Unavailable People in Relationships

If you want to be in a relationship, you need to be with someone who is capable of showing up and participating in that relationship. So many of us want to be in relationships so badly that we overlook someone’s capacity to have one. If you’re dating and want to be in a committed relationship, pay attention to your potential partner’s availability; watch out for the warning signs. If you’re that person who is unavailable you may want to spend some time going solo or if you need help, get support before going into your next relationship.

The emotionally unavailable
Warning signs of an emotionally unavailable person:
1. Concurrently in another relationship. (duhhh!, but it has to be said)
2. Still processing the end of a previous relationship; which is usually a 3-6mo minimum?
3. Can show up physically, yet pulls back from deepening intimacy. This is the emotionally avoidant person.
a. Has had difficulty in being in long term relationships in the past.
b. Resists having difficult and necessary emotional communications.
c. May have a hard time committing to one person or taking the relationship to the next level.
d. Is going through an emotional crisis while in a relationship; experiencing significant loss or stress.
e. Runs away when things get hard.
f. Are you chasing someone and getting little in return?

The geographically unavailable
This one is pretty obvious. If you are considering dating someone long distance, you are going to be entering into a relationship where this person will not be able to spend time with you physically. It is difficult to build a relationship without a consistent connection and getting together to spend quality time. If you are already in a relationship and one person is temporarily moving away, it is slightly different. If your online profile parameters are beyond driving distance, be careful

The physically unavailable
Some folks love their careers. It can be deeply rewarding to love what you do, however, when someone works so much that they cannot spend enough time to enrich the relationship, they become physically unavailable to be in a relationship. Although people can be in a relationship for a long time while simultaneously overworking, their partners usually end up feeling resentful or hurt.

Video Transcription

Hello, this is Sevin Phillips and I’m here to talk about being unavailable to be in a relationship.

One of the ways is that you can be physically unavailable. Perhaps, maybe you live in a different city or you live a long distance drive away. It just makes it very difficult to show up on a regular basis to get to know somebody. You could even be living in the same city and be physically unavailable to be in a relationship.

This might be someone who’s overworking or obsessed with something going on in their life that’s all-consuming and yet trying to be in a relationship or get to know somebody. It makes it very difficult. I’s one thing to consider about being physically available is actually just showing up for a relationship in a general way.

The emotionally unavailable is probably more common. One of the things, which is obvious for most of us but it has to be said, is that if you’re in a committed relationship or even if you think you’re even half in a committed relationship and you haven’t ended the relationship, you are unavailable to start a new one, in addition to the fact that a lot of people’s feelings could be hurt.

If you are recently out of a relationship or considering being with someone who is, usually about three to six months it takes at minimum for someone’s heart to start healing. There’s just some emotional baggage left over, so you might want to just consider this when getting to know somebody.

Some of the general warning signs could be that if someone has only had short relationships throughout their lives and never any long relationships, it could be indicative of having difficulties with intimacy.

If, when things get hard, someone runs away; if you yourself are giving a lot of energy trying to chase somebody and you’re getting very little in return, it could mean this person is emotionally unavailable.

There could be something going on in somebody’s life – a significant loss, significant stress. Just be default, that person is less available emotionally to be in a relationship. Also, somebody might have a difficult time taking it to the next level. You may be perhaps are bringing up the conversation about moving it forward and there’s continual resistance to even having the conversation, let alone moving forward. You might want to consider the person may be unavailable, emotionally.

These are all just warning signs. I want you to consider them. Most importantly, I want you to have these conversations with people in your life. I would love to hear from anyone. Maybe you yourself are unavailable, or have been unavailable or perhaps you’re out there dating or in a relationship with some people who don’t seem to be too available.

I would love to hear your experience about this. This is far more prevalent than I think we talk about. It should be talked about. I’m glad that you’re listening to the video. Please take care of your hearts. Talk to you later.

Sevin Philips, MFT

1 Comment

  1. Katie on August 4, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    I am finding that I may have been in an emotionally unavailable relationship for a year an a half now. At first, I thought he just needs time to trust again. So I was patient and continued to move forward. Then, we started a business together, mainly operated by him, and then it just continued. I would get excuses like I’m busy, I’m stressed etc. And now I just don’t know what to do. I’m the one chasing, and I am really not used to being that person. I love him but I can’t possibly be involved with someone who doesn’t even want to be emotionally involved right?