What To Do With An Emotionally Unavailable Man

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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?

Join our conversation (345 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 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! 🙂

  2. 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.  

      

  3. 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.
        
        
        

  4. 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.

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

      2. 28.1.2
        judy

        Karmic Equation 28.1.   No need for the Cary Grant accent.   No I never said that men are mindless and heartless in the plural and I’m glad that I know that decent men exist.

        Prostitutes for me at least have the decency to call the shots – I’m doing this just for the money.

        I personally do not feel the need to bash men up.   Sexual liberation is, for me, a soft way of saying cheap unattached sex but whatever.   Feel free and do whatever rings your bells.

        Thanks to Tom and Karl as well for pointing out their version of honesty (and there is no intention of vinegar here).

         

         

         

         

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 31
    judy

    Karmic equation 28.1 Please read my post again.  Yes, certainly some “women” can have sex with “men” without being twisted up inside.   Have a look at some of the comments on here.   Do the men and men sound HAPPY?????  Instead of Cary Grant, please substitute Stromae.     Know him???
    Tom29 – thank you for your long reply.   Yes of course I’m aware that there are women who are just in it for the sex, and  unlike  you, I’m not convinced that this is restricted only to certain demographic groups.   Intriguing that you use the word “scrupulous”.   I’d love you to clarify your thoughts on this?I don’t believe that it is “sensitive” to wish to have sex with love.   According to me, it’s reasonable feminine behaviour, and probably masculine as well.      
    This blog is to educate women.   In doing so, it educates men too as it happens.   Women and men are human beings, with feelings.   It’s not so much about emotional intelligence or maturity but more about L O V E.
    I know some of you out there are going to cackle and fall about laughing on this one.   But as the word “LOVE” is mentioned, some might hear it, and others won’t.  
    Personally, when I meet a man who reveals in his words (rather quickly I’d say) that he’s just in it for the sex, and is emotionally unavailable, he doesn’t get  the sex.      On the contrary, experience has shown me that when I say “no” really clearly, they then turn round and say “if I was a woman, I’d say no too”.   You see? Some men do have the emotional maturity.   Regardless of demographic groups.
      
      

  12. 32
    judy

    Karmic Equation 28.1 – spoken with a Stromae accent – I’m aware that some men and women are not into commitment.   I had the impression that on this blog, however, they were trying to find the right one for them.   And that’s normal behaviour too.
    Tom10 29 – I wish you well and thank you for your lengthy reply.   However, one clarification.   Players are not limited to certain demographic groups.   Seeking a loving companion is not “sensitive”.   It’s called knowing what you want and choosing it.   And not choosing to please those who couldn’t give a damn about your feelings.
    I will be teaching a small boy in my family to respect himself and his body and to avoid women (under or over 20) who have no respect for themselves.   Maybe I’ll be wrong – but at least, when he DOES sleep with someone and have sex, I will have done my best to make sure that he gets love as well.   And so does the woman.

  13. 33
    judy

    KarmicEquation28.1 (spoken with a Stromae accent).   I’m not calling men anything at all.   Please reread my post.   And do enjoy the gymnasium.   As mentioned, I will find the man who respects himself and me and has sex with love.  
    Tom10 29- thank you for your lengthy reply.   This blog can educate men, as well as it does women.   It is not “sensitive” behaviour to discard players which, by the way, can belong to any demographic sector.   I, for one, have shown men the door when they reveal oh so quickly (sorry!) that they are just in it for the sex.   So there is no need to complain.   However, interestingly enough, when I say “no” to their “needs”, they often say to me that if they were the woman, they’d say “no” to it too.   Interesting, isn’t it?
    Please clarify what you mean by “scrupulous”.   This is most intriguing and I’d like to hear your point of view on this.  

  14. 34
    Clare

    Notwithstanding my earlier reply to Karl R, I do believe it is the responsibility of women who *want* relationships, to get good at sussing out the signs of whether a man is/is not available for a relationship, and is/is not interested in having one with her, and there are many.
      
    The biggest of these signs, I believe, is that he cares intently what she thinks and feels – men not interested in a relationship have a certain “whatever” attitude that you get good at spotting over time 😉
      
    Much as I dislike the behaviour of men who plunge ahead with a woman knowning that he will not get hurt and she will, it also makes me cringe inside to see women holding out hope when the signs are pretty clear to me that he’s not available and has no intention of making himself so.
      
