Do you ever worry and wonder if you are emotionally unavailable for love? Even if Mr. Perfect walked into your life tomorrow would you be able to make it last?
Long-lasting love requires more than just attraction and desire. Intimate relationships are nourished by emotional intimacy. If you are unable to comfortably share your emotions, navigate conflicts, and take responsibility, then you will have trouble creating and maintaining a healthy connection with your partner.
Do you use sarcasm to protect yourself? Do you find it difficult to trust others with your innermost thoughts and feelings? Do you confuse physical intimacy with emotional intimacy?
These are all symptoms of being emotionally unavailable for love.
Being able to create a lasting connection with a partner will enhance every part of your life. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy staying single, but if you want a fulfilling intimate relationship you have to be emotionally available to let someone in.
No one is born knowing how to make love last, and most people did not have good relationship role models growing up. Regardless of your specific circumstances growing up you can break the pattern of being emotionally unavailable. The first step is knowing the signs that it’s actually you that’s in your own way.
8 Signs You Are Emotionally Unavailable For Love
You’re Still In Blame About The Past
Every person will experience heartbreak. It is a universal human experience. However, if you haven’t let go of your anger and resentment about what happened in your previous relationships then you are emotionally unavailable for love today.
You may still be stuck in blame from the wounds you experienced in childhood. The circumstances of your family of origin shaped who you are today. You can’t escape the effect of your early childhood and its influence on how you show up in your intimate relationships. You learned about love in your family of origin, just like you learned everything else including how to walk and talk.
If you are stuck still blaming those circumstances for your struggles as an adult, you develop a victim’s mindset in your relationships. You can’t create healthy emotional connections when you feel like a victim to your past.
Viewing present-day events through the lens of past hurts will cause you to misjudge new love interests and feel afraid to open your heart. It will be difficult for you to trust anyone and truly evaluate who is trustworthy.
If this sounds like you, the way to break this pattern is to heal those wounds from your past by practicing forgiveness and compassion. There is gold in this healing process that will enrich your life and deepen all of your relationships. Take the time to discover how to release your hurt and anger to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
You Can’t Take Responsibility In The Present
If you believe the reason you can’t create the love you want right now is “men” or “internet dating” or “___[fill in the blank]___,” then lasting love will be elusive. You have zero power to solve a problem that is outside of you because you can’t change the world around you. You can only change yourself.
Blaming your age, where you live, or the difficulty in meeting new people may temporarily give you relief about your inability to find love. It is also a signal that you are emotionally unavailable and will not bring you closer to sharing your life with a beloved partner.
Focusing on the problems outside of you keeps you from dealing with your fears and insecurities about love and dating. It’s the easy way out when things don’t go your way. It may keep your heart safe from disappointment, but it won’t bring you closer to the lasting love you desire.
Placing blame on circumstances outside of your control may create a feeling of powerlessness and you can get stuck in a victim mentality. Carry that same mentality into dating and your dates will constantly disappoint you.
Taking responsibility for yourself affords you the opportunity to change your results. It may not always feel comfortable and may take some practice, but taking responsibility for your actions and your emotional responses creates the space for love to thrive. It is the foundation for creating a lasting loving partnership.
You Avoid Conflict And Disagreements
Conflict is a natural part of all relationships, even the strongest and healthiest ones. Avoiding conflict, shutting your partner out when you are upset, ignoring your own wants and needs because you don’t want to “rock the boat,” are all symptoms that you are emotionally unavailable.
Being agreeable is not in and of itself a negative quality. It only becomes a problem when you are afraid to speak up and ask for what you need and want. Otherwise, you don’t feel safe to be authentic, and authenticity is one of the keys to creating emotional intimacy.
When you avoid conflict, you will inevitably find yourself in a cold war with your partner. Avoiding conflict doesn’t make it go away. It only allows it to fester and create a barrier between the two of you. This is the death of emotional connection.
Conflict is not a sign that things are not “meant to be.” Working through your differences will only strengthen your relationship.
In a healthy relationship, you are able to navigate conflict with your partner. You can ask for what you want even when it feels uncomfortable. You’re okay if your partner disagrees with you. You’re not twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to please your guy. You can relax and be yourself, even when the two of you are not in alignment.
You’re Addicted To Drama
Another sign that you’re emotionally unavailable is that you can’t help but create conflict with your man. You only feel alive when the two of you are going at it or making up from a fight. If you are unable to manage your emotional triggers, then you will be in a constant state of reactivity.
Creating drama gives you a reason to close your heart off from your partner. It justifies why you don’t feel safe with him and it puts you in a power struggle. It requires you to make your guy feel bad in order for you to feel good about yourself.
It can feel exciting and passionate when emotions are heated, but too much drama will destroy the emotional connection between the two of you. Power struggles come from an ego desire to be right and to demand agreement from your guy. This tug of war can feed your self-righteousness, but it will destroy emotional intimacy.
