How do you know if the man you’re dating is emotionally unavailable for a relationship?
If you have a strong attraction to him, you can fall into the trap of excusing his bad behaviour and ignoring relationship red flags. You want it to work, so you overlook issues that you wouldn’t tolerate in a friend.
Your brain keeps telling you that he must be your soulmate because of how strong your chemistry is together. If you can just get him to treat you better, then you will live happily ever after.
Disregarding the signs of emotionally unavailable men will ultimately lead to heartbreak.
Look for these relationship red flags to know if the man you’re with is emotionally unavailable:
1. He sends you mixed signals
A man who is interested in a relationship with you will pursue you for a relationship. He will call you and set up regular dates. If he is busy, he will let you know when he has time to speak to you again.
You can tell by his behaviour that he is pursuing you for a relationship because he is moving things forward. Ideally, you’ll be telling him, “not yet” to slow him down because you’ll want to discover who he is over time.
When you date a man who is relationship ready, you never have to ask him about where the relationship is going.
A man who has too much emotional baggage for a relationship will send mixed signals. He may disappear without communication for days or weeks at a time and then suddenly come on strong like he needs to see you immediately.
If he’s hot and cold intermittently, then watch out! This is definitely a red flag that you need to pay attention to.
Sit back and allow a man to pursue you. This is true regardless of his age! If a man wants to be in a relationship with you he will make sure that he claims you and takes you off the market so no other man can scoop you up.
2. He wants you to “drive”
There is a difference between a man who lacks confidence and a man who is in his feminine. A man in his feminine is happy to let you take the lead and all the risk while he reaps the benefits.
A man who lacks confidence will respond positively to your encouragement and will step up. If he has too much baggage for a relationship he will instead continue to put the ball in your court and allow you to do all the heavy lifting.
Some men are shy or don’t want to come across as chauvinistic. These men will look for signals from you that the water is warm. Once they are given the green light by you they will step up to pursue you.
A guy who has been hurt may take his time getting to know you, but the guy who is ambivalent about seeing you is just looking for companionship and hopefully sex, not a long-lasting relationship.
A man who has too much emotional baggage for a relationship will act like he wants to be your friend but then will become scorned when you want to wait and put off a physical relationship.
If the guy you’re dating seems shy, give him a little encouragement and see if he steps up. If he doesn’t, it is time to move on.
3. He wants you to change
Your soulmate will love you for who you are, the good, the bad, and the ugly. He won’t ask you to change your appearance or behaviour to fit some fictionalized vision of who he wants to be with.
Show up authentically. Speak how you feel and make requests. Pay attention to how he responds to your requests. If he makes an effort to honour them then he is looking to win your heart. But a guy with too much emotional baggage for a relationship may argue with you about your requests or your feelings. He may become defensive and argumentative with you claiming you’re too high maintenance.
If he is asking you to change that could be a red flag that he is looking for something that you’re not. It’s one thing to make requests and figure things out together as you get to know someone through the dating process. It’s not an ideal match if he is judging your behaviour and asking you to become a different person.
You will never live up to his ideal. It is better to get out early and find a man who is willing to accept you as is.
4. He doesn’t respond well to your feelings
Many men are not as in touch with their emotional life as women are. They can have a judgment about how emotions are expressed.
When a man is uncomfortable with your emotions and tries to argue with you about how you feel or downplay your response, he may have too much emotional baggage for a relationship.
You create a connection with another person by sharing your feelings. So a man who is unable to share his emotions or doesn’t want to hear about yours is not a good match to create a lasting loving bond with. A man who can’t handle your emotions certainly can’t handle his own.
The right man will hold space for you and your emotional life. A man who can allow you to feel however you feel without taking it personally or downplaying your experience is worth investing your time in and getting to know more deeply.
5. He has trouble apologizing
Everyone makes mistakes in a relationship. You can get triggered and behave badly and so can he. You both may say hurtful things that you don’t really mean in the heat of the moment.
The truth is, it sure sucks being human sometimes.
An emotionally healthy individual takes responsibility for his behaviour and apologizes. He may even offer to make amends.
Someone who has too much emotional baggage for a relationship will have trouble taking responsibility and apologizing. Notice what happens when you share with him how his behaviour has affected you.
Does he express remorse? Does he apologize? Or does he justify and defend his bad behaviour?
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