This post contains some of the best emotionally unavailable quotes to help you feel less alone.
Who Is The Emotionally Unavailable Man?
The emotionally unavailable man refers to an individual who has difficulty expressing or experiencing emotions, particularly in the context of intimate relationships.
Here are some common characteristics associated with emotional unavailability in men:
1. Difficulty expressing emotions
Emotionally unavailable men may struggle with verbalizing their feelings or connecting with their own emotions.
They might avoid vulnerable conversations or dismiss their own emotional needs.
2. Fear of intimacy
These individuals often have reservations about getting close to others on an emotional level.
They may have experienced past trauma or have attachment issues that make them hesitant to engage fully in relationships.
3. Avoidance of commitment
Emotionally unavailable men might resist committing to long-term relationships or display inconsistent behaviors.
They may shy away from making future plans or avoid discussing the future altogether.
4. Distrust or fear of vulnerability
These individuals may have difficulty trusting others and fear being hurt.
They may have built emotional walls to protect themselves from potential pain or rejection.
5. Focus on independence
Emotionally unavailable men may prioritize their independence and self-reliance, avoiding becoming reliant on others for emotional support or connection.
It is important to note that emotional unavailability is not limited to men alone; it can be observed in people of any gender.
Emotionally Unavailable Men Quotes
1. “Being unavailable affects your ability to connect effectively and healthily with yourself and others. Combined with your background beliefs, it manifests itself in a variety of habits that perpetuate the unavailability by creating situations that allow you to remain unavailable. As a result when you have these issues it means you automatically have commitment issues.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
2. “But regardless of the kinds of walls you’re trying to bring down in your own relationship, emotional unavailability today doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed tomorrow. Dramatic change can and does happen.” – Holly Parker, PhD – If We’re Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?
3. “Emotional unavailability and commitment are intrinsically linked because if you can’t even commit to feeling out feelings, there certainly won’t be a commitment to a relationship or definite outcomes. Whether it means putting both feet into the relationship, or opting out and staying out, the perpetual indecision and fear means living in limbo in an uncomfortable “comfort” zone.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
4. “Emotional unavailability is a barrier to meaningful connection and its impact is devastating and far-reaching.” – Holly Parker, PhD – If We’re Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?
5. “Emotionally unavailable equates to intimacy issues, which is being afraid of the consequences of getting truly emotionally close to someone such that to lose them would hurt.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
Related: Am I Emotionally Unavailable Quiz
6. “Emotionally unavailable means not fully emotionally present. It’s struggling or being unable to access emotions healthily and as a result, being emotionally distant due to ‘walls’ which basically act as barriers to true emotional intimacy. Fully experiencing all feelings, whether good, bad, or indifferent, is avoided because they create vulnerability, so feelings are experienced often for a limited time and in bursts as opposed to consistently feeling on an ongoing basis.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
7. “Emotionally unavailable men thrive because they have complicit, commitment resistant, emotionally unavailable women to accommodate their behaviour. Mr Unavailables are chosen by Fallback Girls because they reflect their beliefs about love, relationships, and themselves.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
8. “Emotionally unavailable people are cut off from their own and others’ emotional processes, isolated from the emotional content of their lives. It’s a lonely way to live.” – Bryn C. Collins – Emotional Unavailability
9. “Emotionally unavailable people have almost completely lost touch with their emotions. This disconnection can happen to anyone temporarily after a traumatic event when the emotional system is stunned; it’s the emotional version of hitting your elbow and having your arm go numb. People who suffer temporary disconnection eventually recover their feelings bit by bit.” – Bryn C. Collins – Emotional Unavailability
10. “Even when you don’t recognise that there’s unavailability issues in your relationship, the white elephant in the room is commitment issues because they’re intrinsically linked.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
11. “Fundamentally, when you shut down and pull away from the relationship, this is a form of emotional unavailability, and it probably looks a whole lot like what you’ve been observing in your partner. The goal in pointing this out is not to blame you (and I truly hope that you don’t blame yourself either!) for putting a wall up and trying to protect yourself. It’s an all-too-understandable instinct. Instead, my intent is to shed light on how anyone could be unavailable, and to give you a clearer window into how your partner may be feeling when he shuts down from you.” – Holly Parker, PhD – If We’re Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?