Too much drama has a corrosive effect on a relationship. Eventually, neither of you will feel it is safe to be vulnerable and open with each other. You have to develop a respectful way of navigating your differences in order for love to flourish between you.
Putting your need to be right aside and becoming curious about your triggers can help reduce your tendency to create drama. Look for how you can let go of the rope, release the power struggle, and create connection with your guy.
You Can’t Open Up And Be Vulnerable
Vulnerability is essential to creating intimacy. By definition, being vulnerable requires you to share your feelings. If you can’t open your heart and share your vulnerability, then you are emotionally unavailable.
Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. To be vulnerable is to risk your heart and that takes courage and strength. You cannot create the lasting love you desire if you are afraid to take that risk and share yourself with another.
Of course, sharing yourself opens you up to being rejected. Your fear of rejection is driving your need to keep your heart closed and safe. Unfortunately, you can never feel loved and accepted if you don’t open your heart. This contradiction keeps you stuck and unable to make love last.
No one is coming to tear down the walls around your heart. No man is going to be able to create an environment where you can finally be vulnerable without the fear of rejection. You have to be open to trust another first, then you can allow a man to get close to you.
Take the risk to share your hurts, your fears, and your upsets and you’ll open the space to be seen and accepted by another. Vulnerability is the essence of emotional connection.
You Don’t Have Respectful Boundaries
Love requires boundaries. Love does not mean that you can say or do anything to your partner. It also doesn’t mean that you have found your other half who completes you. It may feel exciting and romantic to merge with another and become one, but you are two different people with different thoughts, feelings and desires.
When you don’t have respectful boundaries in your relationships then you confuse which feelings are yours and which are your partner’s.
Do you dive in right away when you meet someone you are attracted to? Do you ignore your friends when you are in a relationship? Does love feel obsessive and all-consuming?
You may believe that this shows that you are completely open to love, but it actually indicates that you are emotionally unavailable.
When you don’t have boundaries, you can assume that your partner just gets you and knows what you want and need. Your soulmate isn’t a mind reader and assuming he is will just create problems between the two of you. Especially when he doesn’t intuit what you are thinking or feeling and respond accordingly.
This can wreak havoc in your relationship. Constantly making assumptions about your partner, blaming him for your upset, needing him to calm you down and reassure you, are behaviors that muddy the emotional waters between the two of you.
Respectful love has a boundary. The boundary creates the conditions for love to grow in a more trusting and nurturing way.
You Expect Perfection
Perfectionism is just an excuse to judge yourself and others for not being “enough.” It gets in the way of you feeling good about yourself and allowing yourself to relax with your guy. You will make mistakes in your relationships. So will your man. Not allowing for mistakes puts too much pressure on a relationship and kills intimacy.
Perfectionism can cause you to make comparisons and to judge yourself and your partner harshly. Judgment is one of the biggest indicators that you are emotionally unavailable for love. Whether you are judging yourself or your guy, you are creating a wall between the two of you that blocks emotional connection.
Your inner dialog about your failures can’t help but be projected onto any partner you meet. No one will ever seem good enough for you. You will find yourself being constantly disappointed and frustrated.
Just because you learn to accept your imperfections doesn’t mean that you give up on life and spend all of your time on the couch eating bonbons. You can’t actually grow and change without first accepting your limitations.
Having compassion for yourself allows you to be human. Having compassion for your man allows you to forgive his mistakes. Compassion is a key ingredient to creating emotional connection with someone. It becomes the glue that allows the two of you to navigate through life’s difficulties.
You Struggle With Commitment
Do you keep your relationships in the gray and resist labeling them? Do you have difficulty trusting? Are you afraid you’ll lose your freedom in a relationship?
Dating isn’t hard when you don’t expect that things will last. You can have fun and keep things simple between the two of you. You get to keep your options open. It doesn’t take any effort to stick around when things are easy.
However, if you bolt at the first sign of difficulty then you are probably afraid of commitment and are emotionally unavailable. Lasting love requires you to make a deeper commitment to yourself and to your man. It asks you to commit to working through your differences, not avoiding them.
Commitment requires you to make adjustments and sacrifices. You are committing to becoming a “we” instead of just “me.” It means that you are choosing this man and therefore rejecting all other men.
You can’t have a relationship without a commitment. Commitment is the bond that allows each partner to trust that the relationship will last when there are difficulties. Creating a commitment with each other requires that the two of you are able to have a conversation about what that commitment means. You get to discover if the two of you are on the same page and want the same things.
You may try to justify being emotionally unavailable by claiming that you are happy being alone, but if you can’t open up allow someone into your heart then you will never feel connected to another human being.
Humans are by nature social creatures. As the saying goes, “No one is an island.” You grow in and are nurtured by your relationships. You thrive when you allow yourself to open your heart to another and create a relationship that is more than the two of you combined.
Notice the areas where you are emotionally unavailable and start making an effort to release your limitations around love. You will be rewarded in more ways than you can count.
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