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I’m In Love With An Emotionally Unavailable Man

  • April 20, 2016
  • / By Blayne Ketcham

“I’m in love with an emotionally unavailable man. Can I date him?”

Emotionally unavailable men are a hot topic around here and I get a lot of questions from women who are incredibly hurt and frustrated with the situation. I’ve personally never had a problem with opening myself emotionally to a woman, but I still get where these guys are coming from. I see women who blame them like they’re bad guys, but what they don’t realize is that these guys are not like that because they want to be.

Not being open to an emotional commitment doesn’t make them inherently evil, unless they’re misleading you on purpose.

What these women want to know, over and over, is whether or not they can successfully date emotionally unavailable men. And to that I say, yes and no, but both of these answers depend on what kind of person you are and what expectations you have from a relationship.

That’s why I’m going to address both categories today: the ones who can date the emotionally unavailable guy, and the ones who can’t.

Yes, you can date an emotionally unavailable man…

If you give him space

The first rule of business, when it comes to dating a guy who is emotionally unavailable, is to give him space. The emotionally unavailable man is not looking to get tied down, so anything he perceives from you as coming on too strong will scare him off and there’s a good chance that’s the last you’ll see of him. If you can give him space and wait for him to come to you, instead of the other way around, you are golden.

So, no unexpected visits, no incessant phone calls, no expecting him to go with you to your cousin’s wedding.

If you’re independent

Since you know you can’t count on him to be your emotional crutch, dating an emotionally distant man is easier for women who already have a strong independent streak. If you are also the kind of person who is not overly touchy-feely, emotional, or clingy (nothing worse than a clingy one), this may not be such a bad match, after all. Not to mention that men love independent women who can handle their lives on their own and can be perfectly happy and satisfied by themselves.

It’s incredibly attractive and ironically, it might make him commit.

If you don’t get too attached

Now, if you are the kind of independent woman I talked about earlier, you already know that getting attached might be a mistake. Play it safe for now and try to maintain it as a casual thing. This way, if it ends up not working out, or you get completely fed up, no one’s feelings end up getting hurt. But I’m mostly talking about you. Don’t make him out to be the bad guy, when you knew from the beginning what you were getting into.

If you keep your expectations low

You know that saying, “hope breeds eternal misery”?

Well, so do high expectations. What I’m trying to say by this is that you shouldn’t hold out for him to transform himself and become Mr. Perfect Boyfriend. Go in with low expectations and a good (read: huge) dose of skepticism.

Actually, expect it not to work out. You prepare yourself for the worst, and when it happens, you shrug and move on. And if it doesn’t… well, you beat the odds, haven’t you? Now you get to be EXTRA happy.

No, you can’t date an emotionally unavailable man…

If you tend to rely on your significant other

Look, there is nothing wrong with wanting a man who is reliable and who you can count on. I’m that guy and my woman loves me for it.

I am the go-to guy and the Mr. Fix It Man. However, you have to understand that the emotionally unavailable man will not be there to fix you and your problems, emotional or otherwise, and if that is what you are looking for, then you’d better move on, because there’s nothing to see here!

If you’re looking for your soulmate

I know you’re a hopeless romantic, and you want to find the guy you are going to spend the rest of your life with, but in that case, you are looking in all the wrong places. This guy is not “It” and you know it. If you want to find The One, and there are already so many problems with him before you even start trying to date him, then I don’t know what other signs the Universe could send you, other than sky-writing GIRL, RUN!

Seriously, go look for the guy of your dreams and don’t waste time on the one who won’t open up emotionally.

If you want a lot of attention

Again, this is completely normal – women, and people in general, expect attention from their significant other. That’s what we all want, right? Another person who thinks we’re really great and who can shower us with love, and care and attention. It’s okay to want that and I will cheer you on, but in this case, wanting that is a deal-breaker.

Let’s be real: this guy is emotionally distant, and he is not able to offer you the attention you want, need and deserve. Sticking around will only frustrate you and hurt you both, and you will both end up annoyed and disappointed.

If you hope you’ll change him

I’m going to say this and I’m only going to say it once: your expectation has to be that this man will not change. Why? Because you don’t know if he will, and because most men don’t. Source: I’m a man, and I hang out with other men; I know how we work.

You might choose to believe that he will, and you might hope and wait but I’m telling you, you’re making a mistake. If you are going into this relationship with the hope that you are going to change him, you might only find crushing disappointment, and I don’t want to see that happen to you.

About the Author

Blayne Ketcham offers a ton of dating advice & a relationship program for women. After going through his free email-advice series, you'll understand how men think & what they truly desire. You'll also discover how to connect with any man using one simple method. This blog contains general thoughts and ramblings about relationship problems.

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Anonymous says October 31, 2017

Ok so I believe I’ve been in a long distance relationship with an emotionally unavailable man for 7 years. We have split and been on and off during this time. But he always comes back, I allow it after so long because he knows my buttons and knows I love him. He tells me he loves me and I believe him…. but I’m struggling with the distance. (Hence the break ups)
I don’t want to give up on him after 7 years (almost 8) will he ever open back up?

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