Is he emotionally unavailable? 40 signs to help you spot whether you're in an unavailable relationship

**Please note – Since I first started Baggage Reclaim, while it’s still read mainly by women, I have a lot of male readers too, as well as readers in all types of relationship. If you’re going out with a woman, just swap he for she. Please also note that posts have been gender neutral since autumn 2010.**

In my book Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, I share some of the most common signs and behaviours that indicate that you’re involved with a Mr Unavailable – an emotionally – and often spiritually and physically – unavailable man. In this post, I provide an overview of these signs and behaviours so that you can get a reading on your current relationship (or ‘non-relationship) situation. What I can assure you of is that their unavailability isn’t sparked by something you said or did, it’s not that they’ve ‘changed’ and that you need to find the right ‘access code’ and you’re definitely not going crazy; they’re unavailable.


More often than not, the primary issue that women focus on is the emotional unavailability but there are always physical and spiritual issues to prop it up. Mr Unavailable isn’t a Bad Boy per se and has nice qualities, which is what keeps the millions of women lingering around. To be fair – most people have ‘nice qualities’ and of course, as humans, we’re very good at rustling up qualities and seeing the best in people. This isn’t a bad quality but what we forget is that somebody’s availability and their ability to commit isn’t about ‘nice qualities’. It’s about whether they are capable of mutual love, care, trust and respect as well as whether they can come up with the goods for a mutually fulfilling copiloted relationship the landmarks such as consistency, balance, and intimacy.


He is the ambiguous, hard to read, attractive guy that sits between Bad Boy and Mr Nice Guy. Mr Unavailable (or as some refer to him EUM – emotionally unavailable man – or EU) with his inability to tap into his emotions, his lack of self-awareness and his mismatched actions and words, has millions of women investing their time and energy into fruitless liaisons with him.

His characteristics, personality and behaviour give the women he engages with just enough of a hint of what he could be… if only he wasn’t so self-involved and messy.

He has a host of excuses as to why he can’t be as much of a partner as you would like him to be and blames “timing”, and says stuff like, “If only things were different, you’d be the perfect girlfriend”, but that doesn’t explain why he continues to play havoc with your emotions.


Mr Unavailable is very much about the chase. He pursues hard, showers you with attention and lays it on thick with a trowel in order to reel you in, but from the moment that you are hooked and things get comfortable, he backs off. Then he homes in again. This is a good time to read about blowing hot and cold, Future Faking, and Fast Forwarding. All of this behaviour allows him to run things on his terms and manage down your expectations – it’s how achieves The Status Quo. When you look at the pattern of your relationship, you will notice that it always, no matter how much blowing hot he does, rolls back to his comfort zone. It’s round about that time when you’re going to feel as if you have to go into people-pleasing overdrive or when you’re going to try and end things in an attempt to shake things up and make him want you that intensely again.


After a while it seems as if he wants to avoid doing anything that involves being close to you – think emotional intimacy – despite starting off very eagerly when he was pursuing you and unsure that he could win you. Did I mention that Mr Unavailable associates the feeling of desire with the feeling of uncertainty and being out of control? Of course this means that the moment he feels safe, it’s back to blowing lukewarm or even cold.


Here are just some of the signs that you’re with a Mr Unavailable.

If you find one sign, you’ll find many, but often one sign is enough and you should use this to evaluate whether this is the type of relationship that you actually want to be involved in because each and every one of these signs, especially when more than one of them exists, spell pain and trouble. Here goes…

  1. He has a girlfriend or is married – read my post on being the other woman.
  2. He’s recently separated – read my post on how to cope when he’s separated.
  3. Or he’s divorced but using that fact to avoid committing – see my post on ‘Am I right not to go back to my flip-flapping divorcee?
  4. He’s in a long distance relationship. With someone else. Or you’re in one with him and he has no desire to get closer – read my rough guide to a new long-distance relationship.
  5. He’s very reliant on text messages, instant messaging and email for the majority of his contact – read my post on why you should be wary of any man who is reliant on text messaging etc.
  6. They’re ambiguous about the status of the relationship – check out my post on defining the relationship.
  7. You’re not sure when you’ll hear from the next, even though you’ve been dating them for a while.
  8. You think you’re in a relationship, but it’s closer to a booty call.
  9. He says stuff like ‘If only the timing was different, you’d be the perfect girlfriend’;’If only things were different I’d definitely marry you’. Check out other translations plus you can download a quick sheet of commitment avoidance phrases
  10. When you try to tackle the status of your relationship or any issues, he either tells you what you want to hear and then returns to his normal behaviour, or he just skirts the issue. One way or the other, you wind up back at square one.
  11. He lives with his ex.
  12. He shares a bed with a woman that he claims is his friend.
  13. He admits that he is dating multiple women continuously.
  14. He’s openly not over his ex.
  15. He says he’s over his ex but he’s quietly still trying to cope with the end of the relationship – yep, he’s not over his ex.
  16. He often mentions his ex or things that happened between the two of them.
  17. He’s an overt mother lover or mummy’s/mama’s boy.
  18. He’s a mother hater – has an overtly negative relationship with his mother.
  19. He doesn’t call when he’s supposed to. Ever.
  20. He’s one big walking excuse.
  21. He’s abusive and in fact, he’s an assclown. Note, all assclowns, so that’s people who are shady and abusive, are unavailable and have empathy issues, but not all emotionally unavailable people are assclowns.
  22. He creeps out after sleeping with you even though you’ve been together for a while
  23. He has a stringent routine that he just won’t deviate from – sometimes a sign that he has someone else.
  24. He won’t take calls either before or after a certain time – often a sign that he’s cheating.
  25. He doesn’t come around to your place until late.
  26. He is resistant to involving himself in your life.
  27. He talks about his problems, his successes, his life – it’s me, me, me all the way.
  28. He determines the momentum of the relationship – you meet up when he wants to meet up.
  29. He pushes for an ‘open’ relationship.
  30. He never refers to you as a girlfriend, partner or any form of significant other.
  31. He uses sex as his way of demonstrating his so-called ’emotion’.
  32. There are pockets of time when he disappears and then resurfaces with little or no explanation.
  33. He blows hot and cold.
  34. He’s quick out the gate in pursuing you, gets your attention, and then goes into a slow canter – Future Faking, and Fast Forwarding
  35. He tells you that he has a lot of issues that he needs to deal with.
  36. He actually says, ‘I’m not ready for a relationship’, but is still with you.
  37. He says he wants to get married, but there is no sign of a ring, no sign of a date and years are going by.
  38. He can’t commit to anything, no matter how miniscule. Everything that he’s asked, such as whether he can do something with you is a big drama to get him to say yay or nay.
  39. Struggles with being genuinely empathetic. Hell, in some instances, he has about as much emotion
  40. He may act as if he has a fire in his pants and has to sleep with you right away or very quickly…. and then blows hot and cold. Or you just don’t hear from him again…until he taps you up for sex next time he’s fishing around for attention.

Make sure you are aware of the implications of red flags in relationships (also code red and amber behaviour) having little or no boundaries.

Your thoughts?


FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

381 Responses to Is He Emotionally Unavailable? How To Spot Emotionally Unavailable Men

  1. WantToHeal says:

    Hi Brad,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond back to me. I was looking for validation and you clarified for me what I had experienced with this EUM man. Your advice is great. I am going to get myself a copy of both of these ebooks.

    Thank you!!

  2. WantToHeal says:

    I also want to mention that he told me regarding living together that both his mother and father told him to never live with a woman because she can kick you out at anytime, therefore he wanted us to get a place of our own with both our names on the lease. I understand his point, but I can also that he was scared of having a woman leave him. I’m not sure if this had happened to him in the past. He also told me that school and work would help him get ahead in life, that they would be there for him, women come and go. It’s like he found security in knowing he would have something in life if he was directing his energy towards school and work, but if he directed that same energy and commitment towards having a relationship, that relationship might not be there tomorrow.
    He was scared of having a relationship, as was I. I can see now how we “mirrored” each other.

  3. WantToHeal says:

    I meant to say “I understand his point, but I can also “see” that he was scared of having a woman leave him.”

  4. Brad K. says:


    WhenI borrow a book from the library that has nothing in it that is useful, I take it back. And I don’t worry about the book or the details.

    You are still worrying about his details.

    It doesn’t matter if he is still dependent on his parents for ethics and character (past 4 is an issue!), or if he is afraid, or ignorant of what his role in life and his role in his community should mean.

    Thinking that getting a place in both your names somehow ties you to the relationship is warped. He wants to bind you, so he won’t waste time worrying about that. How ignorant is that! What binds us to a relationship is our willingness and desire to be there. Overlook that simple fact, and relationships are likely to end.

