advice on falling for an emotionally unavailable man

hey girl, what’s up! 

I am falling in love with a man who is emotionally unavailable. I know he cares about me and likes to spend time with me, but he’s 100% not emotionally there. I am so into feeling feelings and it’s a hard adjustment to deal with. It’s hard for me to express myself to him cause he’s so like blah to it all. But I am 100% falling hard:( 

Hi! Thank you for sending in this question.

Every other question I’ve answered, I’ve been like, haha, fuck him! xD But I’m assuming this is someone you’re seriously dating considering the circumstances you’ve described. I did a solid three to five minutes of research on the relationship therapists I follow on Instagram’s pages to get you the best answer I possibly could. I’m now certified and equipped to give you clinical advice. Buckle up.

You’re never going to be able to change someone. You’ve identified that he’s emotionally not there—potentially the result of years of feeling like he can’t show his emotions. You cannot expect him to change, at least not for a while and not because you want him to.

You’re an emotionally expressive person. Own that. Be yourself. If you guys are in a relationship, or even just dating, continue to express your emotions. Tell him what you need using I statements: “I want to express something to you, and it’ll make me feel validated if you (insert what you want here).” If you’re working with him, it’s only fair for him to work with you. A relationship requires give and take. If he isn’t willing to accommodate for you, reconsider if it’s really the right relationship for you to be in.

If you two haven’t yet had a conversation about your feelings on this, you should. What you sent to me was open, honest and centered around how you feel about the situation, and not what he’s doing wrong. I would say to him what you said to me. I know it’s scary because you don’t know if he will be able to express how he’s feeling back to you, but the more vulnerable you are with him, the more safe you will show him it is to be open with each other.

Something else I would highly recommend looking into is the app called “Gottman Card Decks”. Basically Dr. John and Julie Gottman are two psychologists who are married and do hella research on relationships. Not only do I personally stan them, but their methods are heavily used in therapy surrounding romantic and familial relationships. This app specifically is a resource couples can use together to work on their relationship and practice more efficient communication. There are a bunch of different card decks you can go through, like “open-ended questions”, “sex questions to ask”, “expressing needs” and so many more. How this shit is free, I don’t know. It’s such a great resource for every single couple but would be especially beneficial to you.

Good luck! You got this.

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