In the last couple posts, Clay confessed he used to be an emotionally unavailable man and wrote about the 7 signs of an emotionally unavailable man.

When it comes to relationship issues, men unfortunately have a bad reputation for being the gender that’s afraid of commitment. Either he’s not giving you the attention or affection that you want, he doesn’t talk about his feelings with you or he just isn’t ready to be in a serious relationship.

Emotionally unavailable men have been the bane of many women’s existence. Many of us (me included) have pointed our fingers at our boyfriends or husbands when it comes to relationship strife.

Believe it or not, women are just as emotionally unavailable as men.

Here are 7 signs that there is more than one emotionally unavailable person in your the relationship.

1. You’re Already in a “Relationship” with Someone Else

Now, of course, if you’re dating multiple people, you’re probably going to have a difficult time being able to bring 100% of your to your relationship with one person.

I probably don’t need to explain that.

But there are other forms of “relationships” that you can be in that can keep you from being emotionally available to someone.

For example, you might be in an unhealthy relationship with your mother, where she dictates and decides every aspect of your life from where you live, who you date, where you work, how you decorate your apartment, etc.

Or maybe you have a friend who is addicted to drama and you feel you constantly need to be there for her to prop her up emotionally when she is spiraling out of control and her whole world is crashing down on her (yet again).

It should not come as a surprise that being in a “relationship” with these sorts of people and being unable to set clear boundaries will make you a lot less available for the kind of romantic relationship that you want.

2. You Are Over-Committed to Other Things in Your Life

Are you working 80 hours per week? Pounding cappuccinos all night trying to study for that exam for school or work? Sweating it out at the gym two hours every day to stay in shape (and mitigate the damage from those holiday treats as you strive for that elusive thigh gap)? Spending too much time trying to be “super mom” that you barely have time to clip your toenails?

Maybe you’re even trying to juggle more than one of those things!

Either way, if there’s too much going on in your life right now, you don’t really have the space to have a real relationship. Successful relationships begin within each person and if you barely have the time for yourself these days, how do you find (quality) time to juggle a relationship?

Sure, our lives will ebb and flow as we go through different phases. Sometimes we’ll have a full glass. Other times, things will be more relaxed. But if your glass is in a constant state of overflow, then don’t expect there to be a lot of room in your life for a relationship to grow.

3. Your Life is Out of Control

Is your life chaotic right now?

Are you in a “nuclear cold war” with your ex-best friend? Can’t stop talking about how your boss passed you up for a promotion? Are you struggling with that new diet and it takes every ounce of willpower you have to keep yourself from going for that (second) slice of cake?

Living your life in a state of chaos, causes us to become self-centered. Caught in a chain of constantly reacting to the world around us keeps us in a defensive state which results in relationship drama and focusing primarily on what we want and what we want to avoid, thus triggering the Dirty Harriet effect.

It is difficult to welcome a loving and honest relationship into your life if you are constantly focusing on yourself and have a difficult time seeing the world from another person’s perspective.

4. You Shirk Away from Conflict

Maybe you believe (either consciously or unconsciously) that if you are pleasant and nice to be around, you can live a smooth and problem-free life (a classic Covert Contract). As long as you’re not a moment’s problem, people will like you, you’ll find love, and you’ll live happily ever after, right?

Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works.

Healthy relationships aren’t based on avoiding conflict and suppressing your emotions. They are based on honesty and transparency. Both of which may sometimes result in conflicts.

If you never give your partner the chance to really know you and experience you, then you are simply not being emotionally available to him. Is it any surprise that the emotionally available ones get frustrated and leave and all you’re left with is the guys who are closed off themselves?

5. You Have a Hard Time Committing

Do you constantly find yourself committing to going out with one friend because you’re worried that another might call to ask you to do something better?

Do you have a hard time making up your mind about what to order at a restaurant… or even which restaurant you want to go to in the first place?

Do you have a hard time committing to someone because you’re worried that someone better might come along?

It’s normal to be indecisive from time to time, but if you have a difficult time getting “all the way in” and fully committing to a lot of things in life, then why would your relationship be any different?

If you aren’t bringing 100% of yourself to your relationship, then, I’m sorry to say it, but you’re not being emotionally available to your partner. Is it any wonder that you might not be having that juicy and connected experience you really long for?

