Sun | Jun 20, 2021

Are you emotionally unavailable

Published:Tuesday | August 18, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Are you feeling alone, depressed, unimportant, or rejected because you are not able to get close to the one you love? Is your partner evasive, always making excuses, or inept when you decide to talk about feelings or the relationship?

If the answer is yes, you are perhaps with someone who is emotionally unavailable. Outlook got in touch with expert Olive Ellis to get the 411 on the different types of emotional unavailability, along with ways in which you can tell if you are emotionally unavailable.

According to Ellis, an emotionally unavailable person is one who creates barriers to intimacy which can make his or her partner feel unloved or unwanted.

Women usually complain about the emotional unavailability of men, yet many are living in denial about their own unavailability.

Ellis told Outlook that there are two types of emotional unavailability - temporary and chronic emotional unavailability.

Being emotionally unavailable temporarily, Ellis noted, might be for a short period, and can be as a result of a traumatic experience or obligations that are deemed higher priority at the time. For instance, family obligation, education, a project, or a health concern. A woman might be recently divorced or widowed and not ready to get involved with someone new.

On the other hand, experiencing chronic emotional unavailability is usually permanent and can be as a result of psychological disorder or mental illness. There are obvious signs if you or your partner is emotionally unavailable. Pay attention, because if the person seems like Mr or Mrs Right, yet is emotionally unavailable, you are left with nothing but heartache. Try not to overlook, deny, or rationalise to avoid short-term disappointment. You are also taking the risk of suffering long-term misery.


Signs of emotional unavailability in a woman, she:

1. Is always angry at the opposite sex.

2. Avoids intimacy and makes excuses to avoid getting together with her partner.

3. Thinks she is independent and that she doesn't need anyone.

4. Fears commitment, being in a relationship or falling in love, as there may be too many expectations of her.

5. Is sometimes afraid to trust. This may be because of past betrayals.

6. Is sometimes insensitive of others' feelings.

7. Is uncomfortable talking about herself and her feelings.

8. Is sometimes

addicted to either work, drugs, food, television, exercise, a hobby, or the Internet. The addiction will take up a considerable amount of time and energy and leave little time for partner.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself and be honest with yourself about your own availability.

1. Are you angry at the opposite sex? If so, you may need to heal from past wounds before you're comfortable getting close to someone.

2. Do you make excuses to avoid getting together?

3. Do you think you are so independent you don't need anyone?

4. Do you fear falling in love because you may get hurt?

5. Are you always waiting for the other shoe to drop? Although people complain about their problems, many have even more difficulty accepting the good.

6. Are you distrustful? Maybe you've been betrayed or lied to in the past and now look for it in everyone.

7. Do you avoid intimacy by filling quiet times with distractions?

8. Are you uncomfortable talking about yourself and your feelings? Do you have secrets you're ashamed of that make you feel undesirable or unlovable?

9. Do you usually like to keep your options open in case someone better comes along?

10. Do you fear a relationship may place too many expectations on you, that you'd give up your independence or lose your autonomy?

If you answered yes to some of these questions, counselling can help you heal in order to risk getting close. If you are involved with someone emotionally unavailable, pressuring him or her to be more intimate is counterproductive. However, marriage or couples counselling can change the relationship dynamics and help you to have a more fulfilling intimate relationship.


A woman can know if she is emotionally unavailable if:

1. She is not ready to give of herself and invest her time in a relationship

2. She still hurts from past relationships

3. She is scared of intimacy

4. She finds flaws/imperfection in every member of the opposite sex

5. She is totally addicted to her work, fitness routine or a project and doesn't have the time for her partner or a relationship.

6. She tells herself and others that she is independent and doesn't need anyone in her life.