Unavailable Men: How to Recognize Them and Avoid Heartache

To avoid the heartbreak of falling for unavailable men, here is how to recognize when a man is unavailable, and what to do about it if you fall for one.

Unavailable Men

Men can be unavailable in more ways than one. There are those who are literally unavailable because they have a partner, and those who are simply emotionally unavailable, which, in many ways, can be even worse.
Looking out for signs early on is a good way to protect yourself from getting hurt. Being in a relationship where you do all the giving and get nothing back in return can be exhausting, not to mention devastating.
How to pinpoint the signs of unavailable men
Look out for the signs that you might be delving into unavailable territory. If you notice one or even a few of these telltale signs, then it’s probably a good idea to question whether it’s all really worth it in the long run.
#1 He has a girlfriend or is married. Men who are already in relationships are usually completely off limits. But there may be reasons why you have started a relationship with one.
If you know that a man already has a partner when he gets with you, then you know he is willing to cheat on someone to whom he has made an important commitment. Whatever excuse he has for it, ask yourself if you really want to be with someone like that, and, even if he does break things off, how you will ever be able to truly trust him yourself? [Read: How to get over trust issues in your relationship]
#2 He’s recently separated. Everyone needs space after a relationship, and this is true for both men and women. If you dive right into the next relationship, you’re simply trying to patch the wounds from your breakup without really thinking clearly.
If you meet a man you like who has recently come out of a serious relationship, whatever the circumstances may be, let him heal for a while. If the relationship is worth pursuing, he’ll still be around after he’s completely over his ex. [Read: 15 rebound relationship signs to watch out for]
#3 You’re in a never-ending long distance relationship. Long distance relationships are really hard. If you’re in one, you likely know this already. Most people in long distance relationships keep working at them because they know that there will be a payoff at the end. You can’t be together now, but in future, you will reunite and it will be happy and wonderful.
If your man has no intention of getting closer to you, though, and is happy to keep things as they are indefinitely, perhaps your alarm bells should start ringing. [Read: Can long distance love survive the distance?]
#4 He has a close female friend to whom he tells everything. Men and women are allowed to be friends, sure. But there is nothing more unsettling then one particular woman who seems to be constantly around, laughing at private jokes with your man, calling him by her special nickname, and so on.
If, whenever you suggest that they should perhaps spend a little less time together, he gets defensive, he clearly isn’t willing to put your *reasonable* needs first. If this is the case, you have got to wonder if he ever will. [Read: Are guy best friends nothing but trouble for girls?]
#5 He talks too much about his ex. There’s nothing wrong with sharing stories about past relationships with your new partner. We all have pasts, and from time to time, exes are going to crop up. You might even bump into them every now and again.
But if your man can’t stop talking about his ex, whether in a positive or a negative way, he is clearly not over her and needs to work through that before he can truly open himself up to you. [Read: 13 secret signs your boyfriend’s not over his ex]
#6 He relies too much on his mother. Having a close relationship with your mother is one thing and can even be an attractive trait in a man. But being a huge mama’s boy, on the other hand, is not.
If your partner still lives with her/gets his washing done by her/calls her for advice on every little matter, then alarm bells should start ding-a-linging in your head right away.
You don’t want to have to live your life by what his mother thinks is best for him, and chances are, she won’t approve of you, either! If he’s not willing to stand on his own two feet, then it’s time to say goodbye.
#7 You can’t reach him. If you can never get ahold of him on the phone, if he’s vague about where he is, or is impossible to make plans with, he is almost certainly an unavailable man.
You don’t want to waste your precious time chasing after a guy who takes two weeks to respond to a simple text message, do you? The truth is, if he were that into you, he’d make the effort to get in touch. So ditch him and find someone who knows how much you are worth. [Read: Why do men hate talking on the phone?]
#8 He keeps you out of important parts of his life. Whatever excuses he’s making not to introduce you to his friends, family, or even work colleagues, they just aren’t good enough. *Okay, if it’s only been a week, you might want to give him a little more time on this one*.
However, if you’ve been dating for a while, yet all of your dates have been just to the two of you, it might be that he isn’t willing to fully involve you in his life.
#9 He doesn’t want to be involved in the important parts of your life. If you’ve invited him to meet your family and friends countless times, yet he has always seems to find a reason not to go, it may be that he simply doesn’t want to get so emotionally involved in those areas of your life.
#10 He thinks sex is love. Every time you try to get more intimate with him emotionally, you end up having sex. That’s weird, right?
If each time you’re having a conversation that turns emotional, you suddenly find yourself kissing passionately on the living room floor, then it might be that he is using sex as an avoidance technique so that he doesn’t have to think about his feelings.
While getting loads of action might be great at first, there will be a time when this starts to feel depressing and isolating. [Read: Does it matter if you’re making love or having sex?]
#11 He tells you. Often, men can be very honest about their emotional unavailability, but then act in a way which suggests the complete opposite.
A man who tells you, “I don’t want a relationship,” but is still more than happy to have sex with you, have morning cuddles, and hold your hand in the street is just toying with you.
He wants the best of both worlds but isn’t ready to commit. So if commitment is what you want then he’s not the right man for you right now.
#12 He is emotionally cold. If he struggles with his emotions, it’ll be obvious. He’ll shut down, get defensive, and show little empathy when you get upset yourself. If he can’t show you that he cares, then you’re better off getting out of there and finding someone who can. [Read: 6 sure signs he’ll never be in a relationship with you]
Unavailable men rarely bring their “special” ladies anything but heartache. So if you believe you are with an unavailable man, you need to decide if he’s really worth your time and effort. If he can’t understand his emotions, why let him play with yours?

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Bethany Locke
Bethany was born and raised in Scotland and now resides in Brighton where she lives with her partner and rather disobedient cocker spaniel pup. She works as a f...
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