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Would you date an emotionally unavailable man?


kristenjo

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I've been dating a friend I've known for a few years for about 2 1/2 months. He is emotionally unavailable and I knew this from the beginning. I've tried to quit dating him a few times but the chemistry is off the hook. The reason I've tried to break it off is because I have to initiate things most of the time. I suck at relationships lately so I'm not averse to keeping things casual. Anyways, the other day I tried to break it off again and he basically said that he's tired of having his walls up, he doesn't want to be that way anymore, he thinks I'm an amazing lady and he needs to fix his stuff. When I'm with him, things are great. We have so many things in common, have deep conversations and the attraction is undeniable. He's been very supportive of me & I know we'll still be friends even if we don't date anymore. I get this sensation with him that he has some rules for not getting close and he seems to be relaxing them lately. I feel like his walls are melting a bit but every time we get closer I seem to like him more. Should I continue seeing him (and dating other people) and see what happens? I know this sounds dumb....

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Nobody can answer it for you, he might be just feeding of the attraction and the physical activity you are engaging in, im not saying that he is using you, its just sometimes you get addicted to it and its kind of hard to quit it, so he is more interested in the physical aspect and not the emotional aspect, Or, maybe he really decided to give it a chance and try to be with you so that eventually he will start having feelings for you, but the fact is that you dont know if he will develop these feelings for you, and the more you go deeper the more you are falling for him, the more you gonna get hurt if things won't go the way you want them to go.

On the other hand, who knows, maybe he will experience feelings for you eventually and so it will be a gain for you.

Anyhow it is a gamble, and you are putting your heart on the line here and risking a broken heart and most likely a ruined friendship, because once you will get to the stage of falling in love with him, and he will break your heart, you will not be able to be his friend as long as you got feelings for him, i really don't want to discourage you, im just trying to show you how things really are.

I had an extremely similar experience, my recent ex was my "best friend of the opposite sex" for 6 years and always had romantic feelings for me, but I never really had any romantic feelings for her, just strong feelings of friendship. After 6 years something happened and we decided to give it a shot, we've been together for 9 months before breaking up, in this time i can tell you that i did get attach to her and develop feelings that are more intimate then friendship, but at the same time i can tell you that i didnt develop the appropriate "love feelings" that a couple should have, now we dont really talk anymore i guess because once you go too deep , you cant go back, this friendship will never be the way it was before, and i doubt if there can be any friendship after all the we been through and the confussed feelings that we still have for one another, all of these will prevent a friendship, at least in the present, cant really tell you what will happen in the future.

What im saying is, it is your choice, you know the risks and you know the benefits, you have to make the choice.

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Honestly, if you feel like you want to continue dating him, then do so.

 

However, also know that you are putting yourself in a very vulnerable situation. He's already told you from the get-go that he was not looking for something serious. Sure, it may seem as though he is slowly changing. However, who's to say that he won't go back to his ways?

 

If you are already emotionally invested, and want to take the risk, then by all means. Just be careful and tread carefully.

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Well my ex was emotionally unavailable. We had great conversations, great attraction, deep conversations and big walls. he said he had big walls. They never came down in two years, and then he left me,because he would never allow himself to have feelings for me. He broke my heart. The answer to your question is NO.

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Well my ex was emotionally unavailable. We had great conversations, great attraction, deep conversations and big walls. he said he had big walls. They never came down in two years, and then he left me,because he would never allow himself to have feelings for me. He broke my heart. The answer to your question is NO.

 

This sounds identical to my situation. The guy I wanted was emotionally unavailable and I too had great attraction and great and deep conversations. He as of now haven't come back and it's been a few months. It looks like he's gone as well, leaving me with a broken heart I know I will never recover from. He told me he'd never allow himself to have feelings for a woman again. Because of that I would never advise becoming involved with an emotionally unavailable man.

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Why don't you just remain friends, date others, and tell him that you don't want the physical part unless you are in a real relationship with someone? It just seems that in one sentence you said you were okay with something casual, but in the next sentence you were breaking it off with him. I think you want more but are afraid to push for it, and rightfully so- nobody wants to be pressured. However, you are allowed to want what you want and make it clear.

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The key word is "unavailable"...for whatever reason, men like that cannot fulfill your emotional needs in a relationship. How will anything fulfilling come from that? You'll end up wanting more, a good, decent relationship, and they will NEVER be able to give it to you because they are "unavailable". And you can't expect them to change either. It's a mistake to date people with the expectation that they will change into the person that you want.

