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Today we’re talking about emotionally unavailable psychology as we unpack this topic of emotional unavailable men.
I want to lay it out here as what exactly is driving emotional unavailability and what is happening that explains the behaviors of emotionally unavailable men and women and how all of this plays out.
As we talk about emotionally unavailable men, the important thing to keep in mind is that emotional unavailability is predominantly centered around the idea of idealism or perfectionism in a relationship or in a partner, right?
It’s about more of a fantasy—more of an ideal— rather than actually being grounded in what may or may not actually be happening in reality.
That’s the key difference between emotional unavailability and availability.
Also, I’m going to be talking about the dynamic between emotionally unavailable people and I’m going to be using the terms “emotionally unavailable man” and “emotionally unavailable woman.”
These terms are not exclusive to men or women.
These can happen in the reversed way, these can happen in same-sex situations and so on and so forth.
But in order to keep things simple, because 9 times out of 10, the emotionally unavailable man behaves like the man that I’m going to describe in this situation. And an emotionally unavailable woman behaves like the woman in this situation.
So without having to elaborate and put 100 asterisks on all of this stuff, let’s just kind of keep this understanding moving forward so that we can all be on the same page about all this.
Let’s talk about the emotionally unavailable man and then we’ll talk about the emotionally unavailable woman then we’ll talk about the dynamic and all of that.
The emotionally unavailable man is overwhelmed by choice. He is dealing with the paradox of choice.
There are a lot of reasons for this, that being smartphones, dating apps, internet, our cultures access to higher numbers of women due to all of the things that we just talked about.
The emotionally unavailable man wants to be with the perfect woman.
And any single guy probably has some idea about what the perfect woman might be like. But the emotionally unavailable man is unwilling to settle for anything less than the perfect woman.
Like with anything else, there is no such thing as a perfect woman.
There’s only us mortals out here who are far from perfect in many ways.
So, he is unable to find the perfect woman.
Oftentimes, his idea of a perfect woman is usually based off the positive qualities of several different people that he knows or different women that he’s maybe met in his life, seen on TV or in movies and he’s kind of put them together into some kind of mental construct of a perfect woman.
He’s out there looking for this person.
When you first find somebody, you don’t really have a whole lot to go off of. You don’t really know exactly if somebody is emotionally available, if they’re not emotionally available, all those characteristics.
The emotionally unavailable man starts dating somebody wondering if they’re the perfect woman, wondering if they are the perfect person.
And as he gets closer and closer and closer to them, some things start to happen.
Number one, he sees your inherent imperfection because you are a human being, because you are a flawed person because you have no way of living up to these elevated expectations.
Many of which are created by some sort of Frankenstein’s monster of patchwork bits of women he’s known in his life or idealized people that he’s seen on TV or in movies.
The closer he gets to you, the more imperfection he sees and that causes him to second guess things, put the foot on the brake and do things like pull away quickly, right?
Now, because he’s invested in the concept of a perfect woman, he may do things to try to fast-forward the relationship very quickly.
He may become very intimate with you very quickly.
He may do things to make it seem like the relationship is meant to be really fast.
But again, as he starts to get closer, he starts to see there’s a disconnect between perfection and you, right?
This is what causes him to pull away.
The problem is that commitment in general is a scary concept for the emotionally unavailable man.
He’s always worried or wondering if there’s something better out there, a swipe, click or refresh away, and it causes him to fear commitment to a certain extent because commitment locks him into a certain relationship.
It locks him into being with somebody who is obviously imperfect because we’re all imperfect.
So an emotionally unavailable man doesn’t like the idea of commitment.
He probably likes the concept of it as an intellectual idea like, “there’s a perfect person out there for me somewhere and when I find her, I will undoubtedly commit to her.”
But again, he’s not going to find her because the perfect person isn’t out there and so he is left to choose from these imperfect women in his life.
He can either become frustrated by it and continue his search elsewhere or he can disengage and pull away sharply.