    Anyway, he isn’t just sharing inexpensive lodging with his parents – he is still living at home, as his parent’s child. His plans are about as likely and dependable as anyone else about to start High School. Whatever their age.

    I would never wait for anyone. If they are not disciplined and honorable enough to avoid engaging with someone when they cannot meet their responsibilities at the time, they don’t have enough character to be worthwhile some time later.

    What he is going to be thinking when he finishes school, gets that fine job, and feels manly – is that he needs a woman that will be his wife, with social status. Not someone that would wait around for a student.

    Begging and sweet words are never worth as much as actions.

  5. SSS says:

    LOVE this site and all the great advice/stories on here.

    My first love, whom I met at 18, was classic EUM. Of course, that was before this site or any constructive help was out there, so I went round and round with him for FOUR YEARS before I moved on. Back and forth, push and pull, hot and cold, great sex but lacking emotional intimacy. So many of the things described on this site applied to me. I willingly took a demotion from girlfriend to FWB, willingly was the other woman after offering up a paltry six-month resistance, did so many other demeaning and self-destructive things, all in the name of “catching” this man who, while he may have cared for me, never knew HOW to love or treat a woman, and never would have treated me any better than an unpaid prostitute. He’s been with another lady since I ended it for good, must be eight or nine years by now, and I’m sure he’s doing the same to her, because he still calls me, asking me to meet him for “old times’ sake”.

    I don’t, ever.

    And since things ended with him, I’ve been in love with two emotionally available, loving, committed men. And while those relationships ended for their own reasons, it wasn’t the constant push-pull, round and round roller coaster of the first. So while I realize there’s a part of me attracted to shithead EUMs, I am capable of a loving, caring, mutually committed relationship.

    However, my last one of those ended spectacularly about nine months ago. After six months of deep mourning and being a complete shut-in, I emerged this summer to begin dating again. And had a blast. Met many many men. Fun ones. Crazy ones. Successful ones. Not-so-successful ones. Confident ones. Insecure ones. None of them held my interest for longer than two weeks.

    And then…

    You know what’s coming…

    One night, after pretty much the WORST day of work, I took myself out for a few drinks to drown my sorrows. Made eye contact with a gorgeous man in a gorgeous suit (love a man in a suit!), waved him over to sit next to me, and ended up smack dab in the middle of another crazy mess of a relationship with an EUM. I found this site after googling “how to tell if you’re dating a married man”, because at first, that’s what I thought he was. I don’t think that any longer, I think he’s just emotionally unavailable and an assclown.

    And thank god I did, because who knows how long I would have stayed on this merry-go-round with him, completely oblivious to my own behavior and how I was allowing him to play with my emotions. You would think I would have learned my lesson after my first EUM, but obviously I’ve needed to re-learn it. This site has helped me see that I’ve been allowing this man I’ve only “dated” (if you can call it that) for a month to dictate MY emotions, and how good a day I’m going to have.

    So last night, I told him, if he wanted to be with me, he needed to step up and be with me. That’s I’ve been allowing him to be the exception to my rules long enough, and it was on him where we went from here, but I’m not going to do this craziness anymore.

    Haven’t heard from him since. Honestly, I don’t expect to. And I’m just sick enough that I go back and forth between regretting sending that text (text, of course! Haven’t spoken to him on the phone for two weeks, red flag anyone?) and then being pissed at myself for regretting telling him how I actually feel and enforcing a boundary.

    So from now on out, I will be clinging to this site and the great stories, words, and advice here, until I am strong enough to try and date again. It’s going to be a while. Obviously something is up with me if I’m attracting the same type of asshat at 30 that I was at 18.

    Thinking about maybe seeing a therapist.

    Thanks again to you all.

  6. Anusha says:

    SSS-Welcome to this forum :) I think isnt about just paying more atention to the guys we are atracted to but also on ourselves and I think there is where your problem started.Maybe you tried to be more selective with guys after your first experience with a EUM but you realy didnt work on yourself.Like maybe you can have self esteem problems,or dont have a nice relationship with yourself or not be able to set boundaries.Anyway my point is if you continued to atract EUM there is something on you that needs to be worked on yet.I think going to therapy like you said will be very beneficial to you to identificate what it is that keep atracting those guys to your life.

  7. SSS says:

    Anusha, thanks!

    I think you’re definitely right. I thought, after EUM#1 “well, now I know what I don’t want”, so I found a man who was loving, open, and available. And didn’t really work on myself as you said, if anything, *I* became the EU in that relationship.

    For the record, EUM#2 did text back, and asked what he needed to do to be with me, and what rules I was talking about, LOL, and I texted him back and told him what I wanted: more contact, actually SEEING him more than twice a month (we live three hours apart and are both professionals with busy careers — but I make time for HIM when he’s in town), consistency in his contact and following through on his promises. I haven’t heard back from him, but if he agrees and actually follows through, I will give him another shot. I’m not deluding myself into thinking that he will, though, but at least I feel that I’ve defined what I want from the relationship and I’m not rolling over and letting him get away with treating me shabbily. It’s time I stop expecting him to figure out what I want by osmosis and tell him. If he can’t do that, and I suspect that is the case, I will move on and work on myself and focus on my career and continuing education (school starts in late September, I’m almost done with my post-graduate work.)

    Either way, I’ve asked my PCP for a referral to a counselor. Luckily, unlike so many other Americans, I have excellent health insurance through my employer, so I can actually go and get treatment if I need it.

  8. chris says:

    ladies run for your lives these EUM are sick, they are also potentially emotionally abusive men and can ruin your self-esteem in the long they will drive you to do and say things you would not normally do, you become the crazy person because it is not their fault, mine was quick to commit so we could speed up they relationship, move some of his stuff in my house, only wanted to come late at night to my house once a week, every weekend had a headache or had something to do,l clean his house or mow his lawn always refuse my help never wanted anyone by his house always wanted to be by himself (turns out he was addicted to porn). He made all plans for vacations and holidays by himself, I was never included in his plan met mother and sister but was never taken to their home or invited to family functuons, never call when he said he would and get outrage if his motives were question. Finally, after 11 months of telling this man I am not the girl for him and trying to get rid of him out my life, of course, he was always so much in love with me and misses me and wanted to make it work even though he admits it would not work (thats because I was rebelling against his bull crop treatment towards me I know better) I have blocked his phone#s from my phone and if he shows up I will call the police and get a restraining order. In the beginning he told me he finally met the one he was looking for in me wanted to be stepdad to my child but they relationship turned out to be more like a booty call, ladies if it sounds too good to be through it probably is. These men are crazy n sick.

  9. cassie says:

    Well it has been a while. I went back to him. It was so nice just to chat (text) that I forgot about him being emotionally unavailable. That is until I asked for more time to hang out and watch a movie. Of course it was my fault. I ruined it. We were getting along so good and but then I dared to want him to spend “normal hours” with me. He went on about me texting too much when just the weekend before he had said he didn’t mind the texts and appreciated the attention. I reminded him of that but it didn’t seem to matter. I had already ruined it. Do they ever realize how they treat people? I want to help him but know I can’t.

  10. messed up says:

    Well here is my story.

    I joined an STD dating site earlier this year and didn’t opt for full membership until months later due to my wanting to get more details on certain profiles that I was interested in.

    Once I joined, I contacted approximately 12 to 15 men out of hundreds from all over the U.S that I found attractive. Why I didnt consider distance as a factor is probably irrelevant at this point, but I did contact those I found interesting and received about 5 replies over the course of a few months.

    Out of the 5, I only had one real interest and that was with a man who lived 3,000 miles away from me. What did I hope to gain out of a long distance connection? I didn’t weigh the cost of distance, but gave the connection a chance to see where things may lead.

    Little did I know that agreeing to an LDR may mean that I am not fully engaging myself in the relationship and finding the distance safe so that I can be somewhat unavailable myself.

  11. Brad K. says:

    @messed up,

    We don’t like to think we are avoiding our fears when we make a choice that . . . just happens . . . to mean we don’t get close – and don’t get to share our lives with someone else.


