What To Do With An Emotionally Unavailable Man

Side view of arguing couple

Man, I wish I wrote this.

I’ve never been an emotionally unavailable man. Even when I was in my ten-year-online-dating-slut phase, I always wanted to fall in love.

So while I can’t personally identify with guys who are shut-off from love, I can acknowledge one thing: they keep me in business.

And yet, today, I’m going to continue to do my part to put myself out of business, by sharing this really well-written piece from SingleBlackMale.com on what emotionally unavailable men are thinking and doing when you’re dating them. (Thanks to the ladies of FOCUS Coaching for the link!)

Here are a handful of excellent take-aways that I want you to internalize ASAP, so you will no longer waste time on another dead-end guy:

1. Being emotionally unavailable doesn’t mean he’s dead. It means he’s not serious about falling in love at this point.

In other words, he can be a good guy and do everything right – but if he’s not acting like a boyfriend, you’re wasting your time.

“Now the fact that we are emotionally unavailable doesn’t mean that we’re no longer desirous of a woman’s attention and affection. It also doesn’t mean we’ve lost the ability to perceive attractiveness and beauty and it most definitely doesn’t mean we’re no longer interested in sex. We will want all of those things, and we’re still going to work toward getting all of those things. Understanding this is essential to understanding the emotionally unavailable man…Women often seem to assume that because a man is single, educated, employed, handsome, possessed with great taste, a great wardrobe and is a generally good guy, he is automatically on the market. This is an absolute fallacy.”

2. Ignore the positives, believe the negatives. Maybe it was our overt actions (not claiming you as a girlfriend). Maybe it was our silences (one week after a date). Maybe it was our actual words (I’m not looking for anything serious right now), but you didn’t pay attention. Says the author about women who ignore the signs:

“They figure if they can determine why we’re emotionally unavailable, then they can just help us address that issue and all will be right with the world. Still though, no matter how stern our warnings, no matter how many times we tell you that our emotional unavailability is serious and not a game, you still find away to allow yourselves to fall to the point of no return.”

3. Just because he’s emotionally unavailable doesn’t mean he’s evil.

“If we communicate to you, in no uncertain terms, that we’re very interested in you, but not interested in anything serious with anyone, and you choose to proceed, we see that as the green light to be the naturally great guys we’ve always been. This means we’re going to be thoughtful, we’re going to be charming and we’re going to make your friends laugh when you introduce us to them. We’re going to check on you when you’re sick, send you good morning emails and good night text messages. When we go out together, we’re going to do everything we’re supposed to do to make sure you have a good time and if you let us, we’re going to do everything in our power to please you sexually. Why? Because a good guy takes pride in making sure a woman in his company has enjoyed her time with him.”

Amen. I dated lots of women during my single life. You’d be hard pressed to find any of them who would say, “That Evan is a miserable asshole. He has no idea what makes women tick. What a terrible communicator. He’s so selfish and insensitive that he’ll never make a woman happy.” In other words, he can be a good guy and do everything right – but if he’s not acting like a boyfriend, you’re wasting your time.

4. You claim to be a powerful woman, but you don’t act like it. (Oh, boy, now we’re cutting close to the bone…)

You can’t expect him to value you like a girlfriend if you don’t insist on being treated like a proper girlfriend.

“Men use a formula to assign value to the women in their lives and a large part of that formula is derived from how much we believe that woman values herself. If you’ve been giving us all of you while requiring nothing more than our bare minimum then that negatively affects how much we believe you value yourself and we know in our heart we can never be with you. No matter how much we want to, we can’t build up the motivation to give you everything if we know you’ve been content with us giving you barely anything. We need to be challenged, we need to know that you’ll accept nothing less than everything.”

This is why I tell you repeatedly to act like the CEO and treat men like interns. If he’s not showing up and you’re putting up with it, it’s not his fault. It’s yours, for not firing him! You can’t expect him to value you like a girlfriend if you don’t insist on being treated like a proper girlfriend.

Any questions?

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Comments:

  1. 1
    chelle

    No, no questions. It’s all valid and acceptable, but consider this, I’ve turned down the handful of date requests from decent guys I’ve gotten over the past year . I feel that all the posturing and self abnegation involved in thinking like a man and “being a challenge” has conditioned me to want men less and less to the point where I won’t even go out with anyone. Great success right? Aside from the long term male friendships I have, I’ve never been so thoroughly turned off by the idea of a man’s company. Even when I get lonely. Maybe it’s just a phase, but I’m curious to know if this is an extreme felt by any other women on here. 

    1. 1.1
      Jo

      I can identify with where you’re coming from, Chelle.  I am starting to feel the same.  A kind of, “What’s the point?” feeling.  I do believe it will pass and that it’s just a positive sign that I’m not willing to put any effort out there until I get a sign that the guy is worth putting the effort in for.  Make sense?  Before, I would be the one putting up with crap and making allowances.  Now, whilst I am allowing men to do what they want to do and not forcing their hand in terms of being with me, I’m doing it from an empowered conscious position.  Change is a constant movement (storming, forming, norming, mourning (mourning the loss of old behaviours)) so, maybe we are both in the mourning phase?  Just a thought….

      1. 1.1.1
        Louise

        Jo, this is exactly how I feel. Doing things from “an empowered conscious position” describes it brilliantly. I find that I am less stressed as a result and started to enjoy dating.
        I think it’s important to go through this process and to remain optimistic.

      2. 1.1.2
        SparklingEmerald

        When you stop as you say  “putting up with crap and making allowances” you make room in your life people who don’t give you crap. 

        1. Sunflower

          Here, here ladies!  Crap and garbage belong in a receptacle on the side on the road.  

      3. 1.1.3
        RustyLH

        Ah, but what if a man tells the woman that he is not going to put up with her crap?  Or do women think that they never create crap in a relationship?  The idea is to find a balance.  Find somebody who puts up with your crap, and you can put up with theirs.

    2. 1.2
      starthrower68

      What you said.  I don’t like feeling that way, but it is what it is.  Maybe it is a phase and since we’ve deconstructed the old mindsets, we’re just getting used to how it really is and it does feel a bit strange to us.

    3. 1.3
      Selena

      chelle,
      I’ve had a couple friends who feel as you do. They were both early 30’s at the time and both explained it this way: “I just feel I’ve had enough men. I’ve had enough sex.” 
       
      One friend I lost touch with so I don’t know how long it lasted for her. The other one did eventually fall in love again and is happily married now.  Perhaps what you are currently feeling is a need to take a break from dating?  To focus on the things that make you happy that don’t involve a man? Possibly the lack of interest in men is also a signal that a woman needs to spend some time taking care of her self. If one has spent years of her life in a relationship, getting over a relationship, looking for a relationship…that kind of self care may be long overdue.

    4. 1.4
      Dina Strange

      Wow. I feel EXACTLY the same.

    5. 1.5
      J

      I agree! In my experience, it becomes mentally AND emotionally exhausting to try and do the best we can when working to be all we can be and are, no fake a$$ $hit in the mix at all! Only to find the men you’re dating seem to strive to make things very difficult. I refuse to play house and give our milk for free, or if that, for any lengthy periods of time at all! In other words, friends with bennies loses it’s flare and excitement when that’s all you end up seeing signs that’s all the man wants! Well aside from that, being all we can and are, ends up getting taken advantage of and tread on too lightly. I am not a doormat that’s gonna get any newer overtime! So after awhile of the dating scene, he’s either in or he needs to just man up and be honest! And answer the question, “Are you in or out?” I am strong enough woman to take the truth, and then move on with myself. I’d rather take my well deserved reprieve of the exhausting efforts I’ve put in and go on with myself alone, rather than put my all in effort-wise, reason being is because why put in so much effort on our end before seeing what HE can contribute in to as well? It goes both ways.

      1. 1.5.1
        Krystal

        Love this answer and I agree fully!

      2. 1.5.2
        little lotus

        so well said!!!!

    6. 1.6
      Tiffany

      Yep, same here Chelle. I just don’t have the patience or the time to baby sit these dudes and play their games with them. It gets to the point that a woman just gives up and walks away; they like to play games as a way of feeling validation, but we get bored quickly with the games. What woman in her right mind would stick around for this crap? Life is too short.

      1. 1.6.1
        Krystal

        True! Been there, done that, never again.

    7. 1.7
      Jen

      I genuinely feel just like this at the moment. I’ve turned down numerous date requests over the past few weeks. The guy’s seem great and all, I just don’t feel like going out with them.

    8. 1.8
      Hannah

      Yep, agreed.  All those conditions for their so called affection read one thing to me: high-maintenance.

      Avoid.

      We’re missing out on nothing.  Men are nothing a 9-inch toy can’t solve.  

      1. 1.8.1
        Sydney Woman

        If that’s what you truly believed, you wouldn’t be on a coaching website.

      2. 1.8.2
        maryann rayburn

        I know you’re right.no commitment no hassles no expectations ..I agree men are douche bags take it from me..

    9. 1.9
      Don't fall for me

      I have a lot of Long time make friends too. And what I’ve realized is that is there is no suck thing as the friend zone or friends with the opposite sex. One always wants more from the other so they terate the relationship as it is hoping it will one day magically become the fantastic love story they really want. I used to tell men immedietly not to fall in love with me. Naturally they became obsessed and would do everything in their power to make me “settle down.” I thought they loved me but I think they really just loved the challenge. I broke up with them before they could hurt me and therefore made me the one that got away. so they always try and come back. But that’s not love either. That’s merely trying to make me want them lime they love me. It’s a sick cycle because I have a guy friend who has done it to me for 8 years. At some point we have to be open to wanting a healthy relationship. Be open to vulnerability. Or we will all end up alone. 

      1. 1.9.1
        JennLee

        I can understand where you are coming from, but do you think that you may have too much cynicism, and that you may be overlooking guys that actually do see you as a possible life-long mate? What I worry about is that men today often think that they have to act aloof or the woman will no longer see him as a challenge and move on. I think it starts with how men often fall for us before we do and they have to keep it to themselves until we make it clear we are head over heals for them. I think a lot of men get stuck in that “playing their cards close to the vest,” thing, and don’t know how, or fear making it known how they really feel. If that guy is still coming around after 8 years, I think it is possible he really has a thing for you. 8 years is a long time for a guy to just play games. Maybe he is afraid to be vulnerable because you don’t make him feel safe to let his guard down?

    10. 1.10
      Deb

      I couldn’t agree more . I’m totally over it Myself 

    11. 1.11
      Feeling You

      I have.  Actually spent 8 yrs this way.  Sort of like a fog.  A blessed period in my life and now I’ve awoken to a much crazier place.  Lol!  Loving this article!

    12. 1.12
      Carmen

      I’m feeling the same way. Men are a waste of time. I’m beautiful. Everyone says it. I’m extremely fit. I exercise a lot and practice martial arts. I’m 100% Puerto Rican and have all the curves to prove it. I’m educated. Working on a Ph.D. I’m a published author working on two books. I have a strong relationship with God. At this point, it seems men are pretty much not worth the hassle. I feel fine being alone, but with men everything is an uphill battle. Maybe I was just meant to be alone. The problem is having to go without sex for the rest of my life…that’s the only reason I want to be married anyways. I want to be able to have sex without breaking God’s laws. A hiking partner would be nice too…

      1. 1.12.1
        Alex Wong

        People (Men and Women) who self praise alot, are the worst lot to interact with .

    13. 1.13
      Carmen

      I’ve known this non committal man for 9 years. He knows I love him and he loves that I love him. I’ve had dozens of dreams about him over the years and he said I “woke him up spiritually” and that we have a spiritual connection, and the whole bit. He said my dreams about him have been prophetic. I can give many examples. And he still doesn’t put a ring on my finger, even after talking about wanting to have a baby with me. He makes no damn sense. If things are going wrong he’ll call frantically and get upset and forgive me for just about anything I say or do. I just don’t get him!!!!!

    14. 1.14
      May

      *raiseshand*
      That is how I currently feel. I am not bitter at all, just realistic. After 49 years on this planet, and several long term serious relationships(including marriage) I want to utilize every moment of life without dealing with drama or unnecessary internal conflict. I came to the realization that I was much too accommodating when it came to a partner’s bad behavior. I look back on the great times and smile. They were great, but the not so great times have caused me to go inward.

  2. 2
    Karl R

    Regardless of how you want to define it, I would say there were a few relationships where my emotions/attitude matched the men being described as “emotionally unavailable.”
     
    In my case, I was interested in getting into a serious long-term relationship. But with those relationships, I had serious doubts about the relationship’s future. They were great women, but I didn’t think they were great for me.
     
    I wasn’t about to commit my heart to a relationship that I suspected was a dead end.
     
    In one case, I continued dating the woman casually after I decided that it was never going to go anywhere. I explicitly told her that the relationship was never going to go anywhere. But we both enjoyed dating each other, so I saw no reason to stop as long as the arrangement worked for both of us.
     
    However, I felt it was her responsibility to decide if/when this kind of relationship no longer worked for her. I would separately make that decision for myself. Therefore, I ended things when I decided to pursue an exclusive relationship with a different woman.
     
    Regarding the specific points made by Evan:
     
    1. Agreed. Many emotionally unavailable men are normal men who aren’t ever going to fall in love with the woman they’re currently dating.
     
    2. Excellent advice. If a man tells you that he’s not interested in a serious relationship, he means he’s not interested in a serious relationship with you. He doesn’t have some master plan of meeting the right woman, then stringing her along for years until he’s ready for a serious relationship. It’s far easier (and better planning) to string along the woman who is good enough for now.
     
