Tue | Feb 25, 2020

Is he emotionally (un)available?

Published:Monday | June 3, 2019 | 12:18 AM

There has been this burning debate about a woman building a man from the ground up, sculpting him to a mental, emotional, or even financial perfection, only for him to dump her the first chance he was ‘feeling’ himself. Now, I don’t know who needs to hear this, but maybe he was never really feeling you in the first place.

To be honest, the fall wasn’t necessarily in his inadequacies, but in ignoring the warning sign that he’s either passing time in your company or not ready for a serious relationship. But here comes the plot twist: there are those of the opposite sex who go on cruise control, taking their own sweet time on this journey of love. And because the independent woman can sometimes ride high and mighty on impatience, for whatever reason, she will see it as lazy or not her cup of tea, and discard that connection before it can grow into something beautiful.

So how do you tell if he is really emotionally (un)available? There are few deal breakers that reflect the cold or warm nature of a man’s heart. Since we’re in couples’ zone, let’s start the discussion by addressing these two signs.

Looking for lust, hiding from love

Who can fight that natural burning spark? Neither man nor woman. The 90-day rule aside, a woman wants to get know a man to whom she is attracted. And since we are in modern times, he could actually get the magic key to her cookie jar earlier than he expects. Let’s put it out there: that means nothing. If a man had an intent for you, it will be hard to change that. So, if it flows into bed, bath, and beyond and it is mind-blowing, fireworks popping, incredible, then congratulations!

But what happens after that? What is the conversation like? Is there any talk at all? If there are dates, are they filled with dead air, sparking only in an intimate setting? You might have placed yourself in an elevated booty call or a ‘situationship’. If that floats your boat, great. But if you are looking for more and you bring it up, only for him to be adamant, hesitant, or resistant to the fact, then that may be a sign that he is emotionally unavailable. We would love for him to say a resounding, open-hearted yes, but that sometimes is not the case. There is no set way to approach any relationship, so state your piece: if he hasn’t said yes, but hasn’t said no either, there might be a possibility. If you stick around for a while and nothing has changed in that regard, learn that lesson and bounce.

Emotional Baggage

Some men have an issue with emotional baggage claim. They find it difficult to resolve matters from the past. And when those issues come haunting their present, in unexplainable ways, they are floored. What exacerbates everything: you’re dragged into the mess. If you think a woman scorched is bad enough, the equivalent for a man returns tenfold and he might not be able to recover, let alone open up his heart to trust you, or any other woman, for that matter. So, you find yourself loving him more than he loves you, putting more effort and energy into the union, hoping that he plays up. If you’re leading by donkey lengths, then slow down, and analyse this for a minute. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so pacing is important. And since it is a partnership, you should be running the race together, hand in hand.

On the flip side, nobody is without fault. And he is probably cautious, based on his previous relationship experience – once bitten, twice shy. You might be jumping the gun, which is cause for disqualification in races, even the one for love. He may seem to be giving too little because you are giving too much. Your enthusiastic personality could be seen as overzealous, pushing him away into the arms of another. What he is probably looking for, but not saying, is a passive woman, not an emotionally aggressive one. You see him slowing things down, do the same. He appears uninterested – be that way as well. You might be surprised: he might be attracted to you more then, and that may work out in your favour in the long run.