7 Signs You Have Become Emotionally Unavailable In Romantic Relationships
Emotional unavailability is very sneaky in the sense that you don’t even realise that you’ve shut down. Often it comes under the guise of healing and maturity. You feel that you grew up and it was wise enough to stop having expectations from people, to stop showing your vulnerable side and allowing yourself to feel too much. You believe you have toughened up but in reality you’ve just emotionally checked out and built walls that don’t let you form and sustain deeper connections. There are high chances you’ve become emotionally unavailable.
Sometimes, it’s because of how your feelings were handled in your childhood that you develop an avoidant attachment style. But often, it’s because of being abused in a relationship, infidelity, heartbreak, the experts say. I believe when you’ve been hurt, you want to protect yourself and not feel intense emotions again. So you put on a dead pan expression and navigate the dating world with detachment and lack of vulnerability.
Many a times, it involves a fear of commitment, but sometimes it just means you provide little emotional investment in your relationship, if you get into one at all. It may be a complex issue to tackle but awareness can be a good start, followed by mindfulness.
Here are a few signs that you’ve become emotionally unavailable.
When someone expresses their affection, you go blank
Usually, people like to reciprocate affection and expressions of fondness. But when a romantic partner or interest tells you anything remotely sentimental or expresses their love for you, it makes you want to evaporate. You don’t know how to reciprocate so you end up giving awkward responses such as “thank you” or “I know” or just a smile.
When you feel emotionally closer to them, you act distant
Each time, your heart levels up in feelings, you get petrified. You had a nice date with them? It makes you want to not text them for a bit. If on a particular day, for whatever reason, you ended up sharing anything remotely vulnerable, it makes you want to pack your bags and leave town forever.
You feel things are progressing too quickly
Sometimes you end up sabotaging a good prospective relationship by fearing the constantly building intimacy. You get scared – why are things progressing so quickly? Why are they not having second thoughts? You want them to replicate your anxieties but when they don’t, it makes you panic more.
You fall for commitment phobic people
You fall for commitment phobic people because you feel safe in knowing from the start that things won’t work out. In fact, many emotionally unavailable people also tend to date narcissistic partners so they don’t have to open up.
You get uncomfortable when they start spending a lot of time with you
It’s okay if you meet them for a fixed span of time that seems comfortable to you. But when it exceeds that, you begin to fear getting too attached and they taking up more emotional space in your life than you can offer.
It’s hard for you to articulate your feelings
You want to be self-sufficient when it comes to your emotions. You’ve been disappointed before and it makes you want to not rely on anyone to feel better. You don’t even know if they’d get you. So you bottle up your feelings and forever hold your peace. But when in a conflict, your partner pushes you to express what you felt, you struggle to find the words. You’d rather quietly suffer than express your feelings.
Expectations freak you out
You prefer if you didn’t have expectations from people and if people didn’t expect a lot from you. When you’re emotionally unavailable, the feeling of not being able to fulfil your partner’s emotional needs can trigger angst, irritability and withdrawal in you. You get overwhelmed by their feelings and being expected to deal with them, when you clearly have a hard time dealing with your own.