When someone has a relationship with another person, ideally, their body, heart and mind will be shared. This means there will be a physical connection, an emotional sharing and an intellectual exchange.
But this doesn’t always take place and this means that one could have a relationship with another that is only physical and there may or may not be an intellectual side as well. So one could believe they are in a relationship and to the outsider, this could also look to be the case.
However, without emotional sharing and receiving, it is not possible to have a real relationship. The talking and listening that allows for intimacy to develop, is unlikely to be there. And this is not simply talking about what one didn’t or didn’t do that day; it is a continual sharing of how one feels about themselves, the other person and the relationship.
If this vulnerability does not exist, then there will be no openness and no progress will be able to be made. Each person will keep themselves to themselves and this will stop intimacy from developing. Trust will not grow, it will stay as it is, if there is any and it may even begin to subside, based on how the relationship is.
So to be in a relationship with someone who is not emotionally available is going to feel empty and there could be a sense that something is missing. One may be in the early stages or the latter stages of a relationship with someone and feel this emptiness.
And they could experience a pattern and go from one person to another and experience the same occurrence over and over again. For someone who wants to experience a deeper sense of intimacy with another, this is going to be incredibly frustrating.
However, there is going to certain behaviours that will draw someone to this person. And there might also be promises that are made in order entice someone. But while this person may present the image of being available and willing to have a relationship, these are simply illusions.
When in reality, they are not available or ready to be emotionally open. They may be ready to share their body though and yet these are very different things. One’s body can be shared with another and while sharing is taking place, one doesn’t have to be emotionally vulnerable in this situation.
Their heart can remain closed and two bodies can come together. This can lead to momentary fulfilment, but it won’t lead too much else.
Two Different Needs
For the person who wants to share who they are, this will not be enough. So much more will be wanted and needed; to just share one’s body will never be enough. They have a heart that wants to be expressed and to connect to another person’s heart.
However, for the person who is emotionally unavailable, this type of interaction will be all they can currently handle. To go any further could cause emotional pain to appear. Their heart is likely to be closed and this could be how they intend it to stay.
So while the person is emotionally closed off and unwilling to open up, this is not something that just happened. Their behaviour may lead to others being emotionally hurt and yet they are only behaving in this way to protect themselves.
And how someone ends up feeling, after being with someone who is emotionally available, can be exactly how the emotionally unavailable person is trying to avoid feeling through being closed off.
The causes of this can be due what experiences one has had as an adult and the experiences they had as a child. During this time one would have opened themselves up to another person and this would mean they were vulnerable.
As An Adult
When someone opens up to another, there is always going to be a chance that the other person could hurt them in some way and vice versa. And this is not to say that it is always the result of some kind of infidelity or abusive behaviour for example.
People grow and change and even though it may not have been their intention to hurt the other person, when emotional ties are created, this can’t always be avoided. And as a result of someone experiencing this emotional pain and not processing and healing what happened, they can shut down all feeling.
While it protects them from pain, they are also denying themselves of what they truly need. And that is to emotionally connect with another person and people in general.
What happens during ones childhood years can be the biggest influence and what takes place here can have an impact on all future relationships. So if one was emotionally wounded as a child, there will often be a conscious or unconscious expectation that the same thing will take place as an adult.
Here, one could have been emotionally neglected by their caregivers or experienced some other kind of abuse. Or there could have been an accumulation of things that built up and caused one to close up.
And unless this pain has been healed, it will be retriggered through the relationships that one has with others. This could take place with friends, but it is more likely to take place in relationships with the opposite sex. One can remain numb from their childhood onwards, to avoid having to face the pain again.
If one is not emotionally available, it can be because they are too close to one their parents. And this doesn’t have to be a relationship that is harmonious. It simply needs to be a relationship where someone’s attention and energy is being directed to the parent.
As human beings, we only have so much energy to give and if this energy and attention is being given to a parent, then there is not going to be enough available for an intimate relationship. This kind of relationship with a parent would be described as enmeshment and can only exist due to a lack of boundaries.
So in order for someone to become emotionally available, they will need to get in touch with the feelings and emotions that have become trapped in their body and release them. It won’t feel safe to open up while they remain in the body.
And if they are too close to a parent, boundaries will need to be implemented. This may involve letting go of feelings and emotions that have remained in the body since one was a child.
One can be assisted here by a therapist or healer that will allow one to get in touch with their feeling and emotions and release them.
If one is continually attracted to people who are emotionally unavailable, it might be necessary to take a deeper look within themselves. As the other person could be reflecting back their own emotional unavailability and this means that some kind of letting go will need to occur.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.