  12. ceci says:

    Well, I’m wondering if my current guy is a EUM. We’re older, 50’s. He came on really strong and has made a lot of hints about getting married, etc. He’s gifted me a lot. But then when I stayed with him last for 2 1/2 days, he really ran hot and cold. Not much sex (although he gave me lingerie), he pushed me away a couple of times right after we kissed – and it’s a LDR. Talks about his ex all the time and even though they’ve been divorced for 4 years and were only married maybe 2.5-3 yrs, he babysits her dog when she needs him and she cuts his hair once a month – am I being too closed minded to think this is kinda weird? He also keeps mentioning other women he went out with, women he’s friends with, and women who work somewhere who are beautiful or cute (it gets worked into the conversation one way or the other). If I tell him he’s handsome, he’s self deprecating.He walks around all the time in just shorts in public and talks about women in bikini’s at the beach, but balked a bit at PDA intiated by me (mild stuff). I’m feeling that weird push and pull like it’s dysfunctional and we’ve been going out for a pretty short time. I don’t know if he’s an EUM or a misogynist maybe? I know at my age, I should know, but …

  13. Brad K. says:

    @ ceci,

    Actually, I don’t think his behavior is weird at all. For someone living in a relationship with his ex. He may not be married legally, but he is tied emotionally as if he were. He never healed from the marriage, he never stopped “being married”. He is not available. He has someone in his life.

    And likely he never fixed whatever was wrong that his marriage fell apart. Because as you noticed, he isn’t whole-hearted in his affections for you.

    A long distance relationship (LDR) seldom works for very long – usually it kills off an existing relationship – or if LDR from the start, means that you really didn’t want a life-mate, a shared life, either.

    I think you are misunderstanding the link between public displays of affection (PDA) and ogling women or even flaunting his own skin. A PDA usually lies somewhere between rebellion against rules of good taste and modesty, and an exhibition of affection. Your mother didn’t want to think of you doing PDA; you don’t want to think of your kids doing PDA.

    The ogling, the frequent comments on physical beauty – this is a skirt chaser. A perpetual dater. If a particularly attractive body catches his eye, then the next similar display will, too. This is a *bad* habit, and is an act of disrespect for the person being ogled, and pretty disrespectful of himself and you, too, as you likely noticed.

    Since he is playing the field, has other women in his life, no matter what he tells you, he isn’t interested in a long term relationship. If you weren’t thinking “friends with benefits”, then you misunderstood who you picked for a partner.

    You might find NML’s ebook, Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl to be helpful. There is a reason that you chose a partner that is tied elsewhere, that isn’t acting as if he is interested in settling into a good relationship, or even that you are the only one in his life.

    Take care.

  14. ATL says:

    And I thought I was the only one dealing…I met a 48 year old EUM in June who was full speed ahead wanting an “exclusive, committed, long-term relationship” with me. Even said he would wait for sexual relations. He knew just what a woman wanted to hear. Spent lots of time together at first even with his 24/48 firefighter schedule AND pt transporter job. All just seemed perfect. Then 10 wks later, the late night “friend” over but “nothing to worry about”…esp since he sent her on her way whn I showed up right. Sure, go figure. Well, I did figure and set some standards. THEN the real EUM stood up (didn’t like standards set)…:”really busy with work, not good with relationships, like my freedom, we could be friends, just have friends but tell them no commitment and they agree to it, this is not for me, okay to grow old without ever marrrying or having kids, we don’t have a relationship, it was the chase” blah blah blah. Cool, if that’s a EUM’s thing, don’t deceive – put it out there up front. Unfortunately some lower their standards for this type of mate while compromising what they really desire. Difficult enough dating in Atlanta area, but thanks to my ex-EUM, I’m a game or few smarter so I kept it moving to be available for an EAM. Ladies, is it any better in Texas or any where else?

    • planBwho? says:

      “don’t deceive…put it out there up front.” ATL, this is all i ask of a guy. really. when we first begin. i am the very definition of what you see is what you get, and not long ago i have discovered more deceptions after no contact. i left him a message or two. deceptions can be treacherous and sometimes health/life-threatening.

      you see, nobody has to lie to me to get from me what i willingly give. if i am interested in a certain fella’, he doesn’t have to do a thing after that! except be upfront like i am.

  15. S says:

    Also beware sometimes immature boys are disguised by their receeding hair lines, being older does not necessarily make you a real man who form good relationships.

  16. MD says:

    He says “When it come to emotions : I feel something, I think about it with my head and then have an emotion if it makes sense”. LOL….

  17. Alexandra says:

    My lover was emotionally unavailable. He would flirt with other girls in front of me, kissed 2 of my best friends, admitted he had a one-night stand with a friend he went to visit, all whilst he was telling he loved me – he just happened to be saying all the same things to my best friend too at the same time!
    Nowadays I have a new partner but this guy still tries to kiss me and be very flirtatious when he IM’s me: he is openly sexual and asks very personal (sexual) questions. He admits he has jealousy issues. When I asked him about why he is like this (I thought at first he was just a womaniser) he said it was because he didn’t want to make himself vulnerable and admitted he was insecure and ‘meant nothing’. Unfortunately I am still partly in love with him despite my new partner but I know deep down I cannot change him.

  18. jamie says:

    You didn’t break them and you can’t fix’em. Sucks, but it’s true. These types of people don’t deserve your attention and you are too good for them. They are the one with the problem. Not You!! I learned that the hard way. Yes, I was pursued and dumped just like the rest of you. Worse, I left my boyfriend of three years for the idiot who did this to me. Wrong!! Lesson learned and moving on.

  19. Limecake says:

    Hello….I think I might actually be going crazy-please help.
    I am not in a proper relationship with my EUM (he doesn’t think we’re compatible, as I got too needy, too soon). However we stayed in close contact and have had sex a few times. Every so often he upsets me by being aloof or talking about other women. After a week or so of me ignoring him he always gets back in touch and it starts again. My question is this: even though we were never boyfriend and girlfriend, are still a EUM and his fallback girl? Do the things on the site apply to us.

  20. Samantha says:

    Are men who are emotionally available include guys who are socially inept geniuses?

  21. Samantha says:

    unavailable* I mean

  22. am says:

    Here is a great description I found that perfectly defines what I went thru with my assclown. Scary and sick thought processes…

    The CoDA literature committee is working on a new piece of CoDA literature that addresses this topic, which is just beginning to be addressed in the therapeutic community and in recovery circles.

    From the Counter-Dependent’s Point of View

    I should avoid emotional closeness, because it leaves me vulnerable and open to hurt. I will adopt an attitude of aloofness and indifference to keep my partner from getting a piece of me. Besides, if I let my partner get into my head, I will be under her rule and will be smothered. I will lose myself. To prevent this, I will subconsciously and consciously distance myself from my partner to keep her from overtaking me, while giving her fleeting moments of tenderness to keep her near me.

    Here�s how I�ll go about it.

    I will put off her requests for closeness, for talks and for time alone together. I will interrupt her and dismiss her opinions. I will show little interest when she wants to share an insight or a story from her day, and I will not share mine. When she hears me share something with someone else and asks. �Why didn�t you tell me that? I will say.� Or �I didn�t think you�d be interested� or �I forgot.� I will pretend to be interested, but internally, I scoff at her interests as well as her choices and habits. Also, I will make sure I don�t miss a chance to point out with a tone of superiority and rightness– how opposite or different her choices and habits are from mine. This helps prove that any attempts at working on our relationship will likely fail, since we are so different and thereby gives me more reason to distance myself.

    I will spend my time at home on house projects, watching TV, reading magazines or playing on the computer or working outside, anything and everything to leave no time for us to have a private moment. I will go to bed early or stay up each night later than her to avoid any closeness when we go to bed, then tell her she isn’t getting enough or needs too much sleep. If I want to have sex, I will wait until she makes a move, keep her deprived and then, when I decide its time, begin touching her, knowing she�ll respond because I�ve minimized affection and she�s craving any intimacy I�ll offer. When I am not at home avoiding her, I will pursue activities outside the home and not include her or forget to tell her about my activities until the day of the event, thereby leaving little possibility that she can attend with me. I will avoid calling her during the day or keep my pager or cell phone off or on silent mode, to avoid talking with her. When I do think of reaching out, I quickly find a reason not to.

    To keep her within arm�s reach, I will occasionally throw out a �we should do X.� I may even really mean to do something with her, but I won�t ever make it a priority so that other things I have to do will always come first… I will leave my schedule open to attend whatever event I want, work on any project I want, or go out with friends (without considering asking her if she wants to go with me). But I will raise a fuss when she decides to take a night off without getting my OK. After all, she always checks with me to see if I�ll be home, so if she doesn�t check, she must be punishing me, and I will call her on it. I will evade suggestion from her for a night out together doing something she enjoys (unless it is something I want to do or convenient for me) or will commit to a night out grudgingly and without any sign of enthusiasm. When she stops initiating sex or dates for us and then later complains about our lack of fun or intimate time, I will (with irritation in my tone) remind her that she needs to initiate it I can�t always be the one initiating.

