An emotionally unavailable man standing alone, by the water

What Makes A Man Emotionally Unavailable?

  • June 14, 2016
  • / By Blayne Ketcham

The Main Reasons That Make a Man Emotionally Unavailable

Are you dating a man who is emotionally unavailable? Unquestionably, you know what I’m talking about. In a relationship, he is most likely to act distant, aloof, and cold, plus he’s never willing to open up and talk about his feelings. In fact, there’s a better chance that hell freezes before that happen.

When dating such a guy, there may be times in which you feel hurt, unappreciated and even shut down. Typically, the signs that point to the fact that your man is emotionally unavailable are very clear. These involve refusing conversation, passive aggressive behavior, difficultly communicating, and avoiding confrontation.

The sad part is that most of the time, you have absolutely no clue what causes this behavior. Is it something that you did, or is it because of an external event? Truth be told, you have no idea. That’s why you end up asking yourself what made your guy turn out like this.

Why not eliminate the confusion and keep on reading so that you find out what makes a man emotionally unavailable? Hopefully, it will open up your eyes!

Getting to the root of the problem

Emotional unavailability in men arises from various causes. It will also be the source of many issues in a man’s intimate relationships. It’s crystal clear that the lack of being emotionally present in a relationship, can be a source of hurt and pain for the woman he’s dating. That’s probably that’s why you’re reading this!

One of the first steps towards truly understanding a fellow who deals with this problem is to settle the root of the problem and understand how it affects him. Because, contrary to what you might assume, no man is born this way. Events in life cause this behavior. As a matter of fact, this type of behavior is often referred to as a defense mechanism.

What does that mean? You probably already know that your boyfriend may be resistant towards committing to a serious relationship. He may be vague, and at other times, even arrogant.

You, as a woman, need to comprehend that there are deep-seated psychological influences that operate behind the scenes. In fact, this type of behavior is built up as a defense, to prevent you from achieving intimacy.

Poor role models

If a man grows in the presence of negative role models, the future is anything but bright. The odds are he will have trouble communicating his feelings later on in life. Boys tend to be genuinely influenced by the example set by their father. If a father gives a negative example, the boy, unconsciously, will foster the same destructive behavior that made his father emotionally unavailable.

Every father plays a crucial role in his children’s social and emotional development. This is especially true for boys. A responsible, communicative father, can truly aid his boy to become an emotionally available man later in life, when he reaches adulthood.

While this may sound as placing the blame on someone else, poor role models don’t show boys the way in which they should relate to others in a healthy way. This doesn’t even take into account being open with their feelings.

When growing up in a home in which communicating emotions is never encouraged, or, on the contrary, it is conveyed as a shameful weakness, that boy will deal with serious emotional issues. The bottom-line is this; children unconsciously learn behavior from the adults they grow up with.

Negative response to emotion

In a society in where men who open up, are referred to as wusses, you can’t be surprised at how many turn out to be mentally “unavailable”. If a boy, during his development, experiences any negative response to emotion, that will lead to unwanted repercussions. Such an example would be parents who punished him for being open about his emotions and feelings. In this case, on an unconscious level, he will associate opening up with negative, unwanted consequences.

At the same time, many an individual will develop a negative approach towards a relationship as a result of experiencing numerous horrible dating incidents.

For instance, if your guy dated another woman for a while and he openly declared his feelings, only to find out that the other person doesn’t feel the same, he’ll prefer to shut down next time when in a relationship.

As a matter of fact, the men who are in need of safety (and dread being rejected by the woman they’re dating) will act aloof and distant, so that the emotional involvement is as minimal as possible. This limits the chances of getting hurt. I know that this may sound out of line for you when you assume that you’re the only one hurting in your relationship.


As previously mentioned, the society in which we live actually encourages lack of commitment in a relationship. Take a moment to analyze the messages the greater majority of TV shows and movies transmit. Men are less likely to commit and they’d rather break up than tell a woman the love her, etc.. I’m confident you know what I’m talking about.

On the contrary, men are socialized to be powerful, strong, even unreachable individuals. Many times you might have heard a father telling his little boy that he cannot cry because crying is for girls. This is only an example. There is a range of instances in which improper socialization and poor entourage will harm a man’s ability to connect with others, especially women.

Traumatic experiences

And last, but not least, traumatic experiences seem to lead to a range of unwanted consequences on a man’s availability in a relationship. Traumatic events will prevent an individual from surpassing his fears and outgrowing them. That deters a man from acknowledging his feelings and recognizing that he has a problem. This also prevents him from being there for you in your relationship.

More important than focusing on changing your partner, you should concentrate on yourself because you are the only person you can change. If you don’t manage to make your relationship work out, it’s not the end of the world. There are plenty of other men out there, who are willing to open up and be a part of a healthy relationship! And most importantly, remember, that it’s not your fault. Take it from me, a man who has seen a lot!

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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