Emotionally Unavailable

August 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Commitment Issues

If you are looking for information on emotionally unavailable people and emotionally unavailable men in particular you’ve come to the right place. Most of the articles you find on this blog are dedicated to commitment and relationships, and with that said, emotionally unavailable subject comes up frequently throughout this blog.

Emotionally unavailable people do not always admit that they have difficult time settling down with one person, so I recommend that you read this article that gives you a perfect example of emotionally unavailable people including emotionally unavailable men and emotionally unavailable women as well.

I have received a whole lot of emails from you guys in response to my previous article on Dating Unavailable Men and I wanted to share one of them here because I think this situation is something many of you can relate to, so here is the email:

Hi Elaine,

The title of your article Dating Mr. Unavailable caught my attention. I am dating a guy who is unavailable – both emotionally and physically, and I wanted to ask for your opinion. You can share this email with other women as I’d very much like to hear what others think about this situation as well.

We met through mutual business connections; I am an executive at a fast-growing technology startup and he is a CEO of a tech company.

Several months ago when we met he asked me out and we went on a few dates. He was calling and texting a lot trying to make plans but essentially bailing out and re-scheduling or cancelling a couple of dates due to his sudden last minute schedule changes, so we only went on a handful of dates with most of our communications taking place through texting or emailing.

He travels all over the country and pretty much all over the world for work, and often his plans change on a last minute notice. In a short time that we dated he had to switch plans on me two times at the last minute, so I told him to take a hike.

Several months later we bumped into each other at a business event and he asked if he could call me to talk about some business ideas. I said yes thinking that it would be strictly business. He didn’t call but emailed a couple of days later apologizing for not calling and explaining that he’d been very busy, which I didn’t really react to because at that time I was well over whatever the initial feelings I had started developing for him when we went out.

Long story short, sometime later I hear from him again and he talks about some business ideas I wanted to hear more about. I jump at the opportunity and offer to meet, and sure enough he has some interesting ideas.

Our business lunch went well over the initially allocated time. We went to a concert he invited me to and had drinks afterwards. I really liked his touch and affection (like holding hands, etc.) so I decided to go with my feelings and take advantage of him being there for the moment as it had been a while for me.

The sex was good and I asked him if he was seeing anyone to which he said no, so I asked him jokingly if he wanted to be my booty call. He kinda laughed at it and said I’d be HIS booty call. I said that with his crazy travel schedule I wasn’t sure he could fulfill my requirements as I would be interested in seeing someone on a somewhat regular basis and he swore that going forward he only had a few travel plans and he was planning to be in town for the most part.

He kept in touch regularly after that and for the next month or so we had sporadic dates which included going to a party he invited me to, dinners, drinks, hikes, but mostly texting and emailing with him traveling all over the place again. We both have children which makes it even harder to make time to see each other and I feel like he is always squeezing me in between his meeting, airports and conference calls. I appreciate him modifying his plans to make sure I get what I want, but I always feel that he is still not at my beck and call as I am also busy and when I get a free moment I call him and it turns out he is in meetings or is out of town. Then he calls me or texts me to probe me on my schedule and if I don’t respond the same day he goes ahead and makes other plans.

Due to this unpredictability I told him I do not want to hear from him asking me about my schedule if he himself doesn’t know what he is going to do. He told me that he thought it would be nice to make plans in advance and this was why he texted me several days in advance, but I told him to figure out his plans firm before asking me about my plans. Last time I saw him he asked me what days of the week my schedule was open and said he would be making plans according to this.

Now, Elaine, my question is, should I give this relationship a shot or should I move on? He has agreed to see me on my schedule and on my terms, but I don’t see that it’s feasible given his schedule. I read your article Mr. Unavailable and I feel that it applies to me – I am definitely not his first priority but the last. I have many pursuers and my common sense tells me he is not capable of giving me what I need. I like him the most, but I feel that I myself draw a line as to how far emotionally invested I get with him.



Hi Lesley,

From what you are telling me I can say that not only your guy is emotionally unavailable but you yourself are unavailable without even realizing it. You draw a line as to how far you get invested, and you want the guy to be on your beck and call and on your schedule. It sounds like you have a clear understanding of what you want, and you draw a line as to how far you will go. It sounds more like a business proposition than romance to me.

Perhaps the reason you are attracted to unavailable men is that you are emotionally unavailable yourself. You know what you want, and it sounds from what you are saying that you don’t really care about who will give you what you need.

While it may be what you are looking for, if you desire to find and attract true love you can’t approach dating people with the mindset that you want it black and white. There are many shades of dating; it’s not always on your terms; there is a compromise, a mutual desire to make it work.

It’s good to be clear as to what you want; when you are clear with the men you date as to what your expectations are, you are saving yourself a lot of trouble by weeding out people who cannot in the long run meet your requirements. If you truly liked the guy you would be willing to compromise if he was willing to compromise and meet you in the middle.

It sounds like he is a pretty busy guy; I don’t know if he is truly emotionally unavailable or is just unavailable physically in terms of physical presence in the area, and the time that he can allocate to a relationship with you or dating you for that matter.

But the true problem is with this relationship is that you are not opening up to a possibility to have a relationship with substance, and thus I recommend that you keep your own expectations low.

