At some point, we’ve all been hit with a “Get-Out-of-a-Date-Free” card. Maybe they’re not looking for a relationship, they’re too busy with work, or they’re too deeply committed to their cats.
And then, of course, there’s the dreaded cliché of being “emotionally unavailable” and unable to commit. Whether you’ve encountered someone with the issue or it’s become part of your own romantic repertoire, read on to find out the causes, symptoms, and steps to counter the all-too-common excuse.
What It Means
So what does the root of all romantic-comedy evil actually mean? Basically, the term describes someone who’s evasive, makes up excuses, or simply doesn’t like to talk to about how they feel or their relationships. Other warning signs include flattery, control, anger, or arrogance, which all signal an aversion to intimacy.
Still, on the surface, emotionally unavailable people can appear to be very stable, says Elisabeth Mandel, LMFT, a relationship therapist based in Manhattan. “But if you can tell they are resisting changing emotional states, or they don’t have a lot of range, then there’s something threatening to them about emotions.”
Although emotional unavailability is often depicted as someone whose life is falling apart (hello, Trainwreck), it is ultimately about…