Emotional Unavailability: Causes, Types and Why Women Love Men with it

An emotionally unavailable man is someone who struggles to connect with others on a deep emotional level. Despite being physically present in a relationship, he may exhibit an inability or unwillingness to share his feelings, fears, and vulnerabilities.

This emotional detachment can manifest in various ways, such as avoiding intimate conversations, being guarded or distant, or showing inconsistency in expressing affection.

An emotionally unavailable man may have difficulty forming and maintaining meaningful connections due to past traumas, fear of vulnerability, or a lack of emotional intelligence.

Understanding the traits and characteristics of an emotionally unavailable man is crucial for recognizing the challenges that arise in such relationships and for exploring potential paths towards healing and growth.

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Table of Content

What Does it Mean to be Emotionally Unavailable?

Emotional unavailability refers to a state where an individual is unable or unwilling to connect with others on an emotional level. It is characterized by a persistent lack of emotional openness, intimacy, and vulnerability in relationships.

Emotionally unavailable individuals often struggle to express or share their feelings, and they may exhibit behaviors such as avoiding deep conversations, maintaining emotional distance, or being detached and unresponsive to the emotional needs of others.

They may have difficulty forming and maintaining close relationships due to their fear of being hurt or their own unresolved emotional issues. Overall, being emotionally unavailable signifies a barrier to establishing meaningful connections and can hinder the development of healthy, fulfilling relationships.

Causes of Emotional Unavailability

Emotional unavailability can stem from a variety of causes and factors. Past traumas, such as a history of abuse or neglect, can lead individuals to erect emotional barriers as a defense mechanism.

Fear of vulnerability and the potential for emotional pain may cause someone to withdraw and avoid deep emotional connections. Attachment issues, whether due to early childhood experiences or inconsistent relationships, can also contribute to emotional unavailability.

Some individuals may have difficulty identifying and expressing their emotions, lacking the necessary emotional intelligence and communication skills to form intimate connections.

Additionally, personal beliefs or societal conditioning that devalue emotions or prioritize self-reliance can contribute to emotional unavailability.

It’s important to approach emotional unavailability with compassion and understanding, recognizing that it often arises from complex and deeply rooted factors that may require professional support to address.

1. Past traumatic events

It’s possible that they’ve been through a painful experience, like getting divorced.

This kind of experience can cause people to emotionally shut down, making it difficult for them to function on a day-to-day basis.

They believe that if they allow themselves to feel their emotions to the fullest extent possible, it will make it more challenging for them to go about their daily lives.

2. Past relationship experiences

They may have been in partnerships in the past when expressing their feelings brought to unfavorable outcomes for them.

It’s possible that their partner disciplined them, and as a result, they were required to learn that expressing how they feel can put them in harm’s way.

3. Emotionally unavailable parents

Many people with emotionally unavailable traits were raised by parents who similarly lacked emotional availability.

The children’s emotional requirements went unmet since their parents were unable to empathize with them.

As a result, they were skilled at repressing their own feelings and downplaying those of others in order to avoid being rejected and neglected by other people in the future.

4. Social and cultural factors

There is a widespread misconception that revealing one’s feelings and emotions is indicative of a lack of strength.

And it goes without saying that nobody wants to be in that state.

As a result, individuals create methods and routines for dealing with their feelings, such as isolating themselves or suppressing any indicators that they are feeling emotional.

Signs of an Emotionally Unavailable Person 

Signs of an emotionally unavailable person can manifest in various ways. One common indicator is a consistent reluctance to express or discuss their emotions.

They may downplay their own feelings or avoid engaging in deeper conversations about emotional matters. This person may struggle to provide emotional support or show empathy towards others, often appearing detached or indifferent.

They may have difficulty forming and maintaining close relationships, keeping others at arm’s length and avoiding vulnerability.

Additionally, an emotionally unavailable person might exhibit a fear of commitment, maintaining a certain level of emotional distance to protect themselves from getting hurt.

Recognizing these signs can help in understanding the dynamics of relationships with emotionally unavailable individuals and making decisions that prioritize emotional well-being.