    If she asks that we have a talk, I will put on my game face of mild irritation at her demand that I share. I will let her run the talk, not offering much input and not validating her opinions. If she pushes ANY buttons or requests any changes in my behavior, I will unleash my rage and feel it is my entitlement to cut her, criticize, accuse her of riding me and then leave the room or the house, so that she can�t continue talking to me. Her talking is just a cover to get a chance to bipch at me anyway. When she sets up a session with a counselor, I will go so that no one can place blame on me for not going. Then I will tell the counselor that the reasons we have problems is that we are very different people so we can�t communicate with each other or I will simply refuse to engage in a meaningful way, and say that counseling just doesn’t work for us.

    Once in a while, I will throw her a crumb and share a thought or a hug with her. Or, at the spur of the moment, I will decide — without asking her first — to take her out to dinner so that she can�t say to her friends or my family He NEVER spends time alone with me. I will subvert any attempts from her to talk about us spending more time together during these rare occasions when I do spend a night with her. I also do things for her that I have procrastinated on, and then complain when she is unhappy that I waited so long to do them and accuse her of ingratitude.

    I will show disgust at her lack of confidence and insecurities. Then I will bring up her tender spots (insecurities) whenever it helps me gain the upper hand or control in an uncomfortable situation. That way, the focus of whatever comes up is shifted away from me and onto her unreasonable demands, criticism and insecurities.

    When she reacts to any of this with anger or other high emotions (yelling, getting hysterical, crying, bawling, or walks around joyless and bitter), I will offer very little comfort, concern, reassurance or attention and criticize her for over-reacting. After all, she is trying to punish me with all her hysterical and depressing emotions, and I don�t need the hassle.

    Her anger and emotional reactions provide good reasons to keep distancing myself from such an intentionally hurtful person. I will make sure I tell my friends and family that her only moods are depressed, hysterical, joyless and bitter, and nothing I do is ever enough for her. That way I can make an ironclad case that proves to everyone, including myself, that it is her fault when she leaves me.

    • JJ2 says:

      re: the comment from November 2009 by “am:”

      HOLY COW! That is exactly what my guy did to me! Except he didn’t complain when I went out by myself, he encouraged that! The rest of your comments were RIGHT ON!

      The “showing little interest in her activities…” and the “constantly working on projects around the house….” and “going to bed early or late to avoid her…” My goodness, you predicted my recent relationship! Especially the part about “constantly working on projects around the house.” When I complained, he referred to the “Idle mind is a devil’s workshop” thing and acted like *I* was the one with the problem.

      The only good thing about this relationship was that he didn’t cheat on me. But he even used THAT to claim that “he was a good man.”

  23. debbie78 says:

    men like this also have a take it of leave it attidude

  24. Liberty Belle says:


    I was blown away when I read that description in your post. That is what I went through. The x-EUM would give me a little affection and tenderness and then just as swiftly retract it.

    We have been apart for 6 months (he dumped me via instant messenger) and during that period he contacted me a few times and acted like nothing had happened. He also denied dumping me. As he never dumped me, there was nothing to apologise about. He said I was crazy, obsessive and that I over reacted. This post by am helps me to understand the why.

    What I find myself wondering is if he ever loved me. Although I don’t talk about him anymore or interact with him, I still think of him a lot. I wish that he could love me as I loved him, but I know that this is futile. So I’m trying to get over the relationship that never was. Are these guys capable of love?

    Liberty Belle (formerly “Cynnie”)

  25. Kesh says:

    A guy approached me that I haven’t seen in 3 years. He asked for my number and I gave it to him. We always had an attraction for one another, but never persued it. This time was different we have been dating a couple weeks now. Here’s the problem he has a one month old daughter and lives with his girlfriend. He says he really like me. What should I do?

  26. […] attracted to emotionally unavailable men and came across some really useful materials including this list which I wish I’d had years ago!  From the list, here are the ones that have been present in […]

  27. Barb D. says:

    Hi all, I met a man online about 4 months ago, and it was all hot and heavy for the first month, then he became distant. At first I was alarmed and wondered what was wrong and asked him. He wasn’t sure. I decided to just go about my business and work on my online businesses and continue to go out and see my friends as I had done before I met him. Then his behavior turned around. It seems some guys want to make sure they aren’t getting a girl who is too wrapped up in them and has a life of their own. So, I’m suggesting that any of you who think you’re involved with a EUM (especially a new one), try just living your life as if the guy is just a part of it and not the whole kit and kaboodle, and it’s possible he might not be a EUM and may just be testing you/the waters. However, if you still get the silent treatment after a long period of time, then you may want to get out of the relationship. I am still observing my man to see what happens. He did just separate from his wife about 6 months ago, so yeah, he does have one of the characteristics of a possible EUM….but time will tell. In the meantime, I have a full life even if he weren’t there…he is not the sole source of my happiness. That’s important.

  28. Angie says:

    Hi everyone – this site has been a godsend. I also was involved with an EUM for 3 years. He was handsome, charming and boy did he lead me to believe he was something else. When the truth finally unveiled itself, I was already in love and wanting that person I had fallen in love with. The problem was, he was gone, We had so much in common, we enjoyed being with each other, we were best friends; but he always made me feel empty; like there was something missing. I knew that ultimately he was not the one but I could not let go. He ended up cheating on me and we broke up. I felt so guilty about losing him that we got back together after 6 months. We stayed together for another year and a half and it was me that was keeping the relationship together. He was definitely a user and he knew he had a good thing with me because I made good money, had my own home, etc. But when things started to fall apart again and I had expectations, he fled. One week later, he was with someone else and two months later, they are living together. The last six months have been hell for me because this man turned my life upside down and made me feel bad about myself. It was the classic case of what did I do wrong? How could this man who has nothing not be in love with this attractive, smart, successful girl. I beat myself up and it has been a long journey to healing. This site has made me feel like I am not alone. There were times that I felt my friends thought I was crazy because I could not get over this loser. My question is, I know the girl he is now living with. Do i warn her about him? I feel so guilty knowing that this girl is going to experience the same devestation as I did. Has anyone else felt the same?

    • Deedee says:

      @Angie. I know how you feel exactly! After really hitting it off with a guy I thought was a real quality person, I quickly started to see another side to him. Definitely an EUM. When he told me that his mother sent him and his siblings to live with their dad when they were young, I felt bad. Instead of walking away like I wanted to, I felt sorry for him and his family situation and hung in there. I kept trying harder and harder to show him I was a quality person and all he did was use me. I would walk away and then feel sad, reach out and say hi and we would be right back to where we were (which was nowhere). It was obvious he thought of me as a mere hookup buddy and that killed me. I blamed myself for not being good enough and it took a toll on my self-esteem. What was even harder is that I had nowhere to turn. My friends were tired of listening and thought I was a fool. Part of me wanted it to work out with him so I could prove everyone wrong – how bad I wanted him to want me! I would walk down the street and guys would always be telling me how hot I was yet this guy could have cared less. He would nitpick little things about my appearance (and he wasn’t perfect of course). I think he was jealous of me b/c I made more money and had a nicer place. It’s been several years and just when I thought I was over it and was done beating myself up for not being good enough for him to want me, I found out he got married. All those feelings of inadequacy started all over again. I was so jealous of his wife that she was able to get him and I wasn’t. Then I found him online dating with an active profile that he is using. It makes me wonder that if he was so in love with his wife, why is he online? He may or may not be actually cheating – he could just be online to feed his ego. Who knows? I thought about reaching out and telling his wife but decided against it. It’s not my place to help her when she probaby already thinks she’s different that the others he used.

      Over the last few weeks I have been investing time in reading online posts and books to regain my self-esteem and learn to love myself again. I was always the type of person who never thought something like this would happen. If I followed my gut instinct which was to walk away as soon as I saw that he wasn’t the nice guy I thought he was, I would have saved myself so much anger and resentment. It was me feeling bad for him that his mother didn’t want him that made me put up with his EU ways. This site has been a helpful support for me and I wish everyone on here much love and peace.

      Everyone – please listen to your gut! It will never lead you wrong.

  29. sally says:

    @scott You have a point, but you don’t put it very well. The disney approach to a relationship certainly sucks. I’m a girl who long dispensed with “romantic crap” and being demanding of men. However, if you are looking for a relationship with a real connection, something where you can talk for hours and enjoy each others minds as well as bodies, something wholesome instead of just sex, then you o need to be wary for emotionally unavailable men. These men are control freaks, using you just for sex only and do not want to get to know your mind or make a connection with you that is genuine.

