When I was first traipsing around the country doing book tours for He’s Just Not That Into You, I would have women and men tell me about relationships they were in with people they described as “emotionally unavailable.” It was a very hot term at the time and all the talk shows were using it. There was a brand new scourge in the dating world, and these newly labeled monsters couldn’t return people’s affection. The funny thing is that you’d think these people would want to leave these relationships where they weren’t getting their needs met, but they didn’t. They were using the term to diagnose a condition their partner couldn’t help but have. They were just going to suffer along with a person afflicted with emotional unavailability.
Like, “It’s okay that he doesn’t return my love, he’s emotionally unavailable.” Or they’d argue, “Some people are just emotionally unavailable, that’s the way it is.” Like they had a skin disorder. To this, I’d want to say “Bullshit.” I didn’t buy it.
All of us humans are emotional all of the time. We are ruled by emotions – they course through us at every moment, but sometimes that emotion manifests in quiet withholding. That quiet IS the emotion that is being shown to you. If a person isn’t returning your affection, it isn’t that they have affection for you and can’t access it. They don’t have affection for you. They just don’t; if they did they’d show it. Some may show it less enthusiastically than others but still, they’d show it.
When someone is shut off that is the emotion of fear manifesting in a desire to avoid. But because it’s not the emotion people want, they say they are “emotionally unavailable.” That’s not true: It means the person, despite their best efforts, does not have affection for you. In simple terms, he/she is just not that into you. Isn’t it possible that someone could have feelings for you and not know how to express them? Sure, but they’d at least be able to communicate that. What I found was that “emotionally unavailable” was being applied to people who plain didn’t like other people – they just didn’t know how to express that, even though the simple act of not returning affection is an answer in itself. I wanted people to stop taking bullshit from these fuckers. Does this make sense? Stop making excuses for other people.
You deserved to be loved. Full on. If someone can’t return that it’s not because they don’t know how to. Loving people back is a simple act. They don’t do it because they don’t feel it. They are not motivated to get past their own idiosyncrasies to show you they love you. They are often willing to live fearfully without admitting it. Often they don’t know what they want, but that’s no longer good enough. If someone isn’t available to love you, you shouldn’t be either. The whole premise of the book He’s Just Not That Into You is that if someone doesn’t treat you like they like you? They don’t like you. Simple. “Emotionally unavailable” equals “doesn’t like you.” We deserve to be with people who know how to love us not people that pretend to struggle with it. “Emotionally unavailable” should really just be called unavailable. Anyone who fits that diagnosis should be kicked to the curb because we’re only here for people who are available. – Greg
If you like what I have to say and are interested in talking with me, I’m available for coaching.