6 signs of emotional unavailability

So you’ve broken up yet again and blame your (former) partner for the breakup, but have you ever considered that maybe the problem is yours? Have you ever wondered if maybe YOU were distant and uninterested? Maybe it’s your emotional unavailability that keeps your loved ones from really connecting with you.

We can help you get the amazing romantic relationship you want without having to play mind games, without having to pretend to be someone or something you are not, because I believe you are deserve to be loved just the way you are. Today we’re going to talk about signs of emotional unavailability.

If you want to learn how to really work on your own emotional unavailability, because if you tend to be attracted to emotionally unavailable people, you might have a problem with that yourself.

Today we’re going to talk about six signs of emotional unavailability.


The first sign that someone is emotionally unavailable is if he or she hasn’t spent much time single in their past.

You’ve gone from one relationship to the next relationship to the next relationship to the next relationship to the next relationship and so on. This is how you can tell that this is a person who is finding themselves in a relationship. Repeated relationships are actually a symptom of emotional unavailability.

If someone doesn’t take their time between relationships and jumps from one relationship to the next, it’s a sign that they’re not going through the healing process.

He or she is not taking the necessary steps to become emotionally available.

Emotional unavailability is a perfectly normal thing to happen after a breakup. When it becomes a habit, it can solidify as a long-term emotional unavailability, and that’s problematic.

So this is the first sign of emotional unavailability.


The second sign is that this person might still be attached to their ex. I don’t necessarily mean that he or she is lovesick for the ex or anything. This, of course, is a sign of emotional unavailability.

It could be anything to do with her emotional energy still being tangled in a relationship with her ex. Maybe they often complain about their ex. Maybe they talk about how their ex was an idiot or how their ex never did this or that.

This shows you that a lot of their energy is still in their ex, even when they’re talking about how awful their ex was.

If you’re dating someone who has had a previous relationship of one form or another, the topic of the ex will likely come up. But there’s a big difference between saying, “Yeah, my ex was like that,” and saying, “Oh man, I hate my ex. My ex always did that. You’re so much better than my ex,” and so on.

That, too, is the mentality of the stopgap relationship.


The third sign of emotional unavailability is someone looking for validation.

This can be very difficult to spot, especially when you’re just getting to know someone. But you have to pay attention to the person’s behavior, the intentions they have, and the little things they do to tell if they’re looking for validation.

When someone is looking for validation or is in the validation trap – when they are looking for validation from someone else – they are unable to be fully with you emotionally because their mind is trying, at least in part, to find validation by thinking,

“When I’m with an attractive woman like you, that makes me ‘the man.’”

“If I’m dating an attractive man like you, that must mean my ex breaking up with me was wrong.

“If I can date someone like you, it means my mom will finally stop marrying me and settle down.

As long as a person’s mind or energy is poured into this approval-seeking behavior, they will not be 100% present to have a good relationship with you.

Therefore, seeking validation is the third sign of emotional unavailability.


The fourth sign that someone is emotionally unavailable is that he or she is clinging to ideals. That’s a bit of a strange transition, but some of you may know that my wife and I lived in Asia for a year.

During that time, we got sucked into a Korean TV series called My Love From The Star, which is definitely a drama TV series. I don’t want to tell you too much, but one of the main characters, Cheon Song-Yi, was rescued by a mysterious stranger when he was a teenager.

She was never able to commit to a relationship, have a boyfriend, or fall in love because she was waiting for this mysterious stranger to come back into our lives so she could love him and have a relationship with him.

This is of course an extreme example, but it shows what it’s like to invest more in an ideal than in the people you actually see.

Another example, perhaps a little better known, is Mindy Kaling’s characters, which she has played on television shows such as The Office and The Mindy Project. Someone who’s actually based on a romantic comedy script: “I’m going to fall in love with this person in the big city and we’re going to be blown away.”

If you’re clinging to any ideal – whether it’s being attracted to a certain type of person or being in a certain type of relationship – then you’re going to be at least emotionally unavailable because you’re putting your energy into trying to make things to appear or shape in a certain way.

If you’re trying to make things appear or look a certain way while your energy isn’t in the present moment, it’s not with the person you’re with and you’re just comparing things and saying, “Okay, like that is not it.

So I’ll get rid of that or it’s not like that. So I’m looking for other signs that it is or isn’t. And that is definitely a sign of emotional unavailability.


The fifth sign of emotional unavailability is hot and cold behavior. Typically, this manifests itself in things like fast-forward: When you first meet or when things are going well, you tend to do things very quickly that would take months or years in a normal relationship.

This is where psychological repression comes into play. In a rebound relationship, you might date your ex, then break up and start dating someone else.

Then you start elevating the relationship to the same level that you had with your ex. Whether you’re living together, talking about marriage, or doing other serious things, it’s a form of fast-forwarding because you’re trying to make a new relationship look like or resemble the previous relationship.

That’s the fast-forward aspect of the hot and cold, emotionally unavailable person. Then there’s the cold side, where you do a sharp back-off, a sharp pull, with the unreachable person.

This can take the form of ghosting, a sudden disappearance, a sudden excuse, anything, just putting your foot on the brakes to prevent things from moving on in one form or another.

People who are emotionally unavailable often act hot and cold, hot and cold, hot and cold, and so on.

The reason is that when they’re hot, they project their own ideas of the ideal relationship or partner onto you, so they move towards that quickly, right?

Once the situation becomes real and they see that you are an imperfect human being and the relationship is imperfect like all humans are in all relationships, they withdraw because they have reinvested in the ideals of their own psychological desires and all of that stuff.



Because of the hot and cold demeanor, emotionally unavailable people can sometimes be unreliable. They may talk a lot, but when it comes to doing something, they may not do it.

They can disappoint you, and through that disappointment, they can probably subconsciously keep you in line with little breadcrumbs, you know.

Instead of committing to you, they might agree to go out with you and then not show up, right? And so you start lowering your standards because you are so disappointed in the unreliability of the past.

You’re self-critical and you’re like, “Oh, why did this happen? Is it something I did or something?” When that happens, your standards lower and they can stall you with very small things, basically breadcrumbs, right?

You actually want a steady relationship. But then it says: “We can spend the weekend together” or “We can – or “I’ll write you back. I’m actually texting you back” or something like that, right?

I believe that most people who are emotionally unavailable do so unconsciously.

I don’t think they do this to you on purpose, bar the most vicious and vicious of them out there. I think most emotionally unavailable people do this to you unconsciously.

So these are my six signs of emotional unavailability. I wish I had a seventh that was a little bit more melt-in-the-mouth. If you know a seventh sign of emotional unavailability, please leave it in the comments below so we can complete the list.

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