    Girls, if its good then take it slowly. An if its only sex and no conversation then you know u have a problem.

  30. Zulu says:

    Stumbled upon this blog after googling “compromise” Very interesting perspective here.. Now, I’m a young man – you guys might even call me an EUM – who after reading this list, felt compelled to share my tuppence.. Here’s some of the reason why I figure you may call me an EUM..

    He has a long distance relationship

    ^^ Check, a long distance open relationship in fact.. I call my girlfriend most days, send her letters between couple of times a month.. She loves to travel, I’m stuck in the country for legal reasons..

    He’s a mother hater – has an overtly negative relationship with his mother

    ^^ I love my mother, but have some deep seated aggression/uneasiness/ and some surface level untrustingness/indifference toward her, which I’ve not quite explored in totality, which I’m in the process of now actually.. So more of a covert negative relationship.. We do love each other and talk a whole heap via email, letters etc.. And just recently saw each other for the first time in ten years

    He determines the momentum of the relationship – you meet up when he wants to meet up

    ^^ I used to very much like this, am more inclined to compromise, for lack of a better word, or meet up when she wants, my time IS precious however and I spend a fair chunk of time working on projects, training, music etc..

    He pushes for an ‘open’ relationship

    ^^ I REQUIRE and INSIST upon an open relationship.. the openness referring first and foremostly to the openness and honesty of communication channels within the relationship..

    He may try and sleep with you on the first night

    ^^ Do or do not, there is no try.. Usually I will sleep with a woman on the first night, however I can’t be bothered with one night stands.. And I only will go to bed with women whom I admire and who embody those qualities that I look for in a friend, ideally life long..

    He admits that he is dating multiple women continuously

    ^^ I don’t really ‘date’ per se, but I do openly share the fact that I WILL be sleeping with other women whilst I’m not sleeping with given woman to women.. To both avoid any confusion and/or resulting pain which may ensue if I’d not communicated this fact, and to be up front and honest in my doings..

    He’s one big walking excuse.

    ^^ I make absolutely no excuses for my lifestyle, choices, conduct, values, way of being etc.. And am totally responsible for all of the above..

    You feel empty after you sleep with him.

    ^^ Most, if not ALL of my lovers report the exact opposite.. They feel full, vibrant, glowing, healed, overwhelming love and joy, light, happy etc..

    He uses sex as his way of demonstrating his so-called ‘emotion’

    ^^ Sex for me is more of an intimacy building practice, a balancing and refining of the vital forces, a connexion deepener, a fun, enjoyable somewhat spiritual thing to share with people I love, respect and enjoy..

    So as you can see, I almost fit into your idea of EUM, however a lot of my female friends & lovers mightn’t agree fully with that title – I’ll have to chat with a few of them to find out some more perspectives – because a lot of the time I AM there when they need someone to listen to them, I DO understand where they’re coming from (pardon the pun) and am COMPASSIONATE towards them..

    Being in a relationship, THEY KNOW that I’m not going to be fully available to them on the deeper levels.. They enjoy me nonetheless because I AM able to relate to them and I feel this is a direct result of the freedom I’ve in my relationship, in that I’m not restricted by any fears n so forth that my beloved will leave me etc because I’m sharing time and intimacy with others..

    Your thoughts??

    • Leonine says:

      Well I’ve just read this again after such a long, long time… and it makes me laugh to see how naive I was all that time ago. Baggage Reclaim helped me sooooo much! thank you NML


    • NML says:

      You don’t almost fit – you do fit. All of the things that you listed are not exactly the hallmarks of someone who is forging a connection with one person in a healthy manner. The fact that they know who or what you are doesn’t make you emotionally available – most of those women have it in the back, if not in the forefront of their mind that they may be able to change you in time – that you’ll make one of them the exception. You’re throwing them crumbs and whilst I don’t doubt that you are well meaning and compassionate to an extent, you’re a limited offer and I’m sure that if one of them expected, needed, or wanted more than you were prepared to be expected, needed, or wanted from, you may not be so ‘compassionate’ then.

      • Zulu says:

        @ NML: How then would you propose one specifically goes about being (or becoming) “someone who is forging a connection with one person in a healthy manner”?? – I’ve found practicing compassion and openness so far to ‘work’ in my situations.. But am always looking to develop and indulge in an ever more healthy and harmonious lifestyle.. So I more than welcome your suggestions and experienced perspective..

        “and I’m sure that if one of them expected, needed, or wanted more than you were prepared to be expected, needed, or wanted from, you may not be so ‘compassionate’ then.”
        ^^ Don’t be so sure.. The behaviour I’ve demonstrated proves this is not true in my circumstances. .However It is possible I’ve a skewed definition/belief of Compassion..

        Cheers in advance..


        ps.. Appreciate the reply..

  31. […] boundaries, passive aggression, The Status Quo, how we become the pursuer, blowing hot and cold, how to spot emotionally unavailable men, the powerbase, being the girl that cried wolf, the guy that cries crocodile tears, the terms and […]

  32. Zulu says:

    Still no thoughts??

    • VMIlle says:

      You live in friends with benefits land. You distorted “open relationship” to sound like YOU are so open and free with communication. The open relationship we speak of is non- committal and non-exclusive- which is exactly how you operate.
      You are also rather arrogant at portraying yourself as quite the stud. The emptiness we speak of after sex takes place after the orgasm and after the clothes are back on. You describe how they feel right after sex.
      Congrats – you’re a EUM!

      • Zulu says:

        @ Vmille: “You live in friends with benefits land. You distorted “open relationship” to sound like YOU are so open and free with communication. The open relationship we speak of is non- committal and non-exclusive- which is exactly how you operate.”

        ^^ Are you saying operating from FwB Land = Being Emotionally Unavailable?? Wouldn’t go as far as saying the relationships (sexual or non) I’ve with women are non-committal, however ALL of them, even the one I’ve with my Primary partner ARE indeed Non-Exclusive – which – in my experience, reality and opinion – does NOT indicate that I’m Emotionally unavailable to any or all of them.. In fact the contrary is true in a lot of cases.. i.e. I’M the one who is there when their best friend has cheated with their partner.. or They need some advice on whatever, or they need someone to talk to.. or whatever the situation maybe.. Again.. It maybe that my idea of being emotionally available is just way skewed.. Seems to me you’re equating being emotionally available with being exclusive(ly available)

        “You are also rather arrogant at portraying yourself as quite the stud. The emptiness we speak of after sex takes place after the orgasm and after the clothes are back on. You describe how they feel right after sex.
        Congrats – you’re a EUM!”

        ^^ The definition of arrogance is “having an exaggerated self-opinion” – None of what I originally stated is exaggerated in the slightest – Self-assured, emphatic, certain, sure.. However I take no umbrage at your remark, instead looking at it as an opportunity to embody and express evermore humility.. Again, experience and questioning of a number of my female friends tells me that this emptiness feeling you speak of is NOT PRESENT amongst said women.. Long after the orgasm and (non exclusive, nor committed) sexual act.. (Unless of course I’m being lied to, which is a highly discouraged practice amongst my friends and I)

        A common theme I’m finding on this site is a tendency toward pointing fingers, naming, and assigning labels at the peril of giving helpful advice to how guys can actually become the opposite of what you’re talking about.. In recent times, I must admit there’s been some invaluable posts detailing exactly that.. However, what use is there in comments such as “Congrats!! you’re an EUM” ?? – Don’t know if that is being said in a sarcastic tone or what.. Either way it probably is not the most useful thing to say – especially to someone who is asking what your definition and perhaps some instruction of what Being Emotionally Available equates to.. Some real life examples may be of value..

        The message I’m receiving from you guys are that I’ve the tell-tale signs of an EUM – My response indicates a strong desire to rationalize my behaviour and prove that I really AM available (my mind searches for all evidence FOR, not against) – & I’m asking for advice on a way OUT of this.. On practical advice on how I – and (SO MANY) others like me stet – can BECOME THE OPPOSITE..

        Seems like the only advice I’m receiving however is.. Be Exclusively Available – Which does not fit into my particular world model, but I know for sure it definitely fits IDEALLY into a lot of people (guys) world view. .if only they had someone spell it out for them.. You see, I’m not posing these queries for arguments sake.. I’d actually like to integrate and learn something here so as to impart these learnings onto others so that more and more people can become more fully aware and conscious and loving in their doings and beings..

        If you understand or are feeling any of what I’m saying please do reply with your comments advice and experience as it is all massively appreciated and welcomed..

        Bliss to all..

