Dating and Relationship Guide

BEWARE of Emotionally Unavailable Man

Have you ever had an elusive relationship with an emotionally unavailable man? Somebody who was probably attractive, self-confident, funny, successful, and made your heart skip a few beats? Perhaps you shared a lot in common with him and underwent an exciting emotional experience while interacting with him. You were sure that there was a promising beginning of a great relationship. However, the relationship went so far and no further. Maybe he refused to commit to you; maybe he kept remained distant and remote; maybe he insisted on calling you his “date” and not his “partner”, “girlfriend”, or “spouse”; or maybe he placed you at the very bottom of his priorities. As long as you were tolerant, the relationship stayed the same. As soon as you became demanding, you started to grow apart.

In this article, you’ll discover:

1.      Why many women continually pick emotionally unavailable men while driving away the good men who are ready for a mature relationship.

2.      Five common behavioral patterns of men who cannot commit.

3.      How to attract a man although he is emotionally available

Here is a letter I received recently:

Dear Naomi,

I am writing to you about a relationship I’ve been involved in for an almost two years. I’m 26 years old, and the guy I go out with is 33 and has never been married. He is good-looking, masculine, funny, and successful. The problem is that, despite being together for a long time, he still refuses to refer to us as a couple. He neither talks about a future nor calls me his girlfriend.

Additionally, he is very selfish and never includes me in his weekend or holiday plans. He always tells me that he can’t plan ahead, and is only able to call me on Saturday for a spontaneous night out. That means I can never make my own plans if I want to see him. 

There is no sign of any commitment on his part. During all the time we have been together, he has never spent entire weekend with me, and he doesn’t take me out to restaurants very often. Despite his financial situation, which is much better than my own, he never spends money on me and expects me to pay for myself when we go out..

He tells me that I am a wonderful woman, and he could see himself falling for me, but he’s not ready for a commitment. He says he still feels like a young boy and can’t commit to a long-term relationship.

I don’t want to be arrogant, but you should know that I’m a good-looking woman who can attract almost any guy. I know that it’s time to break up, but it's very hard for me since I love him. Moreover, how do I know that I will get someone better? This isn’t the first time I dated an emotionally unavailable man, and this one at least treats me with respect. 

(Laura T.,Minnesota)

Is this familiar to anybody? Have you ever been mixed up with this kind of guy? As she said, this was not the first time it happened to Laura. And she’s not alone: many women, including the smart and good-looking ones, have a pattern of continually picking emotionally unavailable men while driving away good ones who are ready to for a mature relationship. It is very sad. During the years Laura spent with men who couldn’t commit, she could have been meeting dozens of great, mature, and serious men.

1. Why do some women always choose men who can’t commit?

There are three main reasons why women choose emotionally unavailable men and not mature, available ones:

1)     A woman may be inexperienced, naive and easily deceived. An emotionally unavailable man has nothing to lose – he never gets involved in a relationship too deeply. When dating a woman he tends to be cool, self confident, and independent. These qualities are generally very attractive if they appear in a person of the opposite sex. An inexperienced, na?ve and, usually, young woman can fall in love with a man like this, while experienced woman recognize his destructive behavioral patterns.

2)     A woman may harbor by some delusive myths about changing a man’s nature. There are several deadly mistakes which can destroy your chances to develop a truly loving relationship with men. One of them is a belief that the good, devoted, and loving woman, who tries hard enough, can convince an unavailable man to deepen his feelings for her. Believe me, this is completely unfounded.

3)     A woman may not be ready for a mature, reciprocal relationship. A giving ability is very important in a relationship but it is not enough. In a real relationship, you should be able to take also. Therefore, a mature, committed, and honest man will be a giver to a same extent that you are. If you are not able to take and appreciate a man, expect to attract the wrong kind of men.  


2. Five common behavioral patterns of men who can’t commit.

The emotionally unavailable man doesn’t come with a sign above his head: “I’m solely here for wasting your time and breaking your heart”. Sometimes a man will admit that he isn’t looking for a relationship, but it’s not very common. However, unavailable men often display the following behavioral patterns:

Type #1 The Player

The player is a man who spends time with you in order to add one more item to his archive of conquests. Different players have different definitions of “conquests”: one tries to get a one-night stand, another tries to make everyone his steady partner for meaningless sex, and a third strives to achieve emotional control.  However, they all have a common denominator: the purpose is not a relationship but rather an ego stroke. As a rule, players do not let you know about their goals but rather try to give you the impression that they are deeply involved with you. Therefore, it is important to know how to identify these rotten apples.

Three signs of a player:

1.      He is a smooth talker and feels too comfortable around you, especially if you’ve just met.

2.      He flirts with other women and easily impresses them.

3.      While courting, he clearly prefers a financial investment to an emotional one. For example, he will take you out to an expensive restaurant but will not share a deep, personal conversation with you. 