  1. The tendency to shut down or avoid topics that require emotional expression
  2. They act cold, distant, and aloof
  3. They lack of emotional intimacy in a relationship
  4. They lack the ability to understand and relate to other peoples’ feelings
  5. They have Difficulty talking about their feelings and emotions
  6. They get defensive when asked to change or emotionally connect with others
  7. They withdraw from people or situations that might elicit emotional reactions

Types of Emotionally Unavailable People

There are different types of emotionally unavailable people, each exhibiting unique characteristics. The first type is the “Avoidant” individual, who tends to keep others at a distance and avoid emotional intimacy.

They may have a fear of commitment or feel overwhelmed by emotional connection, leading them to retreat and maintain emotional barriers.

The second type is the “Distracted” individual, who may be preoccupied with other aspects of their life, such as work or hobbies, and find it challenging to fully invest in emotional relationships. They may struggle to prioritize emotional connection and often seem emotionally distant.

The third type is the “Dismissive” individual, who downplays emotions and may have difficulty recognizing or validating their own or others’ feelings. They tend to minimize the importance of emotional intimacy and may have a dismissive attitude towards emotional needs.

Recognizing these types of emotionally unavailable people can help in understanding their behavior and implementing effective strategies for establishing healthy emotional connections.

Below we’ve outlined three other types of emotionally unavailable people

The Emotionally Unavailable Counselor

If you tell someone that something bothers you, they may respond with high-level notions that are difficult to understand, rationalizations, or self-help advice.

They may believe they are helping you, but all they are really doing is diverting your emotions in a different direction.

The Emotionally Unavailable Jester

When you express feelings that they are unable to deal with, they will make light of what you are saying or make light of the seriousness of the situation.

Because they find it difficult to discuss their emotions, they believe that the best way to alleviate the tension in the room is to make an effort to be humorous.

The Emotionally Unavailable Fixer

They are constantly trying to help you and solve your problems for you.

This is typically the case because the person is uncomfortable with their own feelings, desires to maintain control, or is under the impression that it is their obligation to safeguard the happiness of others.

Major Signs of an Emotional Unavailability in Men

There are several major signs that can indicate emotional unavailability in a man. One significant sign is a consistent difficulty in expressing or discussing his emotions.

He may avoid conversations about feelings or become distant when emotions arise. Another sign is a tendency to keep personal walls up, preventing true vulnerability and emotional intimacy.

An emotionally unavailable man often shows inconsistency in his actions and words, sending mixed signals and leaving his partner feeling confused or uncertain about his true feelings.

Additionally, a lack of investment in the emotional well-being of his partner and a tendency to prioritize his own needs and independence can be indicative of emotional unavailability.

These signs highlight the challenges of establishing a deep emotional connection and may warrant open communication and consideration of one’s own emotional needs in the relationship.

1. He doesn’t have a close relationship with his mother

Studies in the field of psychology have shown that a mother’s influence is almost always the primary factor that determines the emotional health of her kid.

If his mother does not exist or if they do not have a close relationship, it is possible that he has never learned how to develop an emotionally intimate relationship with another person. This is especially true if there is no close contact between him and his mother.

It’s possible that beyond a certain point, you won’t be able to learn it anymore.

2. He loves himself more than he loves you

Because he constantly puts himself first, it is likely that he will continue to do so in the future as well.

To maintain an emotionally healthy connection with another person, it is necessary for at least one of you to prioritize your partner on occasion rather than yourself.

You are likely with a man who is emotionally unavailable if you have observed that he puts himself first in everything.

3. He won’t give you a key to his house

If someone does not want you to share their home with them, it is likely that they will not share their lives with you either. When someone excludes you from their regular activities, it’s a sign that they don’t trust you enough to let you into their inner circle.

Because of this, you can always have the impression that you are on the outside looking in. The most obvious symptom of being in a relationship with a man who is emotionally unavailable is feeling alone.

4. He doesn’t want to get married

If he keeps insisting that he doesn’t want to get married, you have to stop telling yourself that it’s because he hasn’t found the ideal lady yet and accept the reality of the situation.