12. “Healing comes from understanding your partner’s wounds and making it safe enough for his growth to occur. Fixing is doing the work for him. Doing the thinking, the figuring out, looking at all the options, and then telling him what he needs to do. This is not helpful. This will not make an emotionally unavailable man emotionally available. It is not good for you either. It keeps you from looking at your own stuff. This kind of codependency not only stunts your husband’s growth, but yours as well.” – Patti Henry, M.Ed., L.P.C – The Emotionally Unavailable Man
13. “Healthy relationships have co-pilots: two people committed to sharing a mutually fulfilling relationship journey. Unhealthy, unavailable relationships generally have a driver and a passenger. Even in very codependent, messy, unavailable relationships with what looks like two passengers dragging one another down, you’ll still find that one person is, in fact, driving.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
Related: Emotionally Unavailable Husband Quiz
14. “I come across thousands of women (and men) that are ‘stuck’ in an unavailable relationship. Some of them know they’re involved with someone that’s emotionally, physically and spiritually unavailable, making their partners limited in their capacity to have a relationship and commit, never mind love. For many others, they have no clue what they are involved in. They think that their situation is ‘unique’, that they said or did something to provoke their partner into ‘changing’, that they can do something to change their partner via fixing, healing and helping them or changing themselves, or that they’re even losing their minds. They think that they’ve misunderstood something or their eyes are deceiving them. Often, they think that they know better.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
15. “I don’t think I know anyone who has escaped having a relationship with someone emotionally unavailable at some point in their life. There’s no particular time in life when the unhealthy relationship happens some people have one in their teens, others in their senior years.” – Bryn C. Collins – Emotional Unavailability
16. “I took to ‘jokingly’ calling one Mr Unavailable ‘Busy Bee’ as I was always sandwiched in between stuff, often with him ‘conveniently’ wanting to hang out when he needed to spend the weekend in London and use my parking, and he essentially made himself look and sound like The Busiest Person Ever.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
17. “If Mr Unavailable gave some genuine thought processing over to considering the medium and long-term, he’d be a very different person. That, and your ‘relationship’ would be over a lot sooner. He’s all about the now. He has no qualms about getting heavily involved with you for the short-term fringe benefits.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
18. “If you don’t get wise about unavailable relationships, you will spend your life around men that send a message to you that you’re not ‘good enough’. This isn’t because you’re not good enough but because you’re trying to make an unavailable relationship into a committed relationship, which is like trying to make a pig’s ear into a silk purse.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
19. “If your partner is emotionally unavailable, you may love a man who dismisses the value of your relationship because he’s just waiting for you to leave him someday. Or you might be with someone who is always criticizing you and sees the relationship as lacking.” – Holly Parker, PhD – If We’re Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?
20. “It’s very easy to be hijacked by your imagination and need for validation when you don’t believe you’re good enough, when you actually know no better because unavailability is what you’ve been around all your life, and when you truly do believe that this man, an emotionally unavailable man with a limited if not outright defunct capacity for a mutually fulfilling healthy relationship, is the key to your happiness. Learning about the very common types of relationship behaviours that these men exhibit means that you can stop making problems that existed long before you came along your responsibility. It’s not about you.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
21. “Meet Mr Unavailable, the emotionally, physically, and spiritually unavailable man that enjoys the fringe benefits of a relationship such as a shag, an ego stroke and shoulder to lean on, without truly committing to you. You know him well: ambiguous, tricky to read, blows hot and cold, backs off when you come too close, chases you when you cut him off, has a list of excuses as long as his arm, and with actions rarely matching his words. He’s probably the most popular man to date as he tends to straddle the fence between ‘nice guy’ and ‘bad boy’. Only doing things on his terms, he’s mastered the art of getting all the trappings of a relationship, often by creating the illusion of a promised loaf and chucking you crumbs of attention and affection instead. Put on a pedestal by every woman he becomes involved with, he throws out just enough promise to have you betting on potential but he perpetually disappoints. He’s the man that doesn’t commit – to you, to action, to his emotions – and as a result he’s a limited man, with a limited capacity for commitment, creating limited relationships.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
22. “Men and women who are emotionally unavailable in relationships are often dealing with personal struggles that get in the way of authentic emotional connection and intimacy. Sometimes they know they put up walls, and other times they don’t. For certain individuals, the emotional walls will create chill and distance, whereas for others, walls are built with neediness and the relationship ends up feeling stifling.” – Holly Parker, PhD – If We’re Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?