    They’re not even always the obvious signs, such as when he says “I’m not looking for a relationship.” Other tell-tale signs that I have found are:
      
    * He gets that faraway look in his eyes when he and the woman are together – either that he’s “enduring” it, or checking out other women.
    * He’s not usually  free on Saturday nights. Sunday nights and even Friday nights are often fine, but an unavailable man usually keeps his Saturday nights to himself.
    * Takes an unreasonably long time to answer messages.
    * He is self-satisfied. A guy with perfect hair and who talks about his big-shot clients and/or has photos of himself posing with a yacht is a warning flag to me!
    * He becomes noticably distant as soon as you reveal that you care or  have feelings.
    * But I think the biggest giveaway is that most things are on his terms – his timeslots, his house, his preferred venues and activities, his friends, his preference of when he wants to make himself available – This to me marks a relationship of convenience on his side! You are always wondering when and if you are going to see him, and there’s a part of you which is not surprised when the other shoe eventually drops.
      
    Guys who I knew wanted a relationship with me kept in contact every day, and wanted to see me as often as possible.   In short, I felt secure. They were also fully open to my likes, preferences and feelings. Effort, nothing else, is the mark of an emotionally available man (in my opinion)!

    1. 34.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Clare @34 – “Notwithstanding my earlier reply to Karl R, I do believe it is the responsibility of women who *want* relationships, to get good at sussing out the signs of whether a man is/is not available for a relationship, and is/is not interested in having one with her, and there are many. ”
      Yes, Clare, and a very good checklist, in addition to the standard “disclaimer”.
      I’ve had women friends whom I’ve absolutely wanted to lock in a closet and take away their phones, I’ve seen them waste months, even YEARS on non-boyfriends, after they’ve issued the standard disclaimer or display many of the behaviors you mention.   Get ignored for days on end, then go running to him when he snaps his fingers, even if that meant breaking other plans.
      These women I like to think of as genius savants, they are otherwise brilliant in all other aspects of their lives, but when it comes to men, well their brains seem to fly out the window.
      Except for my x-hubbies, I never lasted more than 6 weeks with a guy who either issued the standard disclaimer, or behaved in distant manner.   Now, with my 2nd hubby, I stayed way too long after he started treating me poorly, but I won’t make THAT mistake again, ring on my finger or not.

      1. 34.1.1
        Clare

        Sparkling Emerald,
          
        God yes! I have seen the most attractive, together, perceptive and intelligent women get strung along and debase themselves for sometimes years (and been one of those women).   The self-deception is the hardest thing to watch (and experience). Fighting all sense of reason and logic and coming up with excuses to justify his lack of investment.
          
        My lesson came at a painful cost, but I have learnt it, and I am very grateful! The men who come into my life now are more the smitten, can’t get enough of you type.

        1. m

          ”  have seen the most attractive, together, perceptive and intelligent women get strung along and debase themselves for sometimes years”
            
          This would happen a lot less if the culture did not beat women up and insinuate there is something “wrong” with them for being single.
          Especially in the wake of the plethora of emotionally unavailable men.   
          Why would a woman not want to be single rather than put up with being put through these kind of punishments with these men? She would– unless she feels like it is even   more of a punishment to be subjected again to the utterly disrespectful way the culture treats her when she’s single.

  15. 35
    judy

    Clare 34 – the men you describe in this post sound more selfish and self-centered than emotionally unavailable, well at least to me.   But on the subject of weekends, just a thought.   On Fridays and Saturdays, I am sometimes busy with…………..friends, family and hobbies, not necessarily men!

    1. 35.1
      Clare

      judy,
        
      Re: Fridays & Saturdays – sure, me too! Missing the occasional Friday, Saturday or weekend is not necessarily a red flag. But with EU men, it is a pattern, and contact over weekends also tends to be a bit more scarce. You find yourself seeing them during the week more than anything else. Men who want a relationship with you will at least discuss their weekend plans with you, and reserve a chunk of it to spend with you.

  16. 36
    Tom10

    Fusee # 30
    Thanks for explaining how a competent adult can function well intellectually and financially, yet simultaneously struggle emotionally and in their interpersonal relationships.
      
    “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 daing for what it should be beside all the fun: a detective game and an opportunity to grow in self-control.”
      
    Amen.
      
    Ps. It looks like we both learned how to play the dating game the same way — the hard way : )
      
    @ judy
    Thanks for your replies.
      
    #31
    “I don’t believe that it is “sensitive” to wish to have sex with love”
      
    When I mentioned “sensitive” women I was referring to how different women react emotionally when men disappear after sex. For some women it isn’t a big deal, for others it can be traumatic.
      
    I don’t know how else to describe the women in the latter category other than “sensitive”.
      
