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What Does Emotionally Unavailable Mean?

emotionally unavailable

Emotional availability is foundational in a healthy relationship, it enables us to communicate openly, be empathic, and show support for each other. It means that someone has a real impediment to close, significant, connection. So, what exactly is emotionally unavailable, and how does it differ relationships-wise?

What is Emotional Unavailability?

Being emotionally unavailable is a human tendency to not fully engage emotionally with an individual. It may result in someone struggling to talk about his or her emotions, to successfully engage in a deep conversation, or to keep shut down when near emotional self-disclosures. People who are emotionally unavailable may also find it difficulty to understand how their partner is feeling and be incapable of even dealing with their own emotional states at that moment.

Signs to see one is Emotionally unavailable

If you can tell if someone is emotionally unavailable then you are going to manage relationships better. Here are some of the most common:

  • Restricted Communication: Cannot communicate about how they feel or have a meaningful conversation.
  • Avoiding Intimacy: The resistance of being open about experiences or developing emotional connections.
  • Unpredictability: A partner who runs hot and cold (affectionate one day, distant the next)
  • Need to be Alone: Actively withdrawing or holding back emotions in order to not become dependent on someone else.

Cause of being Emotionally Unavailable

Emotional unavailability also be due to different reasons like past traumas, attachment issues or fear of vulnerability. The way one connects to others in adulthood is in part a reaction to their circumstances in childhood, and early inconsistent care or emotional neglect can make it harder to form healthy emotional bonds with other humans. Furthermore, cultural and societal beliefs can reward stoicism or the absence of emotions, and hence validate that same type of emotional unavailability.

Impact on Relationships

The impact of emotional unavailability on relationships can be profound. It can lead to feelings of loneliness, frustration, and insecurity for the partner seeking emotional connection. Over time, unresolved emotional issues can erode trust and intimacy, ultimately jeopardizing the relationship. Without addressing underlying issues and fostering emotional awareness, the cycle of emotional unavailability may persist, hindering the potential for fulfilling, meaningful connections.

A Note from Known_Psychology

We understand the consequences of emotional unavailability at Known Psychology for relationships. Up until this point we have talked about what emotional availability is and how to achieve it, but now you have to know that emotional availability is something that requires that both parties are emotionally available, again, it is a two way street. If have you been faced with emotional unavailability in your relationships, remember that getting a helping hand and taking care of yourself are the first steps in your journey to healing and recovering. Through open communication, forming boundaries, or even professional guidance — you are not alone in working through this.

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