5 Things You'll Notice If Your Partner Is Emotionally Unavailable, So Guard Your Heart
Nothing sucks quite like falling for someone who can't or won't reciprocate your desire to commit. There could be several reasons why they can't give you the loving you deserve, and being emotionally unavailable might be one of them. The things you'll notice if your partner is emotionally unavailable are pretty clear, albeit probably not the most pleasant to recognize. By definition, when someone is truly emotionally unavailable, they are "unable to open up to an intimate relationship and be vulnerable emotionally, or hold space for another emotionally," Diana Dorell, intuitive dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, tells Elite Daily. Sound familiar?
In a swipe-right, fast-paced world, an emotionally unavailable partner can sneak up on you pretty easily. You might be casually dating someone for awhile before you realize that they aren't really connecting with you. Or maybe they are, but they don't want to put a label on your situationship and would prefer to keep things surface-level. The thing is, being emotionally unavailable is not uncommon. It seems like excuses abound when it comes to defining the relationship nowadays, so if you think the person you're dating fits into that category, keep an eye out for these five signs that it's due to emotional unavailability.
1. They aren't very supportive.
Someone who isn't ready to connect on a deeper level probably isn't too thrilled about the prospect of comforting you in your time of need. "They run or come up with an excuse to leave when you have expressed something that concerns you and you want them to be there for you," explains Dorell.
If you need emotional support, and your partner just isn't giving you any, then it's likely that they are holding back.
2. They don't like intimate talks.
If your partner is emotionally unavailable, then you might notice that they aren't big fans of talking about more intense subjects."They keep conversations on a surface level and don't want to go deeper into any discussion around where the relationship is going," says Dorell.
It's understandable if someone doesn't want to dive too deep into personal topics when you first start dating. But if you've been seeing each other for a while, and they continually avoid those kinds of talks, it might be a sign that they're emotionally unavailable.
3. They don't want to open up about themselves, either.
Additionally, a significant other who doesn't want to emotionally connect won't want to really talk about themselves too much, either. "Anytime you ask them too many questions about themselves they get skittish or change the subject," Dorell describes.
4. They don't want to define the relationship.
Having the talk about defining the relationship can be intimidating, but for someone who is emotionally unavailable, it's on a whole other level. "They will shut down when you ask them direct questions about the relationship and its future," life and love mentor Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. "They may become angry, impatient, or use humor to deflect the spotlight being put on them. This obvious level of discomfort indicates that they're hiding valuable information you need — such as their true feelings."
5. They speak negatively about past relationships.
Paying attention to how your partner talks about their exes can tell you a lot about their emotional availability. Look at how they talk about their past relationships, and what they have to say about relationships in general. "You've begun to notice that they don't speak about relationships in a positive light," Winter says. "Moreover, they may have never had a committed relationship."
A partner who is emotionally unavailable might not always be emotionally unavailable, but making the relationship work might take a little more effort, Winter says. Before you commit too much, Winter advises taking a moment to reflect on whether the relationship is worth the battle. "Ask yourself if you really want to climb this mountain," she says. "Is the time and energy you invest in this person going to be beneficial and rewarding? Is this the best choice of partner for you?"
You deserve to be with someone who will invest as much in you as you invest in them. If your partner is emotionally unavailable, remember that you don't have to settle for someone who isn't ready to truly commit or be honest and vulnerable with you. You deserve exactly the kind of relationship you want, and you shouldn't have to compromise on it if you don't want to.