    “This blog is to educate women. In doing so, it educates men too as it happens”
      
    True. But that is not its objective, thus a moot point. One of Evan’s core teachings is that women can’t change men, thus it is more effective for women to operate as if men will not educate themselves on dating matters.
      
    # 31
    “experience has shown me that when I say “no” really clearly, they turn round and say “if I was a woman, I’d say no too” You see? Some men do have the emotional maturity. Regardless of demographic groups”
      
    Maybe they have the emotional maturity. Or maybe they are playing the “understanding card” to convince you that they are mature, thus turn you around and get you into bed.
      
    Did these men keep seeing you after you said “no” really clearly, or did they disappear? Actions speak louder than words.
      
    #32
    “I will be teaching a small boy in my family to respect himself and his body and to avoid women (under or over 20) who have for themselves…when he DOES sleep with someone and have sex, I will have done my best to make sure that he gets love as well. And so does the woman”
      
    It’ll be interesting to see if this works. I was raised in a similar environment with equally well-intentioned women – but testosterone, education and the ability to think for oneself are powerful forces. So all their messages were in vain — a man is still going to do what he wants regardless of what he is taught.
      
    #33
    “Please clarify what you mean by “scrupulous”. This is most intriguing and I’d like to hear your point of view on this”
      
    Well I’m often struck by the disconnect shown between the attitudes of women on this blog versus the attitudes of the women I meet in person. The women I meet can often be ruthless in the way they treat men and pursue their objectives. I don’t really mind though because I can handle it. But they certainly don’t go out of their way to avoid hurting men in the way that many women here seem to do. I assumed it must be a generational issue. Maybe it’s not — it might be geographic, or cultural, or…maybe it’s just the women I happen to meet!
      
    Perhaps scrupulous wasn’t quite the right word — maybe “meticulous in their efforts to avoid hurting men” would have been more appropriate 🙂
      
    @ Clare #34
    “I do believe it is the responsibility of women who *want* relationships, to get good at sussing out the signs of whether a man is/is not available for a relationship, and is/is not interested in having one with her”.
      
    Yes! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  17. 37
    judy

    Tom36 – on your point 32, yes, I hope to be successful with the little boy but of course do understand personal wishes.   Also, yes, when I said “no” to the men concerned sexually, they realised that I was honest about it.   However, I’m happy to report that they all respected me and most of them, I’m still in contact with.
    Which goes to say that if all you want is sex,  a woman (and man!)can choose who is asking for relief, or gymnastics, and who is into a relationship.  
    Maybe some of the women you are meeting are just thinking the same as you.   Or not as the case may be.
    Yes EMK may indeed be teaching that women cannot change men.   But somewhere, the seeds are being planted and maybe, just maybe, some men may be thinking, hm, maybe we are wrong sometimes.   I’m a great believer in treating people with respect, and it should not just go one way.
    Thank you for a respectful answer anyway.
      

  18. 38
    Still-Looking

    The original article was excellent and very relevant to me.   
    I’ve been divorced for 3 years, have been on hundreds of dates, and have found myself to be emotionally unavailable to 99% of the women I’ve gone out with.   
    Sometimes I have told a woman on a first date that I’m only interested in casual dating.   Sometimes I waited until the third or fourth date.   What I quickly realized is that I felt as though I wasn’t being honest and was possibly manipulating women if I had sex with them without making it clear before we jumped into bed that I wasn’t seeking a serious relationship.   Some women opted out at that point but the majority were quite willing to proceed.
    I have the same problem as the author.   No matter what I say, some women become attached after casually dating for a while regardless of the fact that my internet profile makes it clear that I’m not seeking a serious relationship, that I state that I’m only interested in friendly casual dating, and that I don’t hide the fact that I’m dating others.
    Yes, I realize that we can’t prevent “falling” for someone.   It has happened to me too on several occasions.   The dilemma is I can either avoid hurting   someone’s feelings by not dating anyone or I can just continue to be as open and honest as possible, knowing that I will ultimately hurt someone.   The choice is clear to me but I’d love some feedback on what emotionally unavailable men and women should say/do to lessen the risk of heartache.

    1. 38.1
      Selena

      @ Still-Looking
        
      Since you asked for feedback…a few things come to mind that distinguish casual dating to me:
        
      1.  Don’t see  the same  woman more than once a week; 2-3 times a month.
        
      Reason:   The more time people spend together, very often one will get attached.
        
      2.  Don’t do  boyfriend-y, couple-y things like spending whole weekends together, including her when you go out with friends, introducing her to your parents, siblings, children. Don’t take her as a date to a wedding or other “special” occasion that one usually brings a girlfriend.
        