        Cheers for your reply VMille


  33. Wendy says:

    I just got my recent ex-EUM (while drunk) to admit the following:
    -He never considered us to be “dating” tho he knew that I did
    -that he WAS interested in me, and was after me, but changed his mind and didn’t want to deal with telling me

    -that he thought his big mistake was saying he was “courting” me…(bcuz , I guess, he figured if he hadnt’ said THAT, then he could rationalize all the other stuff he said and did to make me think we were in some sort of relationship!!!!)

    -that he basically doesn’t care about my or his other ex’s feelings, that it’s about HIM and what he wants (he actually SAID: “it’s about ME! I’m lonely!”)

    It was the funniest, most uplifting convo bcuz he was completely exhausted, hadn’t eaten, was too drunk and felt too safe , and gave the info away hahahah hilarious

    YOU SEE HOW THESE GUYS WORK?! they’re not clueless . they KNOW. but they want to rationalize their bad behaviour, blame the chick.

    and you know what? I THOUGHT HE WAS A REALLY, REALLY NICE GUY.


  34. […] in fixing/healing/helping which is a sign of a very unhealthy relationship. Also read my post on how to spot emotionally unavailable men and why relationships don’t always work […]

  35. sera says:

    it’s amazing how dead on these descriptions are… :) glad i found the term for it. anyways. thank you so much everyone for sharing. i don’t feel so awful now. i think mainly i’m upset that i don’t have enough self respect to not let someone treat me without respect, and for me the problelm is that i see the good in them and ignore the bad. also i feel like if i signed up for it and get hurt then that’s the price i pay. there’s no law against breaking someone’s heart, sadly. maybe there oughtta be.

  36. JJ says:

    I was dating a guy who fit this profile (blowing “hot and cold”), except he was not cheating on me, and we did spend every night together. He had been divorced for 20 years. Although his words were that he had hatred for his ex-wife, it was obvious by his actions that he wasn’t “over” the divorce. He didn’t want her back, he didn’t know where she was, but it was still obvious he had “issues” that went back to her. So, the “emotionally unavailable” guy could claim that he is “over” his ex, but his “actions” show that he still has issues with the ex.

    Please consider adding these to your “list” on how to spot “emotionally unavailable” guys:

    Way over-reacts to the simplest things. For example, he does not like to hear you “vent” even if the “venting” is not about him. (i.e., he gets upset if you complain that “the sky is too blue…”)

    If you tell him that you “like” something, he immediately stops doing it, or makes sure that he never starts doing it if he hasn’t already. (This could happen both in sex or non-sex scenarios.)

    If a problem happens during a certain type of setting, he refuses to “go there” again. In my case, we had taken an overnight trip somewhere, we got in a minor “tiff,” so he refused to take any more overnight trips with me for fear of a “tiff.”

    Refuses to meet your friends

    Doesn’t have many friends of his own

    Won’t commit to dates with you because it might interfere with (whatever his hobby was, in my case, the guy liked to fish a lot….)

  37. JJ2 says:

    I’m adding another “how to spot” comment, except this time I’m calling myself “JJ2” because I see there is another “JJ” that has posted on here.

    If you feel like you constantly have to justify everything you say or do, to make sure he “gets” you, then…… THERE IS A PROBLEM!

    This is what I found myself doing. I don’t know what prompted me to do this, but I did. I constantly sent him emails saying, “Oh, I did this because….” and “Oh, I said this because….” I wanted to make sure he didn’t “misunderstand.” He got mad and called the emails, “condescending.”

    In fact, every time I sent him a “justifying” email, a song by Al Stewart would pop into my head: “If it doesn’t come naturally, leave it!”

    I should have done as the Al Stewart song said!

  38. JJ says:

    TO JJ2

    Say that again JJ2.. if you feel like you constantly have to justify everything with them then you already know that there is a problem. My EUM would constantly say or do something to piss me off and I would constantly have to send an email to explain things or justify his own actions.. He hated all of my emails because he knew that I was speaking the truth.. He would rage and tell me to stop sending emails and text messages.. This went on for 6 months of our year long relationship or whatever it was that we had cause it wasn’t a stable loving relationship. Don’ nothing hurt but the TRUTH…

    • JJ2 says:

      Hi JJ

      Mine wasn’t quite like yours. It’s not that he was pissing me off and I had to turn around and justify things.

      What I did was….. I would recall a conversation, where I said… something…. and he would have a weird reaction…. which didn’t affect me at the time, but later when I thought of it…… I would send him an email and say… “I said this because of……” because I wanted to make sure he “got” me and didn’t misunderstand.

      Funny thing was….. I started off being an EUW (Emotionally Unavailable WOMAN) because I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend at the time I met him. Actually, I found myself falling for him, but I…. “locked myself up” so to speak because I didn’t want to deal with the feelings. Well, he confronted ME. So, I opened up and stopped being an EUW. But then he turned into an EUM!

      However, when I “reminded” him about how he confronted ME about being an EUW, he denied it.

      And, like you, my emails spoke the truth.

  39. JJ says:


    I got ya.. I wasn’t attracted to my EUM narcissists ex at all in the beginning. It took me a while to go out with him and to start opening up. I think when he started to see how my feelings were beginning to grow stronger for him; His EGO went left… In the beginning he would always show me off to his friends; invited me over while he had company with his best friend who is also a female… He had me around his friends… Its his family that’s really dysfunctional that he didn’t have me around… His relationships with his siblings were all off course and screwed.. VERY DISCONNECTED.. This should have been another RED FLAG… How can you totally hate your sisters and brothers… For christ sakes he hadn’t seen his kids in over a year and was running from his ex wife … so another RED FLAG

    • JJ2 says:

      Hi JJ

      In my case, EUM’s parents were dead. All he had was a sister. He and the sister were close. I got the impression that he came from a very good family and very good parents. I cannot figure out why he was so ****ed up, unless his marriage (20 years ago) did it to him.

  40. JJ2 says:

    How to spot a narcissist: Does he have pictures of HIMSELF all over his house? Even if they are “group of friends” pictures, if he is in every one of them, seems to be front and center of those pictures, and/or has lots of pictures of himself all over the house, YOU ARE DEALING WITH A NARCISSIST!

  41. JJ says:

    At JJ2

    Yea PICTURES…tend to be another red flag.. If they have pictures of themselves all over the place be WARE!! That is definitely one of the signs…My ex narcissists constantly kept showing me pictures of himself all over the house of how much a PIMP he was back in the day.. I guess that’s what made him one of the biggest unavailable emotional ASS CLOWNS that he is today…

  42. Tim says:

    If you keep writing articles like this, Mr. Unavailable will cease to exist because his status allows him to date many people and have many relationships. If people are able to identify him as such, they will all back off and he’ll no longer be able to be a serial dater. Unfortunately though, life is such that people always want what they cannot have and so women will continue pursuing “Mr. Unavailable” in spite of articles that clearly spell out who he is…like this one :)
    .-= Tim´s last blog ..Best Online Dating Sites =-.

  43. Joy says:

    I have been with a classic EUM. Here are the list of things Ive noticed. He will say he will do something special for you but never fall through. He makes up excuses for anything but he make sure that his needs are met. For example,” I am busy but are available tomorrow?” He surrounds himself with men just like him which encourage his psychological thinking so he feels like it normal. His father is the same way and his mother doesn’t have much of an opinion. He slept with most of women in the past you know. He is a major flirt when he thinks you don’t see it.

  44. […] show interest in your feelings, life, etc. Check this site out for more on these dudes. How To Spot Emotionally Unavailable Men – Mr Unavailable's | Baggage Reclaim It's a little gem I found when recovering from a horrid affair in Vegas. NEVER date a man you meet […]

  45. […] Posted by Ticatica Check this site out for more on these dudes. How To Spot Emotionally Unavailable Men – Mr Unavailable's | Baggage Reclaim It's a little gem I found when recovering from a horrid affair in Vegas. NEVER date a man you meet […]

  46. Gloria says:

    I’ve spent the most part of yesterday going through the posts on this site, and I must confess it has been a massive eye opener to me, I could literally hear the sound of the scales falling off! However having read other relationship self help books like ‘Women men love and Women men leave’; How to find mr or mrs right; why men love bitches; why men marry bitches; and based on the countless feedback from women on this website, I’m led to conclude that the so called emotional unavailability is a common trait of the male psyche and once a woman is able to recognise this fact and deal with it appropriately, she could actually turn that frog into a prince; call it wishful thinking if you like or burying one’s head in sand but the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the majority of men are like this so rather than dwell so much on a problem that is not about to go away soon, we should rather focus on arming ourselves with the solution to this problem. In my case I applied the right behaviour to my EUM and I’m happy to report that I did turn that frog into a prince and I am a very happy woman!