6. You’ve Lost Yourself

Another clue that you might not be emotionally available is if you are so disconnected from yourself that you don’t even know what you want or who you are anymore.

We live in a time where there is no shortage of messages in our daily life telling us who we should be… you should be thin… you’re only a success if you have a great relationship… you should be happy all the time…

There’s no shortage of these things.

Amongst it all, it’s easy to lose yourself in the fray.

If you’re so busy trying to be what you’re “supposed” to be for society, your parents, or your partner, it’s no surprise that you might lose touch with who you are as an individual.

And if you don’t even know who you are, how can you expect to be there emotionally for someone else? Before we can be emotionally available for someone else, we first need to know ourselves.

7. You Have Expectations About What a Relationship Should Be Like

Maybe you’re like Mindy Kaling in the first episode of The Mindy Project where you see a montage of her childhood spent doing nothing but watching chick flicks.

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit extreme, but still, society has a way of placing all of these ideas and expectations about what love, relationships, and marriage are supposed to be like into our minds.

Your partner should always make you happy and always know exactly what you want.

If your relationship isn’t a constant source of joy, there is something terribly wrong.

When you’re married, you should have 2.5 kids, live in the suburbs, and spend your weekends shopping for furniture.

When you are so busy having a relationship with the expectations in your mind, there’s hardly any room for you to have a relationship with the actual person who is there in front of you.

If any of the above sounds like you, do you think you’re an emotionally unavailable woman?

I’m not trying to make you feel bad or blame you but on The Path to Passion, we want to help bring awareness to the root of your relationship issues. If you have an emotionally unavailable partner, your relationship has gone stale or you and your partner can’t see eye to eye these days, you have to factor in how you contribute to the situation.

The sum of your actions and decisions make up the state of your relationship… and your life.

If any of these things sound like you, please leave a comment below telling us which one… Or do you think that any of these qualities fit someone else you might know?

Photo credit: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

About The Author


Mika enjoys helping others overcome their limiting beliefs that prevent them from having the relationship they want. She is also not a fan of being tickled and hopes that one day, Clay, will finally realize that, as they have way too many tickle fights...And Mika has a not-so-secret love affair with chocolate.

34 Responses to How to Tell if You Are an Emotionally Unavailable Woman

  1. Kristie says:

    #4, #6 & #7 sound like me…. Conflict & me just don’t get along. When confronted or have to confront, I try to avoid it as much as possible. I’m finding that conflict is necessary to connect with people & it helps too, to set boundries. I’m such a people pleaser, I’ve lost track of who I really am. It sucks. Because I wanted to please my husband ALL the time, I’ve lost a lot of good friends. Now they don’t ask me to do things or go places. I have to plan EVERYTHING. I had this “idea” of what married life was supposted to be, and it is NOTHING what I thought it would be. Repairing both these mistakes/flaws takes TONS of patience and work, but in the end, I can see that it’ll be worth it.


    Mika Replied:

    Hey Kristie,

    Thanks for being open to share your story. I used to be such a HUGE people pleaser and conflict avoider myself. I used to be the girl that would agree with everything even when I was really a “no” than a “yes.” When I did this, resentment festered inside of me, usually making me stew in my own toxicity. I thought I was doing everyone a favor but really in the end, I was the one hurting myself. And to think I wondered “why” people treated me the way they did– now I know because I was passive and didn’t create healthy boundaries on what I will or won’t tolerate. You’re right, it does take time and effort to get over your emotional constipation but the end results are more than worth it. We only live once, why play a small game? Thanks for stopping by:)


  2. Marian says:

    Ups! What if all of them sound like me, but I’m really, really looking forward to regain my boyfriend. I’m a lost case, aint I?


    Mika Replied:

    Of course not! At least you’re acknowledging the fact that in some way, you contribute to your relationship problem, whereas many people pull out the victim card all the time. Give yourself some credit, girl and know that you always have a choice on how you choose to react or respond to your situation. Clay & I both have been emotionally unavailable and we’ve managed to get past all our emotional bullshit– You can too! BE the change you want to see happen in your life. Hang in there! xx!-Mika


  3. KarenYvonne says:

    Wow, you shared some great insights… based on your signs I am technically unavailable..right now I feel that I am overloaded with other commitments and i feel that my life is out of control. So I don’t feel that I am ready to be in a relationship right now…


    Clay Replied:

    @KarenYvonne, Thanks for your comment. I think it’s very common for a lot of people to be overloaded with too many obligations these days. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really leave a lot of space in your life for a relationship. Just like how multitasking doesn’t work, trying to spread yourself too thin with a lot of the big things can be a problem too.


