I hear this statement so many times: “How can you tell that you’re dating someone who is emotionally unavailable soon enough? I want to know before I get too involved with this person. I just don’t want to get hurt!” Let’s explore this issue a bit.
I understand, nobody wants to get too emotionally involved with the new person they’re dating only to find out that this match is not meant to be. To be honest with you, this is a tough call and sometimes you do have to stick around and get to know this person a little bit before the real truth comes out. However, there are some common red flags and warning signs you can watch out for.
1. Your date is “coming on” you too strongly and too soon. Getting to know someone takes time, patience and certain level of awareness that most people who fear intimacy typically try to avoid. Getting into fantasy or too far ahead of yourself is a sure sign of trying to avoid being real. So, some of the warning signs may include: pushing you to have sex before you are ready, not listening to you when you try to express yourself and your needs, showering you with too many compliments and admiration that doesn’t feel authentic. Sometimes this behavior can be really scary and even annoying. Other times, especially if you are the type who loves lots of attention, this can pull you into a trap.
2. Your date is taking it too slow. This behavior may seem the opposite of what I just described, but it is the opposite side of the same coin. When you are dating someone who doesn’t seem all that interested in you, this can be really frustrating. In this case, fear of intimacy forces him (or her) to move too slow and procrastinate. He may take days to call you or return your call, prefer to use text messages over phone calls and after 3 months of seeing each other you are still not sure if you are together or just hanging out every now and then.
3. Your dating feels like a “push me-pull me” game. Giving you mixed messages is actually the most common behavior of emotionally unavailable person. One day he is really into you, showering you with compliments and tons of attention, the next thing you know, he is either gone for days or becomes really shut down. Unfortunately this kind of confusing behavior is what gets us hooked the most. Does he like me or not? Is he interested in having a relationship with me? One day you get really scared and overwhelmed, the next day you start wondering what happened.
The best advice I can really give you is to never lose the sight of your intuition. Stay present with yourself and your gut feeling and you can actually train yourself to spot emotionally unavailable people right away.