By Javinne J. McCoy
Relationships with emotionally unavailable partners, lovers, men/woman, can be downright frustrating. Often you leave the relationship or courtship scratching your head in disbelief over the crazy @#$%^&* Love Antics that take place in these unhealthy relationships. For me, it seemed to be that I was the King at jumping heart first into shady relationship investments for all the WRONG reasons- with the WRONG people.
In fact, I started journaling about my dealings with unavailable men in 2008. I have five years of personal journals (8 in total) chronicling the unhealthy patterns, behaviors, situations, and men (often the same person different package), that imprinted on me like some sort of Unhealthy Relationship Curse (or so I thought).
They all seemed to want me “oh so badly” at first. In fact, all of them were very charming in the “beginning stages” (essentially putting on a show/front to get what they couldn’t have, when in reality, I wasn’t THAT interested in them at all). However, the more they chased me (remember, wherever there is “the chase” present in the relationship or courting, it is prepping YOU or THEM to perform in the Love Olympics), the more I second guessed my initial disinterest in them (the disinterest was my intuition always screaming, this guy ain’t all that, something ain’t right, you need to keep it moving).
I have often been asked this question: how do you prevent yourself from engaging with unavailable partners? Truth is. There is no fool proof method. However, one thing that I believe has been naturally given to me is the gift of discernment (the ability to feel in your gut/spirit that “Somethin’ Just Ain’t Right”, or the ability to spot when someone is inauthentic in their character- no matter how “nice” they appear to be). When your discernment is sharpened to spot out inauthentic people and relationships, you have a better shot at exiting the situation more quickly, thereby, minimizing pain and drama.
Unfortunately, what happens is that you may bypass what your discernment is signaling to you, due to, NOT trusting yourself. Here is the deal: no matter how emotionally healthy you become, emotionally unavailable people are like sharks in the dating pool, they are about “self”, and will come after you and try their “ISH” anyway.
The best you can do, is to commit to trusting yourself in the situation via listening to (and sharpening) your discernment. This will help you make a swift exit out of shady situations and tell them to take a SCOOT (minimizing the amount of pain and drama).
Here is a list of 10 signs and sayings, which indicate you, may be dating, or involved with an E.U.P. (Emotionally Unavailable Partner) :
1. They say things like “I have NO expectations, I like to keep things light, and just have fun” (meanwhile, you have been dating each other for a substantial amount of time)
Translation: I have NO expectations because I do NOT want YOU to have any expectations of me. I DO NOT want to be responsible to you or anyone else- that would be burdensome. Things will NEVER get “too serious” between us, I will make sure of that. You are what I equate with “fun” and nothing serious. If you get carried away with your feelings that is YOUR choice, and I WILL NOT accept any responsibility for this.
2. They tell you, “I don’t want a relationship! (But still will string you along for some sex, a date,some more boning, a cuddle, a rub, kisses etc.)
Translation: This one is pretty clear cut. Yet some of us will stick around and try to win the “unavailable prize”. You are in the fight for your life. Tell them to scoot the hell on!
3. They say “ I really like you, you’re great, but I am NOT sure what I want”
Translation: I really like you/think you’re are great but I am the type of person who is NOT really sure about what I want or I need. That would require me to make a decision and know who the hell I am. I see qualities in you that I fancy but they are NOT ENOUGH to move me to define my relationship with you. You can stick around as a possible option, with your “great qualities”, to wait and see what will happen. I am not sure about you or anything for that matter. You might be on hold forever.
4. They say “I am not sure whether I want to be with a man or a woman”
Translation: I have been dating you for a while but I am not sure about my sexuality. I am actually confused and don’t want to make a solid decision. If you deal with me, it probably will be for “the moment”. I could switch the relationship up on you at any moment because I am confused and uncertain about what I want. Since I am confused, you WILL BE confused about where we stand too.
5. You notice that their primary preference is for communication via text, email, instant messenger etc., even though, you have been dating for some time or are in a full-fledged relationship. (and it’s a pattern)
The REAL meaning: One word: LAZY. Emotionally unavailable people are masters at the art of “keeping a safe distance” so you don’t “get TOO close”. Often, they will manage how often, when, and how you communicate because they are dodging REAL intimacy and connection. Texts, emails and the like, are all great ways to slip someone you are dating or in a relationship with CRUMBS, when you don’t want things to get “too serious” or put that much effort in.
6. You send a text or they send a text, you respond but they respond 3 hours later (and it’s a pattern)
The REAL meaning: You are just not that important. I have A LOT of things going on and I am “Busier than Beyoncé”. I will get to you, when I get to you. I have other priorities which I deem more important. (insert finger snaps)
7. They use their career, work, family, friends, or any other “thing” as a lame excuse as to why they don’t have enough time to spend with you but claim to “like/love” you.