    3. Absolutely true. It is in our best interest to treat you well even though we plan to break up with you … even after we have broken up with you. I dated the woman who introduced me to my wife. They’re friends. My wife is acquainted with three other women I’ve dated because we’re all in the same extended social circle. If I had been a jerk to those women (before, during or after we dated), I would have a reputation as a jerk. My dating success relied on having a good (or at least neutral) reputation.
     
    4. This is one possible explanation. Another (highly likely) explanation, is that we didn’t commit because we didn’t value you that highly to begin with. You were a great woman, but you weren’t the right woman for us. Therefore, if you leave us (because we weren’t committing), it’s not a big loss. If we believe that you’re the kind of woman who comes along once in a lifetime, we’re going to try to seal the deal … even if it’s not convenient in our present circumstances.
     
    Do yourself a favor. Don’t expect the noncommittal man to change (for you). When he commits, it will almost certainly be to someone else.

    1. 2.1
      Libra Girl

      Thank you for your honesty.  I needed to hear it.

    2. 2.2
      Rhonda

      Loved this posted. Number 4 hit hard. I really needed to read this. If a man wants to be with you he will move heaven and earth to do so.

      1. 2.2.1
        JennLee

        True they will, but be careful. A man, in my experience, who loves you, will move Heaven and Earth to be with you, but you can’t test that. Or should I say, you are risking losing him if you test that. What I mean is, I and many ladies I know have lost guys because they test the guy’s love for her. They want to see how much he loves her. They test him. They make him work for it.

        It is one thing to ask him to move near you if it is long distance, and he can transfer to be near you. A man who loves you will do this. Nothing else will matter. He will do it. Unless of course he feels that it is better for you to move to where he lives, but you are just too afraid to do so.

        The point is simple, don’t artificially test that theory to see if he love you. Men aren’t as stupid as we think they are…sometimes. LOL If he sees that this is what you are doing, he will often leave. Most men I know don’t like that at all and it IS a deal breaker for most of them. As one guy told me, “Life is hard enough already. I don’t need somebody who supposedly me, making it harder on purpose.”

        1. Adrian

          JennLee, could you give some examples of how women test men to see if he loves her or how much he loves her?

          Any woman can answer this 

        2. EmeraldDust

          Adrian asked for examples of women “testing” men.
          I guess one example would be girls who follow “The Rules” in that silly book.  I don’t believe in such manipulative game playing as this book advocates, so I don’t play but those “rules”.  I guess another “test” would be “circular dating” as Rori Raye calls it.  (I call it cheating)  I don’t believe in that stuff either. 
          A lot of advice given in the “manosphere” claims that “hypergamous” females s__t test” men all of the time, but the advice given to men is nothing but how to play women, how to toy with their hearts in order to gain power over her, etc.  Any reaction to their ridiculous antics is seen as a “s–t test” instead of a response to the ridiculous games they are playing.
          I think “time” is the best test of all.  I don’t believe in setting up fake scenarios to
          “test” a man’s love.  Life has a way of throwing all kinds of test our way, to see if love will stand the test of time, and weather life’s up and downs. No need to artificially manufacture these “love tests”.
           
          It’s really a pity, I think some men and women devise these tests, because they really enjoy playing games with people’s emotions, but what is really sad to me, is some people really just get lonely in their search for love, seek out advice, and then someone tells them (not EMK)  to play this, that or the other game, and to make the opposite sex pass a series of “tests” to see if they are worthy.  So these frustrated lonely hearts might end up playing a game and “testing” someone and end up alienating someone who MIGHT have been a good match for them, but they drove them away with their silly games and tests.
           
          I like Evan’s “tests” the best.  Observe a man’s actions over time.  If he doesn’t put in the effort the “fails” the test, and you move to find a man who WILL love you. 

        3. JennLee

          Adrian, there are as many was as there are women. But they can be grouped into categories I suppose. I don’t really want to do that. Way too complicated. I think the most common is acting like a Diva. Acting crappy toward the guy to see if he stays. Now keep in mind, not all women do this. But she might want to see how you react. For some women, this may be a learned behavior. For instance, one guy dumps her after a long relationship, saying that he can’t deal with her drama. That may have even been an unfair statement, but the damage is done. Some women might then up the volume a bit to test a man to see if he has what it takes to stick it out with her. From her perspective, she is normal, the man who left is not. So she wants to see if any new men in her life are like the man who left, or not. Also, she may even realize that she is emotional/full of drama, and accept that, but still wants a man who is like a rock in the storm, a man who she can cling to when her emotions are going crazy. A man who makes her feel safe by not allowing her emotions sway him in a negative way. Sometimes she might need nurturing, and sometimes, when she is just being sassy, or a B, she actually wants him to call her on it without being an A-hole in the process.

          Anyway, this is just one way a woman might test a man. It can be seen in that it is like what many women do but she is raising the level to one that is very painful to the man. This is almost always done because of her own insecurities, and so many would never even admit they are doing it, and may not even admit it to herself.

    3. 2.3
      Ivy

      If it’s not a big loss for the guy, then why would a man have tears in his eyes when a girl ends it with him cause he doesn’t want a relationship (and continue to contact her)?  No ultimatum was given, just a mature statement of not continuing a non-relationship.

      1. 2.3.1
        Steve Kasian

        Perhaps you aren’t/weren’t dealing with a very mature guy.

        1. Ivy

          @ Steve, Yes, I guess you are right about this and it’s probably as simple as that.  Funny how life is, sometimes he would seem mature and a good communicator and then at other times I can now reflect back and say there was a lack of maturity.  He did at one time admit he had difficulty expressing his emotions.

  3. 3
    Nicole

    So how does this challenging him to step up and not be content with the bare minimum he is willing to give square with accepting him for who he is and loving him unconditionally (eventually)?  As a woman, I try intentionally not to criticize the men I am with and take what they are willing to give me without demands.  Apparently this is setting me up for a total lack of effort, instead of appreciation and gratitude that I let them be themselves.  I admit, that’s consistent with my personal experience.  How do I let them know I deserve more without coming across as too critical of them?
    On a side note…I could be the emotionally unavailable person in this dynamic.  Its not just men that do this and reading this helped me clarify for myself where I am at. 

    1. 3.1
      robin

      Nicole–
      I understand where you’re coming from completely. I used to struggle with this mightily when I was single. What I’ve discovered is there really is no magical word or set of behaviors you can utilize to make certain men into Mr. Right. I think the key is to have high standards but no expectations, and to be very discerning. If a guy isn’t giving you what you feel you deserve, move on immediately. 
      Trust me, when the right man shows up, he will make such an effort that you no longer have to worry much about whether or not he likes you, or which games you need to play to keep his attention. He will always ask you out, follow up, and make sure he can see you by hook or by crook.
      The trick is to be receptive to this type of Mr. Right when he pops up on your radar, and discerning enough to get rid of the users and time-wasters ASAP so you can be available when the time is right:)
      I really feel for you– before I met my SO a few years ago this was a major sticking point for me, also– you’re in good company, and you can find what you want if you keep looking. 

    2. 3.2
      Clare

      Nicole,
       
      It’s not about demanding, or even asking for, good treatment. It’s about accepting the good stuff into your life, and eschewing the bad stuff.  When a guy comes into my life, I am hugely positively responsive to the lovely stuff that he does that makes me feel great, and as soon as he does something which doesn’t feel good I say something like “It would feel great if… “, giving him a chance to make it right.
       
      If he doesn’t, he knows instinctively from the vibe that I give off that he will ultimately lose me. Simply put, the good guys make an effort to make you happy, the ones you shouldn’t bother with, don’t really bother.  That said, I do definitely think there’s something to be said for being forgiving of human beings little missteps, faults and lapses, as long as they are not too serious.

    3. 3.3
      Fusee

      Nicole, to me “accepting him for who he is” is about accepting his fundamental personality (extrovert/introvert, easy-going/ambitious, couch patato/active, etc), his values (spirituality, finances, etc), and his lifestyle choices. It’s necessary because those characteristics are basic human rights, are not about right/wrong, and it would be exhausting to be criticized or asked to change in these areas that define who you are. If we do not accept the fundamental features of the person we are dating, we must walk away and find someone we can really accept.
       
      It does not mean, however, that we can’t inspire him to be the best man he can be in terms of character, relationship skills, love, and respect. We sure can’t demand or expect any growth, but we can hold ourselves to certain standards that if not met result in a discussion on what we need to continue the relationship. If he values being with you and appreciates the opportunity to become a better person (since what you are asking is about growth and not about change of basic personality and lifestyle preferences), he will step up and “become more”. If not, it’s time for a graceful exit.
       
      When my then boyfriend, now husband proposed, part of what he said was “You’ve inspired and encouraged me to become a better man, and I want to continue on this journey with you…”. It continues to be true, and he continues to become a better man, while he inspired me to progress on my own path. But we are accepting each other’s personalities and quirks unconditionally in the process.

      1. 3.3.1
        SparklingEmerald

        Fusee – What an excellent explanation about accepting someone as is, while inspiring them to be the best version of THEMSELVES.  I hope in my next relationship to BE that person and to FIND that person, the one who accepts me AS I AM, while inspiring me to be the best version of myself.

  4. 4
    Henriette

    @Nicole — I agree that this has sometimes been me, too, in relationships; it’s clearly not a dynamic that’s specific to men. 
    I think another, similar version of this “unemotionally available” person is the “nuptially unavailable.”  This person is fully committed to being a great boyfriend/ girlfriend, is in love and willing to make the relationship work for now, but has not interest in marrying… or, in marrying you.
     

  5. 5
    Jenna

    I love #4 and don’t think this blog and most dating advice gets at this enough. You can act a certain way and say the right things and do rules but if you don’t highly value and respect yourself deep down it doesn’t matter. Valuing yourself won’t make flaky, noncommital guys commit to you, but it will help you ditch them asap and start attracting higher quality people. I’ve come to realize that without a doubt, I come first (in the good way, not the selfish way).

  6. 6
    SparklingEmerald

    EMK has said it over and over.
     
    The answer is to walk away.  It really doesn’t matter if he’s EU for you, or in general.  If he’s EU for you, WALK !
     
    Robin at 3.1 is right, there is no magic words or actions to make an EU man become your Mr Devoted.  The magic is that YOU disappear, and make room for the RIGHT man to appear. 
     
    When a man doesn’t want you in his life (except for a bit of fun) it doesn’t matter which way you lean, if you use “feeling” words or “thinking” words , cross your legs at the ankles, knees or not at all.
     
      If a man DOES want you in his life, you’re not going to blow the whole thing because you didn’t quite master the cool girl hair toss, wear the wrong shade of lip gloss, or began a sentence with “I think” instead of “I feel”. 
    With the right man, you won’t wonder where you stand, and you won’t have to walk on egg shells to keep him.  (You just have to be sweet & sexy & make him feel great ! )

    1. 6.1
      Pauline

      Amen Sparkling Emerald, it is that simple! 

    2. 6.2
      Lia

      Well said! 

    3. 6.3
      Lau_ra

      Amen, indeed! My first thought after reading the article “What to do with emotionally unavailable men” was “nothing!”. I’ve dated/met quite a bunch of them in my life and I can definitely tell that if you’re looking for a substantial relationship, dating an EU man can be summed up by “it hurts so good” (unless you’re EU too, then this doesn’t apply).

    4. 6.4
      Ken

      Sparklingemerald you TOTALLY NAILED IT with “there are no magic words…The magic is that YOU disappear” I’ve turned it into a post-it note that sits on my desktop screen as a reminder. Thanks for sharing that. 

  7. 7
    Julia

    I think once you understand emotionally unavailable men and what motivates them, you will feel more in control. Once I realized that the emotionally unavailable men who occasionally hit me up were doing so because they didn’t have the time for a relationship or weren’t up for it, or maybe just didn’t want it with me but still craved attention, affection and someone to just spend time with, I stopped getting upset at them. I empathized with them, I would be lying to say I hadn’t been there myself. I might even participate because decent company is decent company. But you must know that is all it will ever be. There is no relationship to be had, just an occasional date.

    1. 7.1
      Joe

      If you’re both emotionally unavailable, it’s no problem (if slightly dysfunctional).

  8. 8
    Gabri'el

    Could someone give me an example of being emotionally unavailable in a relationship? Point #3 that Evan quoted from the article, it seems like he’s doing all the right things, and he said he didn’t want a relationship with the woman. What are some examples of being emotionally unavailable in a relationship… or does it just mean a person who doesn’t want to commit?

    1. 8.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Gabri’el @8, some examples of EU, is the entire relationship is on his * terms.  He doesn’t feel the need to “label” the relationship.  Plans are always made at the last minute.  Plans are frequently cancelled.  He doesn’t claim you as his girlfriend.  You don’t know from one time (or booty call or hook up or hanging out time) to the next, if and when you are going to see him again.  Not only does the EU person not want to commit to marriage, or a “labeled” relationship, they usually won’t even commit to a date later in the week.  EU people are frequently “busy”, their lives and schedules are always “up in the air”, they travel a lot, and their lives are often a mystery.  You ask them what they did this week, and answers are vague like “Oh, I was out and about” or “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” etc.  I read the perfect phrase to describe such a non relationship.  It’s like trying to catch a fish with your bare hands.  Slippery and frustrating !
      *I used masculine pronouns because this is a blog giving advice to women who generally date men, but women can be EU also.

      1. 8.1.1
        starthrower68

        I was going to say like trying to nail Jell-o to a tree.