    • Used says:


      Then you only THINK he was EU when you met him and/or he was ready for a relationship anyways.

      Hate to break it to you!

      • Gloria says:

        I do not agree with you, he had at least 3 of the characteristics of an EUM but by acting contrary to his expectations, I was able to turn things around! Just be happy for me :-)

        • Natalie says:

          Hi Gloria. I’m very glad you turned your relationship around and long may it last. I don’t subscribe to turning frogs into princes so you’ve lost me there especially as it suggests changing someone, something many women try to do and lose at. Everyone experiences emotional unavailability at some point in their lives – this site is about the habitually emotionally unavailable, not the temporary. In reality, I really doubt that you actually think your guy was a frog (although maybe you do) – it’s not a good place to start from but I appreciate that you’re using the analogy to illustrate the point. Either way even if he was habitually, temporary whatever – you say he’s changed and you’ve changed so enjoy! Relationships can change when you change and stay changed yourself and the other person does – I’m pleased that you have both been able to do this. Wishing you much love, light, and success and enjoy your ‘happily ever after’ as the fairy tales call it.
          .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Love Lessons: When You Can’t or Won’t Ask Questions When Dating (P2) Do You Have a Girlfriend/Wife? =-.

  47. Bren says:

    Need Help,

    I think I have a EUM in my life. I recently started communicating with this guy I worked with in another state. He facebooked me and we started talking, texting. Everything went good for about a week then one day he texts about how he had a s_____ day. I sympathized like I would with anyone I car about only to have him start receiving text about how he’s hanging out w/friends, going to take a nap, going to the gym, going to study, watching a movie alternating w/Good morning, how you doing? what you are doing? Hey sexy, u r so beautiful. I finally got so fed up last night I figured I called to see if he would answer the phone, he didn’t. I wasn’t surprised. I blocked his number, deleted his facebook friend status and left it at that. This morning I get another request for facebook which I ignored and get an e-mail stating “Hey, it looks u gave me the boot. Take care” What the was he thinking? Really. I just want to know how to deal w/the BS when it’s actually happening. I want to be able to nip it in the bud. Open to all suggestions?

  48. ljr says:

    This is spot on. I’ve been marginally involved physically but massively involved emotionally with a man just like this for FIVE years. Made all the excuses under the sun for him because he comes across as shy and inexperienced and innocent. Having just spent a week on holiday “with” him, I’ve realised its all a facade to keep me hooked. He just isn’t what I thought he was and I now see him in that category of slightly sleazy, rapidly becoming middle aged men. I hate being dragged into his distorted, sleazy world where he takes calls from other women when I’m travelling with him. He told me he only wanted to be friends, but acts in the most flirtatious way possible so that even other men comment on it. I believe this is his distorted way of showing affection towards me, because he thinks he is somehow “protecting” me from his worst. His excuses for not spending time with me are classic – he is tired, he has a sore leg, he needs to sleep, he has a works night out. He never says he is meeting other women or has a girlfriend. He always manages to pop up or text me if he feels he is losing me. I know he does online dating and how much else, I don’t know, but I doubt very much he is the innocent shy charming man I have been sold. Even my two male friends I was on holiday with at the same time were shocked and horrified by his behaviour – he only managed to meet up with us all, jointly, once, despite staying in the same resort. You find yourself dragged into something you are uncomfortable with against your will…

    What can I say though? He made me no false promises (by speech at any rate, his eyes and body say something else entirely). I worry for him, I really do. He is losing his handsome looks and is vain (he carried a bottle of suncream with him all the time he met up with us on holiday and re-applied it at lunch, and refused to sit for even a few minutes in the sun). I’ve always been the stronger one. I thought he was ideal but realised on holiday he has been very careful to portray himself as this when its not true. He portrayed himself as a decent guy, but a decent guy does not turn down a decent girl like me for no reason and do online dating instead, and funny how the online dating never seem to lead to a committed relationship either.

  49. claire says:

    so recently my EUM and I broke up. The text book signs were there – he reminds me of my father, goodness i even told him that many times! his wife 11 years ago cheated on him, he then had “relationships” with a handful of women who now hate him because he couldn’t commit and then when he finally decided and told his family 10 years on that he was ready to get married and have kids, the woman he chose to fall head over heels for was herself an EUW and tore him to pieces and left for another man. so everyone feels so sorry for him, because the two times he gave his heart and soul away he got hurt… but you have to wonder why he chose this with women who didn’t care about him enough. he met me 7 months after his heartbreak, but the difference was that he was very clear from the start about what he’d gone through but was also very clear that he definitely was at a point in his life where he wanted marriage and wanted children with the next woman he gives his heart too. he thought i was wonderful in every way, i know that and i ended up practically living with him very soon… he was trying to change, he was aware and he was trying, but he couldn’t do it…..he was holding back, he knew it, he admitted it to me and said he didn’t know why because he thought i was wonderful. i was so nice to him and caring and it backfired. I realize now that he can only relate to love being like the pain of chasing a woman who is EU to him. A mutual love he can’t relate to. but he was very good to me in so many ways and really the only thing missing was that he could never bring himself to tell me he loved me and he only ever once referred to me as his girlfriend and that was very early on. In the end he told me that he could see what he was doing to me and he was so scared to let me go because he knows he won’t find anyone better than me (and he won’t, we were so right for each other in so many ways)…but he is holding back, he just doesn’t “feel” what he felt for his wife and ex gf and he wants to carry on in this relationship with me, because he loves every day he spends with me, but he feels it is just “nice” rather than that obsessive thing he got for his ex and he cares so much about me that he is letting me go before it drags on any longer. he has so many issues and is on so much medication, he needs therapy so badly, it was all about him and his issues and my being too caring and nice backfired…because he didn’t “feel” the crazy roller coaster feeling he felt with the ex. he’s let me go and he even told me he feels EU and he told me his ex was EU too. We’ve had no contact since except the text the next day where he told me how disappointed he feels in himself. I know he is trying and i know he is aware….i hope he can change, i also hope he comes back to me in 6 months and is changed….but i also fear that he will always only feel “right” when he “feels” the emotional roller coaster of being attracted to and EUW and things will never work out for him. its so sad.

    • Gayle says:


      If he really wants to change he will get professional help; otherwise, it’s just lip service. Time is not the remedy for these types, addressing the past and dealing with it is, there is no other way.

      • claire says:

        I have a question for all of you girls. I’ve done well and have had NC for 3 weeks since we broke up, but “unbelievably” he forgot my birthday..and really it was so soon after our breakup that I really thought he would remember!
        Anyway, I either walk on and don’t look back or…….without any intention of getting back with him (and I will make that very clear in the letter) I would like to help this guy by writing him a letter that directly addresses him obvious signs of an emotionally unavailable man. He is 41 and really wants to get married and have children but he can’t figure out what’s going wrong inside of him. Now that I am detached from the relationship I can look back at his whole 41 yrs of relationship history and see the painfully obvious patterns and signs that stem from either the detached relationship with his parents or from the cheating of his ex-wife. I’d like as a friend to try to help him become more aware of and to address these issues and perhaps i might even direct him to this website and other articles that relate so obviously to what is going on with him.

        So my question is: did you girls just decide to walk in the end or did any of you try to point out what was going on and help your guy and do you think it’s a good idea?

        • Eve says:

          Why would it be unbelievable for him to forget your birthday? He may be too self involved to notice, not care, genuinely have forgotten, be punishing you and so on.

          Put the focus back on you. Why you chose to put up with dodgy behaviour.

          Stay strong.

          One tip on writing a letter that they may or may not read. Know your man. Know if you accuse him or appear aggressive whether he will just switch off and ignore or and care even less. Would you want to listen or read a message from someone listing your faults or trying to make you feel guilty. 😉

  50. […] Look out for more follow up posts on spotting dubious behaviours from assclowns. Also check out my post on how to spot emotionally unavailable men […]

  51. Kay says:

    Claire no disrespect but walk on..You have been in no contact for 3 weeks and your most likely feeling the withdrawals of having no contact especially having such a beautiful occasion as your birthday pass and no contact made by him (I’m sure that hurts) but the reality is your not responsible for him, he is fully aware of his issues with commitment and yet if he’s not sought out help then he really doesn’t want to get married or have kids as he’s led you to believe or he would have done something to help him get over his fears and done it on his own and if he hasn’t sought help then he doesn’t desire help….It has to be his decision to get help or it won’t work. 41 years of bad relationship patterns can’t be fixed b/c you want them to.