The vast majority of guys who have reached an advanced age and do not intend to get married also do not have any interest in developing personal relationships with other people.

It’s not that he hasn’t met the ideal woman yet; rather, he simply lacks the emotional capacity to love another person in such a profound way.

5. His father treats his mother badly

Everyone learns up knowledge through observation.

Be wary of moving forward with the relationship if you observe that his father mistreats his mother or that they do not have the kind of healthy emotional connection that you hope to have with one another in the future.

When it comes to guys, the proverbial apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree very often.

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6. His mother is a cold woman

If his mother is an emotionally distant woman, it’s likely that her son lacks the capacity to form close relationships with other people. Because of this, his capacity to have an emotionally mature connection with another woman will be diminished.

In order to determine whether or not he has emotional availability, it is essential to pay attention to the relationship that exists between him and his mother, as well as the relationships that she has with other people.

7. He keeps his money separate from the relationship

If he is unable to share his money or other monetary assets with you, then there is a significant risk that he will not be able or willing to share his feelings and emotions with you too.

This raises the likelihood that he will not share his feelings and emotions with you.

The distance between feelings and material stuff is not all that great. It is conceivable that his desire to keep things to himself may spread to other aspects of his life if he continues to do so.

8. You don’t feel satisfied after confiding in him

If you begin conversing with him and find that you are left feeling more confused, disregarded, and alone later, then he does not share your feelings. Talking at someone is not the same as having a conversation with that person.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re just being overly sensitive to things. If he does not respond to your emotional signs for help and support, it is a clue that he either does not understand it or does understand it but does not care about it.

9. He doesn’t care why or when you cry

The vast majority of men despise the sight of crying women, particularly their own spouses.

It is a really troubling sign if he is completely fine with watching you cry and not comforting you in any way, or even worse, if he can make you cry without feeling any remorse himself.

Being emotionally unavailable requires a man to have a foundational characteristic of having little regard for the emotions of the woman he is with.

10. He doesn’t have any empathy

If you observe that he does not feel empathy not only for the individuals in his life but also for humans in general, this is an indication that he is emotionally unavailable.

People who lack the fundamental social ability of empathy are unable to have emotionally mature relationships because they just can not comprehend what it means to put themselves in another person’s shoes.

11. He puts others down to make himself feel better

One of the first warning signs of narcissism is when a person feels the need to put others down in order to boost their own self-esteem. Narcissists are incapable of having healthy relationships with other people on any level.

They are literally incapable of performing the task. If you observe that he derives pleasure from making the lives of others more difficult, you can pretty well guarantee that he won’t be able to form an emotional connection with you.

12. He always avoids you when you are upset

If you express that you had a horrible day, and his response is “Okay, I will see you tomorrow,” then you are dealing with someone who doesn’t want to be bothered with your baggage in any way, shape, or form.

If he has absolutely no interest in helping you solve your problems in any way, shape, or form, then you should look elsewhere for an emotional relationship.

13. He lacks compassion

It’s possible that the person who doesn’t feel bad for hundreds of people who were laid off or a nation that was ravaged by a tsunami doesn’t have the emotional capacity to care much for many people who are on the periphery of his life.

You might be unique, but no one is quite as unique as you are. It is impossible for him to be passionate about you or make himself available to you if he simply lacks the compassion to give.

14. He won’t go with you to family gatherings

If he doesn’t want to participate in your family get-togethers, it’s likely because he views being a part of your family as a commitment for which he is not yet prepared.

It is a sign that a man does not want to become emotionally attached to you if he does not want to be with you when you are with your family.

15. He is still in love with his ex

If he has not moved on from his previous relationship and is still pining for his ex, he is not emotionally available to move on with you. If someone is already emotionally invested in someone else, it makes it impossible for them to entrust their heart to you.

It is in everyone’s best interest to take a back seat and allow him to work through his emotions and come to terms with what happened rather than try to steal the spotlight from someone else.