Many times emotionally unavailable men yo-yo in and out of your life.
Obviously, the reason why they pull back is because they are taking a step back from the imperfection that is any person and he’s going to try and find somebody else.
Then, when he’s distant from you, all of your imperfections start to fade away in his memory and he starts to say, “She doesn’t seem that bad, maybe I should go back and give it another shot. Maybe I was like over-exaggerating this negative quality of hers. Maybe I was reading too much into it.”
So he comes back and then the cycle starts again where the closer he gets, the more imperfection he sees and then he pulls back.
That’s the modus operandi of the emotionally unavailable man.
Let’s talk about the opposite side of the coin, which is the emotionally unavailable woman.
The emotionally unavailable woman is drawn to the emotionally unavailable man for different reasons, but it’s still based off of idealism and perfectionism.
The emotionally unavailable woman idolizes the emotionally unavailable man because he has the power to prove wrong all of the limiting beliefs and insecurities that she may have about herself.
Like her worthiness, deservingness of love, and many other things from growing up, like what happened in childhood, past experiences, her broken heart from her first love, all of that stuff, right?
She is interested in the emotionally unavailable man because getting him to commit to her would prove everything else wrong.
It would prove her dad wrong, it would prove her first boyfriend who broke her heart wrong, it would prove all of her exes wrong, it would prove all of that stuff wrong and that, dang it, she actually is lovable.
The ironic twist is that typically, the emotionally unavailable man will simply validate all of those limiting beliefs, insecurities, and anxieties because he is unable or unwilling to actually commit to a relationship.
The emotionally unavailable man tends to reinforce those beliefs and insecurities inside the woman.
Typically, the emotionally unavailable woman is not interested in men who are emotionally available because it just doesn’t feel right.
It just doesn’t feel the same.
It doesn’t feel the way that she’s grown accustomed to interacting with men due to her previous disappointments, let downs and all of the limiting believes that she has.
She’s unconsciously being drawn towards a man who will help her to recreate her own insecurities, limiting beliefs and help to validate all of those world views (as limiting as they may be).
And so they are stuck in this dance.
He is unable to commit to her because she’s imperfect and he’s in love with an ideal. She is after him because she’s in love with the idea of getting somebody that maybe deep down consciously or even unconsciously, she knows is unable or unwilling to commit to her.
Because if she can get him to commit to her, then it proves all of these beliefs, insecurities wrong that she actually is a worthwhile person.
Meanwhile, both of these people also repel emotionally available people around them because emotionally available women do not have the patience to deal with an emotionally unavailable man.
An emotionally available woman will say, “Hey, you seem like you have some issues. I’m going to go and date this good guy over here who is emotionally available.”
The emotionally available man will say, “I understand you have some insecurities and beliefs and that’s great but I want to be in a relationship with somebody who I can actually be in a relationship with. I don’t want to be in a relationship with somebody who I have constantly have to validate, prop up, and reassure that I love her, and she’s good enough.”
The emotionally unavailable unintentionally repel people who actually would want to be in a relationship with them and leave them with other emotionally unavailable people who are willing to put up with their type of emotionally unavailable behavior.
This is how we end up dating the same person over and over again in a different body.
It’s how we bring ourselves to our interactions in our relationships.
If you are constantly around emotionally unavailable men, chances are you are an emotionally unavailable woman.
If you are constantly around emotionally unavailable women, chances are you are an emotionally unavailable man and you want to stop and check in with yourself and ask these questions:
“Where am I more attached to the ideal?”
“Where am I more attached, to the fantasy than what’s real?
“Where can I work on myself?”
“Where can I work on my own insecurities?”
“Where can I work on my own anxieties?”
“Where can I work on my own limiting beliefs so that I can resolve those and be okay with the person that I am. So I can stop attracting, dating and stepping into this vortex of emotional unavailability and so that I can actually have a relationship that is emotionally available?”
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