Have you ever met someone who “romantically” knocked you off your feet—as in, “Hi Mom and Dad, you’re not going to believe this, but I just met the man of my dreams!”
But sadly, a few months later, your conversation changes to, “I can’t believe he turned out to be so emotionally unavailable and commitment-phobic.”
There are people who chronically meet and date individuals who, at first, seem so perfect for a warm, loving relationship. But when those same “in love” people take off their rose colored glasses, they realize the person they thought was Mr. or Mrs. Right was really Mr. or Mrs. Wrong .
How did they not recognize this? How did they miss the obvious warning signs before they became intimate and gave their heart away?
The answer is—it’s so easy to become intoxicated during that early infatuation stage, when you meet someone who fits your vision and seems like the perfect match. (“He’s so good-looking,” or “What a gorgeous woman!” or “What an exciting personality! or “He’s so rich!” or “She’s so hot in bed!” or “He wants the same thing I want—to settle down and have children.”)
For those of us who’ve been in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable person, we know the pain of not being able to get close to the person we love. Our deep love for them can put us into denial of the fact that they are unavailable for an intimate, close relationship with us.
If a person is serious about finding an emotionally available person, for a committed partnership, there are whole categories of people to avoid—people living in another state, those who are still married or in love with someone else and people with addictions, be it workaholics or drug addicts.
The “booby prize” in life is trying to understand or change the behavior of an emotionally unavailable person. (Only they can change it.) People can be unavailable for both healthy and unhealthy reasons. They may have suffered through a troubled childhood experience that has wounded them, or they now have higher priorities such as their career or taking care of a sick parent. Perhaps, they are recently divorced or widowed and legitimately not ready to get involved in an intimate relationship. Then, there are those who are too afraid of taking the risk of falling in love, because they have been hurt too much in their previous relationships.
Ironically, most emotionally unavailable people are easy to spot—quite transparent, showing us their true colors right from the beginning.
Below are the top 10 signs you are dating a person who is not ready for a committed relationship with you.
If you notice several of these signals in that person, it may be time to ask yourself why you’re still in a relationship with them. Are you really serious about wanting to be in a committed relationship?
10 Signs You’re Dating an Emotionally Unavailable Person:
- Sexually Fast. Beware of a person who wants to become sexually familiar quickly. Often they are seducers looking for just another conquest. Or, if they are over-focused on sex it may be because they don’t feel they have anything else to offer. Once the relationship becomes too intimate, they’ll cut and run.
- Real Charmers. Look out for the person who is quick to flatter and compliment you without really knowing you. Often these people “do” charming (as opposed to “be”) and are adept at communicating and appearing enthusiastic and enthralled. It’s a well-rehearsed act. Their focus is on short-term intimacy, appearing to be open, revealing and vulnerable. In reality they prefer the chase to the catch.
- Complainers about Past Relationships. In a discussion about their past relationships, they will denigrate their former partners. Their relationship break-ups are never because of their behavior or the problems they created. The failures of their unsuccessful partnerships are always based on the faults of their exes. They lack the maturity to take responsibility for their mistakes in their past relationships.
- Can’t Pass the Screen for Intimacy. Make sure to probe a new person to find out why past long-term relationships did not work and ended. Ask questions to discern whether failure occurred because of their inability to develop intimacy or other issues that would give you pause for concern.
- Believe What They Say. Often emotionally unavailable people will say, “I’m just not good at having a relationship,” or “I don’t think I’m ready for marriage.” Believe them! In this case, they are not lying. But don’t fall into their trap—there is something terribly seductive about trying to be “the one” who turns them around. Don’t try. Accept their negative pronouncements. This may be the first and only time you’ll hear them speak the truth (as they know it).
- Watch How They Treat Others. Especially when out in public with them, notice whether they treat others with kindness or contempt. For example, if they are rude to a waiter or taxi driver, it may be indicative of their pent-up anger. This is a signal that they are a demanding and emotionally abusive person (who will one day turn their anger on you).
- Observe Their Character. Avoid someone with a big ego, filled with conceit, who tries to win favor by bragging about who they are or what they have. This is a red flag that signals their low self-esteem and lack of emotional health. Emotionally healthy people who have done some sort of personal development, by contrast, show a quiet confidence that says they can be intimate and committed despite their flaws.
- Watch Out for Perfectionists. Emotionally unavailable people tend to be perfectionists, always looking for the fatal flaw or character defect that gives them permission to exit a relationship and move on. In reality, they are debilitated by their own self-criticism and fear of being rejected. They are so frightened of intimacy that eventually they’ll find an excuse for leaving a relationship. (The booby prize is thinking that you’ll ever be good enough to meet their impossible standards.)
- Self-Centered Behavior. Beware of someone who operates the relationship as if it should revolve around them. These individuals set the agenda for a relationship, control it, and won’t be inconvenienced by having to modify their routine or the plans they’ve made. This type of emotionally unavailable person is commitment-phobic, and not relationship-oriented. They are inflexible and loathe having to compromise.
- Elusive Conduct. They seem to be available only when convenient for them. Your requests for more time with them are met with excuses about how hard they’re working or how tired they feel. Even after a seemingly intimate weekend, they can disappear for long periods with no regular contact. Their actions are incongruent with their words. It’s easy for them to utter an “I love you,” and then act in a way that is unloving.
If you notice the person you’re dating exhibiting several of these signs, don’t waste time trying to convert or change them. Just accept that they are not a fit for you. This will take discipline on your part, but it will save you from great emotional disappointment and allow you to be free to meet someone for a healthier relationship that has a future. The choice is yours.
Author’s note: If you want to know how the planets in your Horoscope are affecting your relationships, go the Free Transit Calculator and enter your birth date. And, if you’re curious to learn more about your personal Horoscope and what it says about your love relationships, career, investments and health in—order your customized report: Your Horoscope & Future in 2015-16. Or, a report on—Your Love Compatibility.
Author: Larry Schwimmer
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina