come off as emotionally unavailable, but that's only because they’re emotionally unavailable to you.
Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are guys who aren’t out there just to get into your pants. They're genuinely interested in getting to know you. But they simply aren’t ready to love again.
Because that’s what it really comes down to. Guys are emotionally unavailable not because they have no emotions, but because the emotions they do have are reserved for another person. They haven’t yet let go of someone else and moved on with their lives.
This doesn’t mean that they never will let go. They almost certainly will. How long that will take, on the other hand, is uncertain.
I don’t want to deter anyone from dating a guy who isn’t emotionally available at the moment. However, having been an emotionally unavailable guy for years until recently, I feel like I need to warn you.
Here are 5 things that you need to know before dating the emotionally unavailable guy:
1. He’s carrying a lot of baggage.
He’s only emotionally unavailable because he’s still holding onto a past love.
Different people will react to a broken heart differently. Some will lash out at the world, punishing their livers and overall physical and mental health by partying and sleeping around, hoping to cover up the pain with debauchery.
Others are wiser. Others know that doing a bunch of bad doesn’t help you forget the bad that was done to you. These guys are still looking for love. The only issue is that they aren’t ready to find it.
So if you fall for this kind of guy, understand that there is a high likelihood that the feelings will not be reciprocated, at least not from the start.
Will they ever be reciprocated? Maybe. Maybe not. To be completely honest with you, your chances aren’t good. From my personal experiences, and from the experiences that friends and readers have shared with me, it would seem that people must be ready for love before they meet someone they can potentially love.
Not that the opposite cannot be true, but meeting someone before you’re ready to love changes the way you see him or her from the start.
2. He'll likely want a lot of space.
The emotionally unavailable are fighting a continuous battle, trying to first understand what happened to them, why they feel the way they feel and why they can’t feel the way they wish they could feel -- the way they once felt so effortlessly.
He’s going to need time to take a step back, spend time with himself and introspect a bit. This, of course, makes dating him a bit difficult. You’re going to either get tired of his apparent lack of interest in you and in the relationship, or you’ll get addicted to that feeling of wanting him each and every time he pushes you away. Either way, you’ll feel hurt.
3. He's not going to take the relationship too seriously.
Again, this doesn’t mean that he never will or that he isn’t capable of it. What it means is that the chances of him screwing things up and hurting you are higher than average.
Think about it. He’s dealing with unpleasant thoughts and emotions that are still keeping him attached to his ex and the love they shared. He feels lost and confused. It seems only plausible that such a guy would be more likely to cheat, to lie, to be egotistical and, from your perspective, heartless.
I’ve been on both ends of this drama, and it isn’t pleasant for anyone involved. Even the nicest, kindest man in the world can turn into a monster post-broken heart.
4. While it’s not impossible for him to fall for you, he can only fall for you once he’s ready to completely let go of his past love.
Can you love two people at the same time? Yes, you can. The more you understand love, the more you begin to see its different shades and colors. You begin to see that you can love different people for different reasons.
I like to imagine love as a painting, with all the colors, shapes, shades, and variations under the sun. The people we love are different artists working on the same canvas. And as the years go by and the painting continues to grow in both detail and size, we create new artistic representations of love that we didn't know existed.
What most of us never bother to even consider, however, is the possibility that the canvas itself may be infinite.
So yes, you can fall in love with different artists, because there is plenty of room to paint. However, the painting must still make sense. It must continue representing our definition of love.
This is where we begin to run into trouble. Everyone's definition of love is usually far from what love actually is. Instead of taking the time to learn it and understand it, we define it and do our best to keep it within that definition.
Does he believe that he can love two people at the same time? Because even if he actually can, believing that he can’t guarantees that he won’t.
5. Overall, the chances of the two of you working out are pretty slim.
There are so many ways things can and almost certainly will go wrong, so the chances of the two of you making it work aren’t good. Timing really is everything. Without it, even soulmates will miss their opportunity.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it work. Anything is possible. Just know that you’re likely getting on one hell of an emotional roller coaster.
I chased a girl once for a decade. While we didn’t end up together, I still loved the ride. And to be completely honest, while it brought me very close to the edge, I ended up a whole lot stronger and wiser for it.
So, even if you’re fighting a losing battle, find solace in the fact that even losing can end up being a win.