“It’s not you, it’s me (insert lame excuse here.)” Actually it’s both of you. If you keep finding yourself in relationships with unavailable people who can’t seem to give you what you want (I've been there too!) it’s time to turn your attention inwards and discover where you yourself are emotionally unavailable.
You might think you’re ready for a relationship, you certainly want one, but wanting one and being available isn’t the same thing. You may not be there, yet.
Emotional unavailability is largely unconscious; we see it in others, but we don’t recognise it in ourselves. That's because we’re blind sighted by our own unconscious issues rooted in the past.
These issues lie at the heart of repeating negative patterns in our lives and relationships and they stem from our own unresolved pain, guilt, fear and other repressed emotions that are crying out for our attention to heal.
We learned to shame ourselves for our past hurts; blaming ourselves for the shortcomings of those who did the hurting. And now we’re constantly trying to prove our worth by getting someone to make up for that hurt.
We’re trying to get someone to love us, validate us and prove that it wasn’t our fault. But because we're emotionally unavailable we keep attracting the very people who continue to feed the negative relationship cycle and further convince us that there really is “..something wrong with me.”
We attract emotionally unavailable people not because we don’t deserve love, or don’t want it, we do. But we’re chasing the relationship that will heal us instead of first healing ourselves. We consciously want love, but we’re subconsciously attached to not having it because deep down we’re afraid of really getting close to someone and letting our (apparently) flawed self be seen.
We’ve become subconsciously familiar with being deprived or rejected or controlled and we’re actually uncomfortable with the opposite (abundance, connection and true freedom). These attachments keep us emotionally unavailable to love, choosing the wrong partners or failing to attract anyone.
Just consider just how much energy it takes to hold onto painful emotional patterns and past hurts. Energy that instead of being directed to love is consumed by fear. On the surface we seem confident and ready but underneath we’re emotionally blocked and disconnected from true intimacy, trust and the raw, authentic vulnerability that love requires to thrive.
And we’re not just emotionally unavailable to others, but to ourselves.
We’re not there for us. We run from our feelings, reject and abandon ourselves and deprive ourselves of our own love and nurturing. And if we do stumble across a person who doesn’t fit the emotionally unavailable mould we fault find, nit-pick and sabotage the relationship into an early grave.
We reject the very love we say we want.
So if you’re attracting emotionally unavailable people who treat you badly, let you down, don’t invest in the relationship and/or always turn out to be unsuitable in some way, and if you can’t get the attention of the kind of men you desire and deserve and you want things to change you have to deal with YOUR OWN emotional unavailability FIRST.
It all starts with awareness. So here are 58 Ultimate Signs That YOU'RE Emotionally Unavailable. (You can download the PDF here)
1. You avoid, shut out or distract yourself from uncomfortable emotions such as anger, shame, guilt, fear. You buried these feelings and now you try to switch them off wanting to only feel other more pleasant emotions. Emotions don’t work that way, we can’t pick and choose. If we cut off some, we block and or/intensify others. We have to feel to heal.
2. You keep attracting the same kind of people with the same issues and negative traits. You convince yourself that at least the next one isn’t quite as bad as the last, but the comparison is often short lived, they can turn out to be worse.
3. You don’t want to take responsibility for yourself, your feelings, and/or the situation you keep finding yourself in; instead you apportion blame to the other person.
4. You become someone else when you’re in relationship letting go of your boundaries, pretending to like things or fitting in with what others like, how they want you to be, act, etc.
5. You consistently complain about the same things in your relationships either to your partner or to your g/friends, not feeling heard, validated, respected etc.
6. You only want to own the good stuff and don’t want to deal with problems and you don’t give an honest account of your experiences.
7. You avoid conflict, shy away from standing up for yourself and having a voice. You may bottle it up only to instigate an argument later.
8. You’re seeking perfection and you don’t allow yourself or others to make mistakes, which stops you from learning and raising your awareness.
9. You waste time and energy being pissed off with your life but feeling powerless to do anything about it and then distract yourself from these feelings with food, drink or sex etc.
10. You avoid failure at all costs.
11. You have a fear of being abandoned which stops you from discovering and connecting back to your own inner security and finding security with others through trust.
12. You can’t handle disappointment.
13. You only want the rainbows and butterflies and you fear experiencing contrast. You panic when the relationship hits a bump in the road.
14. You try to control everything around you and deny others responsibility, accountability or free will.
15. You live in denial and are always rationalising things away, making excuses or minimising bad behaviours, refusing to see truth and reality.
16. You become a passenger in your relationship allowing others to drive your life.
17. You wait for people to pick you even when you don’t really want them.
18. You can’t accept someone as they are instead you try to be the one to change them when no one else could. Then you blame yourself when you inevitably fail.
19. You create problems and pain in your life as a consequence of the choices you keep making and you refuse to take action to create different outcomes.
20. You can’t handle the now; instead you’re always wondering what’s next or what might happen blocking you off from the present moment.
21. There’s something in your life that you’re so terrified of facing, something that you avoid by attaching yourself to emotionally unavailable people so they distract you and you can indulge in destructive behaviours.
22. You have little or no boundaries instead you tolerate behaviours even though they trigger your gut and set of an internal alarm.
23. You repeatedly sell yourself short and allow others to manage down your expectations through their dodgy behaviour which you justify because you don’t want to complain and end up alone.
24. You hook up with people for ONS or have sex before getting to know them or establishing trust.
25. You suspect that the person you’re seeing isn’t being honest or is stringing you along but you don’t ask them outright because you don’t want to hear the truth.