    2. 8.2
      Jo

      Any man who doesn’t say he’s your boyfriend by about 6 weeks or says he doesn’t want anything serious is emotionally unavailable; even if you have the best time together / see each other all the time.

    3. 8.3
      Tyrion Lannister

      @ Gabri’el
      Love and emotional attachment are mechanisms evolved from the same selection pressures that gave rise to intensive biparental care in humans, and emotional attachments facilitate exclusive, long-term mating strategies.  Men continuously monitor their mating opportunities and facultatively adjust their strategies.

      In any event, these phenomena are evolved adaptations, not as part of a system of meaning-ascription that counteracts ego-serving fitness-optimization. Furthermore the fitness-enhancing effects of adaptations must be understood in terms of their aggregate effects, not whether they promote fitness in every instance.
      It  seems most people on here think  that authentically self-aware men deliberate moral choices and interpersonal commitments and permit them to overcome fitness-oriented temptations to be emotionally unavailable. This reasoning is incorrect

      1. 8.3.1
        Ken

        SparklingEmerald, You’ve done it again! Loving an emotionally unavailable partner is  ‘like trying to catch a fish with your bare hands.  Slippery and frustrating!’ So well said. Bravo! I’m really glad I came to this site and read your comments. 

  9. 9
    Kiki

    I struggle with this concept of unavailability. Partly because English is not native for me, but also I think this is too new-age of a concept for me.
    I think that there is a much simpler way to describe it – when a man meets a woman, he either falls in love, or he does not. By love, I mean that certain chemical reactions happen in his brain, he gets a cocktail of endorphins that is powerful (makes him feel euphoric) and addictive (he needs more and more of her presence).
    We all crave this feeling, and we know very well whether we experience it with regards to some one, or we do not.  Men are capable of dating women without being in love with them.  By the way (suprise surprise!) men (and women) are fully capable to date, marry  and be faithful even without being in love. Dating, in the sense of having a good company, companionship, sex, and all the other benefits that come with it, can be a goal for a man (or a woman) with or without love.  You can not force someone to be in love with you any more that you can force yourself to be in  love with someone. 
    In my opinion (and here I am very humble because I have been out of the dating scene way to long to be a credible reporter), a woman should listen up to hear whether the man she is dating tells her that he is in love with her. If he does not say that, or says things that are the exact opposite to a declaration of in-loveness, she should be aware that a very important ingredient is missing, and she would be better spending her time looking for someone with whom both her and him can experience in-loveness.
    So guys, is being unavailable the same as not being in-love with the woman?

    1. 9.1
      Deb

      Yeh I think the term emotionally unavailable is a nice way of saying yeh he will date you . And just pass his time with you but you aren’t the one . It’s hurtful to think that  yeh a guy can be with u and it means nothing . But now I’m thinking that rather than labelling them unavailable . I’d rather look at it as . Yeh it’s more Like im just not the one for him . It’s easier to move on that way rather than thinking oh he’s emotionally unavailable maybe I can fix that . He’s just doesn’t want me long term . He’s happy to have me as some thing to kill his time while no other girls around . But as soon as another girls there I’m gone . And usually it’s an arguement he uses to do it then when he loses Interest in her he try’s to come back And be nice . Took me a while I guess I’m slow . But it really affects your self esteem . Best to cut them straight up as soon as u find out n not let them back in . 

      1. 9.1.1
        Garret

        You are pretty mush right on the money Deb. If he is “emotionally unavailable, it is very very very likely that he does not see you as “the one.” I think the “sexual revolution was great for women that want no NSA sex, but for women who want a LTR, it was the worst thing to happen to them. Men can find plenty of free sex, which gives them a lot of power in relationships. Many women think that they have to have sex with a guy pretty quickly or he will just move on. Well, the truth is, he will stick around if you really are the one. He may not stick around for 3 years while you make up your mind, but he will stick around a lot longer than people are willing to admit here. but he will only do so if he really does see you as something special, his ideal woman. If you are “the one” he will wait, at least for a while. I don’t want to put a number on it because it is going to be a subjective number based on how much he is into you and how much you make him feel loved and appreciated even without sex. Plus, he is going to have to see light at the end of the tunnel. just like there is no magic number on the scale for women, there is no magic number for how long a guy will wait for his ideal woman. But, he will wait, and longer than most people admit.

        But you are right that many women do waste a lot of time with men who do not see them as the one. Nowhere is this more true than older woman/younger man relationships. Most men want a younger woman, so it is only logical that the vast majority of men dating/shacking up with an older woman, see it as a “for right now,” proposition. Date younger guys all you want. Have the time of your life. Why not? Just have your wits about you and pay attention because the signs are almost always there that he sees it as a short term affair. If that is not what you want, get out and find a guy that sees you as something special, not as the special of the day (cheap bargain).

  10. 10
    NotBuyingIt

    This is a good article, and highlights how some of them can be really great company.  So, you can be lulled into thinking he is moving from EU to not EU, by words and actions.  I am so grateful for this blog and a few others that clearly outline the behaviors that someone needs to really look for, and advise what to do while you are in one of these situations. 
    The first person I dated  (just out of my very long term marriage) was some combination of EU, avoidant/commitment  phobic.  I recognized it immediately, and went out with him intentionally.   I actually didn’t want to inflict myself on someone who WAS emotionally available, because I knew I wasn’t yet.  I looked at my first dating adventure as a bit of a throw away, but I wanted a fun experience and to learn to be in the company of the opposite sex again. 
    My EU guy experience did end up being particularly hard, due to the fact that at various points he would TELL me it was progressing or evolving for him.  And when I would break up with him, he WOULD come back, slightly improved.  His behavior was also very difficult to interpret, as he was very consistent about dates.  His ‘reason’ for his sometimes flaky behavior was absolutely valid – a very demanding job, and suddenly saddled with his pre-teen, full time, single parent, no support from anyone.  So, I had a circumstantially unavailable guy who professed to adore me and took me on great dates. 
    My tool for dealing with this was to date others while dating him, and to try to break up with him at various points.   We had agreed early on that I should be dating others, since I was brand new at this.  He did not date others, but reserved the right to.  He kept telling me “I only want to see or be with you”, and “I am very into you only”.  He would say…”I want you to see what’s out there”.  In my head, the first two sentences ended with ‘right now’ and the third was his ‘out’ if I had ever pressed for commitment from him…he could say…whhhhhhaaaattt, but I told you to date other people.
    Anyway, I dated 4 or 5 guys during the course of seeing him…and I mean platonic dating, as I had gotten attached to my EU guy – which proves to me this attachment stuff is pretty darn involuntary. at least for me anyway.   
    One of the guys I dated ended up being really great, and exhibited true boyfriend behavior and wanted to BE my boyfriend.   Having attempted to break up with EU guy twice, and learning he was for some reason not going to easily let me go, I was able to say…look I met someone that I need to focus on, and I can’t see you while I am seeing this other guy, and I need to give it a chance.  He then somewhat graciously let me move on.
    He still contacts me – my guess is to test the waters for continued involvement.  I am polite, but don’t bite.  My new guy is awesome and it’s great to be learning how to be a good girlfriend.
    So, some of these situations are not so cut and dry.  I also think some of these guys are really, really skilled at stringing you along to get their needs met, and giving it all the trappings of a real relationship, but it’s not.  It’s all on you to figure it out and act accordingly.
     
     

    1. 10.1
      WaterDragon

      Very similar to my first guy after a long period of not dating. It really threw me, because I never had the experience of someone who would disappear and then repeatedly come back.  I haven’t seen him in two years, and he still texts me occasionally. I think your assessment is correct. Just wants to see if I’m still on the hook – because like you, I became very attached. Thank goodness for this blog or I’d still be falling for it. I just wish I had found it BEFORE I met him. :)

  11. 11
    Ruby

    The problem is that EU men are capable of going through the motions, as EMK says in point #3.  So, for me, this is a case where actions don’t speak louder than words. However, most men will say something about not being ready for anything serious, not having a lot of time for dating, not sure how he’s feeling or if he’s ready for a relationship, but wants to see where it goes because you’re great, etc.
     
    In the past, if I ever gave one of these men a chance, they were capable of acting like good boyfriends. But as soon as the subject of commitment arose or a certain amount of time elapsed, the excuses invariably popped up again. And that is why EMK’s point #2 is so important. Listen to a man’s excuses, and believe them.

    1. 11.1
      Gabri'el

      Hi, Ruby. I don’t understand, so I hope you can explain, if you guy said he didn’t want anything serious, and they treated you good (like all humans should to each other), then I don’t understand, why would you bring up commitment, if he told you from the beginning that he didn’t want it? Maybe I misunderstood your post, but it seems like in the last paragraph you were up-set that he didn’t want a relationship, what did he do wrong? And wouldn’t it just be better to avoid guys who say they don’t want a relationship?

      1. 11.1.1
        Ruby

        When I was younger and first dating, I’d think the guy would change his mind. I think that many women hope for that too. And most men don’t flat-out say they don’t want a relationship. I definitely have encountered men who were more vague about their intentions, leaving some wiggle room. and it could be confusing, because we’d be consistently, and usually exclusively, dating. I’m not upset, just stating that I realized that you can’t change a person, that’s all.

        1. Selena

          “And most men don’t flat-out say they don’t want a relationship.”
           
          I suspect that is much more common than putting out some kind of non-serious disclaimer on the first date. What’s confusing is often guys in casual mode (term I prefer over EU) can come on very strong at first just like guys who want a relationship. It can take weeks for the woman to realize she’s “Thursday girl” or the once every week or so booty call.  And by then she might be attached. She remembers how the guy was in the beginning and holds onto hope that he will revert back to that.
           
          Also, even when a man says something upfront to indicate his casual intentions the woman may agree. He’s good looking. He’s fun. Why not?  And then she becomes attached. And it turns out she’s not as cool with casual as she thought she could be. 
           
          If the guy is doing all the boyfriend-y, couple-y things consistently the woman might very well think they ARE a couple despite the fellow’s early disclaimer. Right up until the day he backs out and says “But I told you from the beginning I wasn’t looking for anything serious!”  Ugh.

  12. 12
    Selena

    Reading all these definitions of ‘emotionally unavailable’ makes me think the term is just salve for the ego.
     
    Someone isn’t giving you the attention (or the kind of attention) you want? He must be ‘emotionally unavailable’.
     
    Someone is not progressing a relationship beyond the casual when you want it to be serious? It couldn’t be because he’s not that into you could it? Nah. Must be because he’s ‘emotionally unavailable’.
     
    Doesn’t want to marry you?  Might that be because there are issues in your relationship he knows could lead to divorce? Oh hell no. It’s because he’s ‘emotionally unavailable’.
     
    Labeling someone with a “flaw” because they don’t do what you want them to do  must be easier than admitting any complicity oneself.

    1. 12.1
      Ruby

      I really think it depends on the person and the situation. Someone going through a separation or divorce may well be EU. The older confirmed bachelor may be EU. The player or the man completely focused on his career. Too often, women make thee kinds of excuses for the man’s inability to commit. But if the person is emotionally unavailable to you , does it matter why?

      1. 12.1.1
        Selena

        How long does it take to determine someone isn’t a good match for us? If someone doesn’t want to commit to us then obvious they aren’t a good match, yes? So why the need for the EU label at all?

        1. Ruby

          Well, the original on piece EU men was written by a man. And he writes, “Every guy I know has, at some point decided to check out and withdraw from the spiritual, emotional, and physical commitment that comes with “falling in love.” We do this for various reasons: sometimes it’s because we want to focus on our careers, sometimes we’ve been hurt and are not interested in feeling that again, sometimes we have obligations and responsibilities that for a time will supersede our own feelings and sometimes we just know that for the moment …”

        2. SparklingEmerald

          Selena – Keep in mind that the “need” for the “EU label” is that this is an article written by a MALE blog host, in reference to an article written by a self professed Emotionally Unavailable MAN, with the presumed (or perhaps stated) intention of helping women understand “EU” men.
          So if you put the use of the coined phrase “EU” in context, there really are no ulterior motives for using the phrase, just  an attempt to join in a discussion about the concept.  (when I first started hearing the fairly new coined phrase “EU” I thought it was just the new term for an older coined phrase “Commitaphobe”, but apparently not.  I suspect that with most coined phrases, there is no PRECISE definition, and everyone understands the term a little differently.
           

        3. Selena

          @Ruby & SE
           
          I did read the article and I do get it. EU may be a form of shorthand for someone in casual mode. Something about the term just strikes me as psuedo-psychology…and a little blame-y. 
           
          I can see how it could be fairly applied to someone dealing with a mental/emotional disorder, but not so fairly to someone who simply didn’t want a serious relationship at a particular point in time. 
           
          SE, yes EU sounds to me like the new version of commitmentphobe.  I have yet to hear anyone in real life use either phrase, but I’ve seen dozens of women call previous lovers commitmentphobes on the internet.  And it always seems to me it is used because the man wouldn’t give the woman what she wanted. Bad Man!    So that is where my comment #12 came from. :)
           
           

    2. 12.2
      Karmic Equation

       
      I agree Selena.
       
      It’s easier to label the man than to work on being the right woman who is compatible for ANY man. Once you’re the right woman, both the “emotionally available” and “emotionally unavailable” men try to have relationships with you (e.g., my reformed player-now-ex-bf). I would just say that while what we’re calling the “EU” man might TRY to be a good bf, in the long run, they usually FAIL to be a good bf because he’ll fail at some aspect of good-boyfriend-ness. But it’s not because he’s EU, it’s because he’s a bad bf.
       
