So many women are easily sucked into the allure of an emotionally unavailable man.
You see a high value guy. His value is undeniable.
His deeply masculine demeanour and energy of independence has you pining for him, and fantasising about living a full life with him by your side.
You could be so good together, you think.
“It would be so amazing if he was my very own man..” you think.
His sense of confidence and direction in his life and in his body language makes him seem so….desirable.
And since he engages with you sometimes, you think he’s somehow, ”available”.
When, he’s really not.
Unfortunately, it’s not just that he’s emotionally unavailable that strangely makes you want him.
It’s the fact that he actually does have value.
So you want him to yourself.
Only, he doesn’t have the emotional resources nor the desire to share an emotional life with you.
Emotionally Unavailable Men Seem More Masculine
Emotionally unavailable men might be desirable because they do in fact have value.
Aside from that, their emotional unavailability often makes them seem more masculine.
To many women, a man being emotionally unavailable may simply make a man seem more “independent” and “goal oriented”.
It’s easy for some of us ladies to confuse emotional unavailability with masculinity.
Not to mention, the traits and habits of emotionally available men are often also the traits that many women find terrifying, and hard to meet emotionally.
Perhaps because these women prefer to tolerate a man’s emotional distance, and it feels like home to them.
In addition, some of the traits of a typically emotionally available man may come across to some women as sexually and sensually unexciting.
Traits like emotional availability and warmth, receptivity and a touch of softness…
Sometimes, these traits in a man just seem not quite as “high status” and attractive to the ladies who have a lot of rules for how her man should look or act.
However, receptivity in a man will be the ideal trait for a woman who is ready to emotionally commit!
Here’s an article I wrote on the 7 Burning Signs A Man Is Being Low Value.
Often, instead of seeing and feeling an emotionally unavailable man’s distance for what it is, we assume things.
We assume that this man must be extra masculine and worth the struggle and the pain.
To some women, emotionally available man can just seem so….”feminine” and “beta” (most women use this definition of alpha and beta in the totally wrong context, but they use it nonetheless…)
(Of course in the case of emotionally healthy women, they usually wouldn’t tolerate anything less than an emotionally available man.)
Why Do Women Love Emotionally Unavailable Men?
The real question is, why are you keen about an emotionally unavailable man?
Is it because you’d like to be the one to change an emotionally unavailable man to become an emotionally available man?
It’s kind of like the phrase “turn a cad into a dad”.
Some people theorise that if a woman could be the one to make such a man open up emotionally, then that would make her feel very special.
I think there’s some truth in that.
But there’s more to it.
I’d say that women simply fantasize about a particularly masculine and high value man (who wasn’t initially commitment friendly), choosing to commit to her emotionally.
Because it means the ultimate investment from him. And it means she is different to the women in his ‘one of many’ women basket.
Remember that there’s only ever ONE woman in a man’s life who can be the ‘one and only’.
Once a woman is a man’s one and only, that’s it for him. She’s his everything. Hence the reason for the creation of my program on “Becoming His One & Only”.
This is the program that will give you the 5 secrets to show up as his one and only woman and make him beg you to be his one and only.
Here’s a video my hubby and I made on the topic of emotionally unavailable men: Signs & how to deal with them.
In this video, we answered a lot of questions women typically have surrounding this topic of emotionally unavailable men. I recommend you watch it, as you will never see emotionally unavailable men the same way again.
Why Do I Attract Emotionally Unavailable Men?
WHY do I attract emotionally unavailable men? This is the question a lot of women ask.
Here are the answers…
You Feel Safer With Emotional Distance.
You feel at home with emotional distance. And so you are ‘ok’ with a man being emotionally unavailable. It speaks straight to your emotional comfort zone.
You Don’t Test Enough.
Some women just don’t test men enough.
This may be due to the fact that they’re in an abusive relationship with the emotionally unavailable guy. And it’s scary to ‘test’ him, for fear of being abused even more, or be subjected to more toxicity and perhaps even gaslighting.
Some women are less intuitive about testing. But if you need help with that, I’ve got the definitive guide on how to test him to see if he cares about you.
I’m afraid to say that western society’s mixed messages have eroded women’s natural instincts on this front.