16. He doesn’t want to hear about your day

There is a reason why he doesn’t inquire or listen to how your day went: he doesn’t want to get involved in whatever you’re doing.

Not only are they preoccupied with themselves, but they also have no desire to develop an emotional connection with you. He does not feel comfortable talking about his sentiments and does not want any part in the conversation.

17. He won’t trust you to confide in you

If you and him spend your time together attempting to decipher what is going on in his mind, you will be squandering a significant amount of your energy. Because if someone wants you to know what’s going on, they will involve you in whatever it is that they are doing.

Be wary if you assume it’s just because you don’t know him well enough yet and that’s the only reason why it’s happening.

If a man doesn’t open up right away, there’s no guarantee that he will at some point in the future. Because of this, you are likely to experience feelings of isolation and rejection.

18. He doesn’t care if or when you are sick

If he doesn’t offer to help or bring you some soup while you’re unwell, you shouldn’t expect him to start caring about you out of the blue all of a sudden.

He does not have any emotional investment in you if, at the very least, he does not check on you for many days to see if you are still alive and breathing.

19. He doesn’t want to know anything about you, so he doesn’t ask

He doesn’t truly care about you emotionally at all if he doesn’t know what your favorite color is, what your favorite food is, or who your best buddy is.

If he doesn’t know these things, he probably doesn’t even know who your best friend is. If he questions you about you, then he is going to get himself entangled in something that it is very evident he does not want any part of.

20. He communicates poorly

This indicates that they are unwilling to discuss their ideas and feelings with you and would rather keep things to themselves. They would rather keep things bottled up.

21. He’s always focused on sex

No matter how much you enjoy having sexual encounters, it is evident that sex should not be your top priority if you are looking for a relationship that will endure a long time and be stable.

It’s possible that he will fulfill all of your sexual desires and requirements without engaging in any other form of commitment. Do not continue the connection unless you are willing to be his booty call lady.

If you are not, you should back away from it.

22. He is always full of excuses

Whether it is providing an explanation as to why he had to cancel on you yet again or telling you why he just cannot see himself committing at this time, he will provide you with a variety of reasons as to why he cannot offer you what you need.

23. He never apologizes

If he never apologizes to you, regardless of how badly you feel, it’s a clue that either he can’t put himself in your situation or that he doesn’t care about how you feel.

If he never apologizes, it doesn’t matter how badly you feel, you should walk away from him because he has emotional unavailability

24. He runs from serious commitments

They abhor making long-term commitments and prefer to steer clear of conversations about the future, regardless of how well the relationship is doing.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of males who struggle with emotional issues. It is difficult to pick them out of the crowd of other eligible bachelors who are available on the market the majority of the time.

It all comes down to practice, and if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being with a man who lacks emotional maturity, you will just have to learn to live with it.

25. He will never say “I love you”

If you have told him “I love you” more than three times and he has not reciprocated your feelings, he is not ready to build an emotional connection with you.

There is a purpose behind why he is bottling up his emotions. He is not available at this time.

Why do Women go For Emotionally Unavailable Men?

The reasons why some women may be drawn to emotionally unavailable men are complex and multifaceted. One possible explanation is the appeal of the “challenge.”

The idea of winning over someone who is emotionally distant or unavailable can create a sense of accomplishment or validation.

Additionally, some women may have a subconscious belief that they can “fix” or change the emotionally unavailable man, hoping to be the one who unlocks his emotions.

In some cases, past experiences or unresolved childhood issues may lead to a subconscious attraction to emotional unavailability, as it may feel familiar or comfortable.

Societal conditioning, such as romanticizing the idea of a “tortured soul” or believing that love conquers all, can also influence these choices.

However, it’s important to recognize that these patterns can be unhealthy and potentially detrimental to one’s emotional well-being.

Building self-awareness, setting healthy boundaries, and seeking therapy or support can be essential steps towards breaking this cycle and pursuing relationships that are fulfilling and emotionally available.

1. Women love “the chase”

It is true that males like the excitement of the pursuit more than women do, but the ultimate reality is that women enjoy the thrill of the chase just as much as men do.