      With the exception of not wanting commitment, basically, SE’s description of what a “EU” guy does is the description of a guy who tries to be a good BF but can’t do it right. 
       
      Not wanting a commitment doesn’t make a man or a woman “emotionally unavailable”, imo. Instead it makes them commitment-unavailable. I think it’s wrong to tie emotions and commitment together. You can have commitment without emotions (e.g., unhappy marriages) or you can have emotions without commitment (I love my ex-player-bf, but we have no commitment to each other). Being available for commitment doesn’t automatically make a man “emotionally available”, he can still be a bad boyfriend. But if he’ll commit to you does that negate his bad bf-behaviors and he’s now “emotionally available”? Really? If a man is a good bf but doesn’t want to commit TO YOU, doesn’t mean he’s emotionally unavailable. He just doesn’t want to commit TO YOU. He can love you and be good to you, because you’re a lovable person. But he doesn’t value what he has with you more than he values his freedom. Does that really make him wrong? No. It just makes him the wrong guy FOR YOU.
       
      So if COMMITMENT is what a woman is looking for, as soon as a man says he’s not looking for anything serious, walk away. He’s already decided you’re the wrong woman for him. Men who are undecided about what you could mean to him NEVER OFFER unsolicited that they’re “not looking for anything serious” — they don’t burn bridges like that — Instead they say nothing about commitment. Zero. But they’ll bring it up once they’ve decided they want to commit to you, usually 2-3 months. I know Evan says 6-8 weeks, but my personal experience has ranged from 4-12 weeks. OTOH if 2-3 months have gone by and he HASN’T brought it up, it’s safe to assume he doesn’t want to commit to you. So you can walk away without even asking. His actions have spoken. If YOU bring it after 3 months? You’re stringing YOURSELF along. Don’t blame him.

       
       

      1. 12.2.1
        Gabri'el

        Thank you Karmic, you and Selena helped me understand what emotionally unavailable means, it’s easier to avoid becoming something if you understand what that something is

        1. Karmic Equation

          YW, Gabri’el :)

      2. 12.2.2
        ChiliPepper

        Karmic, I agree with most of what you are saying.  I think there is one statement though in your post that could lead some to think they are ‘less than’ or ‘flawed’ in their level of ‘self’ or of their ‘game’ if they can’t get a particular person to commit. 
        ” Once you’re the right woman, both the “emotionally available” and “emotionally unavailable” men try to have relationships with you (e.g., my reformed player-now-ex-bf).”  You may be implying that someone CAN make themselves someone for everyone.  I think this is an unhealthy concept.  We can strive to be our best selves, is all. (I am happy for you that you reformed a player, but I think this example doesn’t transfer to some cases)
        There are cases where you could be an incredibly beautiful, accomplished person, but under no circumstances will they commit.  Say for instance, they have a requirement that you are Ivy League educated, or from a well connected family – but they don’t share with you that that’s what they REALLY want – possibly because they know that’s a rather shallow requirement.  But they use you as a placeholder until that person comes along (whether they do or not, and whether or not they are ‘worthy’ of such a partner – and I don’t like the word ‘worthy’, but I think folks will understand my point)   They may actually have an unrealistic self concept, and therefore, no one is good enough, but they use you as a placeholder until something better comes along – if that ever happens.  Meanwhile, their words and actions confuse the partner.
        They ‘present’ with the symptom of ‘emotional unavailability’ or ‘commitment phobia’, but in their mind, you simply were not ‘up to snuff’…but you looked good enough for now.  And they do everything in their power to give you just enough crumbs to keep you minimally content.  As an added bonus, after you end things with them, they may need constant validation, or want to keep you as part of an adoring “harem”,  they want to keep their foot in the door.
        But, the result is the same.  They may not even state they aren’t looking for commitment – if they are honest they will, but they might not.  Actions won’t match words, words won’t match actions.  You will feel the ambiguity, you will feel something is off.  You must take action and WALK.  No, RUN, before you feel damaged and ‘not good enough’.
        They are not all as “honest” as the fellow in this article.
         

        1. Karmic Equation

           
          Hi ChiliPepper,I stand by my statement. But you are right in that there is an implication of being flawed.We all have flaws though. I snore. Nothing I can do about that. I’m messy. That’s something I can fix, but I don’t. My messiness is a flaw men have to accept or not. Because I’m the right woman, even neat freaks deal with my mess. Or I convert them to my way of living and they like it because if all they have to deal with is my being messy, they know they’ve hit the jackpot ;)
           
          However, most *personality* flaws should be addressed. Insecurities. Needinees. Controlling behavior. Those three flaws are guaranteed to drive men away. Get rid of them. Don’t just say “I have insecurities/I am needy/I am controlling, but the right man will accept them.” Because those flaws have a way of undermining LTRs in the long run. So yes, you might get a man to try having a relationship with you. But if you’re insecure/needy/controlling, he’s going to think twice about being in a committed LTR with you. Unless he doesn’t have any options himself. Contrast that to my snoring. I thought that would drive men away. Nope. My reformed-player-ex, who snored worse than me btw — too funny — would banish me to the other room or banish himself to the other room when he couldn’t deal. You get those personality flaws under control and then men stick around…long enough for YOU to decide if they’re good enough for YOU. Because ultimately, that’s what we women want. *WE* want to be the ones doing the rejecting. We *don’t like* it when a man does the rejecting. So if what you want is to have the power to do the rejecting, then work hard and get rid of the insecurities, neediness, and controlling behaviors. Add in happiness, radiance, being supportive and accepting. If you do, men will then stick around long enough for you to decide if YOU want THEM in the long run. Then it’s up to you to walk away if he’s not worthy of you. If he IS worthy, and you ARE confident, secure, accepting, supportive. What sane man walks away from that? They don’t. I’ve never even felt that I was a placeholder in my relationships. Until this board I’ve never even heard of being one. If what you want is marriage and he doesn’t? Then confident, sexy, accepting, supportive you walks away to give all that goodness to someone else who is more deserving. He loses. Not you. As long as you’re willing to exercise your power in walking away. If you abdicate that power, you have no one to blame but yourself in remaining in an unsatisfying relationship.

           

    3. 12.3
      Joe

      That makes a lot of sense.  There are numerous examples of women who are told up front by a guy (e.g. by occasional poster Tom10) that he’s not looking for a serious relationship.  But because he’s such a great guy (charming, good looking, etc.) she goes ahead and dates him anyway.  Then later on when her emotional needs aren’t being met she complains that he’s a player.  That’s not on the guy, it’s on the woman.

      1. 12.3.1
        Selena

        @ Joe
         
        Sometimes people will say upfront they aren’t looking for anything serious, but my guess is most daters are open to seeing where something might go.
         
        If you think about it, all relationships start out casual. You don’t know each other very well – if at all – on your first date and there is no way to predict how you will each feel after two weeks, two months, two years.  Even people who know they want a serious relationship don’t know if it will happen with the person they are enjoying early dates with. Could go either way. And people who may not be specifically looking for a serious relationship sometimes meet someone who ends up becoming the love of their life.  They’re not going to know that on early dates either.
         
        The problem as I see it, is that infatuation can do quite a number on our heads.  We are so *hot* for a particular guy or girl we fail to see (or ignore) that their feelings are not as intense as our own.  We get so caught up in the big romance we have going on in our mind, we dismiss the obvious signs the other person hasn’t fallen in love with us and are not going to.
         
        Then when the dating relationship ends…after a few weeks or months usually…we may come up with a label in an attempt to take the sting out of the rejection.  Regardless of what the person may have actually told us about THEIR feelings.

    4. 12.4
      marymary

      I would describe an ex as EU even though he did want to marry me. It’s more than whether they will marry you, it’s more to do with intimacy and honesty or rather lack of it,  and whether they drink too much or are thrill seekers or very elusive.  He went on to marry someone else, they had a child and a few years after that he was trying to have an affair.  Obvious EU behaviour.  But more subtle is the absolute fear of vulnerability.  it’s the walls, defensiveness and evasiveness you need to look out for, and the gameplaying. Often, they don’t even know they are doing it. 
      The outright players aren’t so much the problem as those who can almost have a committed relationship but not quite.  They give enough to keep you hanging on but not enough to be satisfied. And even if you break it off with them or they break up with you, they somehow manage to keep a foothold in your life so you don’t move on.

      1. 12.4.1
        Karmic Equation

        A woman has an obligation to herself to move on from the wrong guy once she’s determined he’s the wrong guy.
         
        To say “They give enough to keep you hanging on but not enough to be satisfied. And even if you break it off with them or they break up with you, they somehow manage to keep a foothold in your life so you don’t move on.”  is abdicating her responsibility and giving him too much credit…and creates a victim mentality. Or the man is wrong mentality. It’s never a man’s responsibility to take care of your emotions and sensibilities. It’s always your own responsibility. Always.
         
        If a woman doesn’t move on, unless he’s some sort of crazy stalker, it’s her own choice that lets him have a foothold in her life. No blaming men. Blame yourself. You have control over you. Unless he has a gun to your head, anything he does to you, you’re LETTING him do.

    5. 12.5
      Gabri'el

      Wheeew… Selena Thank You! I didn’t want to say anything but I really didn’t understand what emotionally unavailable meant because each person had a different -and sometimes conflicting- definition of what it meant. Anyway I’m just glad it wasn’t just me.

      1. 12.5.1
        Selena

        I’m LOL  Gabri’el. You’re welcome. :)

    6. 12.6
      Deb

      Totally agree . It’s sad lady’s but it’s true . He just hasn’t found the right one . I’m not it n your not it . Makes u feel like crap but let’s not kid ourselves . I get attached too easily I’m really sensitive n this stuff hurts  Like hell when you’ve invested time into someone n given them your all . I’m starting to wonder if at 41 now I’m going to be that person that a man commits too . I’ve stayed too long with guys that had no intention of taking me to the next level and have lost so much self esteem . That I’m prob too damaged now . So my advice to any youngsters on here is to hold your head up and keep moving forward  . Don’t let guys that don’t value u have any of your precious time . Cause if you keep staying and getting used to this . This is all  that you will accept and get .

      1. 12.6.1
        Garret

        Deb, I am sure that you will find the right guy. 41 is not old. Funny that you said “youngsters” when you aren’t old. I’m mid-30s and don’t feel old but don’t feel like a “youngster” either. LOL

        Anyway, I am sure that there are tons of guys 40s to very early 50s that would commit to you. Are you just seeing these guys as invisible because for one reason or another you are eliminating/friend zoning them?

        I know some women who will lament that a guy they are seeing is perfect except for one thing…like not having perfect teeth, or being bald, or not being athletic, or he likes to hunt, or any number of single “deal breakers.” Seems to me that women look for reasons to eliminate guys from their dating pool. Seem to me that they almost always eliminate the guys that WILL commit to them, and hold out for the guys that will not commit.

    7. 12.7
      Ivy

      Emotionally unavailable is valid, it could be in general or to the particular to ther person a man or woman is seeing.  If it’s in general then it’s not salve for the ego.  If it is particular to a person then it could be salve for the ego or it could happen because one party is lying to the other.

      Let’s take a woman who only attaches herself to players or men who won’t date her exclusively, and when she dates a man who wants to be with her, she’s attracted, but the closeness gets her scared, then she runs to the man who doesn’t get too close to her – that is emotional unavailability in general, the true kind.

      A man who is EU, might be a player, he might be wanting to date several women, not get emotionally involved with any of them, he limits conversations to sex, he fears intimacy – it’s not about the right woman for him, it’s about how many women he’s with and no chance of getting too close or getting hurt.  That’s EU.

      Now if you meet a man you aren’t into so you dont’ want a commitment with him and you tell him you don’t want a relationship then you are just lying, you like his company and want to spend time with him but if you say you don’t want LT with him then you won’t be able to string him along.  Same for a guy, if he is open to a relationship but says this line to a woman cause he doesn’t think she is the right fit for him then he is lying and stringing her along.  Both cases the men/women are lying, they are EA, but EU to the person they are with.  

      No need to say it’s salve for the ego, people often aren’t honest with their intentions so it could seem they are EU and it’s confusing for the person who might have fallen in love with that person and doesn’t understand.  Or that person might really be EU             

  13. 13
    BeenThruTheWars

    Whenever I hear someone talk about their significant other being “emotionally unavailable,” wringing their hands and wondering what to do about it, I am able to simplify it for them by adding two little words. Instead of saying, “So-and-so is emotionally unavailable,” say, “So-and-so is emotionally unavailable to me.” The second you break things off and So-and-so meets the man/woman of his/her dreams? I guarantee they will trip over their own feet in their hurry to become emotionally available to that person.
    Don’t take it personally. Not every person you meet is right for you, and vice versa. Just recognize it for what it is and move on.  It also helps to remember the ultimate truism (which holds just as true for women): “Men do what they want to do, and they don’t do what they don’t want to do.”
    It really is that simple.

  14. 14
    judy

    I remember a period in my life when I was emotionally unavailable.  And the bottom line is, it’s much fairer to let someone know that you are not available for anyone – but perhaps just to date.  At the time, it was freaky for me if a man became too demanding. 
    When you can’t give love (because you’re hurting, or because you just want to flirt, or have sex – that exists, doesn’t it?) isn’t it easier to walk away?

  15. 15
    Tom10

     
    Well this article certainly hit home – as I suppose I’m the quintessential “emotionally unavailable” man. At least in my case I know why: it is a side-effect of a coping mechanism I developed for dealing with trauma and depression, and of having an unusually high libido and predilection for variety. I would bet that this is the case for the majority of emotionally unavailable men, although I have no evidence or statistics to support this.
     
