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Mental Mondays: Therapists Say This Is Why We Attract Emotionally Unavailable People

Mental Mondays: Therapists Say This Is Why We Attract Emotionally Unavailable People



eing emotionally unavailable means finding it difficult to connect or share feelings with others. It’s like having a wall around your emotions, making it challenging to be open and vulnerable in relationships. This can happen for various reasons, like the fear of getting hurt. Being in a relationship with someone emotionally unavailable can be challenging as it may appear there’s a barrier stifling deep emotional connection.

In addition, communication might be strained, and it could be hard to truly understand each other’s feelings. Emotional support may be also limited, making it tough during difficult times. This lack of emotional intimacy might leave one feeling unfulfilled or disconnected.

How do I know when someone is emotionally unavailable?

Photo: Diva Plavalaguna/Pexels

Observing the behavioral patterns of your partner gives a high indicator of their emotional state. Look for traits such as:

  • Limited emotional sharing: They may struggle to share their feelings or discuss deeper emotions. They may also deflect or avoid conversations about personal matters.
  • Inconsistent communication: If there’s inconsistency in communication, such as frequent disappearing acts or being difficult to reach, it could indicate emotional unavailability.
  • Avoidance of intimacy: Difficulty with intimacy and reluctance to engage in meaningful conversations about personal topics may be a red flag.
  • Lack of vulnerability: Emotionally unavailable people often avoid being vulnerable. They might steer clear of sharing personal challenges, fears, or past experiences.
  • Focus on surface-level topics: Conversations may revolve around superficial topics, and there might be resistance to discussing deeper aspects of life or relationships.
  • Difficulty with commitment: A consistent pattern of avoiding commitment or expressing reluctance to plan for the future can signal emotional unavailability.
  • Prioritizing independence: They may strongly value their independence and resist relying on others for emotional support.
  • Past relationship issues: If there’s a history of challenging relationships or a pattern of short-lived connections, it may indicate difficulty in sustaining emotional bonds.
  • Unresponsive to emotional cues: They may seem indifferent or unresponsive when you express your emotions, lacking empathy or understanding.
  • Frequent excuses: They may use multiple excuses to avoid emotional discussions or commitments.

Therapists’ insights on why we may attract them

Photo: Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels
  • Craving a deeper connection: You might find yourself longing for a relationship with a profound emotional bond where there’s genuine understanding and shared feelings. However, it seems like this kind of connection is consistently out of reach.
  • Drawn to the familiar: Unconsciously, you may be drawn to what feels familiar, even if it’s not the best for you. It’s like sticking to a script, hoping that somehow, this time, it will lead to the emotional connection you’re looking for.
  • Fleeting glimpses of vulnerability: Occasionally you see moments of vulnerability in your partner where they open up. These glimpses give you hope, but they vanish quickly, leaving you wanting more.
  • Comfort in the routine: Despite the challenges, there’s a strange comfort in the routine of these relationships, even if it’s not bringing the emotional fulfillment you seek. Breaking away feels difficult, hence, you relax into it.

How to stop attracting emotionally unavailable people…

Photo: Ivan Samkov/Pexels

Breaking the pattern of attracting emotionally unavailable people involves self-awareness and proactive steps, like:

  • Reflect on past relationships: Take time to reflect on your past relationships. Identify commonalities and patterns in the behavior of emotionally unavailable partners.
  • Understand your own needs: Clarify your emotional needs and priorities in a relationship. Understanding what you truly seek will help you recognize and prioritize emotionally available partners.
  • Boost self-esteem: Work on building your self-esteem and self-worth. When you value yourself, you’re more likely to attract partners who appreciate and reciprocate emotional connection.
  • Set healthy boundaries: Establish clear boundaries in your relationships. Communicate your needs and expectations openly, and be willing to walk away from relationships that consistently lack emotional reciprocity.
  • Practice mindfulness: Stay present and mindful in your interactions. Mindfulness can help you notice red flags and make conscious choices rather than falling into familiar patterns without awareness.
  • Seek therapy: Consider therapy or counseling to explore deeper aspects of your relationship patterns. A therapist can provide insights, support, and strategies for breaking free from ingrained behaviors.
  • Expand social circles: Engage in activities that align with your interests to meet a wider range of people. This can expose you to individuals who may be more emotionally available and share common values.
  • Learn from past mistakes: Use past experiences as valuable lessons. Reflect on what worked and what didn’t in previous relationships, and apply those insights to make better choices moving forward.
  • Communicate openly: Foster open communication in your relationships. Encourage discussions about emotions, feelings, and expectations to ensure a healthy emotional connection.
  • Give yourself time: Breaking old patterns takes time and patience. Be kind to yourself during this process, and celebrate small victories along the way.

Featured image: Maria Voronovich/iStock

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