  4. Terez says:

    “But there are other forms of ‘relationships’ that you can be in that can keep you from being emotionally available to someone.” This is such a fantastic insight! Unfaithfulness in our relationships doesn’t always have to stem from having other romantic involvements. As you pointed out Mika, dealing with family/friend drama can be a huge distraction from your own relationship.


    Mika Replied:

    Great seeing you here:)

    Thanks for a very insightful comment! Yes, many people have the tendency to label their partner as emotionally unavailable, when there is a part of themselves that is just as emotionally unavailable as well. Thanks for stopping by:)


  5. Edna Terry says:

    Hi! I’m so happy to read this because until now I realize that its me, I’m an emotionally unavailable woman and Im complaing to the man I was trying to have a relationship with about him not being emotionally available. Thank you and I love your page.


    Mika Replied:

    Hey Edna,

    I’ve been exactly where you are and I’m glad you came to that realization as well. Usually what we want from our partner is something that inherently occurs in ourselves:) Thanks for stopping by!


  6. Jie Yang says:

    Six out of seven signs are true for me. I always blamed other people for being emotional unavailable, and now I realize that I am EU myself. Maybe that is why I am easily attracted by other EU people. I really feel upset and confused about this fact and I want to know why I am EU.


  7. elvee says:

    Jeezo !!!!! I am almost all of them..My heart sank as I started reading these..I am so glad I did, as mostly I focus all my time reading about, ‘the men’ and trying to find the right one…LIGHTBULB Moment!!!
    Aha yep it is ‘ME’ who first has to sort out all the mess in my head…I had planned to spend a lot of this week by myself as I have been lost for sometime..
    I had to work on my health, heartbreak and homelessness..9 months on and I am in full health, I have a fighting spirit, thank God !!
    Now that i am settled and back in the single world, heart feeling full again, health back to normal and home found and now fully furnished and full of love and happiness..I felt ready to bring someone new into my life, but after reading this i still have a LOT of work to do on me..
    So no time like the present :)
    Thank you soo much for this post…
    And good wishes too all us women,lets do ourselves a favor and keep strong, and learn too love ourselves no matter what we have been through.. Remember that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…We still have time too change,for the better, starting now :)
    Remember the past has gone ,it is only a memory in ‘Your’ head…the future, well no one has lived that yet so we cant tell ;) So that means we only have today,here in the now, make the most of it..
    Thanks again for the post, I just love it !! xx


    Mika Replied:

    Hi Elvee!

    Thanks for your comment. I’m so glad this hit home with you! I honestly believe that women who think they’re in a relationship with an with an emotionally unavailable man, are just as emotionally unavailable themselves but they don’t even know it! The past is just a memory and the future is an illusion, what matters is this present moment:) You are a profound and beautiful woman, Elvee!


  8. elvee says:

    Aww, Thank you Mika…
    I didnt even expect a reply :) ..
    I only came back on to find this page, to send to a friend.
    Thanks again x


  9. Bambi says:

    All of them. In the dictionary, if there were an entry for emotional unavailability, there would be my picture…and numbers 1-7 would be the definitions :D fml


  10. Lina says:

    Hi. What can we do if we find that we’re the ones who are EU? How to fix this problem? Therapy is very expensive :S


  11. Priya says:

    I was left on a stage of lost sence of self after giving everything and fighting for a relationship of 6 years with a man that showed me a perfect person but was cheating on me for like 3 months before I found out…. It has been a year and 6 months and I havent been with anyone, I have said the wrong things to guys to push them away and felt guity after cause those where not things I used to do, loving used to be the easiest thing.. NOw the Though of sharing my life with someone and getting my heart broken againg terrifies me… I dont even want to get better.. I just want to be alone..


  12. Lily says:

    Unfortunately I’m one of those “emotionally unavailable women”, and the process of realizing this has started only a few days ago! There are no words to describe my utter surprise at the discovery since it is a pretty recent one, and since I would have never thought myself to be one..