We’re taught to listen to authority and to listen to seniors before listening to ourselves.
That’s tragic, since your attunement to others, and the wisdom of your own body is also what helps you discern men’s intentions and figure out what a guy wants from you.
I’ll discuss more on the erosion of our natural instincts shortly.
You Tolerate Men Who Give You Crumbs.
In fact, that’s your comfort zone, and we get what we tolerate. So that’s all that men will give you.
Perhaps you have a historical pattern of tolerating being given crumbs. So you think this is normal in a relationship with a man.
If you’d like to fix this problem, try inspiring men to chase you and value you instead. If you’re wondering how to get an emotionally unavailable man to chase you, here’s an article that will help: How To Get Him To Chase You & Value You.
You Feel Undeserving Of More Emotionally.
In fact, you feel undeserving of deep, unconditional love from a man.
This ties into the fact that you may have some serious abandonment issues to process through.
Emotional unavailability is your paradigm of the relationship world.
Perhaps you don’t believe that it’s even possible to have one whole, emotionally available man to yourself.
You think that this half-relationship, rather than an emotionally close and dependable relationship is in fact, all that’s ever possible.
I find this is sometimes the case in women who settle for, and tolerate a man who practices polyamory or is in a polyamorous relationship.
It’s easy for men who hide behind polyamory to string women like this along.
You Assume An Emotionally Unavailable Man Is The Greatest Fantasy.
It’s more exciting for you that way, because of the variety and the ups and downs that come with being with an emotionally unavailable man.
It can play to a fantasy or a subconscious love story you may have in your head.
Now that you know the answers, my question to you is, which one of these answers applies to you the most?
How do you know if you are emotionally unavailable?
In order to find out, you just have to ask yourself one question.
“When in relationship with a man, do I feel more at home creating distance than creating connection?”
It’s no secret that women who tolerate emotionally unavailable men may be just as emotionally unavailable themselves.
This doesn’t always have to be the case, of course. But it certainly can be.
Every woman creates distance at times.
But it’s what you do most of the time that really matters.
But if you’d rather binge on ice cream and netflix most nights than say, hold emotional space for a man, then you’re probably far from emotionally generous or emotionally available.
If you tend to push him away when you get close, more than you like to bring him closer, you may be emotionally unavailable.
If you’d rather read romantic novels, or watch porn than allow yourself to feel emotionally out of control during real intimate moments, or even real love making, then yes, you’re emotionally unavailable.
If you’re wondering how to change that, then here’s an article on How To Go From Self-Sufficient Single To Connected Couple.
Why Am I Emotionally Unavailable?
The reason you as a woman may be emotionally unavailable is for the same reasons why you attract emotionally unavailable men.
And we discussed these reasons above.
But the short answer to the question why am I emotionally unavailable is this: you are emotionally unavailable because it is safer to be emotionally unavailable.
You don’t have to risk anything emotionally.
And more than that…you don’t have to be emotionally generous.
A lot of women who are emotionally unavailable are that way due to growing up with parents who were emotionally stingy.
If You Tolerate Emotional Distance, That’s What You Get
The problem is that with men, you get what you tolerate.
Women who tolerate emotionally unavailable men get exactly what they tolerate.
Much like men who tolerate an emotionally distant, cold and selectively responsive woman shouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t really belong to him.
In fact, an emotionally unavailable woman is something I’d consider a red flag if I was advising men.
A red flag in that she could very well take her sexual and emotional resources elsewhere.
If you accept crumbs emotionally, don’t expect anything more.
If you want something real with a man, choose to tolerate nothing less than his gradual and proportionate emotional investment in you.
I know that sometimes, we tolerate emotional distance in a man because it’s more exciting than what’s “real”.
The irony is that what’s real is everything but boring.
Once you get through a bunch of conflicts with an emotionally healthy man, and the rawness of a real relationship with a man, you come to realize that what was exciting all along, was what is real.
Take it from me, a woman who almost completely pushed away my emotionally available husband.
Learning to lean into a real relationship with a man who demanded more from me than my emotional distance, was one of the most painful journeys of my life.
I grew up with two emotionally unavailable parents.
