A relationship when both partners are "all-in" is tough enough. But when your man is emotionally unavailable, things are so much harder. You're committed to making things work, but he just won't open up. A tell-tale sign of an emotionally unavailable man is a lack of empathy; check for these signs before you get too committed. Although my audience is largley heterosexual females, this article will ring true for those dealing with emotionally unavailable men or women.
Signs That A Man Lacks Empathy:
- He cheats and then blames you.
- He takes space (more than a day or two) and doesn't care that it hurts you.
- He dumps you over and over again and each time calls to take you back — without concern for your feelings.
- He shuts down when you act panicky or insecure in the relationship.
- He isn't interested in finding ways to soothe your worries.
- He stonewalls you despite your tears and pleas for his understanding and compassion.
- He tells you that you are the problem and that if you want to be with him, you have to figure out how to make him love you again.
- He doesn't respect your boundaries (emotional or physical).
- He verbally and emotionally abuses you because he thinks you need to learn.
- He accuses you of being smothering and mistrusting when you ask him about other women.
- He explodes when you cry or get emotional.
- He makes you feel like you're always the only one apologizing (maybe he even acts victimized for days).
- He makes you feel like the bad guy and usually his feelings are the only ones that matter after a fight.
- He dismisses your feelings: he laughs at your feelings and needs, calls you 'such a woman' when you are upset, leaves the room, and/or brushes you off.
- He looks at you with a blank face when you cry to him, as if he truly doesn't understand what’s wrong or what your obvious distress suggests about your emotional state.
- He makes you feel out of control emotionally, and you've never felt that way in previous relationships.
Wondering if the man you're dating is emotionally unavailable? Maybe you have a pattern of dating emotionally unavailable men? One telltale sign that a man doesn't have the capabilities to be intimate, considerate, compassionate, honest, loyal and open in a relationship is a lack of empathy in moments when you need him most.
Emotionally Unavailable Men Can't See Past Their Needs & Feelings
Women often confuse the sensitive, wounded man with the emotionally available man. Warning: just because a man can easily cry doesn't mean that he's compassionate. Sensitivity does not equal empathy. Some emotionally unavailable men are compassionate — they give to charities, they listen to their friends' problems, they lend money to friends and family members; however, you have to look at a man's level of compassion for another person's feelings in moments when he's upset with that person, or just upset in general. You have to look at how he behaves when you are most needy: when your insecurities flare up or when you're in the midst of a tough circumstance.
It's hard to tend to your partner's feelings when you are not in a positive emotional state. Most of us quickly get irritated, frustrated and fed up with a loved one who puts emotional demands on us when we feel to-the-brim already. However, it's important to find a way to make space for your partner's feelings at all times, because an ability to give when it's hardest to do so is testiment to good character. An emotionally unavailable man can't grasp this concept.
It's Not Totally His Fault If He Lacks Empathy
Cognitive scientist Simon Baron-Cohen recently made the discovery that a lack of empathy is associated with the male brain. The more typically "male" the brain, the more likely the person is to systemize than to empathize. In fact, Baron-Cohen calls an autistic brain (autism is a disorder in which the person, among other things, lacks empathy), an exaggerated male brain. (Women can also have a more "male" than "female" brain; it's not just about gender.)
Knowing there's scientific proof to some of mens' emotional limitations can help you stop taking a man's lack of compassion for your feelings personally. I'm not suggesting you ignore questioning whether your man is emotionally unavailable, because that's not healthy for you or your love life; however, understanding that some people are biologically limited when it comes to empathy can help you remove your self-worth from his reactions and responses. Too often we wrap our sense of confidence in a man's ability to love us the way we need him to. Keep Reading...
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