Type #2 The Narcissist

The narcissist is a man who can’t fall in love with you, since he’s already in a deep, true, and exclusive love with himself. Unlike a player, he can be with one woman (probably you) -- but only if she’s there to adore him.

Three signs of a narcissist:

1.      He is extremely remote and emotionally distant except during a courting.

2.     He is neither responsive nor involved. He ignores your requests and suggestions and he wants to be the only one who decides when, where, and how you will see each other.  

3.     He refuses to make any relationship work.

Type #3  The Man Who Is Looking For Someone Else

When a woman is looking for a relationship, there are two kinds of men: suitable ones and unsuitable ones. For a man, there are three categories of woman: totally unsuitable ones, totally suitable ones, and ones who are suitable only for a short affair. The difference between “The One for him” and “The woman he’s dating for a while” can be elusive and depends on the particular man. Some men look for social status, some emphasize physical appearance and some can only fall in love with a woman who reminds him of his mother! 

Three signs that he is looking for someone else:

1.      He is extremely critical and judgmental about you.

2.      He spends time with you, but takes pains to prevent you meeting his parents, friends and/or coworkers.

3.      He is unlikely to make any future plans.

Type #4 Right Man, Bad Timing

The man is great, but the timing isn’t. He just lost his job/ just broke up with his girlfriend, just discovered his spiritual side and is too excited about it. Anyway, he is not available for a new relationship because his emotional resources are invested entirely in something else.

Three signs that the timing is wrong for him:

1.      He doesn’t initiate anything.

2.      He is likely to speak a lot about the same problem that annoys him or his other interests.

3.      He will probably tell you that the timing is wrong.

Type #5 The Man Whose Potential You Missed

In this case, there was potential for a relationship, but for some reason you missed it by adopting a wrong behavioral pattern that drove him away. Maybe you were too needy; maybe you were too keen on him. Or maybe you tried to manipulate him and he didn’t like it. Whatever the reason, you drove him away. There are many ways you can unintentionally drive away good men with great relationship potential.

One sign that you missed his potential: His attitude changes during your relationship. At some stage, he becomes distant, calls much less often than in the beginning, or suddenly needs more space.

Want to know more about non-committing, emotionally unavailable men? See part 5.4 of the book Meet & Keep the Right Man. You will discover much more about Players and even more types of unavailable men I didn’t mention here. 

3. How to attract a man although he is emotionally unavailable

Whether or not this is possible depends on your goals and the type of unavailability. Let’s see:

Type #1 The Player.

This type of unavailable man is nearly impossible to attract. For this man, there’re no human interactions with a woman, but rather battles between two rivals that ends only when one of you is defeated. This is how he thinks: While you are unavailable, you are the winner. But the moment he manages to “achieve you”, you are defeated, and he is already on his way to another challenge.

The Player can change, but he will never do it for a woman who is in love with him. This kind of woman is a defeated rival in his eyes and therefore isn’t worthy of his efforts.

Type #2  The Narcissist.

You can attract this kind of man if you are prepared to behave in the way he wants. A narcissist is always in need of admirers, and an attractive woman who admires will probably be “the one for him”. However, you should think carefully about whether you really want such a man. Your relationship with him will never be reciprocal or satisfactory. He will never be supportive of you or involved in you, and one day you may become tired of being his therapist and admirer. So think again if you want to attract him -- although you probably can.

 Type #3 The Man Who Is Looking For Someone Else

Using self-optimization tactics you can become a desirable woman to just about any man. But there will still be some men who will stay unavailable no matter how perfect you are, just because you’re different from their mothers, ex-girlfriends, and the female characters in their computer games.  Accept that you can’t please everybody. But you can definitely attract many, many others.

Type #4  Right Man, Bad Timing

As long as it is just about timing, you can try to charm him while helping him to overcome his problems or get over his involvement in another subject. Take more initiative, be less demanding, etc. Sometimes, a man is able to love and commit but is tired of standard courting games. However, if you choose to try this, be cautious and stay romantic rather than turning into his “sister” or “therapist”.

Type #5 The Man Whose Potential You Missed

If it isn’t too late, you can try to maintain the relationship by spending time away from him, working on your general attractiveness, designing your personal space and life using self-improvement techniques (for more information, see the first chapter of the book Meet & Keep the Right Man), and using various “relationship maintenance” techniques (for more information, see the fifth chapter of my book).

And the most important way to solve this problem is to believe deeply that you deserve a truly committed relationship.  Be aware that many kinds of emotionally unavailable men take advantage of women who don’t believe they deserve much more. Believe in yourself, value yourself, be able to take as well as to – and non-committing men will never approach you.   

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