    My suggestion is to stay in no contact, don’t take him back until he has proven he’s sought some longterm help.

    I could be wrong but it seems you feel if you get him help he will suddenly be healed, healed enough to see how great you are and give you the relationship you want (your fantasy relationship) and it just doesn’t work like that, believe me when I say that his issues are much bigger you and he will be in therapy for another 40 years trying to sort out his baggage.

    The best thing you can do for yourself is move on, life is too short, if you truly want to get married and have babies then find a man that matches your value system, someone who cares about you just as much as you care about him and is capable of DOING a real relationship that isn’t frought with fears. This man is not the man that can give that to you not now probably not ever.

  52. Kay says:

    I totally agree with Natalie when it comes to changing a EUM…A hardcore EUM does not deviate from his patterns for nothing, he can’t even be tricked into it. I doubt that Gloria’s guy was a hardcore EUM, he may just be out typical I want to have fun don’t have a real reason to get serious about anyone kind of guy, met a woman such as Gloria that behaved in attractive ways that didn’t scare him into running for the hills IMO most women know a EUM from a regular guy that is hesitant to settle down, there is a distinct difference with those 2 types of men.

    If he’s really an EUM then Gloria will at some point see those behaviors and fears resurface again but if he’s not a classic EUM and just a guy afraid to commit to the wrong woman then she most likely will not have to deal with any of the in and out behaviors that involve these kind of men amongst a whole ton of other bad behaviors well they should lead a fairly healthy pattern as they move forward…

    Congrats and Enjoy!

  53. claire says:

    Yes Kay, Eve you are right, he is aware of his issues already and there’s really no point in me going into further detail with him, he might only end up resenting me as he is clearly already aware. He even told me when we broke up that he feels EU and cared about me and didn’t want to do to me what he has done to other women in the past. We have messaged just once since -he said some caring things and that he is finding it hard to make this transition from being with me (i replied saying things happen for a reason and that i think it’s for the best as we both have things we need to work on within ourselves). I guess he will have to make his own decision whether to get some real help, it’s just that I know how hard he is trying and he really tried to make things work with me but just felt all “closed up inside”. He seems to think that he just needs more (i quote him) “time to restore my head back to normality” since this last girl broke his heart, but i just wish he would realize that 1. They did not have a healthy relationship that lasted any length of time, he was just obsessed with her because she was EU to him and never wanted commitment from him and 2. that time alone will not be enough to make this big change, this problem has been going with him for many, many years. Unfortunately, he also has that EUM trait of being a coward so I can’t imagine him taking the plunge to go get therapy. It’s sad and hard to let go of the only person I have ever loved with all my heart especially when i know they were trying to hard to get there and it felt like they were almost there….but its 4 weeks today and walk on I shall.

  54. Fearless says:

    I have thought the same about my EUM that I have stopped seeing now for two weeks: should I send him some reading material? Your EUM seems to have told you that he is already fully aware of his “issues”. It sounds like he is consciously aware and has even ut the right name to them himself. I am not sure if my EUM is consciously aware – he has said things that indicate he knows he is “bad with relationships” / “doesn’t connect with people easily” / feels he is in a “loveless tomb” and such the like… but I don’t think he truly understands the force of his problem and its effect on the women he involve himself with. So, I too, am wondering if I should try to “enlighten” him – perhaps at least let him see in black and white how his behaviour affects his life and the damgae it causes to women like me… I don’t believe tat I can “fix” him. I can only sort myself out, but I wonder if I can at least open his mind to the possibilities of hos own “redemption” if not for his own sake, for the sake of other women he is/will get involved with – I wouldn’t wish him on my worst enemy! – and I feel if I just walk and say nothing, do nothing, that I am not doing other potential 2ictims” any favours.

    Anyone care to comment?

    • Astelle says:

      Fairless, you can’t “save” any future victims, you can’t help him either, all you can do is fix and help yourself. You are not responsible for his behavior, you didn’t cause it and you can’t fix it. You can’t enlighten him either, especially if he is EUM, you are just another woman. If he wanted to something about it, he would, but he isn’t. Like smoking or losing weight, you can talk until you are blue in the face, unless he really wants it you are waisting your time. Look out for yourself, you are the most important person in your life.

      • Allison says:

        I agree with Astelle.

        When he is truly fed up, he may address his own behavior. You cannot “enlighten” him, he will not accept it.

        Work on you, that should be your only focus.

  55. Fearless says:

    Thanks, Estelle and Allison. I know in my guts you are right. I just need to convince my head! I won’t try to ‘enlighten’ him… he’s a smart guy – he can enlighten himself, if he cares to. He, and the rest of them, I assume, don’t really think they have a problem; “it’s just the way I am”, sort of thing – they certainly don’t ever take responsibility for their own behaviour. They think they are ‘different’ from other men who behave badly in relationships. He once told me is not “that kind of man” – that he knows lots of men who cheat on their wives all the time and think nothing of it, but that he has a conscience! I felt like saying to him: ‘so all these other men are rats but you, on the other hand, are a rat with a conscience!’.

    I didn’t say that of course (though I should have) because I kew he would be furious about the word “rat” and sorm off having been so badly insulted! Instead I just said that ‘wether you think you are like tese men or not, it has turned into a ‘way of life for you’. He looked surprised at that comment as if it was contrary to his own view of himself.

    Strangely, he sees himself as a great supporter of human rights and humanity in general; he contributes regular amounts to certain charities; is a memebr of Amnesty International and such the like… strange that he connects with human suffering but not with the misery he himself causes to real individual human beings.

    Anyway, I do bang on…. thanks for your comments.

    • Nicole says:


      It’s interesting, isn’t it, how they make sure we KNOW how much better they are than other men! Like not cheating or beating means they can’t make women miserable in other ways.

      It’s also interesting how you know which charities he is involved in. My ex-AC made sure I knew from the beginning about his good deeds. He even had a couple of thank you notes on his fridge, and he pointed them out and then read them out loud.
      Did your guy make sure you knew about his?

      When someone brags about their own goodness, even if what they say is true, I have to wonder why they feel the need to point it out. Is it because their everyday behavior and character are not really as great as they like to sound?

  56. Elle says:

    Ha! The letters on the fridge! That’s priceless. My ex-AC went on a helping others mission after dropping me (and certainly not helping me with some joint responsibilities he left behind). They’re riddled with inconsistencies stemming from their monstrous egos. Anyway, I don’t think helping them is worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I often fantasize about this conversation where we both bring all our intimacy stuff to the table and both walk away feeling more whole and more evolved for the experience. But, the truth is, often these guys don’t actually want to change. They like the feeling of being disjointed, and are addicted to the unhappy, woeful ending. They don’t want to be caught or saved because they don’t really want to be known. Maybe they will change, eventually, but you or I won’t be able to enjoy that. The newly converted often kick those who knew them pre-conversion!

  57. claire says:

    One thing I have noticed which is related to the “pointing out the good deeds” and the “love of the chase” is that these guys tend to be really big approval seekers. Maybe they didn’t get much love and approval from a parent or an early partner who cheated, but it seems that they do not care about the people that think highly of them, they switch off to you when you reciprocate feelings and start to care deeply about them….they only switch on and chase the approval of those who don’t care about them and don’t think so much of them. Pointing out good deeds makes them is approval seeking behaviour. My guy wrote to me once about some downtown feed the homeless thing he did on a saturday at 8am, i thought “what a great guy” and it sounded like it was something he does every so often. When i was with him some weeks later at an event for HIS company, his PA made a joke in front of me about how it was a miracle that finally this year he had decided to do a charity event in feeding the homeless – his company does loads of this stuff but it seems that he the boss never gets involved. This one time he did and felt the need to point it out to me and make out it like it was a regular thing. The lightbulb went off in my head when his PA said this, but it’s only now reading your comments that I really think about it and laugh. They approval seek from those who don’t care about them. Why I now think that you shouldn’t get in touch and write a letter Fearless is because it is too caring of you and he just wont respond except in resentment towards you or he’ll think “she couldn’t get what she wanted so she hates me”. He will only respond to anything you point out like this when he can tell that you really don’t care about him so much, you don’t even hate him or have anger towards him, you just don’t care because he isn’t what you want…that’s when he’ll sit up and listen – if you can be bothered.

  58. Elle says:

    “He will only respond to anything you point out like this when he can tell that you really don’t care about him so much, you don’t even hate him or have anger towards him, you just don’t care because he isn’t what you want…that’s when he’ll sit up and listen – if you can be bothered.”

    Spot on.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.