  13. Mittens says:

    Family member emailed this to me (for unknown reasons -_-). I’m everything except #1 and #7. That is utterly hilarious.


  14. Ericka says:

    I think the last one sounds like me but I don’t think it’s just me I think he is too, but I had ask him to do something so simple to me! I asked him to cut two of his homegirls off if we were ever to get in a comitted relationship and the reason I said that was because he used to talk to one of them and I don’t think it’s right honestly bc it is still feelings involved whether or not they’re your friends or not so he told me sorry I can’t do that and I told him well that means the end of us I hope they make you happy! Why on earth would you think something like that would happen ? It doesn’t make sense


  15. LR says:

    Women should always be emotionally unavailable. Men love it because it’s a feminine trait and they will stalk them more. Men love emotionally unavailable women and will work hard for them like crazy. Plus women should always cheat on men all the time to make them jealous and want them more. Women are supposed to be desirable while men aren’t. Men are strictly the hunters while women are strictly the prize.


    Mika Replied:

    You’re either trolling or you’re heading towards the path of a series of unhealthy relationships.


  16. warn out mum of4 says:

    I get caught in the inital moment and all is good. Then a relationship starts and I manage to find fault and pick appart every aspect of the poor mans soal so that I can walk away.
    Its been 20 years since I just loved, since I was in the moment, since I just was happy with him for him. We meet got married and had 2 children and divorced all within 5 years. I was 20. I have never managed to be fully happy with a man since and I always walk away. Im not heart broken im not upset. Im just releived that I didnt get landed with a no hoper. I know the problem is mine I just cant find out exactly what, how and why.


  17. Gino says:

    My ex is emotionally unavailable and has stopped talking to me, how do I get her to talk to me again?


  18. Monica says:

    Yes all 7 of these are definitely me. At first I was actually wondering what was wrong with me and why have I been single over 8 years. Most people cant believe that I have been single so long because I’m attractive and successful but I push everything and everyone away because I don’t want to get attach because I’m afraid of getting hurt.


  19. angela says:

    I am in fact an emotionally unavailable woman. I have basically all these things. And I do feel lost. I always thought I was just a guarded person (or so people tell me). But now I understand that guarded is basically being emotionally unavailable. This realization definitely makes me want to work on loving myself more this new year. I really want to find love again. I am actually seeing this wonderful guy right now, and I find myself afraid to fall in love. I’ve never met anyone like him – even though we just met, I feel completely comfortable with him, and I trust him. unfortunately, I limit my contact with him in order to keep my “busy” work schedule and social life. I’ve also not been open about my past relationships (romantically and with my family) with him. I want to, but I keep find reasons not to. I am afraid that by being emotionally unavailable, I will eventually push him away myself. As I’ve already started finding excuses and reasons not to keep seeing him. Is love still possible being what or who I am?


  20. Carl says:

    I came across this blog because I just got off the phone last night with a gal who I was genuinely attracted to, and vice versa ( something I haven’t experienced for a while now ), but she genuinely does not respect disagreement nor conflict ( she “hates contention” ), expresses anger, aggression, and is critical, yet turns around and accuses me of the same as I respond while not owning any of her actions, and lives in denial while being praised by all of being “sweet and nice.”

    She is raising two children at home…been bruised by two men, “narcissists” in previous marriages, and prides herself on being “independent”…even going as far as to tell me months ago that when she simplifies her life, moving from a home to a condo, she “might not need a man.” ( no more “big house” problems for a man to be helpful, so…. ) She is pleased that she is such an “honest person” because, to her credit, all along she spelled out that she was open to dating and play and fun, but not any kind of commitment… but is clueless as to how separate she is from love and connection…how dishonest she is with herself.

    …and she wonders why she “apparently isn’t very good” at being friends with a man…

    Thank you for this article….it helps with the grieving of such a beautiful woman that is consciously closed off from love.

    —–now on to questioning myself as to how i am still emotionally unavailable in any ways as a man…i’ve been attracted to emotionally dishonest and unavailable women…nursing old wounds from a past of legitimate pain in this arena…i haven’t been as drawn to emotionally self-aware and available women…that’s on me…the risk of pain and psychic wounding is formidable, but probably not as great as i fear…it has to be worth it to move on to loving a woman on a higher plane of maturity…i will work on being a better man for a better woman—–


  21. Alice Connor says:

    OMG! I’ve been complaining for years that I can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. I either attract really controlling or needy guys, cold and distant or married ones.

