Symptoms of Being Emotionally Unavailable

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It is challenging to be in a relationship with a person who is emotionally unavailable, whether this person is a family member, friend or spouse. Emotionally unavailable people do not allow you to feel a sense of connection with them. Although they create barriers to intimacy, they often behave as though they wish to be in a relationship, which makes it important to be able to spot symptoms of emotional unavailability early on.

Physically Unavailable

Emotionally unavailable people are hard to pin down. When you call them, they don’t always answer the phone and can take weeks to return your call (if they bother to respond to you at all). These people have difficulty making plans with others and tend to cancel them easily even when they do make them, leaving the other person hanging. Although everyone gets busy from time to time, emotionally unavailable people will never make time to be physically available to people.

Otherwise Engaged

Emotionally unavailable people can sometimes be married or in a relationship with someone else when they express interest in you. They often look for multiple people to have relationships with to avoid becoming emotionally intimate with any one person.


Emotionally unavailable people are sometimes addicts. Whether the addiction is to work, drugs, sex, food or the Internet, the addiction takes up a considerable amount of the addict’s time and energy. Even in recovery, addicts must focus exclusively on overcoming their addictions and are therefore distant.

Constantly Critical

Emotionally unavailable people have emotional obstacles in their lives that can often make them overly critical of themselves and others. If a person close to you is always critical of you but does make time to spend with you, there is a good chance this person is overly critical of himself, which makes him unable to emotionally connect with other people.

Full of Excuses

Another sign of emotional unavailability is when a person is full of excuses for why he cannot be there with you, do things with you or be available to you for support. An emotionally unavailable person essentially does not put value on acting with honor, honesty or integrity in their relationships with other people. A good indication of emotional unavailability is when your significant other has excuses for being preoccupied with the same activity on a routine basis, such as watching television or working out.