It’s over thirteen years since I started writing about emotional unavailability. Back then I identified key signs that someone was emotionally unavailable and these went on to form the backbone of my first book, Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl. In this week’s episode of  The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I revisit the ten key signs that someone is emotionally unavailable.

  1. They blow hot and cold.
  2. It’s all on their terms.
  3. They keep it casual.
  4. They seek perfection.
  5. Actions don’t match words.
  6. You’re subsisting on crumbs.
  7. They bang on about “timing”.
  8. There’s a sob story that keeps being rolled out.
  9. They fast-forward.
  10. They keep a foothold in your life.

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Some nuggets from the episode:

  • It’s exhausting to be with somebody who blows hot and cold because you don’t know where you are with them.
  • We often focus on trying to make it ‘hot’ all the time because we think that we have proof that they can do it. It invariably becomes about blaming ourselves for some error on our part that caused them to turn the temperature down.
  • When it’s all on one person’s terms, it’s because they need to be in control so that they don’t feel too vulnerable or intimate. And when someone is avoiding vulnerability and intimacy, guess what? They’re emotionally unavailable.

Once it becomes clear that you’re really into Mr/Miss Unavailable and they start to feel in control due to the lack of uncertainty, they begin to blow cold. They discover that they don’t have to do as much to get what you’re giving.

  • They didn’t change; you just got to know them.
  • When we treat something or someone casually, we don’t feel invested. We know that we don’t have to make as much effort.
  • One of the reasons why someone who’s super intense at the beginning bails out is because they don’t want you to see their humanness. They’d rather exit with you believing that they’re the best thing since sliced bread and that you must have effed it up!
  • We run into problems when we choose to focus on the words while ignoring the actions or vice versa.

If actions and words aren’t matching, you’ve got problems.

  • If we’re habitually involved with emotionally unavailable people or we think that crumbs are enough, we have to examine our own emotional availability.
  • A big motivator for lingering in your life, even if it’s just to pop up and be disruptive before they vamoose again, is fear of missing out. Yep, FOMO. Mr/Miss Unavailable is afraid that someone else has snapped up what they couldn’t commit to. That you’re now crazy in love with someone else and giving them what they themselves had felt so assured of. So they re-enter your life to prove that they’re not missing out, that they can still ‘get’ you. Don’t fall for it!

Links mentioned

When someone tells you that it’s “bad timing” for a relationship or for you to be treated with the love, care, trust and respect you deserve, time’s up! Get out, fast! - quote about timing and emotional unavailability

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