 

So in a word: no. Don't date emotionally unavailable men unless you are SOLELY looking for JUST casual sex and nothing more in a partner, and even then, you risk getting hurt.

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I know he had a long-term FWB situation that ended a few weeks ago. As far as actively dating, I'm pretty sure he isn't, but he might have one-off other FWB's I don't know about. He certainly doesn't hide the fact that he's dating me. I date other people too so it's not really any of my business.

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I know he had a long-term FWB situation that ended a few weeks ago. As far as actively dating, I'm pretty sure he isn't, but he might have one-off other FWB's I don't know about. He certainly doesn't hide the fact that he's dating me. I date other people too so it's not really any of my business.
I'm confused about what's meant by "emotionally unavailable". The last few posts seem to imply that it refers to a unwillingness to be exclusive. If that's the case, then it sounds like you're not "emotionally available" either, kristenjo. Is there something else involved? What are the "walls" he has? Other posters clearly know, but I think I'm missing something.
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By emotionally unavailable, I mean that he is afraid to get into a relationship because it takes him forever to get over someone once they break up. Words straight from his mouth....
Ah, I think I see. So it is the exclusivity thing, then. Never knew that's what it referred to. I wonder if the solution, then, is to ensure that you're bringing something to the table that's compellingly better than his other options (or potential for other options). That is, as long as you're looking to be emotionally available to him. It sounds like you've got a good start on that with the chemistry, shared interests and stimulating conversation.
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I don't equate an unwillingness to be exclusive with emotionally unavailability. You can be completely emotionally available and still not what a commitment, and vice versa. My ex was textbook emotionally unavailable - he made grandiose declarations of love and a future together, but he was really incapable of feeling those emotions - and he wanted to be in a relationship from day one.

 

As far as his being unwilling to be exclusive, there really isn't a direct "solution" for that. If you guys want different things, it might be best just to move on. You can stick around in the hopes that he will want to be with you and only you, but you need to make sure that you'd be able to handle it if he chooses to move on to someone else.

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I don't equate an unwillingness to be exclusive with emotionally unavailability. You can be completely emotionally available and still not what a commitment, and vice versa. My ex was textbook emotionally unavailable - he made grandiose declarations of love and a future together, but he was really incapable of feeling those emotions - and he wanted to be in a relationship from day one.

That's interesting - you've got a different definition of "emotionally unavailable". What demonstrated that he was incapable of feeling those emotions?

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That's interesting - you've got a different definition of "emotionally unavailable". What demonstrated that he was incapable of feeling those emotions?

 

This is a good overview: link removed

 

Basically, emotionally unavailable men (don't know how different it is for women) come on very strong, but are unable to actually feel deeply because they have lots of barriers from bad childhoods, etc. They're charming and lovely for the first few months, then start to get uncomfortable and avoidant when their partner reciprocates feelings and makes any demands of them, even something as simple as setting plans for a movie or a date.

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I think there are different kinds of being emotionally unavailable. In my case the guy said he wanted a relationship but then backed down because he was scared. We never had sex and wouldn't unless he got his act together. He's not interested in sex with anyone else either. Thats to me is a different situation as a guy who wants to have sex but is emotionally unavailable. I would suspect in this case the guy just wants the sex and nothing else, whereas in my case he wants (or did) a relationship, just afraid of one.

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It is in general the nature of most men to be less emotionally expressive than women. Men also do not have the developed emotional support systems that most women do through their friendships, and therefore many of the most "emotional" men will have a tendency to back off from emotional investments, due to the inherent risks of failure involved, from which they have less ability to bounce back from.

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What exactly does it mean to be emotionally unavailable? I dont know how to express my emotions and I think this is why my ex of 2 yrs and I broke up. I couldnt have loved her more, but couldnt express it in words.

 

To me, that is more of an intimacy issue or an inability to express emotion than emotionally unavailability. Emotionally unavailable men rarely feel deep love.

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KristinJo, I agree with OrchidRose in that I don't necessarily equate emotional unavailability with lack of exclusivity. But given your posts, I don't really know enough to draw a conclusion. You are not even sure if he is seeing anyone else. You are seeing others. It just sounds like very casual dating at this point.

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You should start dating other people. People like him claim to be emotionally unavailable - until they meet the right woman and bang! they get married and have 2 kids. Don't invest anything more into this man.

 

This is true, but OP is the one who has broken up with him each time, which I find ironic. KristenJo, sorry I am not much help, but I will say that I would not be certain he is emotionally unavailable based on what you have said so far.

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