By, Celli Arenas
Today I read that there weren’t many articles out there about emotional unavailability and intimacy phobias. I’m not one to resist a challenge, so here we go…ho, ho, ho (no pun intended).
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone emotionally unavailable? How do you know if your sweetie is blowing you off or is really, truly, extremely busy?
The red flags are waving: need some clues? Consider this: he’s evasive and makes too many excuses. She is inept when it comes to talking about feelings or the relationships, childish even. He uses anger, criticizes you, and uses activities to create distance between you. Energy and vibes don’t lie, people do. If you continue to accept excuses from him/ her you will end up feeling rejected, depressed, and unimportant. Please excuse yourself from that pitiful party and shake it off. It is holiday time, and that means holiday love! Don’t be glum, just do some reflection.
According to expert, Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT, “There are several types of unavailability, both temporary and chronic. Some people have always been unavailable due to mental illness or a troubled childhood. Others temporarily make something a higher priority than a relationship, such as a family obligation, education, project, or a health concern.” Be careful about becoming complacent with being last on the list all of the time.
Failed Relationship Trauma
“People recently divorced or widowed may temporarily not be ready to get involved with someone new. In the middle are those who are too afraid to risk falling in love because they’ve been hurt by one or more relationships, which may include being hurt by a parent when they were a child.” Childhood issues manifest into adult problems. Often times, we overcompensate for those issues or we withdraw. Either way, until we learn to cope effectively, intimacy and availability will be disrupted.
“Often these different reasons for unavailability overlap, and it’s difficult to ascertain whether the problem is chronic or will pass.” It becomes a plague to the relationship. Growth is significantly hindered and frustration replaces effective communication.
Signs of Emotional Unavailability
1. Flattery-“Men who are too flattering may also be adept listeners and communicators, like snake charmers. Often good at short-term intimacy.” One or two night stand, at best.
2. Control– “Someone who won’t be inconvenienced to modify his or her routine.” It’s all about her! Her schedule, her plan, her time, her event, her place, her suggestions. Selfish, there is no room at the Inn.
3. Listen– “Your date may hint or even admit that he or she isn’t good at relationships or doesn’t believe in or isn’t ready for marriage.” This is not a test of the emergency broadcast system. He/She IS NOT TRYING TO BE WITH YOU!!! Slide…yes, hook up…yes, hang out once in a blue moon…yes. Marry YOU…nope.
4. The past…
“Find out if the person has had a long-term relationship and why it ended. You may learn that prior relationships ended at the stage when intimacy normally develops.” The proof is in the back story. If all relationships come to a screeching halt, buckle up! You’re next.
5. Perfection seekers- “These people look for and find a fatal flaw in the opposite sex and then move on. The problem is that they’re scared of intimacy.” You may hear excuses of physical imperfections (her body, his nose, her skin color, his/her hair or lack there of) ; financial woes (he/she is broke) and even worse, the problem could be that everything is too perfect! In any case, these people are never satisfied.
Are you emotionally available? Are you commitment phobic? Ask yourself some of Lancer’s questions.
Q. Are you angry at the opposite sex? Do you like jokes at their expense?
A. If so, you may need to heal from past wounds before you’re comfortable getting close to someone.
Q. Do you make excuses to avoid getting together?
A. I think you get the hint.
Q. Do you think you’re so independent you don’t need anyone?
Q. Do you fear falling in love because you may get hurt?
A. I think we know where this road leads.
The holidays are a reflective time, especially with the new year approaching. Embrace the possibility of being emotionally available and intimate with someone, have something real. The gift of love pays off year round, not just for a few days in December.
Discover more here:
Lancer, D. (2012). How to Spot Emotional Unavailability. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 9, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/how-to-spot-emotional-unavailability/00012770
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