I’m on the fence about whether or not I think ‘Emotional Unavailability’ is bullshit. I’ve started to think it’s a cop out and that anyone would be open to accepting love and care from the RIGHT person (in their eyes of course). Who doesn’t want to be loved and cared about?
Whilst I don’t doubt that there are many people who have been pushed into emotional unavailability because of a bad break up perhaps or a traumatic childhood even, I do think in many cases where people actively participate in a relationship of some sort and need to find a way out, ‘emotional unavailability’ can be used as a tool to say ‘see you later’ so they can fuck off with someone else.
You think the vibe is right, he laughs at all your jokes, you share the same taste in music and you’re both well aware of how passionate things are when the lights go off. One minute you’re ready to take things further, the next he’s moved on completely with someone else, but wait, isn’t this the same guy who said he wanted to take it slow because he was ‘emotionally just not ready’ borderline ‘emotionally unavailable.’ You carry on with this casual situation because you’re enjoying yourself, maybe you’re not that emotionally invested to start off with, but as time goes on you really think it could go somewhere. It’s devastating to think that whilst you perceive a relationship to be going great, the other party is taking what they can, denying you of that emotional availability or at best letting you savour a bit of it and then swiftly taking it away.
When people claim to be emotionally unavailable what I’m really hearing is: ‘Yes, we have a good time, hell, we may even have a connection, but whilst you make my toes curl and I love your sense of humour, I’d much rather be with someone else’. To me it’s easier for someone to say ‘I’m not ready, give me time or I’m not emotionally available’ than to look you in your eyes and say ‘I just don’t want you’.
Whilst the poll I conducted on twitter yesterday indicated that majority of the people who answered thought emotional unavailability is legit, I should have maybe put the question into context. It’s one thing to be emotionally unavailable and thus abstain from inviting people into your web of uncertainty and quite another to say that you are not emotionally unavailable, act like you’re not and then in the same breadth exhibit that you ARE in fact emotionally available …… with someone else.
I get it, matters of the heart are difficult to navigate, it’s easy to sit on a moral high horse when you’re on the receiving end of shit unethical treatment all the whilst forgetting that we are all guilty of enjoying an uneven playing field when it benefits us. It’s not enough to simply say ‘he/she knew what they were getting into’ especially when you KNOW your actions are saying something completely different.
Personally, I wouldn’t get involved with someone who told or showed me that they were emotionally unavailable, beyond the point I thought my fragile heart could take. Past heartbreak has taught me to bounce when the signs are oh so clear they’re basically pulling me out of the situation. I know that’s not always easy. It’s frustrating because I’ve often thought ‘I’ve opened up my heart why can’t you’ – only to realise I Just wasn’t the one whose heart they wanted opened up. I’m more cautious now also of how I behave with people I’m dating, being careful to be kind BUT honest and above all else treat them ethically.
I guess in my mind and to summarise, I don’t think people who are truly emotionally unavailable are a rarity and in fact for many that might be the appeal, this idea that we can ‘change people’ and then ultimately getting hurt. For others, I believe the term ‘emotional unavailability’ is a convenient tag line which they can use to deepen the mystery all the while pursuing other romantic ventures.