When they go after what it is that they desire the most, they feel an incredible surge of adrenaline, even if they are reluctant to admit it. In this situation, the male who cannot be emotionally attached serves as the object of desire.

Now, these women are not the “stupid floozies” that society has considered them to be; rather, they are strong, intelligent, and independent. Instead, it appears that these people are ladies who are under the impression that if they can just get their hands on a man like this, it will somehow validate them.

After all, the realization that you have achieved something that you thought was impossible for you to do has this kind of effect on a person, doesn’t it?

2. When picking a new relationship, a woman’s self-esteem is important

Not every man is a jerk to begin with; in fact, some of them may have gone through some kind of rejection in the past, and their behavior may be a kind of retaliation to cover up the pain that it caused them.

However, there are certain people whose genetic make-up is such that they have always had the potential to be jerks.

Women who are attracted to men like this may have issues with their self-esteem because they may believe that their relationship “couldn’t get any better than this” or that “they will never find a better guy than this one.”

A low sense of self-worth might cause a person to make poor decisions when it comes to picking romantic partners. You’d end up in tears after being abandoned yet again in such a precarious position.

3. Women always want what they can’t have

Do you remember when you were in elementary school and your parents forbade you from having a cookie because they thought it would make you fat?

When your parents informed you repeatedly that you couldn’t have those cookies, your desire for them increased. So you made the executive decision to sneak into the kitchen and eat all of the cookies without anyone noticing.

This is exactly what a woman is thinking when she has her sights set on a man who is out of her grasp.

The struggle of trying to obtain something that is impossible will continue to have an effect on her. The emotionally unavailable man becomes a test for her, a foe to be vanquished in the name of a victory that will, in the end, make her feel validated.

4. Women believe that they could change the guy

When a woman becomes involved in the kind of relationship in which the nice girl ends up falling in love with the archetypical bad boy, she starts to believe that she has the power to alter him.

She is under the impression that she can mold him into perhaps the most obedient and trustworthy man you have ever encountered. He drinks booze, right? She is confident that by the time she is finished with him, she will have brought him to a state of sobriety.

Many women, particularly those who are getting into meaningful relationships for the very first time, are under the impression that they are capable of taming the beast that lies within.

These women will, sadly, come to the conclusion that the only way people can change is if they choose to change.

In spite of appearances, there is a concept known as free will. The only person who can change a man’s behavior is the man himself, which means that the women who are attracted to terrible boys will have to face the fact that they have no control over the situation.

5. Women tend to go for people who replicate the rejection they received as children

Now, before you go thinking that I’m using some tired old psychobabble, hear me out! A significant number of the women who find themselves drawn to the alluring but emotionally unavailable man frequently struggle with feelings of rejection from the time they were children.

It is possible that one or both of their parents did not provide them the appropriate amount of attention in some form throughout their childhood. It’s possible that when they were younger, these women experienced hostility from their contemporaries.

It’s possible that being involved with emotionally unavailable guys is a means for people to prove to themselves and the rest of the world that they are not completely unlovable.

This is due to the fact that the type of men who would ordinarily reject them have finally begun dating them. This is a sign that they are not completely unlovable.

Sadly, as a form of recompense for the affection they lacked in their upbringing, some women believe that the emotionally aloof and potentially abusive behavior of the male is the price they need to pay in order to have a healthy relationship with him.


Navigating a relationship with an emotionally unavailable man can be a challenging and sometimes painful experience. It is essential to remember that his emotional unavailability is not a reflection of your worth or value as a partner.

It is crucial to prioritize your own emotional well-being and set boundaries that protect your heart.

While it is possible for an emotionally unavailable man to change and become more open and connected, it requires his willingness to confront and address his emotional barriers.

However, it is equally important to recognize that you cannot force someone to change or be emotionally available if they are not ready or willing.

Ultimately, you deserve a partner who can reciprocate your emotional investment and provide the love, support, and connection you desire.

Trust your instincts, seek support, and remember that you have the power to create a fulfilling and healthy relationship with someone who is capable of emotional intimacy.

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