    Without going into too much detail I went through multiple near-fatal bouts of clinical depression in my teens and early twenties which were sparked by trauma, lifestyle and a genetic predisposition to the condition. During the last bout I made a decision to deal with it once and for all. So after some research I dealt with it through lifestyle changes (improved diet, exercise, regular sleep patterns, abstaining from alcohol), and strict mental discipline (avoidance of negative cycle thinking patterns, setting and accomplishing goals etc.) without resorting to therapy, medication or even telling anyone. The ‘high’ from porn and one-night-stands also assuaged it – to such an extent that I probably become addicted to them.
     
    Since then I have lived more or less a healthy and normal life, however, one unexpected side-effect of such vigilance has been that I almost never develop any feelings for women beyond mild affection, (or of grief for that matter). I seem to have ‘parked’ these emotions until some future point. So even if I met the most amazing woman in the world I still wouldn’t be in a place at that time to have a conventional, committed relationship with her.
     
    What the article and Evan mentioned about the way guys value women is very important. A few women I dated in the past periodically check up on me to see if I’ve managed to ‘get there’ yet. One woman I dated ten years ago comes back about once a year to see if I’m “ready yet”. By doing such a small action she lowers her perceived value, thus removes the possibility of being considered an equal/relationship material. When/if a guy is ready he will only date someone he values highly.
     
    Many women seem to have some sort of “Florence Nightingale” complex; if only they could fix this one thing/show how great they are then he would be a great boyfriend (as he ticks all the boxes on her criteria checklist) and everyone would be happy. This is the wrong approach: Evan is correct – women need to value themselves properly, thus act like the CEO and fire the interns who don’t show up properly, by cutting him off entirely.
     
    I think the consensus here is correct; if one is looking for a serious committed relationship it’s best to stay away. We make great fwbs though :)

    1. 15.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Tom10 – Thank you for your very honest, naked post.  I think it is very brave of you to come on a blog for women trying to fall in love, and freely admit this.  But I’m glad you do, because I think it’s important info for women to have.
      Sometimes I really DO think that its’ HIM not HER. I like that EMK doesn’t push the idea that if a man, or even a string of men, don’t fall in love with you,  that the only explanation is that the woman is somehow defective. 
      There are some people (men and women) who truly are emotionally unavailable, (or whatever description that isn’t offensive some of our more sensitive blog posters) either through an unwillingness to fall in love or perhaps even an inability to fall in love.  But I don’t believe that once EU, always EU.  People go through life phases and probably phase in and out of both emotional availability and practical availability.
      Practical unavailability is a phrase I have coined (or think I did, perhaps I have heard it and forgotten) for people who would like to fall in love eventually, but perhaps there is some other pressing matter that prevents them from doing so.  Someone could also be generally available, but not to a particular person.  Once example is 2 people who meet, really like each other and see potential, but live far, far apart.  I know some people have made long distance relationships work, but I won’t even consider it.  When I get an e-mail from someone out of state through online dating, I ignore it.  I consider that person to be “practically unavailable”.
      Very often, two people are not a match for each other.  The guy is not a jerk, the girl not a bitch.  And some people, like you so candidly admit, are just emotionally unavailable, commitaphobes, love resistant, or whatever phrase one wishes to use to describe it. 
      Just because someone wants to be in love, but hasn’t found their match, doesn’t mean there is something horribly wrong with them that needs to be fixed.
      And just because someone doesn’t want to be in love, if they are at least honest about it, if they can live with that, I don’t think they are necessarily defective, but I do think they are missing out on a big chance for happiness, but I must also admit, that they are also avoiding a lot of grief at the same time !
       

      1. 15.1.1
        Selena

        “There are some people (men and women) who truly are emotionally unavailable, (or whatever description that isn’t offensive some of our more sensitive blog posters)…”
         
        Oh snap SE! But yes I agree with you that some people may legitimately be emotionally unavailable – for various reasons.  Clinical depression, severe anxiety/panic disorder, bipolar, addiction, overcomming addiction, dealing with severe stress or grief are all conditions that can make someone emotionally unavailable to a greater or lesser degree. Though people with those conditions often do get into serious relationships anyway sometimes despite the emotional toll it takes on themselves and their partners.
         
        Contrast this with someone is who is wading back into the dating pool after recovering from the breakup of a serious relationship. Emotionally they are looking for some kind of connection, just not a serious one right now. I wouldn’t consider such a person EU, I’d put it under “trying to get their groove back”. :)
         
        What about people who are stationed in an area to work on a project and know they will be relocated in a few months? Should they forgo the perks that come with dating (attention, affection, sex, companionship) for the duration of their project? Are they really EU, or would it be more accurate to say they are “available for a short term relationship”? What exactly is wrong with that?
         
        What about people who travel constantly on business? Is it wrong for them to form not-so-serious relationships with people in the cities they frequent? Does EU apply to them?
         
        EU is a tidy shorthand that can blanket almost any situation and is certainly less wordy than “doesn’t want the same kind of relationship you want”.  So despite the fact I think it could be applied inaccurately, maybe I’ll get over my “sensitivity” and start using it myself :P.
         
        @Tom 10
        Tom, you are fairly young, around 30? You may not be ready to “settle down” yet and your inability to not feel more than mild affection for any woman you date could be a psychological mechanism. You are not ready to get attached to someone, so you don’t. Just a thought.
         
        If it starts to bother you it might be worth discussing with professional. If it doesn’t bother you I think you are doing just fine being honest with the women you go out with.

      2. 15.1.2
        Tom10

         
        Thanks SE :)
         
        “People go through life phases and probably phase in and out of both emotional availability and practical availability”
         
        I agree. I’ve never really believed in the concept of “the one” – I’ve always believed in “the timing”. For the last few years I have been observing the process of how my friends met their long-term partners and they all seemed to follow a similar pattern (all reformed players between 28-32). For years they never gave much thought to looking for a relationship, and then all of a sudden they switched modes and started taking dating seriously. So after a few short months of dating different women they picked one, fell in love and now they’re coupled up. I will probably go through the same process in a few years – still need to do a bit more work first.
         
        So yes I think people do phase in and out of being emotionally available.
         
        “Just because someone doesn’t want to be in love, if they are at least honest about it, if they can live with that, I don’t think they are necessarily defective, but I do think they are missing out on a big chance for happiness”
         
        It’s funny that you say that – so many women I know have said the same thing to me. They just can’t get their head around not wanting to be in love at this moment.
         
        If someone said to me “you will never manage to be in a loving relationship” I actually wouldn’t be overly concerned. However, if someone said “you will never have sex again” I would be terrified beyond belief! Funny that.

        1. starthrower68

          I’m not really missing either.  But then again, I feel much like Chele in the first comment after the orginal post.

      3. 15.1.3
        Chance

        “Sometimes I really DO think that its’ HIM not HER. I like that EMK doesn’t push the idea that if a man, or even a string of men, don’t fall in love with you,  that the only explanation is that the woman is somehow defective. “
         
        Most men will be emotionally available for a woman that they are really into.  If a woman is running into a string of men who aren’t falling in love, then it could be beneficial to perform an honest assessment of themselves and their behavior to see if anything is driving men away.  These women may not be defective, but it could be more of a problem with the men they’re choosing.  

        1. SparklingEmerald

          Yes, if a woman stays with a man who’s JNITH for a long period of time she is choosing wrong.  If she goes through a string of first dates, or a string of men who she spends 1-3 dates with, and then moves one when she’s sees there isn’t a match, then there is nothing wrong with the men she is choosing.  Because she in fact has NOT chosen them, if she discontinues contact very early on when she either decides they aren’t a match, or they issue the standard “I’m not looking for anything serious ” disclaimer.

      4. 15.1.4
        Gabri'el

        I love that on a site where Evan admits it’s predominately women readers, that your answers Sparkling Emerald, are always balanced and pragmatic, with just a pinch of emotion to ensure no matter what gender the reader, they will gain some empathy and understanding… at least that’s how your answers always seem to me (^_^)

    2. 15.2
      Karmic Equation

      Tom,
      When you fall in love, you’re going to fall hard. Probably to some beautiful ingenue. I used to love Barbara Cartland romances when I was growing up. You sound exactly like the Marquis and Duke roues she wrote about. lol
      You just haven’t met the right girl yet. When you do, you won’t know what hit you. Wouldn’t I love to be a fly on the wall then.

      1. 15.2.1
        Tom10

        @ Selena
        Yup – I’m 30. Nah it doesn’t worry me at all. I have several friends who are the same, although they are dropping one by – it’s just that they don’t tend to write into blogs for women trying to fall in love. (Guess what type of websites they tend to spend more time on?). We’re just late developers.
         
        I agree with your differentiation between legitimate emotional unavailability and simply someone who “doesn’t want the same kind of relationship you want”. I can see how it can be an easy ego balm for someone to say such and such is EU rather than accept that they’re simply not interested.
         
        @ Karmic
        “roué” – ha what a blast from the past. Just checked out the term in Wikipedia:
         
        “these men distinguished themselves in drinking, womanising and witty conversation”.
         
        Yep that sounds about right. :)
         
        I’ll let ya know how it goes.
         
        PS. I snore pretty badly too – although not as much when I sleep on my side or front. I always warn women in advance but they never seem to mind (at least they don’t tell me if they do). I actually find it cute when women snore. I keep my place fairly clean though. ;)

        1. Karmic Equation

          “I actually find it cute when women snore.”
           
          Hmmm. I think I need to create a checklist just to add this to it. Then I wouldn’t be so self-conscious. Or have to do the female version of hit-and-run at the beginning of a  relationship. [rolls eyes]

      2. 15.2.2
        Kiki

        Karmic, Karmic,
        what about inner beauty? :-)
         

        1. Karmic Equation

          “Ingenue” covers that doesn’t it? Youthful in spirit. Un-embittered. Sweet. :)

      3. 15.2.3
        robin

        It’s important to remember that a lot of the dark, intense, charismatic men of this type are actually narcissists and sociopaths. Tom doesn’t seem to be one of them, luckily.
        Even so, these cluster-B bad guys definitely seem to thrive on the romantic notions many of us harbor about wicked, handsome men just looking for a woman virtuous and vulnerable enough to inspire them to reform. I think it’s important to remember this– a lot of men are EU because they lack empathy on a pathological level. They can’t be redeemed, and are actually toxic manipulators. 
         

        1. Karmic Equation

          And a lot of “hot” women are batshit crazy; and most women are “needy” and/or “insecure” and/or “controlling”…There’s a lot of stereotypes out there, Robin. So should men only date ugly women to avoid the crazy ones or should they just avoid dating altogether so that they don’t have to deal with a woman’s insecurity or neediness or women trying to change him?
           
          As Kiki said in another thread, it’s probably easier to find a handsome man who is a good person [to have a relationship with] than to find a beautiful woman who’s a good person [to have a relationship with]. There are far fewer sociopaths and narcissists than there are women who are needy, insecure, or controlling.
           
          Don’t be afraid of men. Or try to make them out to be monsters, because they’re “charismatic” or what not. Just develop a better picker and you can date good looking men as well as ugly ones. Just be realistic about whether or not you can get a good looking guy to commit to you. If he doesn’t it doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy.

        2. Lali

          @Robin
             You are spot on !
          I have been reading the entire discussion and was waiting for someone to finally diffiranciate/ clarify EU. 
            In fact, EUs are mentally emotionally  disturbed Individuals, pathological liers, manipulator who luck empathy ; therefor they is no way of connecting emotionally  to others. 
            We are mistaking ( as someone mentioned already ) Committment Unavable with Emotinoally Unavalable.
            Two different state of minds.  

  16. 16
    chelle

    I came back to read the original SingleBlackMale article and I wish I hadn’t. As spot on and illuminating as these things are, they further harden me to men, not because I don’t accept the truth of how they are, but because I accept it TOO well and am starting to find it hard to even see ostensibly good guys as really being good . I agree with what this woman said in the other blogs comment section: 
     

    ” telling the truth” does not make you a good man and relieve you from all accountability. You want to have your cake and eat it, too. You know full well emotions are not run by the brain. But you think as long as you keep pretending she was notified and therefore, whatever she feels is all on her. Convenient escape. But you are responsible if you conduct yourself as if you are in a  relationship and instigate a routine with a woman and she begins to feel something.I think you emotionally unavailable men really want the woman to fall for you . Why? Because the benefits you get (the cake) are much sweeter when she’s emotionally invested. If she took you at your word and uninvested her emotions, you would not enjoy it so much. How do I know this? Because I’ve been involved with a lot of men like you. So i have something approaching a sample. Men get really uncomfortable when, after they tell a woman not to catch feelings, she actually doesn’t. When she keeps her other friends and never asks where the relationship is going. There is no conquest, no game. Men say they want this, but when they get it, they go looking for a girl with true love fantasies. So your get out of jail free card ” i told her” is really a con. A hustle. 

    1. 16.1
      SparklingEmerald

      I think there may be something to the comment you quoted.  There are websites and Craig’s list ads for people looking for “no strings attached” sex, casual encounters etc.  If a man truly wanted sex with no emotional attachment, why not seek a woman who is actively seeking the same ?  Then there would be no need to “notify” her via the “disclaimer”  (google Marni Battista about the disclaimer) I think there is some sort of social status and/or ego gratification for the people who are in these NSA non-relationships, relationships, to be the one who is putting the breaks on emotional connection, and to be the object of someone’s desire. I mostly see women with men who are just not into them, pining away for a man who doesn’t return their feelings, but I have seen it the other way around too.  There just seems to be some sort of smugness on the part of the person who has the upper hand.  When they speak of the “non relationship, relationship” and how they “notified” the other person they weren’t serious, but the other person behaves as if they were , just makes me want to ask “Are you bragging or complaining ?”
       