So, you can probably guess that I sometimes resented the vulnerability he demanded of me.
When you grow up in the environment I did, a man demanding nothing less than your full love and vulnerability can initially feel like he’s trying to hurt you. Even when he’s not!
Later on, I learned that he was the man who was trying to hurt me the least.
And thank goodness I stayed the course.
Because now we have 2 securely attached sons who are thriving on the stellar quality of the relationship we painfully and vulnerably created together.
How Society Encourages Emotional Unavailability
I think the real issue at hand is that we live in an era where we are encouraged to short-cut the very pure and innocent process of emotional bonding in dating.
Western culture has corrupted many men and women to say the least.
I have sons (3 to be exact, as one is on the way). And even though they’re sons, I wouldn’t even want them to just choose the casual sex route when they grow up.
Because I know how cheap it is, even for a man.
You may be wondering why that’s even relevant in an article about men being emotionally unavailable.
It’s relevant because when women and men buy into the idea of sexual equality, they think it’s ok to approach all their relationships from a predominantly sexual path.
And this is especially damaging for women.
Women then shirk their internal feminine bias of seeking trust, bonding and emotional closeness before the physical act of sex.
This bypasses the process of pair bonding between a man and a woman.
In a pair bond, there’s emotional availability, and he will be emotionally available most of the time. Period.
Even the most avoidant attached men will show some level of emotional availability, no matter how shallow or short-lived, if he was in love with a woman.
On the topic of a man falling in love, here is an article on How To Make Him Fall In Love With You: 5 Unconventional Ways To Make Him Love You MORE.
So what happens is that after some form of casual sex between the man and the woman, or an unhealthy focus on sexually enticing each other, something strange happens.
The man and woman wonder why they can’t have emotionally committed relationships.
Here are 10 Signs Of A Commitment Phobic Man.
The answer is because it was never about that to begin with.
Why Is He Emotionally Unavailable?
A lot of the time, the reason why he is emotionally unavailable, is because there’s not enough attraction and connection in the relationship.
This is not about your worth as a woman. This is about the quality of the relationship in the man’s eyes.
Given enough attraction and connection, even the most emotionally damaged men would give you a level of emotional availability.
This is because that’s what great connections inspire in humans.
This is why we’ve always said there are only two critical things that matter inside of any intimate relationship.
Find out more about how to create these two critical things inside of any relationship with any man, here.
Why Won’t He Open Up?
So, why can’t he open up to you emotionally?
It is because he can’t and he won’t.
As everybody knows, the realm of human relationships isn’t always simple.
The reason it’s taken me 11 years to even write about the topic of emotionally unavailable men, is because I prefer other terms and frameworks.
And I don’t use prefer to use this framework in my teachings.
As with lots of extremely popular descriptive terms, it’s not always used in the best or smartest way.
To me, a lot of the time, a woman calling a man “emotionally unavailable” is no different to a man calling a woman sexually cold.
I don’t know what the cute term for that would be.
Maybe “sexually unavailable” or “sexually cold”?
No, she’s not sexually cold. Maybe she just doesn’t want sex with you.
Women are open to sex with the right man, in the right scenario.
In much the same way, men are open to emotional availability (or emotional commitment) with the right woman, at the right time!
See this article on why men won’t commit.
Is There A Grey Area?
Yes, in a real relationship, there’s usually a grey area in this.
In a relationship, sometimes a girlfriend or wife will be sexually cold.
And in a relationship, sometimes men will pull away and be emotionally unavailable for a little bit.
It happens. But in dating, if one is dealing with a perpetually unavailable man, that’s a problem.
If a guy is pursuing a woman who is always sexually cold or emotionally cold…yeah, I’d ask him why he’s still chasing her.
How To Get An Emotionally Unavailable Man To Open Up
The only thing that’s going to get an emotionally unavailable man to open up to you, is to value the emotional attraction and emotional connection first.
If you’re always focusing on what he’s not doing, you’re missing a treasure trove of ways you can open him up.
The key is to understand where he’s at.
This is something that requires generosity on your part.
So, let’s say you want and need more from him…
But that’s what YOU want.
What does HE want?
What does HE need in order to even remotely value investing in you?