23. “Mr Unavailable can only be with a woman as long as she’s carrying some negativity with her. A personally secure woman with boundaries would make him nervous plus he couldn’t drive things on his terms.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
24. “Mr Unavailable has major control issues and he gets to determine the pace, temperature, and direction of the relationship by blowing hot and cold, and where appropriate, pressing the Reset Button. This is why if you do the running or blow really hot, he’ll sprint in the opposite direction because it’s too much for him to handle and removes his fundamental tool of relationship management.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
25. “Mr Unavailable has no real comprehension of true love or care. It’s like being an alcoholic that’s in denial. He doesn’t acknowledge his issues, which means that everything is out of whack and feeding into the self-deception, which inadvertently leads to deceiving others. He’s the consummate actor and on some level, he knows that he’s playing a role.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
26. “Mr Unavailable is afraid of commitment, period. The Status Quo, his comfort zone, keeps things at ‘five’, probably at your expense. He wants it all on his terms. As a result, not only does this leave you between a rock and a hard place, but his commitment resistance means that he says and does things to cater to each side of the fence, which of course sends out conflicting messages.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
27. “Mr Unavailable often doesn’t tell you upfront that this is all that’s on offer so you’ll be lured in during the hot phase. Then he’ll roll back and become the man of diminishing returns. Like in all unavailable relationships, by him still being around, no matter in how limited, painful, or obnoxious a capacity, you’re getting a hint that if you continue to accommodate him, he’ll bend and accommodate you. Unfortunately, as you discover throughout this book, that doesn’t happen.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
28. “Mr Unavailable overestimates his level of interest because often the uncertainty of not knowing how you feel and the need to ‘win you over’ and ‘suck you in’, is what triggers his desire for you.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
29. “Mr Unavailable’s inadvertently complicit partner is you, the Fallback Girl, the woman he habitually defaults to or ‘falls back’ on to have his needs met while selling you short in the process. Accommodating his idiosyncrasies and fickle whims, you’re ripe for a relationship with him because you are unavailable yourself (although you may not know it) and are slipping your own commitment issues in through the back door behind his. You get blinded by chemistry, sex, common interests and the promise of what he could be, if only he changed or you turned into The Perfect Woman. Too understanding and making far too many excuses for him, you have some habits and beliefs that are standing in the way of you having a mutually, fulfilling healthy relationship…with an available man.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
30. “Mr Unavailables also get nervous around anything that they perceive as a big occasion that might cause you to think that they’re in a committed relationship with you, or basically that you’re ‘special’. Their response is to act badly so that you don’t go getting any ‘big ideas’.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
31. “Much like the Mr Unavailable who told his ex-wife on her deathbed that he loved her and wanted to marry her, knowing that she was going to die the following day (true story by the way), deciding to commit when you know that commitment is unlikely, and they have shown or even said that they’re not the committing sort, isn’t commitment. This is the same for working at your relationship. I don’t deny that you’ve put in effort but of course it’s going to feel like hard work – you’re working at a limited relationship with a limited man.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
32. “My theory — and it is just a theory based on working with hundreds of clients over the years — is that the problem for men begins with how they were treated as boys. Our culture has a long-standing tradition of teaching our little boys to cut off from their feelings. I think this is damaging to them. This makes them emotionally unavailable to themselves as well as others. It shuts down a huge part of their psyches and stunts their emotional development. They, therefore, get stuck at a young age of emotional development. No wonder men so often express this concern of still feeling like a little boy.” – Patti Henry, M.Ed., L.P.C – The Emotionally Unavailable Man
33. “Now even if the women that some of these Mr Unavailables engage with are not emotionally unavailable when they initially become involved, if the relationship continues, they too end up being emotionally unavailable in an almost natural reaction to coping with the difficulty of being in the ambiguous relationship which results. And so begins a vicious cycle.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
34. “Now, depending on whether the emotionally unavailable man uses fight or flight as his coping mechanism, the woman may either feel like the victim or become the victimizer. The Poor Pitiful Me or the Big Bad Wolf. The relentless, pounding hurricane has arrived.” – Patti Henry, M.Ed., L.P.C – The Emotionally Unavailable Man
35. “One hallmark of emotionally unavailable people is that they are unconnected not only with the emotions of other people but also with their own emotions.” – Bryn C. Collins – Emotional Unavailability
36. “Pursuing or having relationships with Mr Unavailable is symbolic of your need to learn to love yourself more and to set some boundaries and have better standards.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