      I still say the BEST solution is to walk away as soon as the disclaimer or notification has been issued.  If you WANT to be in a relationship with mutual feelings of affection, why waste your time in a one sided relationship ?  Even if you do have the ability to turn off your feelings,   is that what you REALLY want ?  Wouldn’t you RATHER be in a relationship where you can set your feelings free, rather than have to turn them off ?

    2. 16.2
      m

      ” Men get really uncomfortable when, after they tell a woman not to catch feelings, she actually doesn’t. ”
       
      Quoted for truth.   

    3. 16.3
      starthrower68

      Your first paragraph in this post articulates exactly how I feel.  I accept that men are as they are, I have no interest in trying to change them, etc.  But it has hardened me to them as well.   I keep thinking that maybe I’ll get past it and open up again, but it’s not looking good at this point.  I’m just very apathetic.

    4. 16.4
      RustyLH

      And reading all of these comments reminds me why I have developed a preference for foreign women. I have no desire to enter into relationship combat. I’m a good man and I am sick of having to deal with this kind of attitude. You ladies admit it, you are hardened against men. Do I want to deal with that? No. I’m sure I am not alone. Maybe the fact is, in your zeal to ward off the bad guys, you beat up the good guys too, and they walk away thinking you are simply a hard hearted B_tch.

      Who knows, maybe those foreign women think the same thing about the men in their country but since I am not one of those men, they do not group me in with them. Maybe that’s part of what is different. I don’t know. I do know that love certainly feels like a battlefield…here. Who wants that?

      I watched that video Evan linked…the one about the economics of sex. The one that states that women were once the gate keepers of sex. OK, this is a man speaking, and the video said that we men are the gate keepers of marriage, and that’s because sex has become so free and easy. I personally wish that it wasn’t. This stuff we see above. All of this hard hearted stuff, I don’t think our grandparents had to deal with this stuff. I think that when women fulfilled the role they were born to fill, and raised the bar for men, men answered the call. The woman above said, “Men want to have their cake and eat it too.” Well, I think that is what happened with women. You wanted to have free sex, and retain the power over it. But it didn’t work out for you. This is the result. As the video said…men don’t need to get married…and frankly…for most men, marriage is fraught with risks. So in that I could also say that women want their cake and eat it too. Want to be taken care of in court, and expect the men not to take notice of that. It is a reality that men have taken notice.

      But the real point here is this. If you act hard hearted. If you “test” men in your zeal to weed out the losers…holding men’s feet to the fire, etc…you aren’t going to find any good men. For one, you aren’t perfect, news flash, neither are men. I’ve talked with many men about this and many state that they have been on many 1st, and even 2nd and 3rd dates that feel more like job interviews than what it is supposed to be. It is supposed to be an enjoyable night out with a woman you would like to get to know.

      Also, you get those women who are so determined to not be their mothers, or grandmothers…you know…those women that you modern women seem to think of as weak. You are so determined not to be them. you act too tough, too aggressive…want to compete with the man….test him…see if he has the right stuff…see if he deserves you.

      Men don’t want to compete with women. They want to love them. Men want to compete with other men. That’s what we did for years. Competed with other men…for everything, including women. Women we loved…if they let us. We expect aggression from men, and the same for toughness, etc…

      It all boils down to what Evan said…we want a woman that makes us feel good…and feel good about our selves. Most of you women spend so much time testing us and trying to beat us down to see if we measure up, we just end up exhausted and irritated. I know a lot of you women think you never do anything wrong, that it is the guy…he just poofs. Well, one of my first roommates had a saying. I will modify it slightly to retain the meaning but make it less vulgar. he would break up with a girl and I would ask him what happened. he would say, “The Kitty cat to BS ratio got out of hand.”

      Now…what can that BS look like. Well, there are many ways, but one such way was detailed in a magazine article went like this. True story by the way. This guy gets home from work and the trash cans are at the end of the driveway, but only blocking his wife’s side of the driveway. He intends to move them after taking care of something inside, but gets distracted and doesn’t. His wife arrives a little later and he gets up to greet her with a very warm and cheery words and an offered to help her with the grocery bags she has. She walks past him with the groceries and her dry cleaning, and growls and spats at him stating that she had to park a few houses down in the street because somebody didn’t collect the trash cans.

      As he starts to head out to collect the cans and then move her car to the driveway, she gets a phone call. She stops putting the groceries away and answers the phone. It’s her friend that has just stood her up for a lunch date for the 3rd time in 2 months. Instead of ripping her head off like she did her husbands, she talks to her all sweet, and when the woman apologizes, she sweetly brushes it off as nothing. No big deal. The whole phone call all sweet and friendly.

      Its wrong. We men are supposed to be your best friend. We are supposed to get your kind and gentle words. We are supposed to get your patience. We are supposed to get your forgiveness. If you can’t do that please stop looking for a man. We screw up. It’s in our DNA.

      We don’t need or want somebody who makes us feel like crap. We get enough of that at work.

      1. 16.4.1
        Suzy

        Beautiful writing RustyLH and I agree with many of your points here. Would be interested to know your views on the vice versa, how women should be treated by decent respectful men.

  17. 17
    judy

    Karl R – 2
    Oh God, stringing along a woman who is good enough for now?
    Where does honesty come into it? Or doesn’t it? Or maybe, I’m just naïve and should go out with men I don’t care enough about either, because they’re good enough for me now.
     

  18. 18
    Val

    I like some of your articles but I hate when we gotta “challenge” a man to get what we want. Why play so many dang games? I feel like, if what I’m doing isn’t jiving with what he’s doing, then he’s not for me… Time to move on.  I’m in my late 30’s and I don’t need anyone who needs to be helped along by mind games. With that said, I agree with if  he’s not acting like a boyfriend then leave him alone, if that’s what you want. I get to the point where I don’t “sweat” anyone until I really get to know them. That way I’m not hurt and if I need to move on I can without being hung up.  I’ll show my interest for a while, but it he’s not reciprocating, he must not be all that interested in me.

  19. 19
    Gabri'el

    Does anyone have an answer?? In response to Judy’s post #14 and Selena’s post # 15.1.1.  What is the person who is honest upfront to do? If honestly doesn’t work without someone getting hurt and lying doesn’t work without someone getting hurt.
     
    You don’t want to be alone, but you don’t want to let someone string “THEMSELVES” along either…

    1. 19.1
      Kiki

      Gabriel, let me turn it around for you.
      There is a girl you have a crush on, and you have been on a few dates with her.  You have done your best performance, and even though she is kind and sweet, every time you try to get closer to her physically, she pulls back. You are extra careful not to push too hard, and you strongly want to make her like you. Still, you are unsure because she might have as well put you in the friend zone, and she might have already made up her mind that she would not want to sleep with you.  You want to know but you would not dare to ask. May be it is too early for her to get physical, but may be she already knows that she never would?
      Should she tell it to you straight in your face or should she be giving you hints, hoping that you will figure it out?
      My advice – treat others like you would like to be treated.

      1. 19.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        Kiki, your analogy makes sense. But I disagree that a man has an obligation to treat every woman as if she’s looking for a relationship. I would only agree with your premise if you tell every woman to treat every man like he’s only looking for sex. That’s actually what Evan tells all women here, but instead of RUNNING with that knowledge most women would rather tell the guy to change so that it makes HER job easier.
        There is a LOT of fun to be had in dating and figuring out the other person. In trying to see if you can charm the other person into liking you. In trying to make the other person laugh. In trying to figure out what you have in common, what you don’t. That’s what women should be focused on when she’s dating…not whether this guy is EU or ready for commitment. That will reveal itself over time. We women just have to be astute enough to notice and not let our hopes blind us to reality.
        Dating is fun. Getting to know a man is fun. Charming a man is fun. Making him laugh is fun. Making him yearn to kiss you is fun. Getting him to reveal himself over time is fun. Him learning about you little by little is fun.
        Have fun when you date. Have CEO energy to be confident and aware. But don’t treat dating like it’s a job function. Men date to have fun. They try to charm you into having sex with them. You try to charm them into having a relationship with you. May the best charmer win!

        1. Kiki

          Karmic,
          I never said that men should assume that the woman wants a relationship. I think that most women might actually like to have a relationship, but not necessarily with that particular man.
          So, the point of dating is for two people to figure out how much they like each other and what kind of relationship both want to have. But if you already know that you have limited interest in the person whereas he/she clearly wants a relationship? I think it would be dishonest to mislead them.
          I think this “buyer beware” attitude advocated by Tom 10 and Karl R is cruel. It probably develops as a self-preservation mechanism after you have been hurt. But every time a read here how a girl has been hurt or disappointed, my heart goes for her, and I wish to console her, whereas many posters will rush to add insult to injury. This very sad to me.

        2. Tom10

          @ Kiki
          “But if you already know that you have limited interest in the person whereas he/she clearly wants a relationship? I think it would be dishonest to mislead them”.
           
          That is fair enough. But how do you define “clearly wants a relationship”?
           
          Because my experience has been that most women are *not* clear in expressing their desire for a relationship, and are even deliberately vague so as not to appear “pushy”.
           
          That said, if a man/woman genuinely makes it clear that they want a relationship – through direct communication – then I agree that it would be dishonest to mislead them.
           
          “I think this “buyer beware” attitude advocated by Tom10 and Karl R is cruel…every time a read here how a girl has been hurt or disappointed, my heart goes for her, and I wish to console her, whereas many posters will rush to add insult to injury. This very sad to me.”
           
          It is not my intention to wish to add insult to injury to a girl who has been hurt or disappointed; in fact I would rather console her too.
           
          But from a guy’s perspective, women in this situation are effectively “cheating” the dating game in order to snag a guy she probably isn’t able of snagging long-term, and then complaining afterwards when their tactic didn’t work.
           
          From our perspective women who “date” (i.e. have sex with) guys without commitment – in spite of commitment being her *actual* desire – are trying to use non-committed sex to snag a guy she isn’t actually able to snag long-term. The result is all too predictable: the guy will inevitably lose interest and move on once she pushes for more, leaving the girl “hurt and disappointed”. If she was playing fair (to herself) she would insist on commitment first, and be prepared to let the guy move on if he wasn’t prepared to give it.
           
          So whereas you think I’m being cruel, I’m actually just wondering: “well, what did she expect would happen?”
           
          @ Karmic Equation
          “Men date to have fun. They try to charm you into having sex with them. You try to charm them into having a relationship with you. May the best charmer win!”
           
           
          Amen :) 

      2. 19.1.2
        RustyLH

        Kiki, I agree, treat others as you want to be treated. Don’t think for a second that it is only men or even just more of them. Women play games too.

    2. 19.2
      Tom10

      @ Gabri’el # 19
      “What is the person who is honest upfront to do? If honestly doesn’t work without someone getting hurt and lying doesn’t work without get someone getting hurt…You don’t want to be alone, but you don’t want to let someone string “THEMSELVES” along either…”
       
      My default position is that if one is over 18, and of sound mind and body then they’re an adult and should be treated as such. Therefore, their feelings, emotions and sexuality are their responsibility to manage – no-one else’s. If one is old enough to have sex then they’re old enough to deal with the consequences.
       
      What constantly surprises me though is how many educated grown-ups refuse to take this responsibility and blame everyone else’s behavior instead examining their own. I honestly don’t know how these people live ordinary functional adult lives. How do they manage jobs and obtain mortgages if they can’t even manage their own emotions?
       
      What surprises me even more is how people can be hurt once and then repeat the same mistakes not once, but over and over.
       
      Sigh. Sometimes I feel that people should be given the choice to either A) Manage their own lives and sexuality, or B) Let the government manage it for them. Should they choose A) then they can never moan about being pumped and dumped or strung-along etc. Should they choose B) they can only have sex within wedlock.
       
      That said, I recognize that these feelings can be powerful so one should treat others with respect and care, therefore there is a moral compunction to be honest at all times.
       
      In conclusion, if you don’t lie to anyone then your behavior is acceptable. Being upfront is being very considerate and probably the right thing to do. Don’t do any ‘boyfriendy’ type behavior also helps. Going beyond that is exceeding your obligations and infantilizes the other party. If you are still uncomfortable then it is probably better to be alone.
       
      @ Kiki # 19.1
      The scenario you painted has happened to me – and I’m sure most other guys. But I made damn sure never to be friend-zoned again. I have limited sympathy for guys who don’t learn their lesson the first time and do the same.

      1. 19.2.1
        Feeling You

        Tom10:
        Love makes you responsibility.  Not being in love or infatuated with a person but REAL love.  It.s very definition means putting another’s needs before your own.  We should have this for everyone of our fellow brothers and sisters.  Our humane responsibility!
         
        There’s alot of pain here and I truly pray that if we learn nothing we can each remember the potential of  our actions to hurt one another!

    3. 19.3
      SparklingEmerald

      Thanks Gabri’el !

    4. 19.4
      Karmic Equation

      Gabriel,
       
      I’m going to buck the trend of the other women here. Be yourself. You’ve already shown that you want to be thoughtful and considerate of women’s feelings. That is all the foundation you need. It’s the woman’s responsibility to manage her own expectations. Not yours to manage them for her. Don’t drink from that Koolaid.
       