Does he need you to understand him? Here’s 5 things every woman ought to know about men.
Does he need you to know more about how to be a high value woman?
There are definitely methods for how to get an emotionally unavailable man to open up.
The most effective way is to know what he values, and know if it’s even possible for you to offer that or not.
Maybe you’ll decide he’s not worth it.
Maybe you’ll realize that you can’t offer what he actually needs in order to be emotionally invested in you.
Gosh, maybe he’s married already?
And if he is married or taken already, maybe he simply cannot leave his wife (most men never file for divorce from their wife. Only a minority do leave their wife for another woman). And here’s why he would leave his wife for another woman.
Also, never rule out the fact that you might be beating a dead horse.
If a man is married, severely jaded, abusive, a true narcissist, or he cannot offer you the full emotional investment that you need, maybe you’re wasting your time.
You always have to allow your real emotions and vulnerability to guide you in your decision making, when moving forward with an emotionally unavailable man.
Does Being Emotionally Unavailable Mean That He Has Avoidant Attachment?
Is emotional unavailability the same thing as having insecure attachment?
If you’ve looked into attachment theory at all, you’d know that there’s a branch of insecure attachment called “avoidant attachment”, or anxious-avoidant attachment style.
And this label is so very exciting for women to use when describing an emotionally unavailable man.
But I’d caution you against mixing the idea of avoidant attachment with emotional unavailability.
In order to accurately conclude that a man is indeed an avoidant type, you would have to get close enough to him emotionally for a long enough period.
To get close enough to him would mean that you actually have to feel, but also see (objectively) that he has a pattern of pushing you away as soon as you get emotionally close.
Emotionally unavailable as a framework however, is different to that.
What Does It Mean To Be Emotionally Unavailable?
Emotionally unavailable just means that he cannot invest in you.
It means that he’s not emotionally available to you, now. At this time, and for the foreseeable future.
Attachment theory however, is a framework that is to be used when a man comes into attachment with you.
But if a man has never truly been emotionally close to you or in attachment with you, then how on earth can you call him avoidantly attached?
Answer: you can’t.
I think a lot of women are too quick to judge a man to have an avoidant attachment style, because they find it so hard to let go of an emotionally unavailable man.
They need to find meaning in a seemingly hopeless situation.
But remember that these two ideas (emotionally unavailable and avoidant attachment) certainly do not always go together.
Instead, the truth may be that he’s emotionally unavailable for this woman, but is highly emotionally available for another woman. The right woman.
Why Is He Emotionally Unavailable?
Let’s have a look at why a man might be emotionally unavailable, and then we will look at the possible signs that a man is emotionally unavailable.
Firstly, there’s a few possible reasons as to why he’s emotionally unavailable:
1: He’s Married & With Children.
Or he already was married with children, he’s just widowed or divorced. Which means the purpose for him wanting to get married to a woman has already been served.
Why would he bother doing it all again?
The only reason he’d bother is if he fell in love with the right woman.
However, just because a married man has a mistress who provides him with excitement, sex and companionship, doesn’t mean he’d risk everything in order to leave his wife for her.
2: He’s Been Used & Abused By Women In The Past.
And whilst he used to be emotionally healthy, he no longer has the desire to open up and invest himself in any woman.
His past experiences with women (or a woman) have left him with too much baggage to process, so he’s going to be harder (but not impossible) to open up.
Remember that attachment to the wrong kinds of partners can cause even the best of us to become wary.
This means that if a guy had poor attachment experiences with one woman, it may scare him off investing in a new woman, at least to some extent.
3: He Had An Abusive Childhood.
Therefore he is emotionally stunted and unable to offer any kind of emotional presence to you.
4: There’s No Real Attraction & Connection In The Relationship.
And so, why would he care about the relationship enough to invest in it emotionally?
For a man, committing to a relationship where there’s hardly any attraction and connection is nothing but a pesky obligation.
Who loves doing something or offering themselves up for something when it feels like an obligation?
Answer: no one.
5: He Only Wanted To Keep You Around For Sex.
As a woman, you know intuitively that a man who invests his time in you might like to eventually have sex with you, right?