The Real meaning: These are all feeble excuses (which emotionally unavailable folk love to toot around because they sound NOBLE and make them seem “so special” and like a great asset to society). They like to create many barriers to intimacy; these are exhausting to break down. Truth is, many people are busy with these “things” but still are able to maintain successful and healthy relationships because they want it bad enough. Point. Blank. Period.
8. They have a shady attitude toward sex with you.
The Real meaning: Either they ration the sex out at their leisure and give it very sparingly, or the entire relationship is built on sex. Here is another barrier that emotionally unavailable partners create, where it is “damned if you do”, or “damned if you don’t”. Sex DOES require two people two become a bit personal. If they are not “giving it”, they are trying to keep you at a safe distance so you don’t have to connect emotionally through sex.
On the flip side if they are a “sexual energizer bunny” and the boudoir is the only place where they seem to “connect” with you in the relationship, they are objectifying you and the relationship is just built on sex, which is a superficial basis for a relationship. These are often the ones you refer to as The Best Sex I Ever Had, and if they are rationing the sex, it than becomes, The Best Sex I Never Have or Hardly Get.
9. They IDEALIZE you in the beginning by claiming “I can’t believe you are here with me”, “I never imagined you would show up”, “I can’t believe you want me” or my favorite, “You are my SOUL MATE”
The REAL Meaning: Emotionally unavailable partners actually have deep rooted issues with perfectionism. They will idealize you in the “beginning stages” of courting you or the relationship. You will feel like you are this “Oh so great” guy or girl whom is special enough to be adored by the person you either like or are falling in love with. However, E.U.P’s are often living off of their own illusions about “the perfect” relationship/partner.
The perfect partner doesn’t exist. People are living, breathing and have legitimate emotional needs (which they should FIRST be meeting for themselves before they expect anyone else to meet and visa verse). The minute you start to show you are a REAL person with REAL emotional needs that need to be met, you will be mistreated, made to feel like a burden, devalued, and discarded. They often want the “high” of love ( i.e. sex, kissing, rubbing, intense moments of connection (drama), having ice cream, good convo, throwing around relationship titles, going out to eat, meeting friends and family) and not the person that comes along with it, who actually needs to be consistently cared for, loved, respected, valued and cherished.
10. They are great on paper with their IMAGE but are A MESS behind the scenes. The REALITY of who they are is not so great in The FLESH.
The REAL Meaning: You will often notice that on first appearance E.U.P.’s seem to “have it all together”. They may have great motivation for their career, the finest cars, the most “popping” social life (or so it seems), all these “great qualities”, an SAT vocabulary, a great bod, the nicest charming persona, seem to be a god-fearing man/woman (because they say their grace before they eat or they go to church on Sunday), be the ideal family guy/girl, have money, have the nicest apartment etc. But then, you get involved with them, and the !@#$%^&* hits the fan.
They dodge accountability in the relationship, are barely available for the relationship (that you both agreed upon), are cheating, are deceitful (by withholding vital information), are having secret sex liaisons, have weird fetishes which they don’t discuss with you, breakup with you (then get involved with someone else immediately after your long-term relationship ends) , get someone else pregnant, and the list goes on.
Emotionally unavailable people are flawed by design to NOT dig deep and make sure that the external is matching their internal character. They have supreme issues with being AUTHENTIC. That is why they cannot give you an authentic relationship and they say one thing and do another. The relationships they offer are always unhealthy, half-assed, and filled with mega shade, and broken promises.
It is important to trust your gut when dating, courting, or getting involved in relationships. Your discernment is your best tool at nipping shady, crappy relationship behavior in the bud. This leads to creating healthier, lasting, more fulfilling relationships built on truth, authenticity, care, respect, trust, and love.
Emotionally unavailable partners are designed by default to be unavailable to your needs and the needs of a joint-relationship with another adult. Save yourself additional pain, fear, and drama, by choosing to spot the signs head on.
Listen to what people are REALLY saying and DOING. They will tell on themselves and expose their emotional readiness (or lack of) for a relationship with you. Choose the emotionally unavailable as a partner, and you will get a lovely dose of pain and drama, and be licking your wounds like a love sick puppy. Save yourself! See the signs and scoot out of unhealthy situations before they start. What patterns have you notice in dealing with emotionally unavailable “slippery relationship critters”?
For more signs and saying of the EUP check out Part 2: The Emotionally Unavailable Partner/Date Part Deux: 7 More Signs
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