A List to Help You Not Date Someone Who is Emotionally Unavailable

A rock never hopes, connects, or is brave.

You don’t want to date a rock, no matter how cute he is or how pretty she is. Or what kind of job he has. Or what kind of money she comes from.

An emotionally unavailable person does not make a good match–and is guaranteed heartbreak for you. Because you are going to try so hard, you are going to contort yourself so much, to make this relationship work. When it was never going to work in the first place.

The following is a list of red lights which will help you discern (part-brain, part-instinct, and part-Holy-Spirit) if this person is emotionally unavailable. Prayerfully you will read this and see clearly the truth about the one you are interested in. Or maybe you will read this and start justifying why your other is not this. That is a sign to you too.

I wish more for you. There is a better match for you out there.

  • He/she won’t open up about past, present or future. This should frustrate you because you are only receiving surface level answers. Despite your gentle prodding. Despite your openness. Deep level revealing should not happen on the first date or maybe even the tenth date but eventually it should happen. We are not meant to be rocks. All of the relationships in your life should grow so that you know each other. Aren’t you tired of the surface level answers to your questions?
  • He/she has unhealed wounds. Maybe you’ve gotten into the deeper stuff in your conversations. Yet you keep seeing a pattern of stuckness because there are unhealed wounds. Someone can be aware of their wounds and still do nothing about healing those wounds. This is a red light so please notice it. These unhealed wounds will prevent your other from being emotionally available to you because he/she is too stuck in the emotions of that wound.
  • He/she can’t let go of the past. More stuckness. You are not the one to help him/her move forward. I know you want to be the one because you see the good potential in this one (and maybe you also like to rescue people, that is a red light on you) but your other has to heal outside of you.
  • He/she reveals a struggle with rejection anxiety. Rejection anxiety is a lot like foreboding joy. Your other is setting him/herself up to be rejected before the relationship even starts. You can say all the right things to him/her but this rejection anxiety is too strong to see your value. Again, you will not be the one to heal him/her of this. Cut your emotional losses and find a better match.
  • He/she blames others/has a lack of self-awareness. This is a red light of not being emotionally mature thus not emotionally available to you. You need to be with someone who is on your level of emotional maturity, who is also in the healing process as you are. If you continue dating this person and getting to know this person, this behavior should actually wear on you. It is not attractive. And don’t be surprised when you are the one to be blamed eventually.
  • He/she doesn’t follow up or follow through. What is his/her inaction saying to you? This stuff is so easily justified as you become contorted justifying it. Stop. We use Dr. Brene’ Brown’s definition of boundaries here often. It is BIG or “what Boundaries need to be in place for me to stay in my Integrity to make the most Generous assumptions about you.” When you keep accepting someone’s lies like this, you are hurting your integrity. Stop the generous assumptions in these circumstances because you are losing your integrity.
  • Where is he/she in the discipleship process? Again, this is not something you will learn early in the dating relationship. But as you are getting to know your other, who is speaking into his/her life? Who are the gift of people in his/her life? There better be somebody. These somebodies better be people whom you’ve met and like.
  • Then there is the player. You receive all of the emotional attention you want—for a time. When really he/she never made him/herself emotionally available to you. It is all part of the pursuit that players thrive off of. Or what unhealthy emotionally unavailable people use to try at relationships. Which means this person didn’t start out as a player, this person is a rock rich in unhealthy and unhealed behaviors. If he/she is too flattering and too emotionally-bonded too early, this is a clue.

One last question. Is any of this you? Is this why you are attracting bad matches? You take the time to heal. You surround yourself with the gift of people who will vulnerably see you and lead you to wholeness. Then see if you will attract better matches.

Remember that a failed date or a failed relationship does not define you. This emotionally unavailable person has nothing to do with you not being worthy of connecting to someone. This is not a rejection of you. This person–who is temporary in your life—does not define you. Unless you grant that power to this person–to this temporary and emotionally unavailable person.

Love for a lifetime is out there. Emotionally available men and women do exist, and you can find them. You just need to stop wasting your time on the ones who are definitely not available—emotionally or otherwise.

I wish more for you. There is a better match for you out there.

(Photo by Darius Krause from Pexels)

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