How to deal with a man who can’t be there for you emotionally
When I was single and dating, I had a mantra: “If he’s not emotionally available, move on.” That advice has served me well for years. But it wasn’t always this way. In fact, when I first met my boyfriend, he wasn’t exactly Mr. Emotionally Available himself. Or at least not with me! Since then, though, he’s gotten much better at showing his feelings and communicating with me about them. And while there are many ways to tell if your guy is emotionally unavailable (and we’ll get into those later), here are some of the signs that stuck out most clearly in my mind…
It’s not always easy to figure out what’s going on with your guy.
Sometimes it’s not easy to figure out what’s going on with your guy. Emotional maturity is a learned skill, and some men are better at it than others. Some guys may need help learning how to be emotionally available for their partners and others may not even realize that they need help at all! If you think that your boyfriend might fall into one of these categories.
Or if he just has trouble showing up in the same way as other men do–here are some things you can do:
- Figure out whether he needs more time before committing to an exclusive relationship with you
- Tell him how much his behavior affects YOU personally (and why)
He may be dealing with his own demons.
You know the saying that men are from Mars and women are from Venus? Well, it’s true. Men and women have different emotional needs, and they’re often at odds with each other.
To make matters worse, men often struggle with understanding their own emotions. Which means that when they’re feeling bad about being distant or unavailable to you, they might not even realize it themselves! If your guy has been in this rut for a while now (or if he never really had much of an interest in talking about his feelings), then it’s possible that there are some underlying issues at play here:
- Emotional immaturity: If your boyfriend hasn’t quite matured enough yet as an adult human being–and especially if he grew up without learning how important communication is between two people who love each other–then it’s possible that he simply doesn’t know how else besides just saying “I’m fine” when asked how he is doing emotionally. He may not understand why this is frustrating you so much; after all, everyone needs space sometimes! But if he keeps saying that without providing any further explanation or context behind his actions…well…it really makes him sound like kind of an asshole doesn’t it?
This is a red flag for any relationship.
If your guy is emotionally unavailable, that’s a red flag for any relationship. He may be dealing with his own demons, or maybe he just isn’t ready for a relationship yet. It can be hard to figure out what’s going on with him. But if you try to change him or make yourself into someone who can meet all of his needs, things are likely to get worse before they get better.
Instead of trying so hard and getting frustrated when nothing changes, focus on yourself instead: Are there ways in which you could improve your own life? Could spending more time with friends help lift up your spirits? Do whatever feels right for you right now. And know that eventually, someone will come along. Who understands how important it is for both partners in an intimate partnership to share themselves honestly and openly with each other
Don’t try to change him.
If you’re a woman in a relationship with a man who can’t be there for you emotionally, don’t try to change him. No matter how much you want your partner to act like an emotional human being. And not just an android programmed by the patriarchy, it won’t work if he doesn’t have any interest in changing. It’s not your job or responsibility–it’s his own responsibility.
If your boyfriend or husband doesn’t seem like he cares about what’s going on in your life, try not taking it personally: It may just be that he has no idea how much his lack of empathy affects other people around him. Including those closest to him (like his wife). Don’t blame yourself for this. Instead, focus on making sure that all of the needs being neglected are being met elsewhere (therapy sessions with friends/family members). And don’t try making him feel guilty about his behavior–this will only make matters worse! Instead, focus on improving yourself through self-care activities such as meditation. And yoga classes so that when someone finally does come along who makes us feel understood without judgment or criticism (or at least without any judgmental criticism). We’ll know exactly what kind words should go along with them
If you think he’s emotionally unavailable, it might be time to move on
If you think he’s emotionally unavailable, it might be time to move on.
If he’s not willing to work on the relationship, it’s time to move on. If he’s not able to be there for you emotionally, you may want to consider ending the relationship. If this is something that bothers you, then I highly recommend that you look at other options before deciding. Whether or not it will work out between the two of them (or even if there should be a “them”).
The bottom line is that men can be complicated creatures. Yes, they can be emotional and sensitive, but they also have their own ways of coping with things. The best thing you can do is to try not to take it personally when your guy doesn’t seem able or willing to open up about his feelings. And if he does seem like an emotionally unavailable person who isn’t able (or willing) to commit himself fully into a relationship. Then maybe it’s time for both of you move on from each other!
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