Well, men often also know if they’re emotionally unavailable. They know and feel it when a woman aches for more.
They just don’t always want to give it. This may be because his interest in you stops at sex and casual fun.
Personally, I don’t think this is morally right.
But why would the universe care about my morals or your morals?
Yeah, it wouldn’t.
We just have to see things as they are, and respond accordingly.
What are the signs of an emotionally unavailable man?
- He Avoids
- He Can’t Be There With You For Anything Other Than Sex.
- He’s Married.
- He Never Actually Reaches Out To Connect With You.
- He’s Happy To Make Judgements & Assumptions About You, But Not Happy To Listen.
- He Needs More Validation From You Than He Would Ever Give In Return.
- The People Close To Him Describe Him As Distant.
- He Has An Incessant Need For Significance In The Relationship.
- He Simply Doesn’t Care.
Ultimately, the signs a man is emotionally unavailable to you are roughly the same as the burning signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you.
I recommend every woman read that article, (and watch the video).
Read in depth about the signs now…
Sign 1: He Avoids.
The biggest sign that a man is emotionally unavailable is that he avoids. He avoids addressing your needs. Whether you express your needs as direct requirements, or indirect requests for more investment, he won’t meet them regardless.
And this goes for little things you need as well. Anything from asking him for the simplest piece of advice to asking him for the comfort of his presence and/or company.
Now, this is not the same as a man having avoidant attachment. As I mentioned earlier in this article, avoidant attachment style is a different matter altogether.
Sign 2: He Can’t Be There With You For Anything Other Than Sex.
If you’re in this position, I really recommend that you take my “Becoming His One & Only” course. The promise of this course is to give you the 5 secrets to have the man of your choice fall in love with you and beg you to be his one and only.
If you enrol in the platinum course, you’ll get tests to use to see how emotionally invested he is in you right now.
Sign 3: He’s Married.
As I mentioned above, most married men will never leave their wives. It’s only a minority that do. And when they do, it’s a BIG deal.
Sign 4: He Never Actually Reaches Out To Connect With You.
And if he does, he does it on his terms or is only doing it to keep you chained to an abusive relationship.
Sign 5: He’s Happy To Make Judgements & Assumptions About You, But Not Happy To Listen.
Emotionally unavailable men won’t be emotionally generous. They’ll be unable to hear your story, and validate your experiences.
Sign 6: He Needs More Validation From You Than He Would Ever Give In Return.
In other words, he’s happy to take all the nurturing from you, but can never reciprocate that gesture from you.
Always remember, for a man to give you the emotional presence you need, he would have to perceive value in you and in the relationship with you.
But sometimes, no matter what you offer, there’s men who won’t be able to value you.
Sign 7: The People Close To Him Describe Him As Distant.
You may be dealing with a very emotionally distant man if he feels more comfortable keeping most people in his life at arms length.
If you would like to understand more about why he is like this, I recommend you read this popular article on the 12 Secret Reasons Some People Will Always Be Distant From You.
Sign 8: He Has An Incessant Need For Significance In The Relationship.
In other words, his primary needs are in conflict with what you, (and perhaps some other people close to him) want and need from him.
People who need to always be seen as successful, significant and capable often pursue those wants at a huge sacrifice to those close to them.
Sign 9: He Simply Doesn’t Care.
Do I need to say much about this?
I suppose I should, even though in theory this should be self explanatory.
What I can say is that a lot of the time, as women, we get so caught up with the fantasy of the kind of relationship we think we have with a man, that we deign to acknowledge his non reciprocal actions.
It’s hard to care.
It’s even harder for a man who doesn’t feel an emotional bond with you to care about you.
So, my advice is to notice whether he ever meets you emotionally when you reach out, and how often.
What that means is, does he return your attempts to be emotionally close? Or is the silence on the other end deafening?
Frequently Asked Questions on Emotionally Unavailable Men
What Causes Emotional Unavailability?
Simply put, what causes emotional unavailability is someone having had caregivers who didn’t have enough resources to give them adequate love, nurturing and attention as a child.
However, it’s important to know that not everyone who is emotionally unavailable to you ACTUALLY has a problem. Sometimes we just interpret their lack of commitment and love for us as them being “emotionally unavailable”.