26. You put people on pedestals and come up with new meanings for their bad behaviour.
27. You focus only on the good “magical” stuff when you’re together completely skipping over the lack of contact and/or low investment in-between.
28. You’re ok with being deprived of time and attention (often this is because growing up your parents were too busy, or one was absent, left, only visited etc.)
29. You repeatedly miss (or ignore) red flags.
30. You get caught up in a yo-yoing relationship obsessed with seeing if you can win the person back even when you know the relationship is doomed..
31. You try to be better or outdo the previous g/friend(s) thinking that if you can be better he’ll stay and validate you.
32. You have relationships with people who are already in a relationship and compete to be better than the current partner.
33. You compete with an addiction such as alcohol, gambling or drugs expecting the person to choose you over their addiction and then becoming hurt when they don’t.
34. You like to rescue people and choose people who you can ‘fix up’ but then fear that once they become better they’ll leave you for someone else who’ll reaps the rewards of your hard work.
35. You play down your needs pretending to be more independent than you actually are so that you won’t come across as needing too much. You also say you’re ok with things when actually you’re not, but you don’t want to be seen as weak or dramatic.
36. You fall into one-sided attraction relationships and create an illusionary world of feelings, obsession and drama.
37. You’re the queen of projection and subconsciously choose men who perfectly fit the mould of your negative self-fulfilling prophecy of not being good enough, being rejected, abandoned etc.
38. You have conversations in your head without communicating it to the other person and then wonder why they don’t feel the same or understand where you’re coming from.
39. You easily lose sense of proportion and become consumed by how you feel.
40. You’re so afraid of being rejected that you don’t want to risk being in a real relationship so instead create a fantasy that exists only in your mind which relies on someone as inspiration to fuel your day dreaming.
41. You hold onto toxic relationships and people who treat you badly long after you should let go and in doing so become the creator of your own pain.
42. You continue to pursue people even when they’ve told you they’re not interested in a relationship and/or put little to zero effort in.
43. You find yourself waiting, hoping, pining, projecting, creating drama and then wondering why you’re miserable.
44. You create elaborate excuses for others and yourself instead of taking things at face value.
45. You waste time and energy wanting men who don’t want you and obsessing about them which literally brings your life to a standstill.
46. You hear only what you want to hear. Even when someone tells you they’re not ready for a relationship or they haven’t yet gotten over their messy divorce or nasty ex, you think that doesn’t apply to a relationship with you.
47. You wallow in your own world of fantasy and victimhood and blatantly ignore the signs to get real and wake up.
48. You don’t care, or hear or pay attention to how someone else feels, instead only being interested in how you feel and expecting the other person to feel that way too.
49. You play mind games, manipulate and deflect your inability to make yourself vulnerable and be open and honest about how you feel.
50. You come to relationships from the energy of distrust expecting people to cheat or let you down.
51. You hate being alone because you’re terrified of loneliness.
52. You resist change instead doing the same thing over and over again even when it’s not working and you know you need to change.
53. You’re afraid to be truly honest with others in case you hurt or offend them or it feels uncomfortable so you lie or play things down even to yourself.
54. You let others treat you badly without holding them accountable.
55. You accept crumbs and get excited by minimal messaging or random texting.
56. You tell yourself you’re ok with the level of commitment or where things are at when really you want more.
57. You’re still not over your ex but you’re in a new relationship.
58. Having a relationship is more important than finding the right person.
Regarldess of how many signs you identify with you're far from alone, but rather than down or criticise yourself (which will only add to your being emotionally unavailable) see that its time to understand yourself and recognise where you need to heal and change.
There 's nothing wrong with you, emotional availability is the journey to the true self and we're all here to take it.
There’s a solution to everything on that list and it’s not as hard as you think. It may seem like it's easier to keep avoiding the healing and pretending you’re ok, but the reality is playing out anyway. And it will keep playing out until you start raising your awareness and take responsibility for your journey.
Amazing relationships don’t just happen by chance they are a by–product of your own internal growth, growth you’re resisting. All relationships provide an opportunity for us to see the unconscious aspects of our personality and the blocked energy that we all carry from childhood so we can bring these parts of us to the surface and heal them.
There’s no reason to remain emotionally unavailable and keep recreating the past over and over again. You’re only further hurting yourself in the process, and that just doesn’t make sense.
You’re also denying yourself the joy of experiencing real deep love and connection. Regardless of our past we can learn to embrace love and accept ourselves fully and know that we’re worthy of true, passionate, soul stirring love.
We all deserve a relationship with someone who loves, cares and respects us and has the same relationship values as we do, and who’s ready and willing to turn the world upside for us.
But this kind of person requires you to be ready and they can’t make you emotionally available, only you can do that.
If you’re ready to shift this pattern and free up your emotions to love it may be time to seek help. I’ll soon be making available my Top Ways To Emotional Availability PDF so keep tuned.
Life’s too short or too long to keep suffering in bad relationships. You deserve happiness, love and connection and you can have it, but it has to come from the inside out.
Dawn Lee is a Personal, Professional and Spiritual intelligence coach™ with a passion for melding psychology and spirituality. Dawn's expertise is leading others out of personal and relationship crisis and into clarity to find happiness, peace, love and connection inside out. Her mission is to help shine a light of awareness in the world and connect others back to their happiest, truest, more fearless selves. Discover how to work with 1:1 with Dawn.