    I’d almost given up on love but now I realise that it’s actually me who’s emotionally unavailable.

    I have such low self-esteem, I accept crumbs of love and affection from wherever they come just because I feel that’s all that’s available to me and all I deserve. I jump into bed with guys way before I am ready to and then regret it and resent them. After one date, I turn into the ice queen just to give them the impression that I’m untouchable and that they can’t hurt me. The cooler a guy is towards me, the more attracted I am to him (that one really pisses me off!!). And I’m jealous of anyone I know who’s in love.

    I have all the excuses: as a child, my father was a depressed alcoholic and never paid any attention to me except when he was angry and abusive. I loved my mother so much but she died of cancer when I was quite young. My father remarried a woman who is herself cold and unemotional. I didn’t marry until later life, focusing instead on my career (which I have succeeded in) only to find out on our wedding night that he was a controlling, psychopathic abuser. I was trapped in the relationship for five years and suffered horrendous abuse.

    I know these things are just excuses and past hurts and that I ought to be able to move on from them but I guess reading them back just now brings home the mammoth task I have in front of me in order to allow myself to be vulnerable and emotionally available.

    I so want to do it though. Wish me luck everyone – oh and thanks for this post and blog. inspiring! x


  22. promise says:

    I did not really know that I am emotionally unavailable till now…I actually thougtht I was not ready for many years.I fell in love with someone who has girlfriend issues(a girl he isn’t dating is in love with him and would stop @ nothing to have him even when they are not dating but they are friends though).I just realised I am scared of commitments,hate conflicts and I have this mentality of how a relationship should be.I ended up falling In love with maybe the wrong person and getting hurt in the end.Now I don’t feel like I need relationships again..I just want to be focused on my work and schooling.


  23. promise says:

    I didn’t know that I am emotionally unavailable till now..I just thought I was not ready for many years, but for how long?? I fell in love with someone who had girl problems( a female friend of his is in love with him and would stop @ nothing to have him even though they are not dating and he keeps telling her he isn’t ready for her nw and she succeeded in harassin me till I just left him).Quite painful right??, but am wondering why he wants me though. I just realised I had issues myself like I can’t just commit, I hate conflicts and I have this idea of how a relationship should be. I fell in love and ended up getting hurt because this guy went back to this other girl,he had no idea of how I was being harrassed when I didn’t give in to his proposal of a relationship. I didn’t want to be that girl he would use to pass time till he is ready for the other girl,I wanted more. Now I don’t feel like I need relationships,just want to be independent, focused on school and work.


  24. Thomas says:

    Wow, I just found out why my relationship ended with my gf because of this article. Thank you! I was absolutely dating an emotionally unavailable woman. I could never get details from her about anything. Work was a major stresser for her, I was constantly supporting her in her woes over work. We moved together 2500 miles from home and she dumped me a week later and started looking for men back home in Seattle almost immediately. I finally realized, right when we could have developed intimacy, she “shirked” and ran away. Wow. This has helped me so much.


    Mika Replied:

    Hi Thomas,

    I’m sorry your relationship didn’t work out but I am glad this did help you a bit:)


  25. CC says:

    Wow. Thank you for the article and all your comments. Eye opening. Not only am I EU, but I’ve been in relationships with women that were too or to some degree. Now what to do, for I don’t want to repeat what has happened in the past. Im so aware now of what I’m doing and also know I need to change to be able to be in a working relationship. I’ll keep reading and talking about it. I apologize for my behaviour, and promise to myself to do whatever it takes to change.


  26. Stacy says:

    I am #4, #6 and #7. I have a really hard time with conflict. I think I learned as a kid to stay invisible and avoid getting in trouble. Now, I hold my feelings in until I can’t hold them anymore then I blow up and throw everything at them at once. Anytime I start to feel scared I back away from whatever is causing that feeling. If that is one of my needs not being met rather than voice it, I pretend it doesn’t matter. I was also in a marriage where I lost my identity. I spent so much time trying to keep the peace that I gave up who I was until I was so miserable I couldn’t stay any more. I don’t tend to run away in relationships though, I tend to overwhelm them with my need to be reassured that they’re not going to reject me and that causes them to reject me because they feel suffocated. I am definitely a work in progress!


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