How Does An Emotionally Unavailable Man Behave?
Emotionally unavailable people tend to be more cold than warm in relationships. Alternatively stated, they’re more insensitive and lack empathy for others.
How To Connect With Emotionally Unavailable Man?
- Be more emotionally resourceful yourself first. This means that you have to take care of yourself, fill yourself and your needs up first as well as process your own emotions first.
- Find anything that means something to him, and take an interest in it. It will add value to him and help him open up.
- Escalate the connection by weaving your playfulness into it. If the moment is more serious, ask a deeper question about the thing that means something to him (so that he feels connected).
- Finally, moving forward, you must accept where he’s at emotionally. You can’t force an emotionally unavailable man to commit to you right now. But you can give him the space he needs to be himself (even if it’s not the version of him that you need).
Can an emotionally unavailable man change?
It depends on the reasons why he is emotionally unavailable.
In theory, I believe everyone can change. I wouldn’t doubt anyone’s capacity to change.
But whether they will or not?
That’s a different matter altogether.
If you want your emotionally unavailable man to change, perhaps consider that the best path is not to try to “get” him to be different.
The right path is the path of knowing that you need to change first.
Along this line of thinking, it’s not so much about focusing too much on the characteristics of this emotionally unavailable man.
Rather, it’s about focusing on how you can inspire a different response in him.
But not only him, other men as well!
What that means is that you would need to show up differently to how you have been showing up.
I have a few suggestions for you, but the best recommendation I have for you on showing up differently, is to explore my “Becoming His One & Only” Program.
In that, I’ll give you 5 secrets to have him fall in love with you, and beg you to be his one and only.
In the platinum version of that program, I also give you methods by which you can ‘test’ your man to see once and for all, how far he can come.
What does an emotionally unavailable man want?
He wants a woman who will tolerate him being emotionally unavailable, and will not ask for any more investment from him. He wants to be able to keep you around without having responsibilities to the relationship.
Remember: just because he’s emotionally unavailable to you, doesn’t mean that he will be emotionally unavailable to another woman. He’s only genuinely emotionally unavailable if he has insecure attachment.
How do you deal with an emotionally unavailable man?
You either build the emotional attraction and emotional connection in the relationship to inspire him to attach to you, or you walk away. If he truly doesn’t value you, then it is up to you to put your foot down and say ‘NO!’.
The way I see it is that if you are sure in your heart, that you will tolerate nothing less than full love and emotional presence in a man, then stand by that and show it.
Eliminate emotionally unavailable men by sending the message that you’ll tolerate nothing less than real love.
We have a program called “High Value Mindsets” that will serve you on your path to becoming a high value woman who only tolerates the very best. Check that out here.
(The promise of this program is to give you the ability to “trade in” your anxiety and insecurities for self esteem, self worth and intrinsic confidence, so that no one will ever take you for granted & high value men will recognise you as an indispensable “keeper”.)
If you truly feel that nothing less than real love is your boundary, the only one who would care enough to exert and communicate that boundary is you.
OR a man who loves you so deeply and cares so deeply that he becomes capable of exerting your boundaries for you.
And yes, this does exist.
But only in very established relationships where lots of conflicts have been overcome, and as a consequence, lots of trust has been built.
Again, if you would like assistance in that matter, then I recommend our class on High Value Mindsets, created by my husband D.Shen. You can find out more about that popular class here.
I wish you nothing less than full love in your life.
Moving forward, I hope you choose that for yourself, too.
If you want to be supported by a warm community of high value feminine women, then join our Facebook Group. (It’s free and so incredibly valuable!) CLICK HERE TO join thousands of other women in our “High Value Feminine Women” Community.
By the way, while you’re at it, connect with me on social media.
Renee is the founder of The Feminine Woman & co-founder of Shen Wade Media where we teach women how to show up as a high value high status woman whom easily inspires a deep sense of emotional commitment from her chosen man. Together with her husband D. Shen at Commitment Triggers blog, they have positively influenced the lives of over 15 million women through their free articles and videos as well as 10’s of thousands through paid programs through the Shen Wade Media platform.
Connect deeper with her work through the social media links below.