How an Emotionally Unavailable Partner Behaves

How an Emotionally Unavailable Partner Behaves

It's reasonable to expect a marriage with a partner that will be your emotional anchor and guide and give you some trust, respect, honesty, and openness. 

But when you are not getting these, you may begin to wonder if you have an emotionally unavailable partner.

A sign of such a partner is their refusal to shed light on the mysteries of their past.

Instead of telling you about the history as an average partner would, they will hide details of the past when you ask or sidetrack the questions so you won't have a definitive grasp of the topic.

Similarly, an emotionally unavailable partner will hide their feelings from you and continue to avoid your attempts at getting them to talk about their negative or positive emotions.

Furthermore, they may prefer physical intimacy over emotional intimacy because it allows them to avoid the complications of emotions and focus on the straightforward nature of physical intimacy.

You can consider these signs that will help you see if you have an emotionally unavailable partner:

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They are Not Forthright With the Past 

Although there could be other reasons why a partner would not tell you about their past, a significant reason is that they don't want to be open to you because they are not emotionally connected to you.

If you find out that their reason for not sharing their past with you is because they are an emotionally unavailable partner, you can bring the matter up and engage in a calm discussion where you tell them your feelings and how hearing their past can help your marriage.

Tell them that it will increase your trust in the marriage because they share their mistakes, losses, and past relationships. 

Taking responsibility for every action will help you see them as an honest and trustworthy partner.

Similarly, you can also let them know that telling you about their past will ensure that you get closer to each because their self-disclosure will be personal and intimate and will come with some emotional vulnerability that will endear them to you.

They Do Not Open Up 

In a long-term relationship, partners are supposed to share everything about themselves with each other as they build an emotional connection. 

Topics like money, family, sex, goals, and insecurities should be discussed in every relationship to continue to grow.

Therefore, you may have an emotionally unavailable partner when they fail to tell you exactly how they feel about you, either positive or negative. 

They don't necessarily have to let you know they are madly in love with you, but some other words that show affection and love can show how much they care.

Suppose they are also reluctant to share their future goals with you. 

That may point to emotional unavailability because an available partner is supposed to share their plans for the future and the goals they hope to achieve at the fruition of those plans while putting you in the picture.

They may also keep their mouth shut over what they want in bed because they don't really care about what goes on with the emotions you derive from sexual intimacy; thus, rather than compliment you for your proficiency or kindly tell you how things can be made better, they will stonewall any conversation that concerns sexual intimacy.

They Choose Physical Intimacy 

An emotionally unavailable partner is likely to avoid emotional complexities and only focus on the physical intimacy they will derive from you, resulting in you feeling empty because you know something is missing.

If you realize that your partner isn't really your friend but a lover, that may indicate emotional unavailability.

A friend will share everything good and bad with you, but a lover will only use you for physical intimacy.

Another warning sign is the presence of great sex life but a lack of emotional attachment. 

They won't be there for you in times of emotional distress, and you will have to rely on other people for emotional support, but they will be present when you require physical intimacy.

If your partner's idea of quality time is spending most of the weekend in bed with you, that indicates a lack of emotional connection since they don't want to spend time with you in other places.

They are Uncomfortable With Your Emotions 

You may have an emotionally unavailable partner when they are not supportive of you expressing yourself because they are uncomfortable with your emotions and would prefer you to be silent.

Instead of offering you a shoulder to lean and cry on when you are vulnerable and open, they may raise a stonewall between you two and look uncomfortable. 

The notion of accepting your expressive nature won't cross their mind because they can't deal with it.

If you notice your partner is like this, you can start a conversation around the subject. 

It may be a harmless long-term disregard of emotions because they find them messy, or it may be an intentional act to be unavailable.

Whatever it is, a conversation will let you know, and you can begin to think of ways to improve the situation.

You can advocate that they seek individual or family therapy to get attuned emotionally. 

You may similarly inform them of how important it is to you that they offer emotional support to you.

They Do Not Make Efforts 

To have a fully functioning relationship, both partners have to pull their weight in making each other happy and satisfied with the relationship. Doing this includes making efforts proportionally.

However, with an emotionally unavailable partner, you would be the only one making sacrifices in the relationship. 

Your partner will make the relationship about them and won't create the space to repay you in kind for your sacrifices.

You will also notice that you now plan every date. 

No matter the occasion, be it an anniversary, birthday, or Valentine's Day, they will make no plans and expect you to take the bare minimum. 

There will be no surprise or romance from them to grace the occasion.

Similarly, they may communicate less with you.

They won't ask about how you feel, what is going on with you, or if you are happy because they don't want to make efforts to do better if you are not fine. They will also not share their plans and thoughts with you.


You deserve love and respect in your marriage, but if you are not getting that, it may be a sign that you have an emotionally unavailable partner.

Other signs that you may observe are; that they avoid telling you about their past, don't open up to you, prefer physical intimacy to emotional connection, are uncomfortable with your emotions, and don't make efforts to improve the marriage.


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