Get out while you can, girl.
Are you frustrated by your "broken picker"? If you're sick of attracting men who are emotionally unavailable, it's not because you have a "broken picker." More likely, you aren't listening to what he says (many women have selective hearing and interpret everything he says based on what they want), not listening to your gut, or jumping into a relationship so fast it makes it hard to get out when you know it's the right thing to do.
Never fear! Once you begin to recognize the signs of an emotionally unavailable man and how to effortlessly spot him, you'll never again have to wonder what it means when he disappears, flakes, is hot and cold, or if his words and actions are just plain confusing.
1. He tells you directly that he's not looking for a relationship.
Yes, men typically mean what they say and say what they mean. Drop the selective hearing and start listening to the men you date immediately. He might tell you that you're amazing, but he can't commit to anything right now.
One of the biggest fears of this type of man is becoming lost in a relationship and losing his freedom. Often, these people really do want to connect with someone but are too afraid to start anything because they know they really aren't ready. You can't be so amazing that he flips his switch and becomes your perfect mate. It rarely happens.
2. He's in a relationship with someone else.
He probably shares lots of information about his relationships, which might give you the impression that he's sharing with you and you're being emotionally intimate. But someone who's in a relationship with someone else can't possibly be as open with you as you deserve.
While this advice seems obvious, bottom line: these excuses DO NOT count:
- We haven't had sex in years.
- We're moving into separate places any day now. It's financially difficult, but we're working on it. (And by the way, I'm miserable.)
- Once the kids are (insert any milestone here), we're going to split.
- My wife is emotionally unstable. Soon... soon. She's in therapy.
- I don't feel like this with her and you're amazing. I'm confused, but the truth is I love you. Can you be patient?
Get the picture?
3. He loves the chase, but once you respond positively, he stops calling.
Emotionally unavailable men have a push-pull strategy. They tend to pursue you hard toward the beginning, but once you let them know they've won you over, they pull away and often disappear for a week or two. If he has a consistent pattern of disappearing, this is a serious red flag.
It's even more concerning when he can't articulate what's happening for him during these periods. If he uses the words "busy" regarding why he seems to vanish, run immediately in the other direction.
4. His words don't match his actions.
When a man is full of mixed messages, it's not a good sign. He may surprise you with a weekend getaway and then cancel on you several times in a row the next week. He also hates planning ahead and talking about the future terrifies him.
Having the belief that you don't deserve a whole, healthy, and satisfying relationship can be a reflection of low self-esteem, and it's at these points in your life that you're more likely to settle for an emotionally unavailable man. There's no reason to settle.
This article was originally published at Dating with Dignity. Reprinted with permission from the author.