      You should ask Tom10 how he inserts the “I’m not looking for anything serious” into his conversations. Over dinner? In the car ride to someone’s place? As the clothes are coming off? Before they even go on a date? I think as long as you say that (per Tom10’s guidance) you’ve done your duty. It’s then in the woman’s court. You might get laid less often, but the ones who are on board with nothing serious you don’t have to worry as much about.
       
      I’m getting attached to my trainer, I must admit. But he’s age-inappropriate for me, so that helps me keep my feelings in check :) Maybe you should consider dating older women while you’re in your not-looking-for-serious phase :)
       
      What did my trainer say to me the other day as we were having breakfast? “Older women are heaven. They can carry a conversation face-to-face. Women my age and younger grew up texting and don’t know how to have face-to-face conversations with rapid-paced dialogue. Girls in their 20’s are dumb and insecure. But older women, they’re confident. They have interesting things to talk about. They’re nicer. They’re horny as hell. And they have more money. Heaven.” He says with a blissful eyeroll.
      True dat ;)

      1. 19.4.1
        Kiki

        You really are amazing!
        I admire you for your attitude, and I will definitely try it on for size! If someone has said this to me, all I would have heard would be ” you’re too old for me”.  I should definitely work on myself to be hearing positive messages and not negative. Thank you!

        1. Karmic Equation

          Thanks, Kiki. I’m not amazing. Unusual I’ll take :)
           
          Seriously though. I make a choice every day to be happy. And choosing to hear the positive is one of them. And it’s easy as long as you believe that people never mean to hurt you, but instead mean to be supportive. However, things don’t come out right all the time.

    5. 19.5
      Maria

      Ah yes, an answer to b

      1. 19.5.1
        Maria

        Ah yes, an answer to Judy and Selena; if a significant other makes me feel we are connected time over time when we’re together & all other reinforcement is there, intimacy, holidays, family, friends, etc. Then why wouldn’t I be unglued when I hear him tell someone else that we’re “friends”?  If a guy doesn’t have the capacity to be real or consistent from one moment to the next then he is  Emotionally unavailable and crazy.  Why should I be happy about being on an emotional roller coaster with a man I’ve  loved & invested my time in who behaves this way. Why is it ok for him to be duplicitous, two-faced and make me look like a fool- what past of that is loving kindness?  In my situation, I’m supportive, a great listener and easy going to a fault & Subjected to insaniy -going through the same thing over & over again and expecting different results. why don’t we deserve men who can be real from one miniute to the next; no matter how sincere, all  that matters to him is hm . It’s a
        take it or leave it attitude – nothing loving about it. 

  20. 20
    marymary

    Gabe
    People are going to get hurt, no matter how what the disclaimers are.  With the added piquancy that everyone tells them they’ve no right to feel hurt!  I guess you decide  – does my loneliness/desire for company trump someone else’s hurt? 
    Of course, it may be that two people decide that a limited (or whatever term) relationship suits them both, though over time it can suit one more than the other.  It may also  help to keep these dalliances very very short. Like a week or two.  Or a night.
     

  21. 21
    Maya

    I think there is a huge difference between a guy who is emotionally unavailable and a guy who is just playing the field. A properly EU guy can be extremely manipulative, e.g. as others have testified, you tell them to b*gger off, but they keep coming back. EU is also a symptom of guys with bigger issues, like narcissism, and these type of people are extremely emotionally damaging. So I’m sorry, but I think that article is hugely superficial and as many others do, just trying to rationally justify crappy behaviour. Sometimes, women are being targeted by guys who just want to mess you about. I’ve dated guys who just want to play the field and I’ve dated guys who are EU. The guys who aren’t ready for a relationship have always been honest and straightforward; they say it straight and then they don’t continue their pursuit. That is the choice they are making because they don’t want to treat a woman badly. The EU guy, they say it – actually they don’t always – they give hints, but they continue their pursuit. They are not the easy, decent, happy guys, that article would like us to believe, because if they were, they would behave like the former guy I described. I’m not saying that women have no responsibility here – I’ve seen many a girl, myself included, engage in the game – but what annoys me is that it is promoting this myth that men don’t have a choice as to whether to mess a girl around or not. And no – you don’t have to treat a woman like crap etc etc, but yes, you do cut contact if you aren’t interested and she is too invested. It is hard for women to snap out of it (especially if sex is involved – hello oxytocin), but why should it be left purely to women to bear responsibility for this and act against their desires, when apparently it is just as hard for men to choose not to use a woman for sex or whatever other self-gratification they want that day. Anyway, I appreciate what the reality is, but articles like that annoy me as they seem like they’re shifting the blame onto women for staying involved with these ‘poor’, ‘well intentioned’, guys who can’t choose to override their dicks. It’s not always the woman’s fault. (Apols if I’m sounding angry. I just clambered out of a r/ship with a guy who I believe is a narcissist. They are emotionally damaging – I was lucky as it didn’t go on too long – but yes, he was emotionally unavailable, but not in the trivial manner that that article suggests. It’s pretty insulting actually).

    1. 21.1
      Selena

      @ Maya #21
      I hear you on the ‘trivial’ aspect of the article. When I read it I got a “Hey I’m a decent guy, don’t blame me if you don’t want to be Thursday girl” vibe off it.  And then down at the end the part where he says the longer the woman accepts so little, the more she becomes devalued in his eyes.  I’m thinking: if she has so little value, why are you keeping this going?
       
      Every time I’ve been in a dating situation that didn’t progress out of the casual level either the guy or I would end it.  Somewhere between 4-10 weeks.   Forget value, it becomes uncomfortable to continue dating someone when you sense their feelings have become stronger than your own.
       
      My take-away from the article was basically “hanging in there” does a woman no good. Guy is not going to suddenly fall in love with “Thursday girl”. Patience may be a virtue, but not one that will be rewarded by Mr. Casual.

      1. 21.1.1
        maya

        @Selena
        Totally agree with you – esp the bit about it becoming uncomfortable/awkward when the r/ship becomes too one sided. And if a guy is continuing to pursue a girl that is devalued in his eyes then that’s kind of weird, for the same reason. 
        I think what annoyed me was the tone,  and I think they are using the term EU out of context. EUs can and do get married, but apparently it’s often a pretty painful experience. I don’t think that’s the guy they’re describing. Same guidelines though, admittedly. Except run faster! :)

  22. 22
    SparklingEmerald

    “What constantly surprises me though is how many educated grown-ups refuse to take this responsibility and blame everyone else’s behavior instead examining their own. I honestly don’t know how these people live ordinary functional adult lives. How do they manage jobs and obtain mortgages if they can’t even manage their own emotions?”
     
    Because love/feelings/emotions are in a different sphere than business like activities such as managing a job & obtaining a mortgage.  That’s like being surprised that someone can be a very gifted mathematician, but a lousy basketball player.
     
    “Sigh. Sometimes I feel that people should be given the choice to either A) Manage their own lives and sexuality, or B) Let the government manage it for them. Should they choose A) then they can never moan about being pumped and dumped or strung-along etc. Should they choose B) they can only have sex within wedlock.”
     
    It’s called “freedom of speech”.  If people want to talk about the all the variations in human relationships, including one night stands, “friends with benefits” etc. then the first amendment says we are allowed to do so, either to say “humping and dumping” is wonderful or “humping and dumping” is not an activity I wish to engage in.  The gov’t should not regulate certain individuals differently because they have the “wrong” opinion on hump and dumps, FWB, etc.
    Would you also be in favor that if any one ever moaned and groaned about being “Friend zoned” that they should not be allowed to socialize with members of the opposite sex, but must limit their interactions with the opposite sex to prostitutes ?  After all, money will be exchanged, and you will get EXACTLY what you want, NSA sex.  (the only string being that you pay her X amount of dollars)
    I realize that you were mostly being tongue in cheek, with your gov’t policing of our lives based on our expressed feelings towards sex/love & emotions,  but guys moan and groan when a woman they have no interest in having a relationship with, won’t bed down with them in 3 dates or less.  (Preferably date 1)  They calling it being “Friend Zoned”, but in reality, they are just mad because the friendship doesn’t include “benefits”.  They don’t want anything beyond being friends to begin with. 

     

  23. 23
    Tom10

    @ Sparkling Emerald #22 
    “Because love/feelings/emotions are in a different sphere than business like activities such as managing a job & obtaining a mortgage”
     
    We’ll just have to disagree on this so. I see them as being in the same sphere – the adult sphere. That’s why the judicial system is more lenient on juveniles – it recognizes that juveniles mightn’t have learned how to take full control of their love/feelings/emotions. It does expect adults however, to assume this responsibility.
     
    “It’s called freedom of speech…the gov’t should not regulate certain individuals differently because they have the “wrong” opinion on hump and dumps, FWB. etc”
     
    Well, as you already acknowledged I was writing tongue in cheek. I don’t actually advocate the government taking control of the behavior of individuals; in fact as a devout libertarian I actually believe the absolute autonomy of the individual. Just moaning is my personal bug bear.
     
    “guys moan and groan when a woman they have no interest in having a relationship with them, won’t bed down them in 3 dates or less”
     
    I have no sympathy for guys who moan and groan either. I meet women all the time who won’t bed down in 3 dates or less. I have no problem with them and respect their decision to have sex when it suits them. But I take control of my situation; therefore I cut them off and move onto women who will bed down in 3 dates or less. No moaning, no groaning required. Everyone is happy.
     
    “(Preferably date 1)”
     
    You mean preferably before date 1. lol

    1. 23.1
      faded jade

      Tom @23  said “You mean preferably before date 1. lol”
      Tom, you REAL preference is probably INSTEAD of date 1. :)
      For some reason my replies aren’t going under the comment I am commenting on, they just go to the end of the comment thread, so some of my previous comments may seem a tad confusing.
       
       
       

  24. 24
    Karl R

    chelle said: (#16)
    “‘telling the truth’ does not make you a good man and relieve you from all accountability. You want to have your cake and eat it, too. You know full well emotions are not run by the brain. But you think as long as you keep pretending she was notified and therefore, whatever she feels is all on her. Convenient escape. But you are responsible if you conduct yourself as if you are in a relationship and instigate a routine with a woman and she begins to feel something.”
     
    My brother (a complete mal chauvinist) would appreciate your opinion. It reinforces everything that he believes about women. He believes that women shouldn’t be given responsibility for making important decisions, because they are weak and ruled by their emotions. He believes that everyone (including women) would be happier if women just let men do their thinking for them.
     
    My  own experience:
    I was a late bloomer, so my first “relationship” (I use the term loosely, since it was a friends-with-benefits thing) happened when I was 22. After a few months, I began developing feelings for the woman. Obviously, those feelings were not reciprocated.
     
    Even as an inexperienced and under-confident young man, I realized that a one-sided emotional attachment would only end up hurting me, so I immediately broke things off. My friend continued to invite me over for sex, but I declined, since that FWB relationship wasn’t working for me.
     
    chelle, (#16)
    Your feelings don’t relieve you of your own accountability. You’re an adult. If anyone knows what’s best for you, it’s you. If anyone should be looking out for your best interest, it’s you. If you want someone to forbid you from choosing to do something that might be a bad idea, go live with your parents. It’s not your date’s job to provide parental guidance.
     
    judy asked: (#17)
    “Oh God, stringing along a woman who is good enough for now? Where does honesty come into it? Or doesn’t it?”
     
    I’ve always been a fan of honesty. I’m honest with myself about what I want (and don’t want). I was honest with my partners once I’d decided what I wanted.
     
    There are a lot of men and women who don’t consciously think things through. I’ve dated several women like that. They can’t tell you where they want the relationship to go, because they’ve never thought about it.
     
    I still recommend that you look out for your own interest. You can learn a lot just by listening. Anything else you can learn by asking questions. If the person doesn’t want to think about where the relationship is going to go, it’s a clear signal that it’s never going to become permanent.
     
    There are even a few who will just tell you what they think you want to hear so they can get what they want. If you discover that your boyfriend/girlfriend behaves that way with other people, then you can safely bet they are willing to do the same with you.
     
    Sparkling Emerald asked: (#16.1)
    “There are websites and Craig’s list ads for people looking for ‘no strings attached’ sex, casual encounters etc.  If a man truly wanted sex with no emotional attachment, why not seek a woman who is actively seeking the same?”
     
    1. Most of us start most of our relationships in person.
     
    2. What a man wants from a relationship depends a lot on the woman he’s in a relationship with. (The same is true for women.) I was looking for a long-term committed relationship, but only with a fraction of the women I dated.
     
    3. The men want some emotional connection. Just not the kind that leads to marriage. They may be looking for FWB, not an NSA one night stand.
     
    4. Those NSA sex websites have an 8:1 male to female ratio. (By comparison, Match has around a 5:4 ratio, eHarmony has a 1:1 ratio.) Most of the men who use those sites don’t get casual encounters.
     
    Sparkling Emerald said: (#16.1)
    “I still say the BEST solution is to walk away as soon as the disclaimer or notification has been issued.  If you WANT to be in a relationship with mutual feelings of affection, why waste your time in a one sided relationship?”
     
    That’s certainly a good policy. Since you have determined that it’s the best policy for you, I would recommend that you follow that policy.
     
    marymary said: (#20)
    “People are going to get hurt, no matter how what the disclaimers are.  […]  I guess you decide  – does my loneliness/desire for company trump someone else’s hurt?”
     
    That’s a good answer. In any relationship, someone will potentially get hurt. It might be me. It might be the other person.
     
    As an adult, I can voluntarily decide to take that risk. The other person can voluntarily decide to take that risk too. (It’s only logical to assume that they may also feel lonely or desire companionship.) Each of us can decide whether the potential rewards trump the potential risks.
     
    marymary said: (#20)
    “With the added piquancy that everyone tells them they’ve no right to feel hurt!”
     