37. “Remember the core issue here – he’s unavailable – and this means that he won’t even commit to a feeling, so you expecting him to commit to a relationship is quite a leap. When he feels what to others might seem like the start of something wonderful, he backs away from it and blows lukewarm or cold to get back into a neutral zone. If he starts experiencing any negative feelings, he’ll avoid those and start blowing hot to feel better. This means of course it’s never really about you; it’s always about him.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
Related: Do We Need Couples Therapy Quiz
38. “Remember, emotionally unavailable men were taught as children that emotions are not safe or desirable. Emotionally unavailable men were taught as children that there is NO WAY to negotiate the storm. Emotionally unavailable men were taught that they don’t have what it takes to make things different. This is part of the erroneous data that was fed into your computer and that you are still operating under. No wonder you have trouble in intimate relationships!” – Patti Henry, M.Ed., L.P.C – The Emotionally Unavailable Man
39. “Sometimes emotionally unavailable men have lost contact with their playful self. The child within. The joyful, free, laughing, fun self. At other times, emotionally unavailable men use this part of themselves to avoid feeling anything. Life’s a party. They play and play and play and play. If you are in the latter group, this suggestion is not for you. If you are in the former group, read on.” – Patti Henry, M.Ed., L.P.C – The Emotionally Unavailable Man
40. “That’s one of the keys to understanding emotional unavailability. The person who is not available doesn’t want love as much as he or she wants control. Emotions are unsafe; control gives the illusion of safety.” – Bryn C. Collins – Emotional Unavailability
Related: Best 10 Books For Couples
41. “The emotionally unavailable man may not go so far as raging to shut up his partner, he may just fight by being hard to communicate with: “What did you want me to do? Oh, yeah, YOU got all the answers! You don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m sick of listening to all this crap! You make me sick.” Etc.” – Patti Henry, M.Ed., L.P.C – The Emotionally Unavailable Man
42. “The male issue with emotional unavailability can be rooted in childhood as the product of unhealthy interactions such as parents who penalise for displaying sensitivity and emotion. By engaging in narcissistically inclined behaviour and surrounding themselves with women who they effectively use, dismiss, and ‘fall back’ on habitually, their self-esteem doesn’t take the same ongoing battering.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
43. “The moment that you appear to be moving on is when he’ll home in on you, blow hot, and set you back ten steps. You’ll readily accept his offer of his friendship because you don’t want to let go either and you keep reminding yourself how he’s so nice, what great qualities he has, and how ‘connected’ you are, and how he’s so like your soulmate except for the small problem of him being emotionally unavailable and unable to commit.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
44. “The reason why Mr Unavailable doesn’t see a committed relationship with you is because he doesn’t see a committed relationship with anyone, or at least not the type of commitment that you’re looking for – healthy, positive commitment. Obviously if you have unhealthy ideas about commitment, you’ll meet your match with him, but that’s a different matter!” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
45. “The third thing you can do to help your partner in his emotional growth process is to become aware of why you are with someone who is emotionally unavailable in the first place.” – Patti Henry, M.Ed., L.P.C – The Emotionally Unavailable Man
46. “There has to be room for your partner as well. If you talk 90 percent of the time you are doing the work for both of you. Talk less. Make room for your partner. If there are silences, that’s okay. If there are only silences, that’s a different story. That’s emotional unavailability, and that’s not okay. Try to find a good balance where there is space for both of you.” – Patti Henry, M.Ed., L.P.C – The Emotionally Unavailable Man
47. “Unavailable, whether it’s temporary or habitual, means unavailable for a healthy, mutually fulfilling relationship. Unless you were already involved with them in an emotionally available capacity within a healthy relationship, you as the ‘new’ person or the one looking to have your needs met or share a relationship, are wasting your time trying to get them to feel more than they’re capable of or want to at this time. The more you push, whether it’s directly or indirectly in more subtle ways, the further they’ll retreat.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
Related: Relationship Red Flags Quiz
48. “We all get sucked into emotionally unavailable situations (I don’t like to abuse the word relationship when describing something so one-sided) because the process is subtle and progressive. The demands move a little at a time, inching you away from your power base, shifting control of the situation to the emotionally unavailable person.” – Bryn C. Collins – Emotional Unavailability
49. “We think that ‘unavailable’ means not available at all and that it removes them out of the dating equation. We don’t think of unavailable as ‘limited availability’. They’ll treat us ‘badly’ and it’ll be obvious that it’s a ‘bad’ relationship; after all, we know what a ‘bad’ or even not-so-good relationship looks like don’t we, and surely we’d walk away?” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
50. “When you stop seeing Mr Unavailables through a lens that says their behaviours are directly linked to your worth as a person, you start to see in them an independent, individual entity that more often than not has form for this behaviour, often with a track record that would have you falling off your seat in shock.” – Natalie Lue – Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl
Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.
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