      Reason: Despite any casual disclosure upfront, if you treat a woman you’re casually dating as you would a girlfriend she may likely start thinking she IS your girlfriend.
        
      3.  Don’t   keep in touch every day electronically. And absolutely no “future talk”.
        
      Reason: That’s what boyfriends do.
      4. Break it off after a month or two.   Sooner if you sense her feelings have become stronger than yours.
        
      Reason:   The longer a casual situation continues the more ambiguous it may seem.   A fling is by nature brief.
        
      Which is not to say you can’t treat a woman you are dating casually well and with kindness and enjoy fun dates. It only means that if you really don’t want to hurt someone they need to perceive some measure of distance on your part.
        
        

    2. 38.2
      SparklingEmerald

      Still-Looking @38 – If your profile honestly states your casual intentions and/or you state them upfront to women you meet, or at least prior to bedding them, then it is on them if they expect more and get hurt.  
        
      Even better if your actions match your words, and you don’t verbally tell them “casual” while your actions scream “serious boyfriend”       Some women believe that “actions speak louder than words” and in most cases that is true, but not in the case of the person who verbalizes “casual” and who’s actions indicate “serious”.   I think this is why so many women get so tripped up in this area and think “Oh, he really doesn’t mean that, he’s just afraid, intimidated, blah, blah, blah”

    3. 38.3
      SparklingEmerald

      Still Looking – I know I’ve already responded to this, but I’ve read some additional replies and re-read your post, and now there is another question in my mind.   You describe yourself as “emotionally unavailable” and you say you realize that you can’t prevent “falling” for someone because it has happened to you on several occasions.   It sounds to me like you really aren’t “emotionally unavailable” but that you just haven’t found your match.   Would you like to be in a relationship, but just can’t seem to make the right connection ?   Or does the idea of being in a relationship scare you, but sometimes someone surprises you, and you find your self wanting to be in a relationship (and then she rejects you).   As I re-read your post, I am sensing a lot of ambiguity.   I’d like to gently suggest that if you examine your heart and find that you REALLY would ENJOY being in a relationship, set that as a clearer goal, and perhaps you will get there with fewer hurts along the way.   If you label yourself as “emotionally unavailable” when in fact at the moment your emotional needs are merely being unfilled,   you might be tripping yourself up, with your ambiguous thinking.     Do you really NOT want a relationship, or is this a case of sour grapes ?  

  19. 39
    little marie

    I agree with being straight up and specific. That way you know you are both on the same page. sometimes that changes, sometimes not but the fact is you were honest right from the beginning and throughout.Both men and women should be mature enough to handle that and be responsible for it. The problem is when the games begin. Hinting around IS games and vague. If you don’t feel comfortable enough in your own skin to be honest with yourself and have respect for others to be honest with them about intentions, then no you shouldn’t be with them no matter if that is only sex or more than that.
    I’ve watched players do this to women and then fall in love and can’t understand how any man could have ever done that to her which left her emotionally damaged. The answer seem pretty simple there.There was a man I knew that said he couldn’t understand how his sister ended up with these guys that strung her along, yet at the same time he would do that himself without any regard and somehow he justified that as different. Then are   the women that think she will get a man to fall for her by being aloof and playing it cool, and then get’s her heart broken because she actually truly desired love.
    As for the being the good guy. come on. no matter how “well” you treat these women you are not validating their emotions,and are doing it for your own ego and that’s disrespecting women. what a turn off, there’s a value bracket. No truly good man would ever intentionally string along a woman where the feelings were not reciprocated.
    I’ve dated two men, at different times in my life, that outright lied and say that it is not casual to them, I trusted in that, but their actions were otherwise.treated me well, ignored me for days, mocked my emotions etc. I broke it off with them clearly. delete block. both of them called my family, bothered my friends, “how is she doing?”, “I really need to talk to her”, “what’s her new number?” etc etc. brutal. Both of these men obviously had me in a low value bracket, and bye bye I said. But to come after my family and friends to get to me just showed how little respect they had for not only me but the people I truly love and care for. So, sometimes the woman get’s it, leaves, and the guy goes off the cliff.
    be honest with yourself about what you want, don’t waste other’s time or your own.and settle for nothing less than your true hearts desire.
      

  20. 40
    Kiki

    @ Stilllooking 38
    How about concentrate on the 1% who do not leave you indifferent? Or have sex with someone only if you really like them and see them as relationship material? This is what women have been doing for ages 🙂

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