Signs Your Partner Is Emotionally Unavailable

When we first meet someone, we’re often swept up in that glow of infatuation that makes them seem like the perfect match, a soulmate with whom you can look forward to sharing your life and future. But what if you start seeing indicators from that person that shows them to be a little less perfect than you thought? While every relationship has adjustment periods, there are certain signs that might mean your supposed soulmate could be unable to commit to a relationship with you, or anyone else.

Lack of Empathy

A person who is emotionally unavailable not only can’t tap into their own feelings, it’s difficult for them to tap into anyone else’s. While most of us understand the concept of “walking a mile in another person’s shoes” a person with an inability to connect emotionally to a partner has a difficult time feeling empathy or compassion for others in general. If they don’t seem to understand or empathize with you or with their friends and family, they may not be able to provide that deeper connection you seek.

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Can’t Explain Why Past Relationships Ended

As part of learning about each other, it’s normal to ask questions about past relationships, what worked about them, what didn’t. Mistakes are what help us learn and grow, teaching us how to hopefully do better the next time around. A partner who can’t seem to offer any concrete reasons why their last relationship didn’t work out may not really know why themselves. They cannot articulate either their own reasons or their former partner’s reasons for ending things, which harks back to an inability to feel empathy and may mean they not only haven’t learned from past mistakes, they aren’t even sure what those mistakes might be.

Isn’t Interested in Your Life

A profound lack of interest in your daily life, who you are and what you do can mean your partner might not be able to focus on anything but themselves. They keep the relationship at its most superficial level, and don’t seem to care about your dreams, hopes, or feelings on any subject.

Shuts Down

For emotionally unavailable people, difficult or intimate conversations can cause intense stress. They may react by walking away, getting angry or simply going quiet. It’s frustrating to try to hold a conversation with someone who refuses to participate, or who behaves as if your normal desire for a deeper relationship is asking too much. If they disengage from every conversation of substance, or get upset when you try to dig deeper into their feelings, this could indicate a much bigger problem.

Makes Empty Promises

While an emotionally unavailable person isn’t able to connect with others in a meaningful way, they are certainly adept at telling you what you want to hear. This is often their method of getting what they want, a masterful manipulation that leaves you feeling lost and alone when they don’t follow through. Their concern is always about their own wants and desires, have no problem promising you whatever they think will get those desires met, often with no intent of ever following through.

They Tell You

To quote the wise words of Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” If your partner often makes statements about how they aren’t “good” at relationships or don’t know if they’ll ever be ready for marriage, they are most likely telling you the truth. Thinking you might be the one to change their mind is romantic in theory, but the reality of it is often very disappointing.