    It’s okay to feel hurt. That’s normal human behavior. But it’s immature to blame the other person for the hurt feelings (unless they actually did something unethical, like lying or cheating).

    1. 24.1
      Kiki

      Karl,
      From the few encounters we have had on this blog, I gather that you take it as your personal mission to educate women how they are the master of their destiny, and that you are well-meaning when you make insensitive comments regarding their life choices/beliefs.
      In the context of the current discussion, quoting the opinion of your shovinst brother was very rude. 
      Most (possiby all) of the women around here are smart, strong, and successful, but simply have not met the love of their life yet.  I though I needed to remind you that.
       
       

    2. 24.2
      Clare

      Sorry, Karl R, a person having accountability for their own feelings doesn’t entitle you to knowingly hurt them and still claim to be a “good guy”.
       
      I have heard many men who only want casual relationships say they are “fond of” the woman they sleep with, and that it is more fun if there is at least some emotional connection. They cultivate this. They enjoy having someone to talk to, someone who cares about what happens to them, the attention. They enjoy the aspects of a relationship that are convenient to them, and with the ones that aren’t, they bring out the “we’re not committed” card. It reminds one of treating women like a smorgusboard – taking the bits they like, and leaving the ones they don’t. Most of these men *know* the women are getting attached, and will thus get hurt, and they proceed anyway. And still want to claim to be a “good guy”.
       
      A good guy wouldn’t want to knowingly hurt someone in the first place, notwithstanding that the person is an adult and is responsible for their own feelings.  If I yell at someone in my office, knowing it will hurt them, I can’t claim to be a good person just because they have the ability to leave.

  25. 25
    SparklingEmerald

    “It’s okay to feel hurt. That’s normal human behavior. But it’s immature to blame the other person for the hurt feelings (unless they actually did something unethical, like lying or cheating).”
    It’s hard to tell the diff between someone who lied or someone who changed their mind.  Good policy is to avoid jumping in too soon. 
    Oh, and thanks for recommending that I follow my own policy :)

  26. 26
    Chelle

    Karl
    Your brother is right, all those female Harvard graduates should really come and consult him before they attempt to decide which font to type their resumes in. They might cry themselves into dehydration if they cant find a pretty one. 
    my post wasn’t meant to absolve women of the responsibility of walking away, and though no one is obligated to have high character with the opposite sex. With a guy I have no attraction to, I avoid using him for certain needs even if he seems ok with being used on my terms. I don’t ask to come hang at his place and cuddle when I’m lonely even though I’ve told him I only see him as a friend and won’t sleep with him. Why? Because I have enough experience with guys who say they’re ok with it and then turning out to be *gasp* human, and having a change of feelings later. Could I be put it on him that he said he was fine being my convenient pillow? Sure, but for me to disavow how guys work and treat him like HE’s the problem is a little disingenuous on my part. JUST a little. 

    1. 26.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Thanks Chelle – I have decided to not have a “friend zone” this time for that very reason, because in my past incarnation, I have had a few “guy friends” who were basically men that I had rejected as romantic partners, who offered to stick around as friends.  (I usually don’t accept the friendship consolation prize when I’m the one being rejected, did that once and it was gut wrenching & stupid on my part)
      However, there are 2 guys who have just ended up in my friend zone by chance.  They are not really guys who I have rejected or have rejected me, there was just sort of a mutual lack of interest in anything romantic, but occasionally they will call & ask me out to a movie or dinner.  I NEVER initiate, and I have to wrestle them to let me pay for my share of the check.  Or to let me treat them to a glass of wine at intermission for a concert they treated me to with their season tickets.
      There are times when I feel like I should cut them off, since I made a “no friend zone” commitment to myself when I split from my  x-hubby.  Since they don’t seem to have a real romantic and/or sexual interest in me, and all of our time together is at THEIR initiation, and I don’t ask them to be my handyman or shoulder to cry on, then I guess this is OK.  For some reason, I still feel a pang of guilt, don’t know why.  It would be silly to cut them off (and it’s very sporadic anyway) just because I made some sort of  “no friend zone” commitment, and I am not aware of any hurt feelings or grand plan to turn this into a friends with benefits situation.

  27. 27
    Karmic Equation

    Chelle,
    Women don’t “use” men the same way men use men. When women friend zone a man, she’ll call him if she has flat tire or needs a ride somewhere. She’ll call him to cry about how poorly another man has been treating her. She’ll call him to the movies because she her girlfriends can’t go and she doesn’t want to go alone.
     
    Think in “equivalents” instead of “exact” when it comes to how men and women use each other. We don’t use men for sex, but we’ll use him to our handyman, our mover, our taxi. Men don’t use us like that, so by your standards, shouldn’t we give him credit for refraining from using us like we use them?

  28. 28
    judy

    Tom 19.2 – the quick answer to you.  People cannot always handle their emotions because, while being adult, they are not machines.
    So the woman doesn’t want to sleep with you after three dates? Tough.  I think she’s right personally, because she’s sussed out the situation- or maybe she’s into  emotionless sex.
    That’s what some “adults” do – it’s called “making out, making love, making mindless, heartless sex”.
    I’ll drink to that, but in the meantime, I’m still holding out for the man who makes love with his heart.
    Reading a few of the comments on here, maybe I should go out with a new attitude.
    Date men, not give a hoot about their feelings, sleep with them without a thought, and then move on.
    It’s a tough old world when a woman thinks like that.
    But my God do some men deserve it.
     

    1. 28.1
      Karmic Equation

      Judy, Judy, Judy (spoken with a Cary Gran accent)
       
      Sex is great exercise. I highly recommend it if you hate going to the gym. And if you don’t think it’s exercise then you’re doing it all wrong.
       
      Who saying sex is “mindless and heartless” — please link to those posts.
       
      Only prostitutes and dysfunctional people have mindless and heartless sex. Are you calling men mindless and heartless or are you calling them prostitutes? If so why would you want to have a relationship with these miscreants?
       
      A lot of normal people (let’s call them men) can have sex without getting all twisted up inside. A lot of other normal people (let’s call them women) can’t have sex without getting twisted up in knots inside. Then there are other normal people (let’s call them sexually liberated women, who actually take advantage of and understand what sexual liberation truly means and don’t just use it as a term to bash men over the head with) — can have sex without getting all twisted up inside. There’s nothing wrong with being normal.

      1. 28.1.1
        Kiki

        “Miscreants”? I love this one, together with inguenue and roue, and have been trying to find a context to use them for the last two days, to no avail :-).
        On sex as great exercise: fully agree.
        But. The problem with enjoying sex as exercise for a woman is the double standards according to which women with many partners are thought to accumulate mileage like a car, whereas men with many partners are thought to accumulate stars like an army general.
        So, for a woman,  you need some thick skin too, besides a more liberated mind. Just my two cents.
         

        1. Karmic Equation

          Miscreants”? I love this one, together with inguenue and roue, and have been trying to find a context to use them for the last two days, to no avail”
           
          Nope :) They just came out of me unbidden. Sometimes I don’t where these words come from. I read over 2000 from the time I was 8 to 39. You end up with with an impressive vocabulary unwittingly.
           
          My skin is plenty thick. But I have and will always take issue when women imply that sex is only worth having in a relationship, as if sex were something sacred. It’s a normal biological function that mankind has marketed as sacred to women so that women are now in the position they find themselves. Railing at double standards. Hoping men will give them relationships so that they can give themselves permission to do what comes naturally (sex).
           
          Being virtuous only has value if you’re a virgin. Once you’re no longer a virgin and more so when you’ve become a mother, the only value in being virtuous is to cater to the hypocritical men (those with the double standards) that you think you want to have a relationship with. I don’t have either relations or relationships with hypocrites. Maybe that’s why I haven’t felt burned by men.

        2. starthrower68

          Wow.  I’ve had three kids and still consider it “virtuous” to remain sexually pure.  I guess I’m just some sort of freak or something.  Oh well, I never did run with the cool kids.  I guess I’ll continue being a social misfit as it works well for me.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Starthrower68 – You’ve said this exact thing probably 20 times before on this blog. You know that, right?

        4. starthrower68

          Ok sorry.  I promise just to read from now on.

  29. 29
    Tom10

    @ Karmic Equation # 27
    “Women don’t “use” men the same way men use men. When women friend zone a man, she’ll call him if she has flat tire or needs a ride somewhere…She’ll call him to the movies because she her girlfriends can’t go and she doesn’t want to go alone.”
     
    Aargh – I cringe so much when I see guys who allow themselves to be friendzoned (‘allow’ being the operative word).
     
    @ judy # 28
    “People cannot always handle their emotions because, while being adult, they are not machines”
     
    Hmmm. I guess I’m just not going to win on this one.
     
    “So the woman doesn’t want to sleep with you after three dates? Tough. I think she’s right personally”
     
    So do I. And I actually respect that she had the strength of her convictions to take the chance that I’d disappear rather than give in, cross her fingers, hope that I stick around and then complain about it afterwards.
     
    “because she’s sussed out the situation – or maybe she’s [not?] into emotionless sex”
     
    I would guess it’s the latter – I don’t get sussed out that early, mwah ha ha.
     
    “in the meantime, I’m still holding out for the man who makes love with his heart”
     
    I think you’re absolutely correct to do this – I wish will you well on it.
     
    “maybe I should go out with a new attitude. Date men, not give a hoot about their feelings, sleep with them without a thought, and then move on.”
     
    You’d be surprised at how many women actually do have this attitude – I’ve met many. I don’t even have a problem with them, as imo they’re not doing anything wrong – unless they lie or cheat of course.
     
    (Caveat: I tend to date driven women in their late 20s who know what they want and then go out and get it – female ‘players’ I suppose. Women in other demographic groups might have different values thus might be a bit more scrupulous).
     
    “It’s a tough old world when a woman thinks like that. But my God do some men deserve it.”
     
    Well I suppose I deserve it. And indeed I have received my due comeuppance – and I accept it. I bear these women no ill-will.
     
    My posts are probably coming off as a bit cold, impersonal and harsh, or as a platform to excuse my own behavior. This is not my intent. (I’m usually pretty good at identifying sensitive women in real life, and stay well clear).
     
    My general point is that there seems to be a common sentiment on this thread that it’s the fault of (emotionally unavailable) men for stringing women along. Even if it is their fault, blaming is simply a poor dating strategy. It just leads to bitterness, negative views of the opposite gender and a greater likelihood of repeated poor decision-making.
     
    A better strategy is for individuals to take full control of their own circumstances, therefore it is up to women to identify EU men, cut them off and refuse to allow themselves be strung along – no matter how shiny the package that those men come wrapped up in is.
     
    Ps. Sorry for the length of my not so quick reply.

  30. 30
    Fusee

    I agree with previous commenters that the term “Emotionally Unavailable” has been used for “Not interested in a serious relationship” (in general or with a specific person), while to me it refers to something different, maybe along the lines of being Unable to Connect Emotionally and/or Unable of Being There Emotionally.
     
    See, someone could be “Not interested in a serious relationship” and yet be Available Emotionally (being in touch with their emotions, being sensitive to someone else’s emotions, and in general being able to fall in love if they wanted), whereas another person could be looking for a serious relationship, and even fall in love with someone while being Unavailable Emotionally. I’m pretty sure that numerous married women could attest of that fact.
     
    I actually briefly dated someone just like that: he was definitely into me and planning to (re)marry, yet he was Unavailable Emotionally. He was so self-absorbed that he was unable to put himself in the shoes of someone else, he was unable to be there emotionally for anyone, and yet he wanted to remarry and actually ended up pursuing me for 4 more years after we stopped seeing each other (up until he heard I was engaged). Sure enough, he was dealing with psychological issues at the time of our brief dating (death of his father, unfulfilled ambitions, and quite a bit of narcissism), which makes me correlate Emotional Unavailability with such issues that prevent openess (and connexion) to one’s own and others’ vulnerabilities. Ultimately, being able to truly love someone, and letting someone truly love us is about opening up to our darker side and weaknesses AND allowing the other to decide for themselves if they can accept them – and love us despite (or shall I say thanks to?) them.
     
    Tom10, thank you for opening up about what makes you “Not ready for a serious relationship” and possibly quite “Unavailable Emotionally” as well. It makes sense to me that you would not be there yet given your past experiences.
     
    Also, you wrote: “What constantly surprises me though is how many educated grown-ups refuse to take this responsibility and blame everyone else’s behavior instead examining their own. I honestly don’t know how these people live ordinary functional adult lives. How do they manage jobs and obtain mortgages if they can’t even manage their own emotions?”
     
    I understand your surprise, now that I’m on the other side and that I am very aware of my feelings and got control of my emotions. But it was a long road to get there and I indeed got an advanced degree and bought a condo before getting there : ) I was very functional intellectually and extremely responsible with educational/business matters, and yet clueless about my own inner world and irresponsible with my personal relationships. We learn from role-models and if that fails (it did for me!), we learn from inflecting/receiving pain. Pain did the trick for me.
     
    To female commenters who are frustrated at men who take women for a ride, I’d say that better than hoping that every man on the planet over the age of 16 becomes self-aware, perceptive and self-controled, it would be more effective to educate ourselves (and our friends, sisters, and daughters) about how dating works, and focus on using dating for what it should be beside all the fun: a detective game and an opportunity to grow in self-control. Few men are actively trying to screw women over, but most are simply driven by their selfish instincts, just like everyone else who has not yet reached a certain level of self- and other- awareness and self-control.

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