This is one of the rare unfiltered (yes, it was THAT beautiful #nofilter at all) photos taken of me in the middle of nowhere by the Nevada-Utah border when I was working on a project last December. I decided to use this picture because besides it being a fun memory, it’s also the Webster’s pictorial definition of exactly what it feels like to date an emotionally unavailable man.
I never knew what “emotionally unavailable” meant until a few years ago. I had heard the term once or twice and I thought it was just some bizarre psychological term that seemed too diagnostic and unrealistic. How could anyone be emotionally unavailable? All my friends and I DID was cry, laugh, scream, get angry and cry some more. It seemed too complicated and way off base. I BLED emotions.
Fast forward to a year later after a horrible, heart-wrenching, not-ever-going-to-recover-from-this-I-want-to-die breakup. I found myself in a onesie and pink ugg boots (remember when those used to be in style? me neither), in my car driving just to get lost. I had gotten to the point where I felt like I had nowhere to turn. I felt like I was a sneeze away from a padded wall and straight jacket. I turned on the radio and it was accidentally on an AM radio station. Before I could change the station, I heard a woman explain her broken relationship and it sounded so similar to mine that I had to pull over the car. After a long pause, the radio love doctor that was listening to the woman said: “it sounds like he’s emotionally unavailable.”
I drove home and didn’t need to do much research until I understood what emotional unavailability meant. I immediately connected what I was learning and began to recognize family members, friends and the majority of guys that I had been with as emotionally unavailable.
This was invaluable to me because I got to see patterns in what I was attracting and what I was attracted to. I feel like being involved with someone that’s emotionally unavailable is something that needs to be discussed and understood because once you get what it means, you can then identify it after a few dates (or even one date) and save yourself the months, years, tears and the feeling of hopeless insanity that’s inevitable when you decide to have a go with a guy that’s of the emotionally unavailable species.
It’s not that your guy is disinterested, that he’s “changed,” or that you “did” anything to make him act a certain way. You’re not “unlucky” in love and you’re definitely not going crazy. He’s just disconnected and unavailable.