The basis of a healthy relationship is emotion, which not only affects all human decisions, but are a great driving force in making them too. They help bring two people closer in a relationship and act as a catalyst for their love. But what happens to people who find it hard to express their feelings or don't express at all? Wait, is that even a real thing?
Emotional unavailability is the inability of certain individuals to maintain strong emotional bonds due to which they are either evasive or uptight and as a result, struggle with relationships. They have issues with trusting people, exhibit frequent bursts of anger, have difficulty in forming and honouring commitments, and also keeping a stable relationship going, along with intimacy issues. But what are the reasons why these people become like that? To begin with, emotional unavailability originates from a place of uncertainty and over criticism by their own selves. It’s fuelled by the fact that such people seem to think of their emotions as unnecessary and continue to internalize them. As a result, they prefer casual dating and keep their distance. We have listed a few reasons why this may happen:
- Attachment issues: Childhood and parents’ upbringing can really change a person’s life. They play a significant part in shaping the child’s emotion and that includes teaching them a way to vent it out. However, if your caregivers show no interest in your feelings or offer you any comfort or support or may be absent during those foundational years, you have absorbed this as a relationship model. And as a result, any relationship that you build as an adult may take this form. It makes you think that if you have lived so many years of your life without being emotionally vulnerable to anyone, why does it matter to do it now?
- Mental Health: People who have suffered mental trauma and have mental health issues choose to not wear their heart on their sleeves. They have a hard time expressing other emotions because they are so caught up in their own sorrow. This is usually seen with people who have depression. Dealing with mental health troubles can be hard, so it’s wise to consult a therapist and not just bottle up your feelings.
- Break-up Griefs: People who have faced a recent break up due to infidelity, unrequited love or relationship abuse can find it hard to emotionally engage with another person. To even think about putting in the hard work that goes behind building a relationship up from scratch can be exhausting. They would rather just keep their emotions to themselves.
However, one needs to understand that emotional unavailability is a defense mechanism and people with this, constantly live in the fear of not being understood or worse, being mocked for the same. Therefore, being emotionally unavailable does not make them a bad person or incapable of love. It only means that there is some personal learning that needs to be done in order to expand their emotional repertoire. The first step in this process would be unlearning damaging patterns that our past relationships have burdened us with. This would allow people to expand their emotional depth and work on their healing process. Not only will this serve as a roadmap on how to deal with emotion related issues, but also give an understanding to your partner that you are willing to work on this relationship.
Relationships are difficult when one of the partners is emotionally unavailable. The other partner has troubles adjusting to the relationship and often finds themselves struggling and going through a lot of pain. To have a partner constantly bailing out on all plans or shutting off their feelings can be incredibly frustrating and lonely. As a result, one feels unappreciated, unwanted and unloved, along with experiencing emotions of abandonment and rejection, which can lead to anxiety and self-doubt.
It’s clear that everyone has a different emotional quotient and may or may not display the same range of emotions. For example, some people cry at movies, some don’t. Are these guys emotionally unavailable? No. The question that needs to be asked here: At what point do we draw a line between “Oh, that’s just how he is” to “Maybe he needs some help”? The answer to this question is COMMUNICATION. As hard as it sounds, for an emotionally unavailable person to do this, communication is the key to move ahead. Going to counsellors and therapies might actually work in resolving this issue. It’s understandable that these people find it hard to ask for help or even think about considering it, but keeping feelings bottled up or avoiding them altogether is helping no one, especially not you.