If he made promises to you I’d keep him accountable for the promises he’s made. If he can’t be accountable for his word and cannot follow through it sounds like you have no problems moving on.



Now, I want to hear from you guys, what do you think of this situation? Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever been involved with a man or a woman for that matter who is emotionally unavailable? Do you find yourself emotionally unavailable? Share your thoughts!

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3 Responses to “Emotionally Unavailable”
  1. CNA says:

    I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  2. cherie says:

    I can really relate to this. My guy travels 5.5 days a week. We started out strong – he’d call predictably – first in the AM, lunch time and at night. Sent roses to my job just because, bought me a trinket at Tiffany’s…about two weeks ago I cornered him about defining our relationship and he said we’re exclusive, but ever since – he’s been emotionally unavailable…waited until the last minute to plan dinner, calls have decreased, and a degree of emotional distance between us that I can feel. I like him, but equally as frustrated, as this is not what – signed up for.

  3. Xianne says:

    Hi Elaine,

    Please help for some advice reagrding my case. This is my story.

    We are in the same company. Since I started working in our company every time we saw each other it’s just hi and hello and some kidding moments because he is funny guy. No attraction involve for both of us. Even me I don’t want to get involved to other nationality in terms of relationship because for me we have different point view that somehow we will not understand each other. But I’m not against being friends with them, that’s the only thing I want from them, friendship and companionship, since I’m not in my own country. July this year we became friends in facebook. Since then almost every day we are talking thru chat then after a week we are using skype and we are seeing each other thru webcam every time we are chatting. Then we are just enjoy talking to each other for more than an hour. He’s a very nice man; he has this funny personality that you cannot have dull moments with him that I can’t resist. Then the next month August we started going out sometimes he’s the one who dropped me home after work, then eat late dinner outside, so it happened many times, until we came to a point that I go with him in his place. And as expected we had sex. After that it happened again many times, I’m staying in his place for more than 2 hours and one time we are 24 hours together in his place. At that point I had this feeling that I’m starting to have feelings for him, but I knew him very well that he don’t want any commitment. That what we are doing is nothing serious that it’s just for fun. He’s a happy go lucky man. And he admitted that since before. That he’s a cheater. So that time I decided to talk to him and had an agreement that if he has new girl or if he found someone new to have fun with he will let me know and he told same rules will be applied for me. So we had that deal. After that we still continue what we started, had sex going out staying and in his place, but difference now is we are not talking on the net that much as we use to be. And because of those things, even I had no right because we had a deal I still asked him if he’s avoiding me. But as expected he told me he’s just very busy with his work, and he’s not avoiding me, then he told me that “I thought we already talked about it, if there’s something going on with me I will tell you, you know me I’m very honest person”. Then I said ok I understand. Then we continue talking but not every day. He’s treating me the same. Until this month September 2011, then again I felt that he’s avoiding me and I have this instinct that my other officemate is being closed with him because they are enroll in one program after work doing some work out. You know its women intstince. And the girl obviously flirting with him when the guy is in our working area. but the girl didn’t know anything about us. So I didn’t ask him reagrding that. But one time again I tried to talk to him seriously then again he told he’s not avoiding me he’s just really busy finishing all things before leaving going to vacation. Then I ask him what if I started to have feelings for him what he will do. But I told him it’s just what if. Then he answered me, that he don’t want to hurt my feelings so try not to fall for him because he’s a cheater and he knew himself very well that he cannot stay in long relation, that if I have feelings for him he will just hurt me every time since he cannot commit to one relation. He also told me that he really like me that once he knew I’m hurting; he will back out without notice in our situation now. And since I’m still enjoying what we have and I’m still happy with him, I told him that I’m not also looking for any relation, I just want to enjoy my life, and be happy with him and I will stay for whatever we have. I just told him once he wants to back out just tell me and I will understand. But of course you know the feeling deep inside Elaine. Then he agreed and promised me that nothing will change between us we still have this kind of situation, no commitment, no relation. And now he’s on vacation. I don’t know what to do Suzy. What I’m thinking now is that I’m still happy with what we have though I know that I will be hurt in the end. I will just show him who I am, because I’m really sweet with him I want to show him how important he is with me, that he’s making me happy, I don’t want to tell him that I do really have feelings for him. I will just go with the flow and pretend that nothing’s wrong that everything was ok that I’m just having fun and as long as I feel happy being with him. And I’m not losing hope that I can change his point of view about commitment, about relation. I will show him everything he believed about relation and commitment was wrong thru actions. In short I will do my best to make him fall for me or at least have feelings for me.. But I will not make him feel that I’m pressuring him, and I don’t want him to think that I have feelings for him. I just want to make things happen naturally that may he will have feelings for me. What do you think Elaine, am I doing the right thing? Please give me advice because every time we are together he’s so sweet and caring, he makes me feel that he cares for me specially the time that we spend 24 hours together. And I know he’s honest that if there’s someone new he will tell me but he assured me now that there’s nothing going on. Do you think somehow he has feelings for me now? Do you think he’s just afraid to show that to me maybe because of his ego, because he has this character in mind that he is a cheater and he can’t stay long in a relation? What is the best that I can do to make him fall for me? Is it really possible that he will have feelings for me? or he already has feelings for me? Or do I really to stop this? Thanks Elaine I hope you can give me advice and help about this.

    My Best Regards,

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